Easy Summer Appetizers

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I love to entertain, but in the summer, especially, I like to keep things casual and easy.  When it’s so hot outside, I’d rather not turn on the oven if I can avoid it!

A few weeks ago, we had a couple of friends over for cocktails and appetizers before we all headed downtown to attend a rooftop party/fundraising event.  Since fundraisers can often be a little light on the food, I figured we should at least take the edge off our hunger before we left the house.

Easy summer appetizers
The appetizers I served were so yummy (and easy) that I wanted to share.

I sliced French bread and toasted it in the oven.  If you’re short on time, our grocery store sells pre-toasted bread rounds; yours might, too. In a pinch, these are great on wheat crackers, like Triscuits, too.


On the first batch, I used spreadable brie cheese (Alouette makes a yummy one) and simply added a fresh blackberry on top.

On the second batch, I spread herbed cheese (try Boursin) and added half a grape tomato and a basil leaf from my herb garden.

Easy summer appetizer recipes
I can make a meal out of the basil/tomato/Boursin combination, and I’m not ashamed to say that I have–many times!

I used my antique silver finger bowls to serve a few extra blackberries and walnuts to nibble on, too.

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I also served a wedge of espresso cheese (BellaVitano is our favorite) paired with fig spread and 34 Degrees crackers.  All of those are available in the deli and fancy cheese section of our grocery store, but I linked to them so you can see the exact ones that I buy.  The 34 Degrees plain crackers are one of my very favorites for cheeses because they’re a great light texture; they’re actually a much better deal if you buy them online since they’re almost $5 a package at our grocery store!

Easy summer appetizers
For drinks, we just set up a tray with a few options.  I had a chilled chardonnay in the fridge (try Bogle or La Crema), and we had the fixings for gin and tonics, Manhattans, and Pimm’s Cups (I’ll post the recipe for that soon).

Cocktail napkins, paper straws and swizzle sticks (all from HomeGoods) made everything pretty.

The little hobnail glass holding the straws and swizzle sticks was originally a candle; I just cleaned out the jar to reuse it.

Easy summer appetizer recipes
The black and gold tray is one of my favorites; it was a whole quarter at a thrift shop!

I love Fever-Tree tonic water for my gin and tonics; often I can find it at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx, but if not, my grocery store carries it, too (it’s just more expensive there).

We devoured everything I laid out, which was a good thing because it turned out that there wasn’t much food at the event!  It was, however, for a good cause, and it was a perfect night to listen to music in a beautiful rooftop garden.


I forgot to snap a picture of us at the event, because I always forget to do that, but here’s what I wore–a navy gingham off-the-shoulder dress and nice flip flops.

navy gingham dress

| Dress  |

If you have any go-to appetizer recipes, I’d love to hear them in the comments.  I’m always looking for new ones.  Oh, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a HomeRight FinishMax Extra {here}.

Thanks for stopping by!


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  1. http://Rebecca%20Purdie says

    Great idea for light finger foods.
    I enjoy having friends over,which we are doing tomorrow. But I always worry about not having enough or whether the food tastes good and will they like it. I try to have different options each time we get together. I will certainly save these and use at future get togethers.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    • I always worry about those things, too, Rebecca, so it’s always good to have a few easy ideas that always come out right!

      I hope you all had fun with your friends this past weekend!

  2. http://Barb says

    Thanks for the inspiring photos and ideas for a little party. Very beautiful… Enjoy

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