Cheap n' Easy Summer Lunchin'

I host a lot during the summer. I mean...a LOT.

I don't like losing my pool time to be a slave to the kitchen BUT I need to feed everyone! So I've come up with some super simple summer lunches that I'll share with you over the next couple months.

There are no recipes here, mostly I'm using store bought items and just dolling them up with fresh ingredients and a stunning but very easy table setting.

I had two friends staying with me this weekend, so for lunch I served cheeseburgers with sliced tomato and onions, macaroni salad, chips and guacamole and fresh fruit.

This menu sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? I did nothing. I just so happen to have an incredible local butcher who has the most amazing selection of fresh and pre-made foods. Here's what I got: -Fresh burger patties -Burger buns -1/2 pound sliced cheese -1 large tomato -1 red onion -1 container of guacamole -1 container of macaroni salad -1 pint of Strawberries -1 pint of Raspberries -1 bunch of mint -1 jug of lemonade

When I got home, I prepped lunch. Here's how: -Wash everything - herbs should always be washed as soon as you get home. Whatever you are not using, wrap in paper towel and put into a Ziploc. -Put leftover herbs into small glass jars or vases to decorate your table. -Slice your tomato and onion. -Put strawberries and raspberries in a bowl or berry basket. I found a ceramic berry basket at my favorite store in the city called Fish's Eddy. -Pour your store bought lemonade into a glass jar or a pitcher and add: sliced strawberries, raspberries, sliced lemons and a few mint leaves. -Right before my guests were due to arrive I fired up the grill and threw the burgers on. I grill my burgers for about 4 minutes per side, on a high flame. Once I flip them, I let them grill for another two minutes and then add the cheese. Top onto buns and serve. -When guests arrive, set out the macaroni salad. The one I served had mayo in it so I made sure to keep it refrigerated until we were ready to eat. -Pull condiments (ketchup, mustard and relish) and set on the table for guests to top their burgers as they please.

Now let's set the table. I found the most adorable yellow baskets at Target for a buck each! They also sold really cute liners that I ended up using as placemats on my table. I have tons of cloth napkins so I used plain white ones for this table setting because, why not?! I set out utensils and our shatterproof Party People cups (I hate using glass outdoors!).


I filled a small bucket with ice and placed bottles of water and our favorite Narragansett summer beers on ice.

Now all I need...are my guests. Let's EAT!