(Family Features) Warmer months provide the perfect opportunity to entertain your nearest and dearest outside, whether it's a casual backyard cookout or an elegant dinner on the patio. When preparing for a gathering, think about the overall flavors of your meal and look for recipes that incorporate similar ingredients.
If you're going for a Southwestern theme, look for dishes that call for fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro. For a Mediterranean or Italian meal, try recipes with onions, garlic and parsley. No matter the occasion, opt for simple, flavorful and quality ingredients to add some extra panache to your favorite dishes.
When entertaining, remember that while your focus should be on the main dish, providing appetizers that complement the meal can keep guests happy while you finish cooking. And when deciding what to serve, remember that easy crowd favorites are often best.
For example, you can serve a colorful display of sliced celery, carrots, bell peppers and fresh bread with a gourmet cheese spread like Boursin Garlic & Herb Gourmet Spreadable. The rich flavor and light, spreadable texture will pair nicely with crisp seasonal vegetables for an appetizer that will impress your guests and leave you with plenty of time to focus on the main course.
On warm afternoons and evenings, serving an array of refreshing beverages like cucumber, lemon or strawberry-flavored water is sure to be a hit. If you want to add a sophisticated touch, offer your guests sparkling mineral water in addition to still water. And no matter what beverages you serve, make sure the ice bucket is always full.
For an elegant yet casual dinner party, try these flavorful Stuffed Mushrooms paired with seasonal Grilled Salmon and Cucumber Radish Relish.
For more easy and delicious recipes for appetizers, entrees and even desserts, visit www.boursincheese.com/recipes.