16 Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

*This post is sponsored by Foodie and Mode.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, these recipes look freaking awesome and I can’t wait to make them.

Check out Outdoor Entertaining

by Sharon Garofalow (Cupcakes and Cutlery) at Foodie.com

Ahhhh, Memorial Day.  Does that signal the start of summer for you too?  I mean, we still have about a month left of school (I know, it is SO late!) but that doesn’t stop us for hosting barbecues and kicking off the summer grilling season.  But eating outside sometimes means we either make a signature dish over and over (because we nail it every time) or that we are scared to try something out of the ordinary because eating outside provides a host of challenges (breakable plates, temperature control, grody bugs).  These 16 recipes for outdoor entertaining are just what you need for all your upcoming parties.  I’ve included some drinks, entrees and side dishes for creating a delicious meal for your guests or even just your family.  I’ve included some familiar dishes, like a bbq burger that looks crazy good (and has a little whiskey in it…) but I’ve also included some not so traditional grilled items like Grilled Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries.  How good do those sound?!  Make what you are comfortable with but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I speak from experience when I say that even if you make a mistake in front of people that you don’t know very well, it is not the end of the world.  It happens.  More than I care to admit.  I remember this one time in particular when I realized I had used tablespoons instead of teaspoons a little too late.  Oops!  But it wasn’t the end of the world.  And they’ve even come back since.  I am excited to get creative this summer with my recipe repertoire.  And I’m going to start with these Basil Beerades.



Smirnoff Sorbet Light Cocktails for Memorial Day and Beyond

cocktail ideas for memorial day and summer barbecuesMemorial Day is this weekend!  Will you be barbecuing?  Our family, along with probably everyone else in my neighborhood, will be outside, grilling food and sipping cold drinks.  When the weather warms up, I like to try to find a new “go-to” drink.  Since this summer I will be vacationing where temperatures reach well over 100 degrees (which means I will be forced to wear a swimsuit), I need something that is delicious and refreshing but without a ton of calories or sugars.

This is a sponsored post by Smirnoff Sorbet Light.  All reviews/opinions expressed in this post are unbiased and based on my personal view.  And yes I did want my title to sound like Buzz Lightyear was saying it. Smirnoff sent me their new line of infused vodkas, Smirnoff Sorbet Light, to try and they are exactly what I was looking for.  They have only 78 calories per 1.5 ounce serving which makes them light so I don’t feel super guilty about having a cocktail.  The best part is they taste natural and do not have any sort of diet-y aftertaste.

memorial day barbecue ideasI love to barbecue when the weather gets warmer but the menu can get pretty boring if you aren’t careful.  It is usually just steak and corn, or at least at my house it is.  I invited a few friends over for a little lunch barbecue to try out something a little different.  My amazing friend, Amy (who used to write the most delicious food blog) put together this awesome grilled lunch to show us how we can change-up our menu.  This grilled shrimp and hearts of romaine salad was insanely good and super easy since it was paired with a store-bought cilantro dressing.  And remember shrimp grill up super fast so you won’t be stuck over the hot grill for long.  Nothing is better than sweet grilled onions, am I right?  The grilled tomato skewers are a fun take on a caprese appetizer and are sweet and juicy.  And while I have never met a loaf of bread that I didn’t like, this grilled crostini is what dreams are made of.  I will be recreating this menu on Memorial Day for sure.

mixing drinksThe Smirnoff Sorbet Light Vodkas come in three, perfect for summer flavors, Lemon, Raspberry Pomegranate and Mango Passion Fruit. Perfect for making light cocktails.

Smirnoff Sorbet Light lemon TeaI’m an iced tea lover so this black tea based cocktail had to be tried:

Smirnoff Sorbet Light Lemon Tea

1.5 oz Lemon Smirnoff Sorbet Light

3 oz Unsweetened Black Tea

.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

.25 oz Agave Nectar

Mix well and serve over ice.

YUM!  And totally refreshing.

summer barbecue ideasHosting a barbecue is a good time to invite friends to try something new.  Most of us get stuck in a rut and it doesn’t take much to push us out of it again.  Set out some simple recipes and ingredients and have everyone pour their own cocktails.  Chances are, they will give something new a shot.  Or maybe they’ll just have a shot.  And that is when the party gets really fun. (Please drink responsibly).

grilled dessert for memorial day and summer barbecueI’m pretty sure I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth.  If you haven’t tried grilled pound cake yet you better get on it!  Amazing!  Like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch amazing.  And just that quick grill on the bread adds a whole new depth of flavor to a simple berries and cream dessert.  I’d like to also note that this creme fraiche had honey in it which made me want to sing love songs to it.  So simple, but SO delightful.

summer cocktails pink and orangePassion fruit is one of my favorite flavors ever so I really enjoyed the Mango Passion Fizz but the big winner was the Raspberry Lemon Punch.  Total crowd pleaser.

Smirnoff Sorbet Light Mango Passion Fizz

1.5 oz Mango Passion Fruit Smirnoff Sorbet Light

.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz Agave Nectar

2 oz Club Soda

Shake up first 3 ingredients and top with Club Soda.

Smirnoff Sorbet Light Raspberry Lemon Punch

1.5 oz Raspberry Pomegranate Smirnoff Sorbet Light

4 oz Lemonade

4 raspberries muddled

Muddle 4 raspberries in a glass and add cold lemonade and Smirnoff Sorbet Light.

smirnoff sorbet light for summer barbecuesHuge thank you to Lauren and Amy for helping me out with my little lunch barbecue (Lauren did all my floral styling and Amy did all the food)  I know testing cocktails and eating delicious food can be such hard work.  Wink.  And thank you Smirnoff for introducing me to your delicious new product.  While this was a sponsored post by Smirnoff Sorbet Light all opinions are my own.

What are your favorite summer drink flavors?