Plan a Backyard Party

When it comes to laid-back, warm-weather entertaining, look no further than your own backyard. Make your next outdoor party fabulous and fuss-free with tips and ideas from two clever pros.

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All-in-the-Family Style

Pros like Vivaldo know that, when entertaining casually, less is definitely more. When a meal is served family-style, she points out, "Each table of guests receives its own beautifully plated serving platter of food, which makes for a wonderful — and edible — centerpiece." A table graced with thoughtfully cooked and presented dishes needs little else to enhance it. This classic chicken cassoulet is the center of attention at a French-countryside-themed party. Photo courtesy of Denise Vivaldo.

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