Once summer is in the air, everyone’s calendars will start booking up with Evites or Cards for Reunions, Bridal showers, Baby showers, Birthdays and last but not least The BBQ’s.
BBQ’s are the best way to feed everyone with a variety of items that can be premade and stored a couple of days ahead. It’s also a great way to have a quick dinner or to entertain when an unexpected visitor drops by.
There are several out there Weber brand is what I know of but a good quality gas grill should have all the bells & whistles.
Don’t have a Grill yet? No problem a nonstick grill pan can work very nicely for an indoor version of your BBQ favorites
There are several out there but for an outdoor grill, here is an example of the basic tool set to start out with from Picnic Fun. http://www.picnicfun.com/products/stainless-steel-bbq-set
From All American to Asian Cuisine, there are plenty of menus and ideas to go around. Although there are many, keep in mind of your theme when you’re planning a BBQ, so that you don’t end up buying or making things that don’t necessarily go together.
All American Theme – as an example (watch out for more in the Menu Category)
For Colors – The Red, White and Blue
Pattern – Stars and Stripes
Set up Plan A and B aka Plan A – Outdoors, Plan B – Indoors as summer showers seem to sometimes come out of nowhere or it’s just too warm outside.
Center Piece – For Practical People
For those that have huge BBQ’s and not enough time to be creative, here is a practical choice. Make the center pieces on your tables as the condiments area all bunched together on a colorful plate with little steel cups( Link from Crate & Barrel below) with Ketchup, Hot Sauce, Mayo, Mustard, Relish, Mint Chutney to many more as your hearts desire.
Center Piece – For Creative People
Take empty metal food cans and clean them so it doesn’t have any smells or food leftover. And buy some festive wrapping paper and use that to cover the can. Fill the can with water and gather some hydrangea flowers in any color that’s available at your store or any flower from your garden and it will last through the entire day.Add some colored blue glass stones to go around them to make your center piece complete.
Kiddies are Invited too?
Ask the parents to bring a couple of games to share with the others or ask your kids to give you ideas of what they would like to do during the BBQ. It’s a great way to get them involved and help you out for the BBQ.
Burgers & Kebabs – Turkey, Beef and Veggie . Frozen Meats – Thaw frozen items overnight in the refrigerator or use the quick thaw method by placing the packaged meats in ziploc bags and in a pan of hot tap water for 30-45 minutes
Steaks & Ribs – Ribs are wonderful to make especially if you have a smoker(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_%28cooking%29)
Seafood -Lobster Tail, Shrimp, Salmon, Tuna Steak, Tilapia, and any other fish you would love
Hot Dogs & Sausages – With sausages there are plenty of different varieties, Italian, Polish Keilbasa, Chorizo and many more exotic varieties
Chicken – Thighs, Legs and Breast
Vegetarians – Veggie Burgers, Veggie Kebabs, Tofu (See a great recipe below from Epicurious.com)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/GRILLED-TOFU-AND-SAUTEED-ASIAN-GREENS-108684
Potatoes – Baked, Salad, Mashed or Fried
Corn on the Cob – Make some herbed butter i.e. Garlic Powder or Adobo mixed into some butter can do wonders
Basic Salad – Mixed Greens, Cheese, Tomatoes, Onions, Olives (optional) and any salad dressing you love
Baked Beans – Take your supermarket premade canned beans and add a little spice to them with pepper and hot sauce
Ice Cream – Sherbet and basic Vanilla is always good, cause you can always add chocolate sauce, nuts(Check Allergies) and whipped cream on top
Fruit Salad – take some fruits in season,chop and put them in the fridge to cool and serve with condensed milk
Paper Plates, Utensils, Cups,Napkins,Trash Can, Ice & Coolers, Table Cloths, Center Pieces, Condiments, Water & other drinks, serving trays & plates, tables, chairs, citronella torches for bugs and tent (optional).
It seems like a lot to do but it’s all about planning with your basic list. If you don’t have time to get all the items, piece out different items for people to bring so you are not the only one running around. Also storing extras supplies & certain foods for the summer will help you be prepared for a get-together any time.
Enjoy! And watch out for more themes and menus to go with this summer series!