Summer BBQ Tips from the Today Show

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Here are all the tips you need to plan a fantastic, last minute barbeque. Save time and create a yummy, family friendly celebration with these summer entertaining ideas! Keep it simple. Stick with what you know- use seasonal foods, flowers and décor! Involve the family-delegate age appropriate responsibilities for the kids so they are involved in creating the party too.

Food:
Barbecues are the official past time of summer. Flavor is key to a good bbq, marinating and tenderizing are essential. I love a great marinade and I’ve found an instant easy way to throw together a last minute bbq. I use the VaccuVin Instant Marinater. It tenderizes and marinades any delicious recipe in less than 10 minutes! And, to keep your food from wilting in the summer heat use the Vacu Vin Barbeque Cooler Plate. You can find these online at sites like KitchenCoture.net.

Watermelon is a quintessential summer fruit- Use a melon scoop and create watermelon balls and freeze. Serve the frozen scooped Watermelon in paper cones and “voila” an iced watermelon snow cone treat that kids and adults will love! Serve these in an ice filled sand pail. Another fun way to serve this old summer stand by is to use it in a salsa;
You’ll need:
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup fresh chopped scallions
• 1 clove fresh minced garlic
• 1 or 2 minced seeded jalapeño pepper, or to taste
• 1 cup fresh raspberries
• 1/2 cup organic sugar
• 1 cup minced watermelon
• 8 ounces light cream cheese
• Whole grain crisp flatbreads or crackers
1. Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium high heat
2. Sauté the scallions, garlic and jalapeños until toasted.
3. Reduce heat to low and add the raspberries and sugar to the pan.
4. Bring to a slow simmer and stir occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
5. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. Stir in watermelon.
Serve
1. Place the cream cheese on a platter.
2. Pour some salsa over the cream cheese.
3. Serve with flatbreads or crackers.
4. Serve chips with the remaining salsa.
5. Makes about 3 cups of salsa. Serve it in an eco friendly TruBamboo bowl.


Bring summer to your back yard with this fun cake that you and your kids can make together and decorate! Choose a sandcastle mold with a vanilla cake mix and use your imagination for your décor!

Beverage:
A summer drink is key for your bbq, always have plenty of water on hand, and serve lemonade infused with mint, strawberries or raspberries. Save calories and instead of sugar use a sweetener such as Splenda. Use a festive pitcher for a stylish presentation! Also, have a couple bottles of white wine and a few cases of beer on hand as well.

Décor:
Presentation is a key way to make a simple party look impressive. Summer is the best time for Yellows- Marigolds and sunflowers are gorgeous and inexpensive. You can pull a bunch from your garden or local nursery such as plantnj.com Place them in a homemade watermelon vase for an “oh-wow” factor.

Serve pineapple pieces on skewers toped with mint and balsamic vinegar. Insert skewers in carved out watermelon rinds, trays of wheat grass or sand buckets!

Environmentally friendly is chic and hot this summer. Bamboo is the big serving ware item. Use bamboo plates, bowls, serving platters and flatware. Mason jars or cups tied with raffia can be re-purposed and filled with napkins and flatware.
The key to a great bbq napkin is size. The bigger the better. And always have handy wipes available too. To find eco -friendly napkins you can personalize go foryourparty.com

Keep the bugs away with these attractive rope votive citronella candles found at UncommonGoods.com or amazing anti mosquito lavender scented incense sticks by Artcade found at generalhomestore.com.

When attending a summer bbq its always nice to bring a little something. Any of these gadgets help put the sizzle in your friend’s bbq…Here are my favorite summer gift suggestions:

OutSet Magnetic Light for BBQ Tools This great new gadget is perfect for those who like to barbecue well into the night, as it functions like a mini-flashlight, found at KitchenCoture.net.
Folding Grill Tongs- great for the grill prep master! You can find it online at surlatable.com

The Metrokane Vertical Rabbit opens wine in seconds. It is truly an amazing gift. Perfect to bring with a bottle of wine to your barbeque! You can find it online at KitchenCouture.net


You can never have enough trivets! The Table Talk Trivet inspires conversation at your table! Uncommon Goods online has a great selection of all kinds of quirky fun tabletop helpers!

Happy summer! For more entertaining tips please Visit on www.rivaevents.com video