Serve It Up: What To Serve For Your Backyard Party
Every weekend of summer we're firing up the grill for a backyard party to celebrate the season. Whether you're gearing up for the Fourth of July, Labor Day, or just a night with neighbors in the garden, you want to make your get-together unforgettable -- and the best way to do that is with the right foods. Here are some ideas for what to serve at your backyard party.
Burgers and hot dogs are expected at any kind of a cookout, but you don't have to limit your meat menu to those two items. Try mixing it up and grill something with a little more spice, like fajitas: chicken or beef in a fiery marinade coupled with onions and peppers makes a spectacular grilled meal. If you want something a little more tame but with plenty of flavor and crowd-appeal, grill a pizza! With a pre-baked crust, all you have to do is top it with your favorite meats and cheese and you have barbecue magic with plenty of time to start the family games.
Crostinis are easy to make on the grill and they are not served hot so you can make them before your guests arrive. Slice up a baguette, brush both sides of each slice with olive oil, and grill them on each side for about 20 seconds. Finish it with your favorite toppings like an olive tapenade or diced tomatoes with garlic and parmesan cheese. It's an easy and tasty way to welcome guests. If you want to pull out your cast-iron skillet, there's no limit to what you can make on the grill, from zucchini fritters to cornbread.
Get creative with your grilled vegetables! Kebabs are great, but there are so many different (and more interesting) ways to grill your summer produce. Sliced, drizzled with olive oil and grilled, eggplant is a versatile platform for all sorts of flavorful food: spread pimiento cheese or goat cheese on each slice, roll them up and you have finger food from the grill. Summer squash grills well to make a good vessel for sauce and toppings as well. Don't forget you can grill corn on the cob -- your guests will love it and you won't have to heat up the kitchen boiling water for your corn.
Summer is definitely not the time to turn on your oven and there are many desserts you can make without it. If your heart is set on something baked, a good cobbler made with fresh seasonal fruit like peaches, blueberries and cherries can be done on the grill. All you need is an aluminum foil pan that can be covered to trap the heat needed for baking. If you want to steer clear of the grill, there are plenty of no-bake desserts to try. Using store-bought biscuits or pound cake, make shortcake with whipped cream to showcase the season's finest fruits.
You can't go wrong with beer or wine for the adults and soda for the kids, but if you want to make your party unique, think about making a signature punch, with or without alcohol. Sparkling wine mixed with a little bit of sweet wine (Riesling or ice wine) and your favorite juice -- cranberry, pomegranate or even blueberry juice -- makes a bubbly treat for the adults. For the kids picnic table leave out the sweet wine and substitute the sparkling wine with ginger ale. If you want to make it easy to tell the two punches apart, choose different colored juices.
Every season is a good season for a party and LTD Commodities has ideas to make yours impressive. From ideas for decor to what kinds of sweet treats to make, shop LTD for products priced for fun.