Fresh Food Ideas for Garden Parties

Garden parties can range from playful and informal to elegant. For garden party food ideas, you want guests to be able to mingle and have the choice of standing or sitting as they eat. The following party planning ideas help you take advantage of the atmosphere in your dishes:

Think Fresh: Whatever dish you choose, keep it seasonal. A spring garden party calls for light flavors and plenty of vegetables straight from the farmer's market. The best seasonal cuisine is uncomplicated so the flavors shine through. In the spring, you can't go wrong with anything that includes asparagus.

Keep It Simple: A heavy dish, like a meat you a knife and fork to eat, will not work for a garden party. You could stick with appetizers only, or just dishes that call for forks. Ask yourself before you put an item on a menu, "Can a guest stand and eat that?" Keep in mind that guests will probably want to walk around and look at your garden. Consider mini-quiches, chicken salad with sprouts in pitas or even a nice green salad with raspberry vinaigrette. For dessert, try mini fruit tarts or tea cookies that guests can eat easily.

Serve Refreshing Drinks: Cold or hot teas both floral and herbal can continue your theme. If you have a glass or crystal teapot, you can even have an edible flower in the pot of tea. Or, you can add sprigs of mint to a pitcher of iced tea for a cool drink. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or a berry punch is also a nice alternative.

Afternoon or evening, spring or summer you can create a party to remember. Regardless of which options you decide on, keeping the food light and seasonal will complement your theme and create a relaxing environment for your guests.

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