In the past, the husbo & I have had summer BBQs on our rooftop at whatever apartment community we lived at – but since our last building didn’t have a rooftop, we haven’t had a cookout the past couple of years. Now that we’ve lived in our town home for a year, and have recently renovated our outdoor areas, we decided it was about time to have a housewarming/ my birthday celebration BBQ, so we could reignite our summer tradition.
Usually we would go to Costco for ingredient shopping, and buy everything in bulk – burger patties, hotdogs, buns, beer, chips, etc. but I wanted to do something different. I wanted us to embrace the (amateur) chefies we have become, and attempt a gourmet BBQ.
This was our spread below. We had originally set up everything outdoors and I had a beautiful palm leaf print tablecloth, but we had to bring everything indoors because it was wayyy too hot. That, and everyone was hanging out indoors, in the AC.
btw, that’s my half eaten falafel that I put down to take the photo! lol.
We found the recipes on the interwebs, and then customized them to our liking.
- saucy asian meatballs — we used ground lamb instead
- baby spinach/ strawberry/ goat cheese/ candied pecan salad — don’t have a recipe for this but it’s pretty straightforward to prepare
- watermelon/ feta/ blackberry skewers w/ balsamic reduction drizzle — the balsamic reduction was courtesy of a friend, who taught me how to make it (all you do is boil down balsamic until it thickens! who knew!)
- meatless meatballs from trader joe’s w/ same ginger hoisin marinade
- stacy’s multigrain pita chips
- kettle brand korean BBQ chips — these chips are the BEST and totally remind me of chips from HK
- chocolate chip cookies
- gourmet franks w/ herbed goat cheese/ sautéed onions/ jalapeño slices
- vanilla/ chocolate/ nutella cakepops — didn’t find this recipe on the interwebs and can’t share it with you guys because it’s a secret, sorry homes!
- buttered corn on the cob
- gourmet franks w/ pesto smear/ mozzarella pearls/ heirloom tomatoes/ balsamic drizzle
- grilled vegetable cajun pasta salad — tweaked the recipe since we wanted to serve it cold, with rotini instead, and no chicken/ sausage
- assorted mediterranean dips
- trader joe’s falafel
- rosé champagne jello squares — these were so yummy! thank goodness we did a trial run of this recipe a couple of weeks ago, but the first time round they came out super strong. see photo below!
- rosé & watermelon ice lollies not pictured because we totally forgot to put them out; also we didn’t use orange liqueur like the recipe called for
It was so much fun making all the food for the party; we spent days preparing for it, and put together an excel spreadsheet with everything that needed to be done. We even forced my bff4l, who was visiting from NY, to help with the mis en place (sorry, Avita!) but we seriously underestimated how much there was to do! And how much food we had left over! It’s been three days since the party and we’re still eating the food.
I also want to share the fun peony petal ice cubes that I made for the champagne bin. I first saw the idea somewhere on facebook, and thought it was absolutely brilliant! It was so easy, and a cheap way to dress up the party. I usually buy flowers for the home on a weekly basis anyway, and would have thrown them out once the petals fall off- so it was a win-win for me. This is definitely going to become my thing anytime we have a party!
photo cred: bff4l
rosé champagne jello shots || awesome sushi plate is from cb2