Favorite Summer Recipes and Outdoor Entertaining Ideas..

Collection of summer recipes and entertaining ideas from The Creativity Exchange


Happy Friday and Happy Memorial weekend friends!

Summer is almost here! Well, summer actually arrived weeks ago here in East Texas with our first near 100 degree day! Today I thought I would pull together a collection of all of my favorite summer outdoor entertaining ideas and recipes that I have shared over the last three and half years on the blog. Hopefully, you’ll see an idea or recipe to add to your summer to do list.

I know many of you are looking at buying outdoor furniture to spruce up your patios and backyards for summer fun and I wanted to share this post that I shared last May where I turned an inexpensive potting bench from World Market into an outdoor bar:

Turn an inexpensive potting bench into an outdoor bar {The Creativity Exchange}
I am really excited about this because World Market has come out with the exact same potting bench here this spring! I know so many of you tried to find the bench last year after it sold out. So the bench is a steal at $139.00 because it’s a pretty good size. For details of what I did to the bench to make it cocktail ready, you can check out that post here.

By the way, in August last year, I shared a similar project where I took the same World Market coordinating outdoor console table and turned it into a food buffet:

Outdoor Side Table Turned Buffet {The Creativity Exchange}



That exact table is not available this spring but there is a lighter colored console table available here.  If you do not like the color, it could always be painted.  Would be fun to do it in a turquoise or coral color. There is a similar darker colored (industrial looking) one available here.  I have been very impressed at how well these inexpensive pieces have held up through the winter.  They both look brand new!  For more details on the buffet, you can go to that post here.

If you’re looking for a new tasty summer cocktail to try, be sure and take a peek at my recipe for Cayman Rum Punch.  This is by far my favorite summer cocktail and it instantly makes me feel like I’m sitting on the beach in the Caribbean somewhere!  It’s really easy to make (you can make it w/o alcohol too) and out this world:


Recipe for the most amazing Cayman Rum Punch {The Creativity Exchange}

By the way, that same post has a recipe for my Coconut Shrimp Fritters that are really delicious and perfect for a summer gathering.  I warn you, you can’t eat just one!

Speaking of gatherings, last summer, I also shared how I make quick and beautiful cheese and fruit trays in minutes.  If you’re looking for a great appetizer idea this summer, this tray is always a big hit when it’s hot:


How to make a gorgeous fruit and cheese tray in minutes {The Creativity Exchange}


Our family lives off of salads during the summer and cold pasta salads are my favorite.  For those of you that have been hanging out with me awhile, I’m sure you have noticed that I have shared so many salad recipes since I started blogging.  Again, when it’s hot outside, a big salad just hits the spot and these three are by far our favorites:

Toulouse Chicken Pasta Salad:

Chicken pasta salad with grapes and blanched asparagus {The Creativity Exchange}



Easy Greek Pasta Salad:


Easy Greek Pasta Salad (The Creativity Exchange)



Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad:


Easy Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad {The Creativity Exchange}



For a great summer sandwich recipe, be sure and check out my knock of recipe for  Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwiches:


Cranberry Chicken (or Turkey) Salad {HEB Copycat Recipe}- The Creativity Exchange 2



I am really looking forward to summer and trying some new recipes and getting my patio pool area finally finished.  We have been working on our backyard area for two years now and this summer we will finally finish it with some new outdoor furniture pieces and landscaping.  Of course, I will be sharing each project along the way.

I hope your summer is wonderful friends!!



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4 Responses to Favorite Summer Recipes and Outdoor Entertaining Ideas..

  1. katherine shauger says:

    Hi Cyndy…enjoyed the Chinese chicken salad, great for company. Next the cranberry sandwich. My Cindy and I love turkey/cranberry/cream cheese in November ea year. Don’t forget the turkey sloppy joe’s my favorite this year. I love World Market, Pier One and Home Goods. I just bought a Pottery Barn a writing desk. Your pasta salads look nice too. Rain here all week, where is the sun. I’m transplant from So Calif & love sun….Have good weekend Cyndy….Katherine in Portland

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh I’m so glad Katherine that you enjoyed the salad! It’s one of our favorites! Yes, the turkey sloppy joes are on our list and I think I will make them next week when my parents are in town. If you haven’t tried the Toulousse Pasta Salad, you will love it! It’s the best one out of all of them (I think). Big hugs friend!!

  2. Lisa S. says:

    Hi Cyndy!

    We are heading to Galveston today and I will be making one of your yummy salads, probably the Toulouse Chicken Pasta Salad since my family loves it so much! Made the Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad last week and it was a huge hit too! Keep your great salad recipes coming.

    Your backyard and pool area look great. We need some outdoor furniture too, but it is all so expensive. Have seen some Smith & Hawken online at Target that was nice. Let me know if you have any ideas for reasonably priced patio furniture.

    Have a great weekend! My high school son does not finish finals until next Wed., so we are not in full blown summer mode yet.

    • Cyndy says:

      I am thrilled that you have been enjoying the salads! I have so many more that I’ll be sharing over the summer. You must be a salad girl like me!

      We bought several pieces of outdoor furniture from Target last year and all of it has rusted and fallen apart. We will have to throw it all out this year. Don’t waste your money buying outdoor furniture from there. This Laguna Collection from World Market, which is really inexpensive has held up so well and I would check there first. I’m also looking at buying some pieces from Build Direct too because from what I have heard, they have some great stuff too!

      Have a great weekend in Galveston! We were there last weekend and it was gorgeous and perfect weather. Thanks so much sweet Lisa!

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