SOURCE: Boursin

August 01, 2011 05:00 ET

No-Stress Entertaining

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Aug 1, 2011) - (Family Features) Summer parties should be easy, breezy and all about casual time with friends. So when it's your turn to host -- relax. Whether you're hosting a backyard cookout, a sit down dinner or a simple picnic, these tips will help you keep your cool in the summer heat.

Keep it Seasonal. When planning the menu, count on using fruits and veggies that are in season. You'll get the most flavor out of your dishes this way. You can put together a fresh fruit salad, toss some peaches or sweet onions on the grill.

Keep it Simple. For a casual party, you want to keep the menu simple. Now's not the time to experiment with complicated recipes you've never tried before. Consider serving a mixture of simple hors d'oeuvres to start. Make an easy dip by warming new Boursin Spinach & Artichoke Gourmet Spreadable Cheese and serve it with pita chips or toasted slices of bread. Or, create a meat and cheese platter with all your favorites and a mixture of freshly baked breads. Keep the main dish simple by grilling salmon or tuna steaks, or setting up a mix-and-match toppings station for burgers.

Keep it Bright. If you're hosting an outdoor get-together, make sure the fun can continue as the sun goes down. Strings of white lights, tiki torches, luminarias or votives add plenty of ambiance while letting the guests linger over dessert and that last drink.

For more easy recipes, like these Sundried Tomato & Basil Cheese Straws, visit

Sundried Tomato and Basil Cheese Straws
Makes about 26 straws

1 package frozen puff pastry dough, usually 2 sheets, defrosted
1 container Boursin Sundried Tomato & Basil Gourmet Spreadable Cheese

Heat oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Place 1 sheet of pastry dough onto lightly floured surface. Use rolling pin to roll dough thinner, to approximately 1/4-inch thick and approximately 13 inches x 18 inches. Gently fold dough into quarters using extra flour to prevent sticking and set aside.

Repeat step 2 with second sheet of dough, but when you get dough thin, smear on container of Boursin using a rubber spatula and do not fold it.

Unfold first sheet of dough and line up on top of cheese. Use sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut short-wise across dough into 1/2-inch wide ribbons.

Twist each ribbon a few times as you transfer to baking sheets and gently press ends to keep from unfurling. Repeat with each straw, leaving 1 inch of space between each.
Bake about 12 minutes, until golden, puffed up, and the cheese is peeking out. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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