Party Food

A Backyard S’mores Party — Gatherings from The Kitchn

I threw a backyard s'mores party for my sister's birthday and, years later, we're all still talking about it. We aimed for a simple yet pretty outdoor party, with little stress and preparation because who needs that, especially on a birthday?

We launched our Gatherings from Kitchn series a few years ago to bring you party ideas that are fun and gracious and yet always accessible in budget and details. This s'mores fête turned out to be our easiest party yet — with almost no cooking ahead, and just a few hours of setup. Want to see how we transformed the backyard and threw our S'moresgasbord for a crowd of 20?

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Peach Carnitas — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you come over to my house for dinner, I'll most likely serve carnitas tacos. Why? The combination of tender pork, crunchy fresh toppings, and soft warm tortillas make for a fun, satisfying meal that each person can customize to their exact mood and preferences. Traditional carnitas always hit the spot, but, come summer, I like to switch things up and make a vibrant peach salsa.

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Recipe: Jello and Gummy Candy Fishbowl — Shark Week

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Above all the things that jello desserts are — easy, tasty, and cool — they are without a doubt the most fun that any dessert can have. Case in point? This fish bowl jello mold. Made from lemon-lime-flavored soda and studded with candy fish and Nerd's gravel, it's probably the most outrageous jello dessert that you can serve up this summer. It's perfect for pool hangs and fin-filled birthday parties. If you've got a kid really into mermaids, they'll love this! Best of all, it's easy enough for the kids to help make.

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Recipe: Watermelon Prosecco Punch — Summer Pitcher Cocktails

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

To me, serving a cocktail that involves bubbles makes just about any occasion feel like a celebration — even if it's only an impromptu Thursday barbecue. That's what makes this punch so important to have on your roster this summer. Cubes of fresh, juicy watermelon bob in a pitcher of Prosecco and the whole thing is brightened up further with fresh mint leaves. It's a cocktail that is sure to turn even the most laid-back, thrown-together affair feel extra festive and fun.

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Recipe: Cervelles des Canut (Herb-Flecked Cheese Spread) — Recipes from The Kitchn

Au revoir, Paris! Ann Mah takes us off the tourist path on a culinary tour of France's favorite regional foods.

This herb-flecked farmer's cheese is a classic recipe from Lyon, which is considered the gastronomic capital of France. Cervelle de canut translates literally to "silk-weaver's brains." There are many wild theories behind the name — some believe it indicated the low status of the silk workers, while others claim it's in reference to the labor revolts staged by the canuts in the mid-19th century. Whatever the case, it is true that the canuts frequently enjoyed this soft, savory cheese, spread on baguette or toasted bread.

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Recipe: Spicy Pineapple Punch — Summer Pitcher Cocktails

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Here is exactly the drink you need to stir up for your next Taco Tuesday. It's got a spicy kick from muddled jalapeños to keep things interesting, but just enough sweet tang from the pineapple juice to prevent the heat from overwhelming your taste buds. The colorful punch is sure to be a hit at any and all parties you serve it at, whether there are tacos involved or not.

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