Summer entertaining needn't be boring - these trendy entertaining gadgets will up the hip-factor at your next soiree.
by Amanda Walsh
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If you enjoy entertaining in the summer you will love these nifty entertaining gadgets that will help you keep guests happy:
- Ice Cream Maker: Show off your hidden talents and create sumptuous cooling temptations with your own ice cream maker. There are many fun options that are quick and easy such as Hamilton Beach’s Half Pint which can have ready to serve ice cream in a few minutes or the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball that can be shaken up anywhere as it does not need electricity. You can also go the old fashioned route and get people to take turns churning for a larger amount of ice cream in quart sizes.
- Icy Drink Maker: You know you love those slushy adult cocktails and kids love their frozen virgin drinks as well. There are a number of sizes and models such as Hamilton Beach Icy Treats Maker and Margaritaville Frozen Drink Maker.
- Keep It Cool: There are many clever food trays designed with ice trays below. This is ideal for things such as shrimp cocktail, anti pasta dishes as well as veggies with dips that can be dangerous if left in the heat too long. They also make iced condiment trays that are ideal for ingredients that need to stay cool such as mayonnaise. Prodyne has a line of clear trays and servers that can be found at kitchen and home stores.
- Barbecue Pizza Stone: Nothing makes a better appetizer with drinks than pizza. A pizza stone is a must for the grill and they even make pizza boxes for more even cooking allowing you to get the toppings browned more effectively.
- Himalayan Salt Grill: You’ve probably seen it on your favourite cooking shows: The pink Himalayan salt slab. These slabs or tiles allow guests to grill their own meats and work really well with thin slices of beef tenderloin as well as shellfish such as shrimp and scallops. Simply heat for about 15 minutes and then place on insulated mats and guests can grill their own choices of meats and veggies. They can also be used chilled in the fridge to keep things such as shrimp cocktail and veggies cool.
- Food Tents: Keep bugs and tiresome wasps at bay with food tents. These are ideal for leisurely meals as food can be protected without the need to jump up and bring everything inside when dinner is finished. They are also perfect for buffets.
- Water Infuser: A water infuser ball allows you to add any number of flavours to your water without worrying about guests having to struggle with mint leaves, cucumber slices or lemon seeds. The flavours are easily infused into water, lemonade and ice tea without having to fish things out with every sip. They are ideal for sangria as well.
- Tortilla Warmer: This is great if you are serving fajitas or quesadillias as it will keep tortillas warm as well as keep them free of flies. As well if you are having a brunch buffet you can use them to warm pancakes and crepes as well as flat breads such as pitas and naans.
- Speaker Docks: Let everyone have a chance to listen to music they love. Have outdoor speakers and a wireless speaker dock that people can place their iPods or iPhones on for a great selection of music all night long.
- Drink Tags: Look for drink charms, beer stem hoops and other novelties that guests can hook onto their drinks so they always know which glass or bottle is theirs. You can also use colourful glassware so everyone can choose a colour and style they will recognize as their own.
These 10 nifty gadgets will make your summer parties a snap while keeping guests entertained.