Summer is such a fun time with all the warm weather activities giving us a chance to soak up some sunshine. I particularly love how everyone seems to spend more time outside going for walks in the early mornings or evenings. With all of this extra time outside, it gives us a better chance to connect with our neighbors and friends before we all start to hide inside and hibernate during the colder months.
Summer is the perfect time for sharing. Host gatherings for friends to take advantage of the season and really, there are so many excuses for a fun theme this month alone. Between National Hot Dog Day (July 18th), National Tequila Day (July 24th), and National Cheesecake Day (30th) pulling together an informal gathering isn’t hard.
A hot dog bar would be so easy to pull together quickly if even just for your own family. Try thick slices of pickles, tomatoes, and peppers for Chicago-style dogs. Grab so no-bean chili and cheese for Coney dogs. Classic ballpark-style hot dogs just require ketchup, mustard, relish, and chopped onions. A lesser-known option is a slice of bacon (or bacon bits if you would prefer), grated cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce for a western bacon dog. Just set up a topping bar and let your guests or family construct their own. Chips, coleslaw or potatoes salad, and drinks will make this menu a simple home run without spending all day running around in the kitchen.
I’m a big fan of margaritas so National Tequila Day is an ideal excuse to make up a batch and invite some friends over. Not too long ago I shared my Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita recipe with my newsletter subscribers. If you would like to it, you can subscribe here and the recipe card will arrive in your inbox. It’s a great way to bask in the evening sunshine with friends. Plan something for National Tequila day on the 24th or invite friends over spontaneously. Either way will make for a wonderful summer evening.
National Cheesecake Day speaks for itself. Cheesecake and a bottle of wine is all you need to host an evening gathering, but you can run with it much farther if you would like to. One of my favorite bar cookie flavors is my cheesecake flavor so you could bring in a bunch of these to work and celebrate with your coworkers. Bar cookies make a wonderful dessert option when you are looking for hands-free hosting because they don’t require any of the serving time a regular cheesecake or cake would.
With warmer temperatures, people aren’t typically as hungry so try to make sure there are light food options like fruit. Making (or buying) a fruit tray and serving a dessert is all that is needed so don’t let the hassle of hosting keep you from celebrating anything with friends. Just make sure you have plenty of drinks to keep guests cool especially if you are planning on being outdoors. In addition to the margaritas, you can make a fruit-infused water by dropping a few slices of fruit into a pitcher about two to four hours before guests arrive. You can also infuse it overnight if that is easier.
We shouldn’t need a special reason to celebrate summer with friends because just having fun with a silly theme is enough to help nourish our souls. The only special reason we need is the special people we spend time with.