The beach party

Hit the BeachHit the Beach

We’re joined by expert stylist Kiersten Stevens and chef Kate McMillan to create a party around summer’s most popular destination. Don’t live near an ocean? It’s OK, we’ll bring the beach to you.


Along the Boardwalk

These easy party touches by stylist Kiersten Stevens are inspired by one of America’s most recognized symbols of seaside summertime fun – the beach boardwalk.

DYI Edible Flower Ice Cubes

DIY Edible Flower Ice Cubes

By Kiersten Stevens of Workgroup

When I think of summer, I think of the sun beating down on me at the beach… and how good it feels to cool down with a refreshing drink.

Ice cubes come in all shapes and sizes these days, and they can add a lot of fun to a cocktail. An easy way to elevate a simple drink and add a pop of color is to add edible flowers to the ice tray before freezing. It's a simple and beautiful touch that will earn you a lot of compliments at your party.

You’ll just need an ice tray and some edible flowers.

  1. Ice tray
  2. Edible flowers

I like the silicon ice trays from Bed Bath & Beyond, which come in a variety of sizes & fun colors. Then, just add the edible flowers to the tray. Most specialty grocers like Whole Foods will carry these. Be sure to not pick just any old flowers, as some are poisonous! Make sure they’re edible. Then just add water and freeze.

DYI Edible Flower Ice Cubes Steps

Kiersten Stevens Stylist

Kiersten Stevens is a stylist with Workgroup in San Francisco. She’s worked with a variety of clients including Gap, Levis, Benefit Cosmetics, HP, Burt’s Bees and Apple, among others. Known for her playful style, she loves taking basic materials like paper and bringing them to life through photos and stop-motion video.

Stay Hydrated, Deliciously

Prep a few pitchers of infused water for a refreshing and eye-catching non-alcoholic drink. Just mix water, ice, and your preferred infusion:

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Basil
  3. Lavender
  4. Strawberry
  5. Lemon

Beach Bites

This stunning take on a classic American appetizer is a perfect addition to your beach party menu.

Zucchini Fritters with Olive-Fig Tapenade

Zucchini Fritters with Olive-Fig Tapenade

  • 25 min prep
  • 20 min cook
  • 4-6 servings


  • 1/3 cup dried Mission figs, stems removed
  • 1 (6 oz) can Lindsay California Black Ripe Pitted Olives (or your favorite Lindsay olives), drained
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp capers, drained
  • Zest of 1 small orange
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini (4 small)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Butter for frying
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the tapenade, quarter the figs and place them in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain figs and place them in the bottom of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the olives, capers, orange zest, lemon juice, and olive oil and pulse to combine. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. To make the zucchini fritters, grate the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater and place in a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel tightly around the vegetables and squeeze tightly to press out any excess moisture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley, eggs, flour, cheese, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  4. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a pat of butter and once it is melted and just bubbling, add a heaping tablespoon of batter to form a fritter. Fry fritters until they are cooked through and golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fritters to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you continue to cook the remainder of the fritters.
  5. To serve, top fritters with olive tapenade and a touch of crème fraîche.

Other Recipes for Your Beach Party


Kate McMillan Chef & Cookbook Author

Kate McMillan is chef and owner of Kate McMillan Catering. She has authored 9 recipe books for Williams-Sonoma, and has worked as an event planner for Vogue and Glamour magazines. She lives in Northern California with husband and their three daughters.
Don’t clean ‘til the last guest has left!

Don’t Clean ‘Til the Last Guest Has Left!

Nothing kills a party buzz quite like a host who is focusing on cleaning. It tells your guests that the party’s over and it’s time for them to leave. So just let it be and enjoy the time with your friends. The mess can wait until the morning. Unfortunately, it’s not going anywhere!

DIY Pinwheel Nametag

DIY Pinwheel Nametag

By Kiersten Stevens of

Another fun & retro touch you can add to a beach-themed party is a pinwheel nametag. All you need to make these are a few sheets of paper, scissors, glue, cute straw and a pen to write your guests names on the tags.

  1. Colorful Paper
  2. Scissors
  3. craft Glue
  4. cute straws
  5. Pen

Cut the paper into squares. You can vary the size, but for reference, the ones I made here are 4x4. Then from each corner, cut about two-thirds of the way to square’s center, dividing each corner into two points. Fold every other point to center so points overlap.

Glue the points to the center. Paper glue works best – you can find this at most craft stores. Then glue your pinwheels to the top of the straw and write your guests’ names on the corners!

I like to set a colorful table and place the pinwheels in the middle of the plate. Bon appetite!

DIY Pinwheel Nametag Steps
Pro Tips

Keep it Simple!

While you may be tempted to try ambitious recipes, just focus on best-quality ingredients, in-season produce, and complimentary flavors.