Taste-Tempting Backyard RecipesSummertime is gathering time! Whether you’re hosting a graduation or birthday fete, celebrating the 4th of July, or just hanging out and enjoying the weather with family and friends, nothing says summer fun more than a backyard BBQ.Having a shindig? Try a few of these recipes at your next get-together to keep the summertime livin’ easy. Whether the menu calls for tried-and-true, a new twist on an old favorite, or super simple, there’s something here to whet your appetite!
Simple Starters: Bacon-Avo-Goodness Deviled Eggs
• One dozen hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and cut in half
• 2 large avocados, mashed
• 4 tablespoons cooked and crumbled bacon
• 2 tablespoons jalapeno, finely diced
• 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
• 4 tablespoons diced tomato
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
• Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
• Pinch chili powder (for garnish)
1. Scoop out egg yolks and mash.
2. Mix yolks with avocado, bacon, jalapeno, onion, tomato, lime juice, and cilantro.
3. Season filling to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
4. Place a tablespoon of the mixture back into the holes left by the yolks in the eggs.
5. Garnish with leftover bacon and/or cilantro leaf or a pinch of chili powder.
Adapted from Closet Cooking
Simple Starters: Grilled Chili-Lime Shrimp
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 jalapeno seeded and finely minced*
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2pounds medium shrimp
Also needed: bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 20-30 minutes)
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Make marinade: in a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except shrimp and stir well.
- Prepare shrimp: Devein shrimp and peel, except for tail. Rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Place shrimp in large resealable bag. Add marinade. Through bag, rub marinade into shrimp.
- Refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning the bag and massaging the marinade again halfway through. (NOTE: DO NOT marinate longer than 20 minutes, or the acid in the lime juice will cook the shrimp.)
- Remove shrimp from refrigerator and place on soaked skewers in groups of about 6 (depending on size).
- Grill shrimp on an oiled grill rack 2 minutes per side, or until opaque.
*(remember to wear gloves/wash hands well with soap and water after handling peppers to avoid burns from their oils)
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Fire up the Grill: Grilled Chicken With Moonlight Knight White BBQ Sauce
CHICKEN DRY RUB
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 10 chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)*
MOONLIGHT KNIGHT WHITE BBQ SAUCE**
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- Combine dry rub seasoning ingredients. Rinse chicken, and pat dry; rub mixture evenly over chicken.
- Seal chicken in a re-sealable plastic freezer bag and chill for 4 hours.
- While chicken is marinating, make sauce. To make sauce, combine all White Knight ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until completely blended.
- Remove chicken from bag, discarding bag.
- Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 180°.
- Remove from heat and serve with Moonlight Knight White BBQ Sauce.
*4 chicken leg quarters (about 3 lb.) may be substituted for chicken thighs. Increase cooking time to 20 to 25 minutes on each side.
**Sauce will last up to a week in a sealed, refrigerated container.
Adapted from myrecipes.com
Fire up the Gril: Grilled Pizza
This one’s a little different, as we all know there are no rules to pizza! Toppings can be as varied as you like—just be careful not to overload it, or it will get soggy!
- Pizza dough (make your own, or use storebought)
- Olive oil
- Toppings of your choice*
- Preheat and oil the grill.
- Roll out pizza dough on a surface lightly oiled with olive oil. Being careful not to tear it, stretch the dough out…make a circle, a wedge, an oval, a rectangle, or a gingerbread man…whatever shape you like!
- Place the dough directly on the grill grates over med-low heat.
- Grill the dough until the bottom is crisp and has a slight char. Carefully flip the dough over using a spatula and immediately top the pizza with sauce and ingredients.
- Close/cover the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble.
Ingredients shown in the photo example:
- Sliced ripe olives
- Roasted veggies (cherry tomatoes, red onion, red bell peppers)
- Fresh herbs (thyme and torn basil)
- Shredded mozzarella
- Sauce (roasted tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, torn basil, pinch of salt and sugar blended in food processor until relatively smooth)
Super Sides: Red, White, and Blueberry Quinoa Superfood Salad
(Serves 8 as side salads; 4 as main dish)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 10 ounces mixed salad greens
- 1 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts or roasted almonds
- 1 cup blueberries
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Optional: Raspberries, strawberries, or other berries
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 4 shallots, minced (You can also use 1 cup yellow or Vidalia onion)
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pinch of pepper
- 2/3 cup blueberries
- Thoroughly rinse quinoa with cool water and then strain/drain.
- Place quinoa in small saucepan with stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy like rice. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- While quinoa is simmering, prepare dressing. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp of the grape seed oil and the shallots/onions. Sauté until tender and slightly caramelized (appx. 5 minutes), stirring often. Remove from heat to cool.
- Add cooled shallots to a food processor or blender with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 2/3 cup blueberries, syrup, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Puree, scraping down sides as needed.
- To plate, top the mixed greens with slightly cooled quinoa, nuts, feta, and 1 cup blueberries (add additional berries, if desired). Serve with dressing. Best when fresh.
Adapted from minimalistbaker.com
Super Sides: Grilled Corn With Cilantro-Lime Butter
- 8 ears fresh sweet corn, in husks
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat grill to medium-high. Grill corn 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make cilantro-lime butter. Combine butter, zest from half the lime, and juice of whole lime in small bowl. Stir in cilantro, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Transfer butter mixture to a serving bowl.
- Peel back corn husks a few minutes before serving and remove silk. Brush with butter mixture. Return to grill and grill 5 more minutes, turning once or twice, or until lightly browned.
Adapted from BHG.com
Cool-off Cocktails: Blood Orange Margarita
- 1 cup bottled blood orange juice (you can substitute 1/2 cup pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice if you cannot find blood orange juice)
- 1 cup white or silver tequila
- ½ cup triple sec
- ½ cup lime juice
- Ice cubes
- Salt for rim (optional)
- In a small pitcher combine the blood orange juice, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Serve over ice. With tiny umbrellas, if you desire.
Adapted from SmittenKitchen.com
Cool-off Cocktails: Ginger-Pineapple Punch
- ½ to 1 cup rum, vodka, or pineapple-flavored vodka (To make a mocktail version, omit alcohol)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced unpeeled fresh ginger (about 4 ounces)
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 bottle club soda, chilled
- Ice cubes
- Lime slices and/or pineapple wedges
- In a small saucepan combine the water, sugar, and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool ginger mixture to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- (OPTIONAL) Add in rum or vodka, if desired.
- Cover with plastic wrap; chill for at least 2 hours.
- In a large punch bowl or pitcher combine the chilled ginger mixture, pineapple juice, lemon and lime juices. Stir in club soda.
- Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices and/or pineapple wedges.
Adapted from BHG.Com
Delectable Desserts: Margarita Cake
- 1 (18.25 ounce) packaged French vanilla cake mix (can also use white or yellow cake)
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 tablespoons triple sec liqueur
- 2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 4tablespoons triple sec liqueur
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- Coarse-grain sea salt (optional; for garnish)
- Lime or lemon zest (optional; for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
- In a large bowl combine cake and pudding mixes, eggs, oil, water, ¼ cup lime juice, juice ¼ cup tequila, and 2 tablespoons triple sec. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- While cake bakes, make glaze. In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoon tequila, 4 tablespoons triple sec and 4 tablespoons lime juice. Mix until smooth.
- Remove cake from oven. Carefully turn upside down (in pan), poke holes in bottom. Pour about ½ cup glaze over bottom of cake.
- Let sit for 10 minutes. Turn over and remove cake from pan onto wire rack. Add ½ of remaining glaze. Let sit 30 minutes. Add last ½ of glaze.
- When glaze has hardened, squeeze a bit of lime juice over cake and sprinkle coarse sea salt over it. Or, garnish with lime or lemon zest.
Delectable Desserts: Chocolate-Mousse Strawberries
- One quart large strawberries
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
- ½ teaspoon real vanilla extract
- OPTIONAL: Toppings (whipped cream, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips (white or dark), chocolate-sandwich-cookie crumbs, etc.)
- Carefully cut the tops off the strawberries. Using small melon baller or paring knife, hollow out inside of berries.
- In a chilled metal bowl, whip the cream until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and baking cocoa. Stir to combine.
- Add vanilla.
- Whip the ingredients until thick and creamy.
- Place the mousse into a pastry bag or plastic bag with end cut off about 1/4-inch. Pipe into hollowed out strawberries.
- (If desired) Top with desired toppings.
- Serve chilled.
Adapted from RodelleKitchen.com