If you are, like me, still on the fence about what you will be feeding 50+ people this Saturday I have come to help!
Here are my favorite summertime meals. I think a couple of them would make a perfect, low-maintenance, crowd pleaser for this holiday weekend.
As a bonus these ideas are equally healthy, easy and fresh.
Summertime around here consists of gardening, swimming pools, playgrounds, camping, 4-wheeler riding, hiking and anything outdoors. At the end of a hot, sweaty summer day the last thing I want to do is come in the house to cook a pot roast. Much less eat one. Gag.
At the end of a hot day I want something refreshing, something easy, something fast, something I can throw together and cook outside so I don’t have to miss any of the fun.
For all the grill masters out there, I am about to greatly disappoint you. DH has always used a $100 grill from the big box home improvement store. He gets a new one whenever the old model dies, but he never upgrades. I would love for him to have a small Weber. Or a Big Green Egg. Or an entire summer kitchen…….
Since we don’t have the funds, and DH likes his $100 grill, that’s were we are.
This is good news for all the other people out there who are proud owners of Lowes’ $100 grills because these meals don’t care what kind of grill you are using.
Here are my top 4 favorite Summer Meals:
Summer Meal #1: KaBobs
- Kids and grown-ups alike will have fun at a “make your own Kabob” buffet. Instead of a “make your own pizza” buffet, make Kabobs!
- I chop up all the meat, fruit and veggies & let everyone skewer their own meal.
- All the meat, and “sides” are on the stick – so simple.
- Just grill & serve! Add some rice if you’re feeling spunky. Done!
- My Kabob marinade is simple and delicious: 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 TBSP Worcestershire. Brush on kabobs before grilling.
Summer Meal #2: Brat Buffet
- Yes, I eat Bratwurst. Don’t judge me. Our brats are made from our pasture raised pigs (funny story about pigs here). Delicious and healthy!
- I set out all the typical “hot-dog” toppings: chili, cheese, chives, peppers, onions, jalepanos for everyone to make thier own perfect mess.
- Have the nearest 15 year old grill the brats.
- Serve with a bowl of sugar snap peas and tomato slices. Perfect!
Summer Meal #3: Bagels With Creamcheese & Tomatoes
- This is by far one of the most refreshing dinners (great for breakfast or lunch too). Quick, easy, and not too filling. I love to eat this on hot, miserable days.
- Toast the bagels, spread with cream cheese, top with a generous slice of home-grown tomato and sprinkle with salt. For all the details go here.
- Do not forget the salt. The salt is very important. The salt makes it. Must salt.
- All my kids love this.
Summer Meal #4: BLT’s!!!
Number four is not steaks, or burgers. I like my steaks and burgers fried in butter (or lard) in my cast-iron skillet. And I’m too hot to eat a steak right now. My 4th favorite summer dinner is BLT’s of course!
- If you have a garden, you will probably have more tomatoes than you will know what to do with. This is a great way to use some of those tomatoes.
- Yes, my bacon comes from my yard. It’s wonderful and good for me (more on healthy bacon here and here). It also happens to make the best BLT’s in the world. My kids call our fresh bacon “bacon-steak” because it is so thick and hearty. It is not like the grocery store, thin stuff that disappears when you cook it. Bacon steak sandwiches. Mouth watering.
- Slice tomatoes, wash lettuce, fry bacon. Dinner is done.
- If I happened to have lost you at “fry bacon” because frying bacon is a pain, and a disaster, and takes too long – I have the solution! I always fry my bacon in my oven. Always. It’s easy, clean and you don’t have to stand above a hot skillet to cook it. Cover a cookie sheet with foil, put bacon slices flat on foil just touching, put in cold oven. Turn oven on to 425 degrees – cook 20 minutes or until desired crispiness. Once done, transfer onto paper towel to drain (be sure to save the grease – go here to read about that). Perfect every time. To see how I fry bacon in the oven go here.
Hopefully, I’ve given you some fresh ideas for summer dinners, or maybe some inspiration for this weekend’s menu.
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Happy 4th of July Everyone!