Here’s something I’ve recently discovered about myself that kind of shocks me. I really enjoy entertaining people at my house. Here’s an extra shocking thing I’ve recently discovered about myself. I find home entertaining to be easy and not even stressful. Considering I find things like choosing a nail polish color or deciding what I want to order for dinner to be incredibly stressful, this stress-free version of myself is a complete surprise. Maybe my enjoyment just outweighs my stress.
We hosted three big family/friend BBQs this summer (along with a few smaller gatherings), so planning the menu, buying the groceries, cleaning the house and coordinating the cooking and set up is old hat by now. And because finding good recipes that are crowd-friendly and don’t break the bank is kind of time-consuming, I thought I’d help out by sharing all the recipes we relied on for our BBQs this summer. I’m not claiming to be Martha Stewart, but if you’re into low-maintenance, high-ease entertaining, this post is for you.
Blood Orange Margaritas // These are better for small group gatherings so you can make them one at a time.
Cherry-Peach Sangria // Double or triple it because ain’t no one adhering to Cooking Light’s serving size recommendation.
Other drinks: homebrew & sun tea.
Maple Baked Beans // So easy, because: crockpot! Double it only if you have a BIG group. Otherwise, be prepared to be eating baked bean leftovers for eternity.
Easy Cornbread // This got rave reviews at our last BBQ and was devoured by the end of the night, so it’s a winner.
Grilled Sweet Potato and Napa Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette // Bonus points for feeling fancy when you cook your sweet potatoes to perfection on the grill.
Lemony Millet Salad with Chickpeas, Corn and Spinach // Except we always use orzo instead of millet and arugula for the spinach. Leave the greens out altogether for make-ahead-of-time-without-fear-of-sogginess ease.
Greek Vegetable Salad // My mom sent me a picture of this recipe many years ago and every time I want to make it, I have to relocate the photo, so I’m just going to post it here. Come on now, Cooking Light. This should be on your website somewhere! Help a girl out. Anyway, we made this a bunch of times for BBQs earlier this summer. It’s a winner.
Other sides: simple grilled zucchini & summer squash, watermelon (cut the best way!) and my mom made this awesome Spicy Potato Salad that I intended to make myself and never did.
Green Chili Chicken Burgers // Our favorite. Forever and ever. The end.
Spiced Grilled Chicken Thighs // Much can be said about dark meat chicken, an overnight marinade and a good sear on the grill.
Okay, I’m just now realizing the main dish is where we totally phoned it in this summer. As much as I would’ve loved to do more stuff like grilled chicken, that stuff gets expensive and time-consuming when you’re doing it for a big group of people. In other words, pre-made burgers and brats are where it’s at.
Life Goals for Next Summer: Get better at main dishes and dessert.
We are headed out on vacation tomorrow for a FIRST ANNIVERSARY (!!!) trip and I can’t fricken wait! We’re hitting San Francisco, Portland and Seattle and I already told Joey “I just want to eat all the foods, drink all the coffee and walk all the places.” See ya when we get back!