Summer Entertaining

Article by LeAnn Parker and Lauren Lane Culinarian

Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Leawood City Lifestyle

Lauren Lane Culinarian and LeAnne Parker have teamed together to create a beautiful and simple backyard party that is tasty, fun and keeps guests cool in the summer heat. For more tips on all things hosting, cooking and decorating and more follow, LeAnn at @silvertoothhome
silvertoothhome.com and Lauren at 



Honey Citrus Melon Salad


  • 2 small cantaloupes

  • 1 small honeydew

  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

  • juice of a lime

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint


  1. Use a melon baller* to scoop round spheres out of each melon and place them into a large bowl.

  2. In a small bowl, combine honey, lime juice and zest. Whisk to combine and pour over the melon. Gently toss together before serving with torn fresh mint leaves.


  • Sub watermelon for any or all of the melons.

  • Sub basil for mint.

  • If making in advance; chill melon then toss with honey lime syrup and garnish with fresh mint right before serving


Make-Ahead Italian Pressed Sandwiches

These make-ahead sandwiches combine hearty ciabatta bread and are loaded with delicious Italian deli meats and cheese. This sandwich is impressive, tasty, and perfect for pool parties, picnics, and tailgates.


  • 1 Ciabatta Baguette or loaf, cut in half horizontally

  • 3 Tbsp butter

  • 3 medium red peppers

  • 3 cups arugula, spinach or mixed greens, rinsed and patted dry

  • 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced thin

  • 10 oz Assorted Italian deli meats, (I used Soppressata Salami, and Mortadella)

  • Olive Oil

  • Italian seasoning

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)


  1. To roast the red peppers: Set your pepper on your cooktop flame or grill. Cook until they are mostly black, turning as needed. Place the peppers in a plastic ziploc bag or papper bag and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove peppers from bag and peel off the blackened skin. Discard the skin and slice the peppers in to wide strips. Place in a bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of capers if using. Set aside.  (you can also roast peppers under your broiler) 

  2. To prepare the sandwiches: Butter each piece of ciabatta and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Butter will help prevent moisture from getting into the bread.

  3. Place a generous layer of overlapping cold meats. Top with cooled roasted red pepper strips.

  4. Tap dry your mozzarella slices with a paper towel. Top the red peppers with a layer of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Top with a generous layer of arugula. Top with top slice of ciabatta.

  5. Wrap each sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and place on a platter or baking sheet. When all the sandwiches are prepared, place the platter in the refrigerator. Top with a heavy skillet or brick. (alternatively top with another baking sheet and place some large cans on top for the weight).

  6. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or ideally, overnight.

  7. When ready to serve, remove from plastic wrap. Slice into pieces using a serrated knife holding the sandwich in place while using a sawing motion.


  • These sandwiches are endlessly customizable. Just use your imagination. Pesto and olive tapenade are great additions.

  • See my video on how to make the sandwiches and wrapping tips. Lauren-Lane.com

Semi-homemade Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Upgrade store-bought cookies by decking them out with delicious ice cream pairings and toppings.


  • 12 store-bought cookies

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream or flavor of your choice

  • Miniature chocolate chips, sprinkles, or chopped nuts


  1. Top cookie with a scoop of ice cream. Top with another cookie; press down with the palm of your hand gently to ensure the cookie doesn't break.

  2. Roll sides of ice cream sandwich in chocolate chips, sprinkles or nuts.

  3. Wrap in plastic. Freeze until serving.

No-Bake Dessert Bites


  • 1- Store-bought pound cake cake

  • 1- Can of store-bought icing (I used buttercream)

  • Berries

  • Powered Sugar (optional)


  1. Cut cake into squares or circles. I used a square cookie cutter.

  2. Place icing in a ziplock. (see note)

  3. Snip the tip off the corner of he bag to allow the frosting to be piped out. Be careful with how large you create the hole based on how you’d like to pipe out your frosting. Start small, you can always make it bigger.

  4. Squeeze dollop of icing onto each cake bite

  5. Top with berries

  6. Dust with powdered sugar if desired


If you want to elevate the taste of store-bought icing, mix in a package of softened cream cheese or a stick of butter.

Creative Tips for Keeping Cool By LeAnne Parker

  • Race to Melt: Freeze small plastic toys inside water balloons or in muffin tins. Make a game of who can free the toy first (or last!).

  • Water{Sponge} Fight: Fill a large bucket with water and new colorful sponges to throw at friends or targets (less prep and less mess than water balloons!).

  • Cooling Herb: Add muddled garden mint to water for a refreshing drink. In addition, rub fresh mint on the neck, forehead and wrists for a cooling effect.

  • Rose Water Spritz: Use backyard roses to make refreshing rose water. Then, use rose water as Facial Spritz to mist on the face to keep cool (recipe on the blog at www.silvertoothhome.com/celebrating-roses). 

  • Rose Lemonade: Use backyard roses to make refreshing rose water. Then, use rose water to make Rose Lemonade (recipe on the blog at www.silvertoothhome.com/celebrating-roses).

DIY Rose Water

  • 2 cups garden rose petals (chemical free)

  • 4 cups water & 2 cups of ice cubes

Place water and rose petals in a saucepan. Carefully place an empty bowl in the saucepan. Set a lid upside-down to cover. Place ice cubes on the upside-down lid and simmer on low. Condensation will form on the inside of the lid and drip into the empty bowl creating rose water. Once rose petals have lost their color, turn off the heat and let cool. Place rose water into a glass bottle and keep refrigerated for up to a year. To turn your rose water into a cooling Rosewater Facial Spritz, Rose Lemonade and more by visiting the blog at www.silvertoothhome.com/celebrating-roses.

DIY “Painted” Lemon Cookies

Join me in “painting” sugar cookies! Full instructions and supplies needed to paint your own lemon cookies on the blog at www.silvertoothhome.com/lemon-cookies.

LeAnn’s Backyard Tablescape

  • Thrifted Blue Goblets

  • Blue Willow Dinnerware Set

  • Woven Placemats

  • White Scalloped Plate Charger

  • Blue Gingham Accent Ribbon

  • Raffia Hand Fans

  • Facial Spray Bottles

  • Lemonade Bottles

  • Wicker Picnic Basket Set

  • Natural Wood Charcuterie Boards

I can’t wait to see what you create. Tag me on IG @silvertoothhome and #silvertoothhome so I can share your summer celebrations.

Related Businesses

Crown Center


Crown Center

Kansas City, MO

Visit Crown Center in the heart of Kansas City to find one-of-a-kind shopping, dining, can’t-miss events, and attractions...

Boulevard Brewing Co. Tours and Rec Center


Boulevard Brewing Co. Tours and Rec Center

Kansas City, MO

Just a stone’s throw from the brewery, this is the hub for all tours, shopping and sampling straight from the source. The...

Overland Park Farmers' Market

Specialty Grocery

Overland Park Farmers' Market

Overland Park, KS

The Overland Park Farmers’ Market is a vibrant public gathering place that builds community pride and spirit by bringing...

See More

Related Articles

See More