Entertaining with a Tray: Summertime Eats & Drinks

We work hard on every single piece of content we share on this blog. Occasionally, we share appropriate affiliate links to products that we have, like, or use. We may receive a small commission if you use these links. There is no additional charge to our readers. It’s a small way to keep things running around here. Please read our blog disclaimer for more information. 

Entertaining 5

If you’re looking for a way to entertain guests and you don’t need a full meal, try entertaining with a serving tray. Give it a shot!

Summer starts June 20 and there is no better way to prepare than by entertaining with a tray. The kids are home from school and unfortunately the house is a mess. But that’s okay because entertaining with a tray is super simple and a family-friendly way to entertain. Personally, I get overwhelmed when it comes to having guests over. In my head, I think just make a simple dinner and dust-mop. But in reality, I start sweeping cobwebs out of corners, make a 3-4 course meal, and have to change the sofa slipcovers so they are nice and fresh. It’s literally an all-day task when we decide to have guests over. It’s because I think “everything has to be perfect.” Of course, there are times when all these things do apply, but not all the time. You can accomplish a lot with the method I’m about to teach you.

In the end, I only want the best for my guests. No doubt you feel the same way too.

Grab a Tray

What has helped me tremendously is “entertaining with a tray.” I came up with this idea on a notion to help myself simplify the entertaining process and I hope that it does the same for you. The key component to pull off entertaining with a tray is a serving tray. So, if you don’t have a serving tray or are looking to upgrade, I’ve got you covered. This summer, I bought a new tray and you’ll never guess where it came from – Walmart. I’m not crazy about shopping at Walmart but occasionally it is convenient. What better time time to check out their serving-ware supplies. I was pleasantly surprised that they had a ton of galvanized items, including this awesome galvanized oval tray. It was only $10!

More Beautiful Tray Options

Now, let’s get started! Once you’ve got your tray, the premise is that you need simple snacks, drinks, and to beautify the tray. Let’s start with snacks and drinks! Think of the season you’re in and what’s available. Summertime is a great season to stock up on fresh fruits…oranges, strawberries, watermelon, and even pineapple. We used fresh pineapples to serve up these delicious “Chi-chi” cocktails.


In addition, I used a variety of cheese, meats, nuts and popcorn for easy snacking. Think also of what type of guests you’ll be serving. Kids coming over? Kid drinks like capri-suns or popsicles and finger foods are a must. Adults only? Make cocktails like Moscow mules or blackberry jalapeño margaritas or try this wine and cheese tray idea. These little details take your guests needs into consideration and they will appreciate the extra effort.


Presentation is everything

Always be on the lookout to beautify the tray and the serving area.

The details always matter when you’re serving on a tray.

Notice how the drinks are styled with cherries, cute paper straws, and a pineapple stirrer. These small details give the tray a theme and pull the entire look together. The popcorn is in gold striped favor bags for individual servings. Also, you can never go wrong with fresh flowers and I love to include them on my serving trays. You don’t need a full arrangement. One or two roses will do the trick.  I also included the pineapple top (from the drinks) as decoration for the serving tray. It just fits in so perfectly! Don’t you think?


Aim for quality and quantity

One thing to keep in mind is that this “entertaining with a tray” method is not necessarily cheap. Even making a cheese tray can be very costly.

If you’re not providing a full meal, then don’t skimp on quality or quantity.

Be sure to always serve up quality food to your guests. In addition to things looking great, they should also taste good. Also, have enough so no one leaves with an empty stomach. In this case, quality and quantity matter. Don’t skimp on either!



gold stripe party favor bag

Get your own striped party favor bag!



gold striped napkins

Get your own gold striped napkins!

So, do you think you’re ready to entertain with a tray? Let me know what you think of this method in the comment section. Happy summer! It’s almost here…


One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

meal plan, meal planning, food plan, menu, family menu

Meal Plan Week 14

Meal Plan Week 15