Enjoy a summer picnic under the best light show around: the universe.

You don't have to be an astronomer to appreciate the beauty of the night sky. Could there be anything on earth more worthy of celebration?

In recent years an especially easy and spontaneous way to hang out under the heavens has evolved: the star party. No, not the kind in Hollywood, the kind in your own backyard.

Now you can put a fresh touch on a lively alfresco buffet by dining under the stars.

The best time for a "star party" is during the summer months. Not only are the nights warmer, but also you can see the summer Milky Way―an edgewise view of our galaxy, which looks like a hazy pathway in the sky.

You also might see a meteor shower! Of the dozen or so that occur each year, two converge in late July and early August. Those can provide glimpses of meteors almost every hour, especially after midnight.

So you'll want to plan several under-the-stars picnics this summer. This menu serves 8, so invite friends along to enjoy the view.