Backyard barbecue season is finally here, and we're excited to get outside and start grilling! We want to keep the relaxed and easy feel of a barbecue, while upgrading your table, food and drinks to make it a more elegant affair.
Use a Skid for a Table
Grab a big blanket to spread on the grass, or use a few outdoor carpets and overlap them. Toss some comfy throw pillows around, so everyone can lounge and relax. If you want some extra height you can prop skid up on a few bricks, or stack two on top of each other. Here are some gorgeous examples we found on Pinterest!
Use real plates and cutlery with cloth napkins - nothing disposable! Add charger plates as well for a classier look. We got our friends at Sweet Pea Cookies to make us some gorgeous sugar cookies to use as a place card for our table setting, and it also doubles as a take home favour for your guests - if you manage to not eat it before then!
Fresh flowers are beautiful and make everything look more elegant! Our friends at Hiway Flowers made us all these stunning bud vases that would look fabulous tucked into a garland of greenery along your table.
It’s not a barbecue until there is food! We've got two quick and easy recipes for you, that look like showstoppers!
First up, kebabs, but with a twist! Instead of putting them on wooden or metal skewers, we're going to use rosemary springs instead! Strip leaves from the bottom few inches of the woody part of the stalk of rosemary, and then soak sprigs in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile cut up whatever vegetables and meat you'd like into pieces about an inch thick. Poke holes in your veggies and meat in advance so they're easy to slide on to your rosemary. Put on the grill until your meat is cooked through. The rosemary adds a lovely flavour to the food, and the presentation is fantastic!
Corn on the cob is a barbecue staple, and we’re going to elevate it by cooking it on the grill, and adding an herb butter to it. Just rub olive oil on the corn, and then put it right on a hot grill and close the lid. Turn it a few times, but shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes. Before hand make up a simple herb butter - we used basil, but any herb will do. This is a great way to use the rosemary you’ve stripped from the skewers! Add a loosely packed cup of herbs to a food processor or blender and roughly chop a few times. Add a cup of butter and a tablespoon of sea salt and blend until your herbs are finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint. You might need to scrape down the sides a few times. The butter can be made ahead and extra herb butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it. It's great for cooking or to simply put on toast.
Every outdoor event needs a great signature cocktail. We’re going to make a Campari Flamingo Cocktail. Campari has a great citrus and herb flavour that is great for summer, and it’s bright colour makes cocktails look great.
Campari Flamingo Recipe (adapted from www.seriouseats.com)
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 to 2 limes
1 1/2 ounce aged rum, such as Appleton Estate
1/2 ounce Campari
3 ounces pink grapefruit soda or blood orange soda - for a lighter taste use flavoured soda water
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add lime juice, rum, and Campari. Shake well.
Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Add grapefruit soda, stir gently and serve.
To serve a large party, mix lime juice, rum and Campari in pitcher in advance, and then just add the grapefruit soda individually.