Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crowd-Pleasing BBQ Menu

There's a funny thing about Oregonians.  The thing is, there is never a day that you can schedule a BBQ where you know, with out a doubt, that you will have good weather.

So was the case with our Yardwarming BBQ party last week. First day of summer, an entire week of nice weather, and...rain on Saturday.  Actually, despite the weather report (which warned of a 70 percent chance of rain), we decided the party must go on, especially since up until 3pm the skies looked clear and beautiful.  In fact, I think that was the exact conversation we were having with our guests when we rolled out the BBQ, started grilling, and then got ambushed by a complete downpour!

But that's the thing about Oregonians.  Without hesitation, question, or the slightest bit of confusion, every person grabbed a chair, drink, and food item and brought it inside without so much as a single word muttered.  It's like ants in a rainstorm...we just know when to run for cover.

Fifteen minutes later, the storm was over and the party continued.  The clouds, which completely drained themselves, retreated, and we even enjoyed five or so hours next to a warm fire outside.

I guess if we had to spend part of the party inside, the best time to do it was at dinner.  And here's what we ate:

Build Your Own Gourmet Hot Dog Bar
Let your guests create their own gourmet hot dogs with dozens of dogs and toppings to choose from.

Citrus-Mango Slaw
2TSP of Sugar
1/3C Rice Vinegar
1/3C Veggie Oil
2 Navel Oranges (peeled and diced)
1 Mango (peeled and diced)
1 Green Cabbage (Shredded)
Salt and Pepper
1/2C of Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Make a dressing out of the sugar, vinegar, and veggie oil.  Distribute over oranges, mango, and cabbage and toss.  Add salt, pepper, and cilantro leaves.

Strawberry Salsa
1Pound Strawberries, diced
1/4C Scallions
1 Jalapeno, diced
1/4C Cilantro
2TBSP Fresh Lime Juice
1TBSP Honey
Combine ingredients in bowl and mull together.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Peach-Bacon Baked Beans (crowd favorite!)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
2 cans of red beans
2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of peaches
1C diced sweet onion
1 can of tomato sauce
1/2C apricot preserves
1/3C molasses
1/3C apple cider vinegar
2TSP cayanne pepper
1TBSP dijon mustard
3/4TSP salt
Combine beans, peaches, onion and bacon in a slow cooker.  In a separate bowl, combine tomato sauce, preserves, molasses, vinegar, cayanne pepper, mustard and salt.  Mix together and pour over beans.  Slow cook on high for three hours.

Broccoli Cheddar Bacon Salad 
6C fresh broccoli florets 
1-1/2C (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 
1/3C chopped onion 
1-1/2C mayonnaise 
3/4C sugar 
3TBSP red wine vinegar 
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled  
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cheese and onion. In a mason jar, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, stir in the bacon.

Passionfruit Iced Tea
8 Packets of Tea (you can always water it down)
2 Gallons of Water
3/4C or so of Passionfruit Syrup (the kind they use in coffees)
One Lemon
Brew tea in the sun the day before.  The day of, add passionfruit syrup.  Stir and add ice.  Create lemon art by zesting lemon in a pattern and then slicing.  Place lemons in iced tea.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
Ok, I made these from box.  Frosting too!  But put them in mini muffin pans and frost using a pastry bag, and they are hit all the same!

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