featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Here are some hints for great green outdoor entertaining this summer from our decorating editor Jeanie Sims: -- AP

The best way to entertain outdoors is one that keeps clean-up to a minimum, but paper goods are a huge expense and clog up our landfills. Instead, buy a set of plastic dishes, utensils, and beverage cups. You can find these at big box stores. Don’t skimp of the quality, though. You want to buy the good stuff that will hold up to repeated trips through the dishwasher. If you do a lot of outdoor entertaining over the summer, the service won’t cost you any more than you’d pay for paper goods throughout the season, and you’ll have them for seasons to come.

No place to store another set of dishes and beverage ware? No problem! After they’re washed, store them in your cooler.  Everything will be right at hand for your next barbeque.

Scatter oversized beach towels around the yard for guests to eat picnic style.  Instead of paper napkins, substitute inexpensive dish clothes from the dollar store. Just pop everything in the washing machine when the evening is over.

Finally, go for Christmas in June, July, and August by stringing up your holiday lights along your deck railing.

What sort of outdoor entertaining do you do? Let us know, and you could win a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Mason Canyon said...

We usually have three to four cookout each year to celebrate my in-law's anniversary, birthdays and the coming of fall. I like the idea of plastic ware verses paper. Great post.

Thoughts in Progress


The best thing about cooking on the grill is not having to deal with yucky clean-up! I've been known to shovel a path from the back door to the grill in the middle of winter to avoid dealing with pots and pan clean-up. I save all the foil containers baked goods and frozen foods often come in (or at least I used to back when I could afford such things--prior to the double-whammy that broadsided us) and use them. Afterwards, I just toss them!

Anne Walradt said...

I bought a lot of 1920s silverplate on eBay and use that as my flatware instead of plastic. It's shabby chic (in style!) and less expensive in the long run. I even have seafood forks, ice cream sporks, and iced tea spoons. It's easy to replace if needed. Mine matches, but it doesn't have to with shabby chic. Much easier to use, and you don't have to worry about your "good" flatware getting tossed. I love it, and it amuses my guests.


Anne, you and Jeanie would really hit it off. She's the Queen of Shabby Chic. She's never met a yard sale she could pass up!

Janet said...

What good ideas, thanks.