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 … lots of texting with 3 teens around) and asked if they wanted to come in to town for dinner. It was very last minute.

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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?

Very little thought went into my table setting. Simple tea light candles. And it’s always good when the kids help out.

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! It’s become our quick and easy appetizer, especially since we grow our own strawberries on the side of our house in a large patch.

I so {heart} this time of year!

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.

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.

Do you tend to eat later in the evenings during the summertime when you entertain?

Want to make my 30-Minute Strawberry Jam?

(This is a partial reposting from last year, but good enough to post again!)