Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer BBQ!

The Headlines:

Summer is here.

Make all of these things!

I like to have people over.  These are my Summer "go-to"s and now they should be yours!  They're all so easy they make it possible to BE with your guests rather than just serve them the whole time they're there!

BEST Watermelon Margaritas EVER
A hit every time we make them.  Can't go wrong.  Any other watermelon drink this picky chick has ever ordered - never comes close!

Here's What You Need:
12 cups of diced, seeded watermelon. chilled.
1 cup agave nectar or 2 cups of sugar
1 cup lime juice
lime wedges
1800 tequila  (this is one of my favs but this is interchangeable based on your taste)
sugar for rimming!

Here's What You Do:
In a blender, combine watermelon (remember fresh ingreds give cocktails their UMPH), agave nectar (or sugar) and lime juice.  Using a lime wedge, line edge of glasses then dip into sugar so it sticks to the edge of the glass.  Let it dry before adding drink.  Fill glasses with ice and put 6 oz of mixture plus 2 oz of tequila into a shaker.  Shake and pour over ice.  Place small wedge on edge like above and serve.  Makes about 6 hearty margaritas.

**Bonus- since the fruit mixture is done separately -- you could easily add Sprite (versus tequila) or sparking water and serve to the kids!!!

Turquoise Lemonade
This is so easy it really needs no explanation but...

Grab your lemonade of choice and throw less than a drop of blue food coloring and VOILA!  Kids think it's more special than regular lemonade.  (And maybe it is)  We almost ran out before dinner!

BEST Guacamole EVER
My husband's guacamole is good, really good.  Everyone who eats it raves... and this picky chick is no exception.. there's no exact recipe but here goes:

Here's What You Need:
6 avocados, chunky sliced
yellow onion chopped
6 roma tomatoes chopped
Tabasco (not too many drops!)
onion powder
garlic salt (be generous with this)
pepper (not too much of this)
lime juice  (lots of this too)

Here's What You Do:
Toss the chunky cut avocados into a large bowl, add diced tomatoes, diced onions and chopped cilantro.  Add all the rest of the spices to taste.  I know it's not much... but as long as you taste test it a lot you will come up with something awesome!!  This picky chick, non-cook, can promise you that!

Mango-Papaya Salsa (for a white fish taco or with chips)
Mango/papaya salsa is the key (besides yummy fish) to our halibut fish tacos!  Again, super easy but requires some chopping.

Here's What You need:
4 mangos 
2 papayas 
5 roma tomatoes 
half of a yellow onion 
lime juice of 1 full lime
1/4 cup of orange juice 
salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder to taste

Here's What You Do:
Dice all the ingredients and chop the cilantro, throw it into one large bowl, with juices, then season to taste to round out the sweetness.  Let it sit for about an hour in fridge before serving.  

It also works with just chips but we like to reserve this specialty for the main course.  Encourage people to not be shy when loading up their taco - I also add ranch dressing to the taco and it's a perfect citrus/creamy mix! 

Melt In Your Mouth Cookies
So this, in all actuality, is not officially a go-to desert for me.  Usually, during the summer, I do ice cream something-or-other.  But occasionally I like to do something different! 

Here's What You Need:
1 cup butter 
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour 
1 pkg cream cheese (but only use 3 ounces)
1 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 tsp vanilla

Here's What You Do:
Heat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix room temperature butter.  Add cornstarch and sugar.  Once fully blended, beat in flour until mixed.  Seriously, this is so easy that the oven may not even be warm yet!  Plop about a teaspoon full for each cookie on a sheet.  Then flatten them out with another teaspoon coated with powdered sugar so it doesn't stick.  Bake for 10 minutes.
While that's happening,  mix all the frosting ingredients together and, if desired, add food coloring,  depending upon occasion.  For a pool party/BBQ like we were having, I chose a light blue color as pictured.   Once cookies come out and cool, frost. 

These are amazing melt in your mouth goodness!  Impossible to mess up... 

There ya have it... Summer BBQ at your service.  Easy, happy, yappy goodness!

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