Al Fresco Fascinations!

  From twinkling little lights on a market umbrella to colorful fruits and festive savories, eating outdoors is always a treat.

Our ideas suggested here include a starter of summer tomato soup gone wild with peppers, and then either a surf or turf. Choose the burger for a down-home affair. Or for a more sophisticated party theme, try our decadent seafood of flash-in-the-nonstick-pan salmon with the essence of orange.


--Beans Aside -- Any of our two suggested entrée recipes can be complemented with fresh white beans in a salad such as we have done here. Cook the beans in a nonstick saucepan and flavor with a vinaigrette dressing, some kalamata olives, and red pepper strips.  

  --To make our fruit basket, use a large watermelon, and -- with a pen -- draw the design of the handle and the cut basket top. Use a paring knife to cut through. Be sure the handle is at least 3 inches wide. Fill with fruit and serve.

--It’s cherry season. And these Rainier cherries make a statement and can be served just as is. Have a cherry pitter on hand and/or a small bowl to catch pits and stems.