Summer Bites and Cocktails

Summer BBQ season is in full swing, and we鈥檙e jazzed to get in as many picnics and patio parties as we can. But with the heat wave-y days and cranked ACs, most of us aren鈥檛 too excited about turning on the stove or oven to prepare an elaborate meal. Quick, light and no-cook options are the name of the game, and these pretty, delicious party apps are here to save the day and keep your hostessing skills in fine form. Fresh summer salads (preferably bite-sized and on a stick) are essential. These apps are simple to prepare, full of seasonal ingredients and happily sweat-free. Bonus: They鈥檒l amp up your after-school snacking in just a few weeks too!

Watermelon and Feta Bites

Cool, sweet watermelon and sharp, salty feta are a surprisingly perfect pair. Not to mention these bites look like mini works of modern art.

Watermelon and Feta Ingredients

Ingredients:

鈥 2 1-inch-thick rounds seedless watermelon

鈥 a block feta cheese, about 1 inch thick

鈥 a few sprigs of fresh mint

鈥 1/2 english cucumber

鈥 decorative toothpicks

Watermelon and Feta Step 1

Slice off the rind of the watermelon rounds to create a square-shaped slab.

Watermelon and Feta Step 2 3 4

Cut your watermelon and feta into evenly sized cubes. You can use some of the watermelon pieces as guides to cut the feta. If your feta is thicker than a half inch, you may have to slice it into thinner pieces before making your squares. Next, cut the cucumber in half or quarters crosswise (depending on its size) so that you can easily stand it upright. Slice off strips of the cucumber skin about a half-inch wide, leaving a half inch between strips to create a striped pattern. Slice the cucumber into half-inch-thick rounds, then cut each round into quarters.

Watermelon and Feta Step 5
Watermelon and Feta Bite Complete

Assemble your bites onto the toothpicks, starting with a piece of cucumber, a cube of watermelon, a mint leaf and a square of feta. Repeat until you鈥檝e completed all of your skewers.

Peach, Prosciutto and Tomato Bites

These are basically all of your favorite Italian flavors combined into one delicious bite. Classic prosciutto and melon is switched for ripe summer peaches and fresh-off-the-vine baby tomatoes. Together with basil and bocconcini, this bite becomes like a classic Caprese salad. Think Tuscan vacation minus the expensive plane ticket ;)

Peach and Tomato Ingredients

Ingredients:

鈥 1 pint baby tomatoes (grape, cherry, yellow or a variety)

鈥 2 ripe peaches

鈥 1 package prosciutto cured ham (about 4 oz)

鈥 1 container mini bocconcini balls

鈥 a few sprigs fresh basil

鈥 decorative toothpicks

Peach and Tomato Step 1 2 3

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit and then slice each half into wedges. Half each wedge to make nice bite-sized pieces. Cut each prosciutto slice into one-inch-wide strips. You should get about two strips per slice of prosciutto. Place a piece of peach onto a strip of prosciutto and carefully roll it up. Put the loose end of the prosciutto on the top side of the peach so it will be secured with the toothpick when you assemble.

Peach and Tomato Step 4
Peach and Tomato Complete

Assemble your bites onto the toothpicks, starting with a piece of bocconcini, a basil leaf, tomato and then the prosciutto-wrapped peach. Depending on the size of your tomatoes and bocconcini balls, you may want to cut them in half before putting these together.

Salmon and Avocado Bites

These bites look like a million bucks but are secretly super simple to prepare. Check out our post on quick single-serving guacamole recipes for some avocado how-tos and flavor inspo.

Salmon and Avocado Ingredients

Ingredients:

鈥 1 small package smoked salmon (about 4-5 oz)

鈥 2 ripe avocados

鈥 lime, salt and pepper to season

鈥 a small bunch fresh dill

鈥 1/2 english cucumber

鈥 decorative toothpicks

Salmon and Avocado Step 1 2 3

Prep your guacamole and salmon before making these cute little roll-ups. First, make a quick batch of simple guacamole. Then cut each smoked salmon slice into one-inch-wide strips. You should get about two strips per slice of salmon. Finally, place a small spoonful of guacamole on a strip of salmon and carefully roll it up.

Salmon and Avocado Step 4

This simple decorative technique for cucumber slices is almost too easy but looks majorly impressive. Cut the cucumber in half or quarters crosswise (depending on its size) so that you can easily stand it upright. Slice off strips of the cucumber skin about a half-inch wide and a half-inch apart to create a striped pattern. Slice the cucumber into half-inch-thick rounds.

Salmon and Avocado Step 4
Salmon and Avocado Bite

Assemble your bites onto the toothpicks, starting with a piece of dill on top of the salmon and avocado roll-up, then the cucumber slice at the end.

Summer Bites and Cocktails

Cocktail party time! Serve these bites with a side of nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping and drizzling. Of course you can also add a million slices of fresh watermelon for nibbles.

Grab a Bite
Summer Bites

What are your favorite keeping-it-cool recipes this summer? Let us know in the comments!