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Entertaining and dinner parties seem so much less stressful during spring and summer than winter. I think mostly because spring and summer just feels so much more casual and relaxed. You can eat outside, BBQ a nice light and easy meal, and you don’t feel like you have to break out the good china and silverware. Entertaining outdoors just screams fun and layed back.

bbq accessories.jpegI also like to have a few go-to recipes that I’m comfortable making and that don’t require too much prep time, cook time or clean up after. Entertaining should be about spending quality time with family and friends and being able to actually enjoy your time with them. Read on for some great light and easy recipes and some accessories and serveware to help complete them.

Having the right tools and accessories for BBQ’ing makes grilling easier. BBQ tools are usually heavy duty and have nice long handles so you don’t have to get too close to the heat and burners. This Barbecue Tool Set comes with a spatula, brush, two-prong fork and locking tongs and is made from durable stainless steel. All four pieces are also dishwasher safe which means easy clean up, because who wants to sit and wash a whole bunch of dishes after a fun night of entertaining guests.

 

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I’ve been hearing a lot about grilled caesar salad lately and I must say it looks delicious. I found this great recipe from The Neelys at foodnetwork.com that I will be trying out when my next guests come for dinner.

Ingredients: 2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus shaved Parmesan for serving
3 heads romaine hearts, sliced lengthwise in 1/2
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat grill to medium heat.
In a blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Drizzle in 3/4 cup olive oil to emulsify. Add the Parmesan and pulse.
Gently toss the hearts of romaine in remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 minutes, until grill marks appear and the romaine becomes wilted.
Remove the lettuce to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch wide strips. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat and serve warm. Garnish with the shaved Parmesan.
To serve these beautiful salads I am in love with the ocean blue colour of this Tannex Bali Service Platter. Tannex also has a variety of other styles and sizes of serveware to serve the rest of your meal as well.

grill topper.jpgAnother light and easy to prepare meal is stuffed peppers. They are a complete meal, easy to prepare and with almost no clean up. This BBQ Devil Grill Topper is the perfect accessory to cook your stuffed peppers on. It’s made out of sturdy stainless stell and has a perforated surface which allows an even heating and cooking surface. The raised sides makes it easy to place on and remove from the grill, and it’s dishwasher safe which is always a bonus in my books.

This recipe for stuffed peppers from thecoverguy.com will make a nice addition to your next patio party.

 

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Ingredients: whole red sweet bell peppers

whole red tomatoes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1-2 tbsp. fresh basil chopped

1/4 teaspoon oregano

pinch red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cups garlic croutons

1 cup fresh mozzarella

1 lbs of cooked and drained ground beef

sea salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions

In a frying pan sauté the ground beef and drain off fat.

In the same frying pan sauté croutons in 1 tblsp. olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and basil for 3-5 minutes. Add mozzarella, cut into small cubes. Toss to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

For the peppers, cut top off and remove seeds and core from pepper,(Optional) keep the top. Rub peppers with olive oil. Same method used for tomatoes as well.

Fill peppers and tomatoes with mixture. Wrap each in aluminum foil so it doesn’t fall apart.Place peppers on preheated grill over indirect heat.

Grill until peppers are tender and are just beginning to color. Do the same from tomatoes.If you kept the tops throw it on the top of the stuff peppers and tomatoes for show or add some shredded melted cheese.

 

 

canucks BBQ.jpgIn my house we love Mexican food, most importantly soft tacos, and we always go with chicken for the meat. Grilled chicken is even better, especially if it’s seasoned and grilled to perfection. This Sportula Vancouver Canucks 3-Piece BBQ Set is not only a great accessory for any Canucks fan, but also perfect for grilling. I like the hard maple handles that don’t heat up, and the fork is perfect for turning your chicken, and the tongs for serving your sliced chicken into your soft taco shells.

Thanks to myrecipes.com for these grilled chicken soft tacos.

 

 

Chicken Soft Tacos

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Ingredients: 1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Cooking spray

12 (6-inch) white corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sour cream (optional)

 

Directions

 Prepare grill.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub spice mixture over chicken.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; chop.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cabbage and 1 teaspoon cheese. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

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When I’m hosting dinner guests, I like to serve condiments such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole and shredded cheeses in a nice serving dish. This Tannex White Tie 3-Bowl Divider Dish is perfect for all the toppings needed for soft tacos.

To make your BBQ season easy breezy, make sure to have some great accesssories and serveware on hand. I always check to make sure my serveware is dishwasher safe as well because it makes clean up after an evening of entertaining easy.

Check out bestbuy.ca for some great BBQ accessories and serveware to make your spring and summer dinner parties light and easy.

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Title image @ www.wtop.com.