Party Food Ideas for Spring

via Plum Pretty Sugar
As an event planner, I take every opportunity available to entertain, but I think spring might be just about the best time of year for it. The weather is beautiful and everyone wants to get out and socialize after the chilly winter months, and spring is so vibrant and full of color that it can lift anyone's spirit. I love how peaceful and effortless life in the spring can be, and how that lends itself to organizing parties and events - especially when it comes to the food you serve!

By the time spring rolls around, people are tired of the hearty soups and heavy, warm meals of winter and want something a little lighter, fresher, and healthier. Spring is such a great season for fruits and veggies (check out this great infographic on the best produce for every season) and I love serving salads - veggie, fruit, and light pasta - and finger foods like miniature sandwiches for convenience and ease. Detoxifying foods like kale, blueberries, avocado, and watermelon are not only perfect for this theme, but also super healthy - bonus! Work them into salads or sauces for chicken or fish, or use them to infuse water.

The first thing you need to do when planning a party with food is to decide if it'll be sit-down or cocktail style. If you want your guests to sit and be served, choose simple dishes so the focus can be on conversation and decor. Get creative with easy homemade salad dressings for the starter and an easy, flaky grilled salmon or this amazing pineapple chorizo rice bowl if you have a little more time on your hands for an entree. For sides, grill up some simple corn with butter and pepper, or if you want something a little sweeter, try grilling some watermelon slices with cilantro. If you want dessert, make it super simple; vanilla ice cream or gelato with fresh berries, angel food cake, or even an easy fruit salad dusted with sugar and a drizzle of simple syrup. All simple, all fresh, all delicious!

If you're looking to do more of a come-and-go, cocktail-style party, focus on making your food options easy to grab and carry around. I love kabobs for this: fruit and cheese kabobs are always a hit, or you could alternate cantaloupe and prosciutto or do a basil/cherry tomato/mozzarella pearl caprese combo. A variety of finger sandwiches work great here and small salads can be served in teacups for easier movement. Dessert can be kept as simple as frosted sugar cookies, or try these chocolate-dipped spoons for more of a statement. Again, spring is all about simplicity and lightness, so embrace that!

As far as drinks go, don't feel pressured to serve alcohol. Champagne and white wine are fresh and light but there's nothing wrong with iced tea or fruit-infused water. Check out this great list of virgin cocktails for some non-alcoholic ideas that would be a hit at any party! Whatever type of drink you serve, add a little aesthetic detail by making your own ice cubes. Fill a tray with water and put small, edible flowers or petals in each divet, then freeze it all and enjoy the added color in your ice buckets!

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