June 21st marks the official 1st day of summer and summer isn’t complete without a backyard BBQ! July 4th is a perfect time to host your first bbq of the season. Coincidentally, July happens to be National Grilling Month. Did you know, they say grilled foods are known to be healthier than foods cooked on the stove or in the oven? When food is grilled it retains more of its vitamins and minerals compared to baking or frying.
If you are not an expert on the grill, but still need to bring a side dish to your next get together, consider some of these favorites. We asked members of our team at the Best Corporate Events office. What is your most famous barbeque side dish? Is there that one side item or appetizer your friends always want you to bring to their barbeque?
Libby in sales recommends her Blondies for dessert. Check out the recipe below.
- 2 sticks butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 (12 oz) bag of semi-chocolate chips
- 1 (6 oz) bag of m&ms for on top of brownies
Preheat oven to 350 and spray 13×9 pan. Mix first five (5) ingredients in a bowl until creamy. Then add remaining ingredients (except chips) – add chips after mixing flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread mixture in the pan. Top mixture with the m&ms. Bake for 30-40 mins – taking out and shaking pan half-way through cooking.
Cathy our COO recommends her Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.
- 1 16 oz spring greens (with spinach with desired)
- 1 quart of strawberries, halved and sliced
- 1 large can (15 oz) mandarin oranges
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
- Brianna’s Poppyseed dressing
Melissa in sales said her family loves these Red, White and Blue Double Berry Coconut Pops!
Red, White and Blue Double Berry Coconut Pops
- 7 oz hulled fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped (about 1½ cups lightly packed chopped strawberries)
- 3 packets powdered stevia, divided (more or less depending on how sweet your berries are; or you can use any sweetener you like)
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 1 packet stevia (you will get about 1 cup of strawberry liquid.) Pour about 2 tablespoons into each of 9 popsicle molds (it should fill each mold about ⅓ of the way; if you have extra, pour it into the 10th mold). Freeze this layer until solid, or nearly solid for a more “tie-dyed” look.
Jessica, our sales coordinator makes the best American Flag cake with blueberries and raspberries on top in the formation of the flag. Sandy in accounting is known amongst her friends for bringing the Hormel Chili Dip with Scoops. Karen in Sales says her friends can’t get enough of her Peanut Butter Brownies. (We are wondering when she is going to bring these into the office for us to try!) Mychelle our Production Manager said her BLT Pasta Salad is always a hit. Gina in Marketing loves to whip up some watermelon flavored margaritas for all her friends on a hot summer day. Hearing all these yummy recipes makes me question, why have we not had more potlucks in the office!?
Check out these fun facts about grilling.
- 63% of the US population grills monthly.
- 62% of Americans own an outdoor grill (63% gas grill; 51% charcoal grill).
- The four foods grilled most often are #1 Hamburgers, #2 Steak, #3 Hotdogs, #4 Chicken.
- The 4th of July is the largest grilling holiday, followed by Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
So whether you host your family, friends or co-workers, get the grill fired up this July 4th. And as a friendly reminder to be safe. Never leave your grill unattended and keep children and pets away from the grill for a delicious and safe grilling experience. Happy 4th!