It is summertime, and my husband and I love to entertain poolside.

However, not every day is idyllic for entertaining outside.

Between humidity and rain, it is often much more comfortable to eat in an air-conditioned room.

We always try to have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres outside, and then proceed to the entree and dessert inside — to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hors d’oeuvres are followed by a make-ahead buffet that is easily set out on the kitchen counter.

The only foods that need last-minute attention are the frankfurters.

They may very easily be grilled outside while your guests are enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Finish off your meal with a refreshing key lime pie and fresh berries.

The best part of this menu is that you can do everything ahead of time and be a guest at your own party so you can enjoy your friends’ company.

What better way to start entertain in the summer?


(Serves 10-12)

Cheese with Crackers*

Endive with Dip*

Baked Olives

Apricot Meatballs

Tuna Mousse in a


Roasted & Sliced

Filet with Steak


Hot Dogs, Grilled to

Order with Buns*

Ketchup, Mustard,


Crock Pot Sauerkraut

Slow Cooker Baked


Macaroni Salad*

Salad of your


Key Lime Pie*

Watermelon and Berries*

*Recipe not given.

Baked Olives

Once you eat a warmed olive you will never eat them cold again!

1 lb. mixed olives

3 pieces lemon rind

3 pieces orange rind

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and combine.

2. Place olives in an olive dish or souffle dish and place in oven until heated through, approximately 15 minutes.

Apricot or Peach Meatballs

This is a very forgiving recipe; you may easily substitute apricot for peach and it will turn out perfectly every time.

Cocktail meatballs of your choice

(available in the freezer section of the


1/2 cup peach or apricot nectar

1/4 cup peach or apricot preserves

1 tsp. cornstarch

1. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, nectar and preserves.  

Stir until combined.

2. Add meatballs. Heat through.  

Toothpick and serve.

Crock Pot Sauerkraut

1 32 oz. package or can of sauerkraut

1 cup  beer

1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Place the sauerkraut in a strainer and wash with water.

2. Drain the sauerkraut into a colander.  

Rinse the raw sauerkraut under cool water.  Repeat the soaking and rinsing twice more. (This eliminates the salty taste of sauerkraut).

3. Put the sauerkraut in the crock pot and add the beer and the brown sugar. Cover the crock pot and cook the sauerkraut for eight hours on the low setting or four hours on high.

4. Serve hot.

Slow Cooker
Baked Beans

1 can navy beans, washed and drained

1 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large onion, chopped

1 tblsp. dry mustard

1 tblsp. salt

1. Place beans in a slow cooker.

2. Stir ketchup, water, onion mustard, salt and brown sugar into the beans until well mixed.

3. Cover and cook on low for eight hours, stirring occasionally, if possible, although not necessary.

4. Serve hot.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35-year-old, Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties.  

If you make any of these recipes, please share your photographs with me at [email protected]

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