Summertime entertaining seems to be a more “go with the flow” kind of entertaining at our place. Like 2 nights ago when we texted our friends (we’d been hanging around our kids for too long) and asked if they wanted to come in to town for dinner. Very last minute.

A late dinner it was. I think we ate around 9, but isn’t that what summer is all about? Lazy days, long nights, hanging outside with friends eating good food, and trying to stay cool?

A little magic show was going on inside.

Very little thought went into my table setting. Simple tea light candles.

We cooked in the kitchen together.

I put my friend Steph to work with appetizer ingredients.

Have you had strawberry bruschetta? If not, you just have to try it! I’ve also used raspberries and it’s delicious. Of course I love raspberries and basil.

Roasted Strawberry Bruschetta
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta bread (I bought mine at Costco)
1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup soft goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and white pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the strawberries into a bowl and gently mix with the balsamic vinegar. Spread strawberries out on a baking sheet and bake for five minutes. Remove and let cool.

Cut the ciabatta into equal slices, coat with olive oil, and broil on each side until toasted and crisp.

Spread goat cheese on hot bread, top equally with the roasted berries and juice.

Head out to the herb garden and pick fresh basil; chop finely. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil.

Enjoy!

We’re nearing the end of our strawberry season, so I appreciated this recipe that used very little berries.

I think about hospitality as giving a gift to friends. They love it, it feels good to give out, and it takes your mind off of yourself. As my Commandment #1 says: Hospitality is not only a gift I give, but a gift I receive.

How’s your summer entertaining going? Do you tend to eat later in the evenings?

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