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Ask Giada: The 5 Things Your Next Summer Party Needs

Make outdoor entertaining a walk in the park with these clever hacks.


When summer rolls around, I practically live outside. That means I do all my entertaining outside, too - and over the years, I've collected tons of tricks to make my outdoor parties easy, comfortable, and fun. If you're hosting your first pool party or dinner under the stars, it's easy to believe you need a whole new set of entertaining gear that will take up space in your house for the other nine months in the year. In reality, just a handful of multipurpose tools are all you really need. These are the must-have items I use to make outdoor entertaining a snap:
 
Fun Linens
It's time for tea towels to come out of the kitchen! These printed linens are the perfect size to line bread baskets, absorb condensation under a chilled punch bowl or pitcher, protect your antipasto board, and so much more. They have been such a hit at my all-day cafe Pronto in Las Vegas that we're making them available to everyone right here. 




Shatterproof Glasses


Outdoor entertaining shouldn't mean Solo cups and paper plates, but elegant, non-breakable dishware can be hard to find. I first came across these colorful acrylic tumblers in Italy, and was thrilled to find them here in the U.S. The gemlike shape is interesting and grownup - they're sure to make a splash poolside. 


One Great Board


A gorgeous wooden board is the one-step way to set up a gorgeous antipasto spread outside, saving yourself the hassle of juggling multiple plates as you transport them from the kitchen to the party. Arrange your salumi, cheeses, crudite, and more - you can even balance a bowl of dip on there - then grab the handle and go.


All-Season Pizza Stone


Feel like your grilling routine is getting stale? Place a pizza stone on the grates to turn it into an outdoor pizza oven and rethink what you can cook outside! The grill adds a smoky taste, almost like you're cooking in a traditional wood-fired oven. I love the raised handles on this stone, which make it a cinch to get on and off the grill.




Mini Bowls
Aperitivo hour calls for nibbly little snacks like nuts and olives, which I love to set out in these cheerful, hand-painted bowls. Fill a half-dozen of them and set them out around your party area, so guests can enjoy no matter where they're seated. You can also fill them with dips or olive oil, use them to hold olive pits, and so much more.


For more outdoor inspiration, don't forget to tune in to Giada on the Beach! From gelato bars to a traditional Sunday supper, I'm hosting all kinds of al fresco festivities for my friends, family, and you every week.



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