Today is the first in a new series I am really excited about! I’ve asked a handful of my favorite designers and stylists to share with us details from parties they will be hosting this season. I am thrilled to give you peaks into their real life celebrations through tips and photos taken just for you. Expect to see more of these throughout the summer.

Today’s fresh market grill comes from Tina, the Traveling Mama who has a gorgeous family and a pretty way with prose. Remember these summer market invitations, they’d be a perfect for a fresh seasonal dinner party like this.

I grab my favorite basket, the kids their scooters, and we walk up the street to visit the corner market. We are met with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are in season, which makes me feel a bit impulsive… I want to eat one of everything! I let the ingredients guide my menu… the potatoes look freshly plucked from the ground, the asparagus a hearty green, and the tomatoes a plump red. These will be the perfect accompaniments to the steaks we splurged on, but that is what you do when you have a brand new outdoor space to celebrate the warm summer sun in!

Even though we stop every few feet to take a photo, we eventually make our way home and begin warming the charcoals and making fresh sweet tea… a little southern American treat!  (The secret ingredient is ridiculous amounts of sugar, but we will make up for it later by choosing a less sweet dessert!). As we sit together, enjoying each others company and catching up on all that has happened the week before, the wind stirs and the warm scent of lavender tickles our senses.

The only thing that can make the meal better, is a simple strawberry shortcake.  You would think I was serving them something terribly grand as I bring out plates of shortcake, just barely cool enough to cut and serve and topped with a generous helping of fresh cream and strawberry slices… but perhaps that is the magic of a summer celebration… it demands nothing more than fresh and simple ingredients and the finest of company.

Read on for more photos and the recipes

This Greek salad has been passed down in my family and is a wonderful accompaniment to the meal. If you like your salad more tart simply add in extra balsamic vinegar, but the key to a great Greek salad is the sea salt! Enlarge the photo above for a printable recipe card.

Photography and styling by Tina, The Traveling Mama.