The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Dining with MacKenzie-Childs

May 28, 2021

I’m Tara.
 I'm an influencer strategy expert, the host of Project Influence the Podcast, and the founder of Creator Cube™, a co-creating space for content creators. 
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by MacKenzie-Childs but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Summer is here Y’all! I’ve been so excited to start dining on our patio! One of my favorite parts of Summer is grilling out and dining al fresco with friends and family!

One thing that makes outdoor dining extra special is having beautiful table settings. It’s pretty hard to beat a Summer night on the patio with a gorgeous tablescape, bright summer florals, and of course, a yummy cocktail!

I’ve teamed up with MacKenzie-Childs this Summer to share some of my favorite outdoor entertaining pieces as well as my go-to outdoor dining menu! Grab all the deets below!

Gorgeous and Functional Tablescapes

If you can’t tell, I’m a massive fan of MacKenzie-Childs. I was introduced to the brand this year and instantly fell in LOVE. Something about their pieces just feels like home. Every piece tends to spark conversation, and to me, that’s what entertaining is all about.

What I love about MacKenzie-Childs’ pieces is that they all work together. There are so many fun prints and patterns, and you can’t go wrong with buying what you love! One of my favorite pairings is a floral with a check pattern!

For my tablescape, I went with Royal Check dinner plates paired with blue Flower Market Bowls! I seriously can’t tell you how much I love this combo! I anchored everything together with this gorgeous yellow table runner and used a floral utensil holder as a centerpiece filled with bright summer florals. Once you have the actual table settings done, you can add accessories like a tiered tray for fruit, cocktail glasses, and even canape or tapas plates!

Using Summer Florals as Centerpieces

Continuing on with my love of all things floral, let’s talk centerpieces! I love using fresh flowers in as many ways as possible and always try to tie them into a tablescape! 

For this set up I used the Flower Market Utensils holder as my vase and filled it with a summer bouquet from Trader Joe’s! I also snagged two lavender pots while I was there and put them on either side of the floral vase. I love how the deep lavender color ties into the blues of the tablescape. And! An added bonus is that the lavender smells fantastic!

Not only do flowers bring in great color and scents to your dining table, but they also help with adding height to your table! I like to put the tallest piece in the center of the table and arrange outward from there!

Dining Al Fresco

Alright, now that we got our tablescape down, let’s talk menus! I like to keep it simple when dining outside. Easy to prepare, easy to eat, and easy to clean up are always at the top of my list. One of our favorite ways to eat outdoors is by using the grill. We almost always throw something on the grill as the main course and then pair it with an easy side or salad! Add a fun cocktail, and you’re good to go!

Try This For Your Next Al Fresco Dinner

Grilled Salmon with Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salsa! 

For the Salmon: (Serves 4)

  • 4 Filets of Salmon
  • 1 TBS Olive oil – drizzled on each filet
  • 1 TSP Smoked Paprika sprinkled on each filet
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste on each

For the Salsa 

  • 1-2 Corn Cobs
  • 1 Tomato Diced
  • 1 Small Red Onion Diced
  • 1 Medium Avocado Diced
  • Fresh Cilantro Chopped
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Additional Toppings 

  • Sliced Limes
  • Chopped Cilantro


Add Salmon, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper to a large zip lock back. Rub spices into Salmon and let marinate in the fridge for about 30 min. While Salmon is marinating, heat your grill to medium heat.

When the grill is heating, coat your corn in a bit of butter. When the grill is hot, add your corn to the grill, turning it every few minutes to get a slight char on each side. When corn is grilled to your liking, remove and set aside.

Once the corn is removed from the grill, add your Salmon to the grill skin side down. Cook for about 10 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 6-10 on the opposite side.

While Salmon is cooking, remove the corn from the cobs and place it in a bowl. Then add chopped tomatoes, red onion, diced avocado, and lime juice. Gently stir together, then season with salt & pepper.

When Salmon is done, plate the Salmon and then top with the corn mixture! Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro! You can serve as is or over rice, pasta, or even quinoa!

Now The Moment We’ve all Been Waiting For… Cocktails! 

I love a good summer cocktail! Anything light and refreshing is a YES from me! Lately, I’ve been loving mixing fresh juices like pineapple, mango, or lemonade, with flavored Topo Chico and a little Blanco Tequila! Top with fresh berries and limes! So Yummy!

Citrus Summer Refresher 

  • Fresh or bottled Pineapple, Mango, and Lemonade/Limeade
  • Blanco Tequila ( I like Casimigos or Don Julio)
  • Lime Flavored Topp Chico
  • Strawberries, Limes, & Lemon


Mix 1 Cup each of Pineapple Juice, Mango Juice, and Lemonade/Limeade in a pitcher. Add 1 Cup of tequila and stir. Add 1 cup lime Topo Chico and stir. Fill your glass with ice, pour in the mixture. Garnish with fresh strawberries, lemons, and limes!



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