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Summer Soiree

When I think of memorable parties, I usually think of holiday parties with lots of decorations or loads of food.  But summer is a great time to have a memorable party.  Whether it be a milestone birthday, a wedding, a homecoming, or a “just because” event, it is easier than you think to create a fun and memorable event.

For this summer soiree, I decided to use pineapple shells for salad bowls.  Since I was having pineapple salad dressing, this seemed a good choice.  Also, if you don’t have salads plates or bowls to match plates, pineapple shells can be a perfect way to serve greens. And a pineapple bowl is just fun to use!

Start by rinsing off and then cutting the pineapple into two lengthwise pieces.  Warning:  It can be a little hard to cut through the stalk so handle the knife carefully.  Once it is in two pieces, follow the outline of the pineapple and cut all the way around the inside of the pineapple.  Cut three long rows from top to bottom.  Then cut across the pineapple rows in a grid pattern.  Taking a spoon, scoop out the cut chunks on both sides of the middle.  For the middle core, remember that it is just in the center of the pineapple.  Underneath, there is edible pineapple so when you scoop out the core, cut off the bottom edible part and save.

After removing all the large chunks of pineapple, take a spoon and scrape the inside.  This will be the “crushed” pineapple that you can use for something such as pineapple salsa.  Be sure to pour out any juice and keep for something like pineapple salad dressing.  Place the pineapple shell on a salad or dinner plate.  Load the shell with salad greens and your favorite salad toppings.  I added some pineapple chunks and macadamia nuts to these salads.

You can serve the pineapple chunks for a fruit dessert.

This summer party seemed the perfect place for these flamingos.  Although I didn’t intend to use them on the dining table, they are a fun touch in the pictures.  I found carnations in shades of pink and coral and placed them in small glass cups that are actually candle holders.  I cut some greenery from outside and washed it and placed it with the flowers.  I had a long artificial vine with pink flowers and I placed it in the middle of the table first as a filler and then added all the carnation cups.

I added three candle holders with coral-colored candles. This filled the center of the table.

I used this flamingo fabric (above) from fabric designer Kari Smith Designs to make napkins.  They are easy to sew or glue. Cut to the size you want.  (I usually cut to 17 inches square so I can get four napkins out of a yard of fabric.)  Then turn a 1/4-inch hem all the way around the napkin, press, and then glue or sew.  Repeat the 1/4-inch hem procedure again to hide the raw edge.  If you are hosting a special occasion, napkins that coordinate can be a special touch.

Using a champagne goblet to serve fruit makes a sit-down meal extra special.  Again, improvise if you don’t have all the pieces you think you need for the occasion.  Use something that you do have and don’t be afraid to mix things that you don’t normally use together.  I have even used cupcake holders to serve cookies when I didn’t have the “right” servers.

Hope your summer soiree turns out beautifully.  Sometimes it only takes serving salads in pineapple shells to make it special.  And sometimes…

…it is an occasion for pink flamingos!

Pineapple Recipes

Click on any of the links below to go to one of my pineapple recipes.

  1. Pineapple Salsa
  2. Pineapple Salad Dressing
  3. Pineapple Ice Cream
  4. Maple Sriracha Pineapple Bacon Bites
  5. Pineapple Fried Rice
  6. Shrimp Po’Boys with Pineapple Slaw
  7. Pineapple Mango Madness Smoothie
  8. Cherry Pineapple Shake
  9. Pineapple Casserole

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