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Fun in the summertime: Keep it simple
Want to throw a party, but don't want the hassle? The solution is to keep it simple.
"It's all about your friends and the sun," says Peter Callahan, owner of New York-based Callahan Catering and co-author of "Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party."
"I think that a great approach is (to) keep it simple, and keep it reasonable," he says.
And that goes double for the menu.
Instead of slabs of meat, let "your protein be a supplement to the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits," says Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys."
Callahan agrees. "People are eating lighter in the summer," he says. "Just hit your major food groups."
For the traditional backyard barbecue, that could mean a little pasta for nonmeat eaters, "hamburgers or hot dogs, a tossed salad and you're done," he says.
For dessert, think "watermelon wedges and some great cookies," Callahan says.
So whether you're throwing a moms' brunch, feting the new grads or helping Dad fire up the grill for the neighborhood barbecue, here are 6 ways you can live it up in style -- and still cut the cost of summer get-togethers.