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Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Summer Barbecue

When the weather gets warmer and the days longer, casual and easy barbecues are in order. I love to keep things simple but focus on small details to add a personal touch to the evening.

Flowers are a great way to add color to your outside seating area, or around your buffet. Hydrangeas are full flowers that look good and require minimal flower arranging skill. Leave the leafs on the stems to add to the fullness of the arrangement. Also mix and match colors for added dimension.

Flowers are not just meant for vases, add edible ones to food arrangements or on cakes.

You can also add color by using unique serve wear and glasses.

The food and beverages can be part of the decor. Arrange nicely and simply creating a clean and beautiful look. Try to avoid sloppily serving food.

When deciding on a barbecue menu, pick out a few meat based recipes to barbecue. Stick with simple and classic dishes like shish kebabs and sliders. Barbecuing corn is always easy and is a fun side dish for your guests that requires very little preparation.

In addition to what you will be barbecuing, I like to make a few cold side dishes that will not go bad if they sit for a while (people come and go and it's nice to have good food for everyone).

I usually go with a basic potato salad and then something more unique and unexpected. This time around I went for a beat and quinoa salad to add a pop of color to my arrangement. I've been obsessed with this dish as of late. It's my own creation, based on one I had eaten at a farmer's market last month. It's delicious and fresh and tastes great even after sitting for a while. 

In terms of beverages, amplify whatever you decide to serve. Meaning, if you go for an easy, frozen lemonade, add lemon slices to give it a more colorful and put together look. 

Lastly, be sure to enjoy your time with your friends and loved ones. Don't stress so much that you don't get a chance to sit down and enjoy the good food and company. That's always a hard one for me!

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