And the genius trick she uses to chill it.
Summer always seems to make people more adventurous: It is, after all, the season of midnight patio hangs and impromptu pool parties. But while the fun may be spontaneous, it never hurts to have a few go-to summer recipes (and matching props!) on hand to make even a casual party look like a function. That's why we jumped at Food Network star (and certified entertaining queen) Giada de Laurentiis's top 10 Pinterest picks for summer party essentials. Check out her favorite $12 wine, the ultra-decadent ice cream cake she can't wait to try, and more, here.
1. Lemon Ricotta Cookie Sandwiches
“This is my most popular recipe of all time—my lemon ricotta cookies! It’s been saved over 24,000 times on Pinterest!” For the Fourth of July, de Laurentiis makes them into ice cream sandwiches with her signature cookie mix, gelato, and red, white and blue sprinkles.
2. Positano Ceramics
Though true Italian ceramics are hard to come by in the US, according to De Laurentiis, Pinterest has a huge collection of photos that you can use for decoration inspiration. “I try to incorporate their vibrant colors and patterns when I entertain, like in this pin from Vogue France.”
3. The Perfect Italian Crudite Board
Giada thinks veggies and dips should share the spotlight with fancy cheese boards. “[Crudite boards] can be just as elegant but they’re inexpensive and often easier to throw together.”
4. The Fastest Way to Chill Wine
“I saw this tip for chilling wine quickly with a dish towel, and had to try it!” she explains. “It works — and with a paper towel too.” De Laurentiis even did her own how-to video using the trick because it impressed her so much.
5. Crab Salad Sandwiches with Old Bay Dressing
“When it’s too hot to make crab cakes, this makes a delicious (and easier) alternative,” she says. "It’s one of my most popular pins, which is funny because it’s not Italian. It’s been saved over 12, 000 times.”
“I first tried frosé in the Hamptons but when I saw recipes popping up on Pinterest, I knew it was catching on. I decided to recreate it and serve it at my restaurant GIADA in Las Vegas — we have it on tap.”
7. Martha’s Blondie Ice Cream Cake
De Laurentiis is a big fan of Stewart’s desserts. “I recently saw this decadent ice cream cake and I can’t wait to try it.”
8. The Best Cheap Wine You Aren’t Drinking Yet
“I found this $12 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc while wine tasting for my new restaurant GDL Italian,” she explains. “It’s crisp and light, and the perfect wine to have on hand for summer grilling or last-minute dinner parties.”
9. Emoji Beach Balls
“I use Pinterest to get inspired for my shows, especially with ideas for kids. I found these fun emoji beach balls on Buzzfeed’s page and decided to use them for Jade’s pool party on Giada On The Beach. They're only $12 for a pack of 12 on Amazon. Such a great find!”
10. Summery Lemon & Pea Alfredo
"I love seeing photos when fans make my recipes at home, like with this pin. My lemon and pea alfredo is one of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook, Giada’s Italy — it’s the perfect summer pasta — and this person nailed it!”