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10 Summer party ideas for Memorial Day through 4th of July

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Summer party fun

The summer party season is upon us. Outdoor barbecues, beach picnics, garden weddings -- so much fun to be had! From Memorial Day through the 4th of July is the peak of summer party fun. Here's a look at some extraordinary summer party ideas.

Grilled swordfish steaks

Instead of hamburger or hotdogs, grill something different at your next summertime party. Marinated swordfish is a healthy, light entree that is perfect for an outdoor affair. Serve it with a fresh garden salad and crusty bread.

Ingredients:
8 8-ounce swordfish steaks, 1 inch thick
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice
4 tablespoons dry red wine
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic or 1 clove, finely chopped
Snipped fresh parsley, optional

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except swordfish. Place steaks in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over steaks.
2. Refrigerate four to six hours, turning periodically.
3. Remove fish from bag, retaining marinade for basting. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill six to eight minutes per side, basting each side with leftover marinade. Garnish with parsley (optional). Discard leftover marinade.

See: Memorial Day party guide >>

Refreshing watermelon cocktails

For backyard barbecues and other outdoor parties, offer more beverages than just beer. This refreshing watermelon cocktail from drinkoftheweek.com is made with tequila and Cointreau.

Ingredients:
7 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, fruit cut into 1-inch cubes
4 teaspoons superfine sugar
12 ounces tequila
12 basil leaves
12 mint leaves
3 ounces Cointreau
6 cups ice

Preparation:
1. Make watermelon ice cubes by putting 24 pieces of cubed watermelon on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cover and freeze for one hour.
2. Puree the rest of the watermelon plus the sugar until smooth. Strain into a large bowl. Place the tequila, basil and mint in a pitcher and muddle.
3. Stir Cointreau and watermelon puree into the pitcher. Pour mixture into cocktail shaker with ice and mix for each cocktail. Put watermelon ice cubes in a glass and pour the cocktail mixture over the cubes.

Next up: Summer party desserts

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