Summer is made for entertaining—and it should be easy. The fresh flavors of local produce are ripe for the picking and don’t need much enhancement, making meal prep simple. Bring everything outdoors for a magical setting in the cool New Jersey nights lit up by dancing fireflies.

The Barn features a collection of cookbooks sure to inspire you, whether you are cooking for a crowd or cooking for two... or not even cooking at all, but rather preparing a fabulous salad filled with Jersey-fresh produce! Keep it simple by offering small plates (so that you can enjoy your company) or by planning and preparing your meals ahead of time.

If you’re craving the fresh caught delicacies of the Jersey shore but aren't up to braving the crowds this time of year, you'll be sure to find the perfect recipe in The Jersey Shore Cookbook. This collection of recipes was built from the those offered up by some of our iconic, Jersey Shore beach dining establishments and include a history of the restaurant where each was originated as well as pictorial photos of beach life. Try the "Jersey Clams and Linguini" recipe from Schellenger’s, and make sure to use Jersey littleneck clams, keeping a basket of herbs on hand to add to the fresh flavor.

Whether you're the salad-as-a-main-course sort or you prefer it as a side dish, Salad Days will have the perfect recipe for what’s in season. Aqauponically grown greens and herbs from Drop the Beet Farms don’t need much more adornment than a simple vinaigrette with lemon and Parmesan. Drizzle with fresh, high-quality oil and vinegar from The Barn and enjoy a light main course, or pair with a grilled steak and you're good to go!

Graze is “inspiration for small plates and meandering meals”—perfect for those summer evenings you just don't want to end. Serve an assortment of small plates throughout the evening and enjoy the night. For an update on an old fashioned favorite, try "Smoked Trout Stuffed Deviled Eggs," and make sure to use farm-fresh eggs from The Tulip Tree Cafe. Using fresh, local eggs from farm-raised chickens will make a delicious recipe that much more delicious! Add a simple tray of olives and a "Communal Salad Niçoise" for easy summer entertaining.

You're going to want to show off the beauty of your culinary creations with handmade serving dishes that are both dishwasher and microwave safe for easy serving and clean up. A hand-cut wooden bowl is the perfect background in which to highlight the beautiful colors incorporated into your salads... and toss them with some of The Barn's artisan-made wooden utensils. Keep your summer frock spotless during prep with a vibrant, vintage-inspired apron, and when it’s time to clean up, reach for a hand towel that reminds your guests that your home is the best restaurant in town!

Finally, light some candles, set a relaxing mood with soft music, and enjoy an evening of easy summer entertaining with a little inspiration from The Barn at Calgo Gardens.