Summer Wedding Cocktail-Hour Ideas: Fresh Food Stations

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Summer Wedding Cocktail-Hour Ideas: Fresh Food StationsPhoto by:

Feeling at a loss for what to do during cocktail hour? How about fresh food stations? Here are a few sumptuous and fresh ideas to get you started. Enjoy all of these catering masterpieces all by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events.

Fresh Fruit and Veggie Station

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Beat the heat and stay refreshed with a colorful fresh fruit and veggie station, as bright as your beautiful wedding day! Check out these delicious recipe ideas:

Fruit Kabobs: Remove splinters from bamboo or wooden splinters by rolling two in your hands together. Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Skewer each piece of fruit in this order: strawberry, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi and blueberries. Two blueberries are perfect to end the kabob but push them up high, so they don’t fall off.

Strawberry and Blackberry Salad: Mix lemon juice and honey in a big bowl. Toss strawberries and blackberries gently in the bowl to coat. Let the mixture stand for thirty minutes for optimal tastiness, and mix in fresh mint before serving.

Fresh Veggies with Dip Tasting: From broccoli to carrots, go farm-style and serve miscellaneous veggies in adorable, small picnic baskets. Create an assortment of dips, such as hummus and salsa, for sampling with the veggies.

Fresh Seafood Station

Summer Wedding Cocktail-Hour Ideas: Fresh Seafood StationsPhoto by:

Seafood connoisseurs attending your wedding or hosting an ocean-side wedding? Regardless, a fresh seafood station offers up many choice options for the palate, such as a scallop sampling — bay scallops are sweeter with less meat while sea scallops are caught farther out in the ocean and are great for pan-searing. Here are a few more ideas to try:

Scallops With Hazelnut Brown Butter: Cook butter on medium until golden brown, and place them in a small bowl. Mix in vinegar and hazelnuts. Season with pepper and sea salt. Serve medium-cooked scallops — or your freshest preference — over a bed of arugula with the hazelnut brown butter on top. You can also serve them in shells.

Endless Shrimp Bar: Serve endless shrimp with ice-cold cocktails and all the fixings.

Oyster Bar: Compliment the shrimp bar with an oyster bar for oyster fans. Lay the oysters out on an ice bank, and let the guests pick them up. Place lime and lemon wedges nearby with small bowls of mignonette sauce.

Raw Seafood Boat Bar: Make a collection of assorted fresh seafood by repurposing an old wooden boat and mixing up the offerings therein — crab legs, oysters, shrimp, clams and more.

Fresh Cheese Station

Summer Wedding Cocktail-Hour Ideas: Cheese StationsPhoto by:

Cheese Tower: Be careful — a cheese tower may just take the wedding cake. Towering cheese cakes currently trend in England and made their way to weddings in the United States. Make it as big or as small as you want. Each layer can have its own type of cheese. Decorate the tower with edible flowers that match your theme. This makes a wonderful centerpiece at the station where you can place additional food items nearby to compliment the cheese.

Cheese Course: Cheese courses make their way back to wedding dinners but put a spin on the cheese course by providing it as a food station. Choose a specific cheese and offer variations of it with specialized cocktails to bring out each taste — or go regional and use cheeses and beverage ingredients from the same area.

Fresh Salad Station

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Salads are more diverse than many people give them credit for — it’s not just the iceberg lettuce with barely-there carrots and cucumbers you get as a house salad. Take advantage of summer seasonal foods. Here are a few fresh takes for your fresh salad bar:

Ultimate Caprese Salad: Combine a variety of ripe summer tomatoes of different sizes for this ultimate caprese salad. Toss tomato slices in olive oil. Add mozzarella. Season with salt. Top with cherry tomatoes and more olive oil. Toss. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes so the flavors meld. Top with basil.

Thai Cucumber Salad: This salad doesn’t need refrigeration which makes it a no-sweat recipe for a wedding fresh food station. In a colander, toss cucumbers in salt. Drain for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and pat the cucumbers dry. Whisk vinegar and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar dissolves. Introduce the cucumbers and jalapenos — then, toss with cilantro. Sprinkle the top with chopped peanuts.

You can always line up multiple ingredients for people to customize their own salad in a T-shape with the plates at the end, but special salads like these add a fancy touch to your cocktail hour.

Your cocktail hour will be splendid no matter what you select. Experiment with different flavors and see what happens. You and your guests will have the time of their lives as they nosh on these delicious and nourishing recipes.

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, and more!


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