Outdoor Summer Entertaining Ideas and Recipes

By Brittni • posted on 07/08/2021

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes

The new studio has a great outdoor space that I’ve been meaning to get some use out of, especially since the rooftop deck at our house is currently out of order until the pavers are fixed (long story). So, we threw a little get together over there, to kick off summer in partnership with Duraflame.

I’m a big sucker for summer bonfires, campfires, etc – especially when it means guests can roast / cook some of the food themselves by the fire, etc.

So, we kept everything simple, with a three-ingredient cocktail recipe, some yummy shrimp kabobs, and a fresh corn and asparagus pasta salad. Click through for all the outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes.

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes

First up…decor!

I kept everything SUPER simple for this one because I love the casual vibe of summer outdoor entertaining.

I threw together a few patterned tablecloths, large tea towels, and colorful bowls to bring some color to the long weather table. But aside from that and a couple of plants, I let the food do the decorating for me, with different levels / heights to keep things interesting.

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes with @Duraflame

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes with @Duraflame

A little campfire action!

Okay, I really like the Duraflame roasting logs for this and I highly recommend them (and not because this post is sponsored by them – I just really like ’em).

The logs are individually wrapped, to make it easy to build a fire any size you’d like. AND the fire is safe for cooking (!!), so you can get your s’more on all day long…or hot dogs and kabobs like I did. And speaking of food…

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes


Aside from decor, food is pretty much always my favorite part of a get together. And there was a lot of it. Let’s start with the shrimp.

Shrimp Kabobs

I make pineapple mango shrimp kabobs from this old recipe because they’re my absolute favorite. The only difference was I grilled them for half the time as the recipe calls for and cooked them the rest of the way on the fire.

Outdoor summer entertaining ideas and recipes

Summer pasta #recipe

Corn and Asparagus Pasta Salad

This one is a bit more involved that the other two, but is still super easy (and delicious), I promise. Here’s the recipe…

Pasta Ingredients: 16 oz package of your favorite pasta (or homemade, if you want to get fancy) // 2 corn on the cobs, cooked and then cut off the cob // 1 pkg of heirloom tomatoes (or 3 whole tomatoes diced), cut in half // 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces // fresh basil, chopped // 1 red onion, sliced

Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients: 2 tbsp dijon mustard // 1 tbsp honey // 1tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar // 1/2 cup olive oil // 1 tsp garlic powder // 1 tsp cracked pepper // salt (to taste)


Start by cooking the pasta – I’d recommend undercooking it slightly, as it will continue to cook while it cools. Then, stir in a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours to cool. Next, steam asparagus until tender, blanch under cool water and ice. Drain. Then, steam the corn on the cob. Let it cool, and then cut off the cob.

Once pasta and veggies have cooled completely mix together. Then it’s time to make the vinaigrette. Mix all vinaigrette ingredient in a jar with a lid. Shake until the mustard, honey, vinegar, and oil are combined. Add more mustard or vinegar for tartness, or add more honey for sweetness.

Then add the vinaigrette to the pasta. Chill for 1-3 hours before serving. Garnish with chopped basil and cracked pepper.

Summer entertaining ideas and recipes

Lemon Lime Vanilla Twist Cocktail

Mix one part vanilla vodka with 2 parts lemon lime soda and add fresh lime juice to taste. Serve in glass bottles for old school summer flair.

Summer entertaining ideas and recipes

Photography and recipe by Amelia Tatnall
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Curious to know…What’s your favorite part about summer outdoor parties? The weather, the food, the campfire?! Let me know in the comments below.

15 comments | Click here to reply

Everything looks so yummy! Thanks For sharing.


I don’t know how you do it Brittni, everything you do looks yummy and amazing! Grilled shrimps are my all time favorite! Thanks for sharing 🙂


This party is gorgeous! But then everything you touch is!

Jeran McConnel

[…] Paper & Stitch / Photography: Amelia Tatnall of Bloom & […]

FRIDAY'S FAVORITE FINDS | Design by Occasion

I love how wonderfully bright that your photos are! This looks like a fantastic set up! Great post!

Krysten (@themomnoms)

[…] photo via: Paper & Stitch […]

Essential Weekend Reading Around The Web | A Modern Girl's Travels

Have to agree that those shrimp kabobs look absolutely delicious!!! Nothing can compete a warming BBQ in the summer.

Catherine Anderson

Okay, how cute are you in these shots? I love the outdoor space at the studio!!! And I didn’t know about your rooftop garden?! Such a bummer!

Lexy | Proper

Like you I ADORE summer campfires! Last time I went camping I found myself in need of a Duraflame log and had to borrow one from a neighboring campsite…I learned my lesson and won’t go without Duraflame again!

Kasie Chelanne

Glad to hear that Kristi. Thank you!


Everything looks so tasty! I love a good BBQ in the summer!

Kristi | Be Loverly


Haha. Thanks Corina. It was a lot of fun.


Everything looks so good! I need to have a feast like that one!

Corina Nika

They are really good, Kimberly. I feel like I’ll come up with any excuse to make those shrimp kabobs because I like them so much. Ha.


Those shrimp kabobs sound delicious! My favorite things about summer outdoor parties are the chance to informally mingle with friends while enjoying the fresh air and the yummy grilled foods.

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