How to Get Through Summer Hosting Without Cooking


By mid-summer, many of us on the Shoreline are a tad tired of hosting. Here are a few favorite tips and tricks to see us through August.

Rotisserie Chicken at Grass and Bone: eat a plate there and get one to go. Throw in a side of the crazy buttery mashed potatoes. The best butcher shop around, too. Local and grass-fed.

3rd Generation Maynard’s Tomato Pie: This cheesy veggie pie makes a perfect summer lunch (grab a couple of fruit pies, here, too). I just love pie.

Salty, buttery baguettes at Simon’s in Chester. Buy an extra so you have one for the way home.

Hen & Heifer: I’m having anything they’re baking. Exquisite Classic French patisserie.

Howard’s Bialys: known for baguettes and fougasse, but for me it’s all about the bialys. Toasted, with a shmear and smoked salmon is all you need for a glam weekend breakfast. At Howard’s Bakery, Fromage in Old Saybrook, and Chester Sunday Market. 

Mystic Market’s Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmigiana: only vegans won’t eat this, but I pick up at least one per week. 

Mindy K.’s Summer rolls: I prefer the shrimp or veggie, but chicken is available, too. You can order a large platter with peanut dipping sauce for a party. Call ahead and cash only.

Ripe cocktail mixers: Fresh cold-pressed real juice mixers in the refrigerated case at the package store and made right here in CT.  I’m sticking with the Cosmo, but there’s Margarita, Bloody Mary, and Mojito, too. 


White Gate Farm Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies. Well, actually, anything from White Gate Farm. But I keep a pack or two of these slightly sweet, slightly salty, and oh-so-satisfying cookies in the freezer and you won’t care or know that they are gluten-free. (You can eat them straight out of the freezer).  They’re filled with flax so I make pretend they’re healthy. 

Birthday Cake: It’s best if you call ahead, but often you can find a stunning cake spur of the moment at Savour Cafe in Essex.


Lobster meat picked out of the shell at Atlantic Seafood. Buy a pound, toss with melted butter (and zap for a second) and you’ve got hot lobster rolls for a crowd. Expensive, but a pound easily feeds 6 to 8.  I also count on their whole side of poached salmon layered with cucumbers for a super simple and delicious summer dinner.