How To Instagram* The Perfect BBQ

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*Disclaimer: My husband has informed me this was not in fact a real BBQ as the actual definition of BBQ is a method and apparatus for char grilling food in the hot smoke of a wood fire, usually charcoal fueled and attended to over an extended period of several hours.

But for all intents and purposes of this post this was a BBQ.  Enjoy!

First things First.  Flowers.

They make the days brighter and the parties merrier.  I went with some beautiful peonies and sunflowers and as a bonus fresh picked wild flowers found right here in Philly.

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Chips and dip and wildflowers.  Now that’s a party!

Next, make sure you’ve got all the right condiment culprits.  I’m a huge French’s yellow mustard fan.  Huge.  But as you can see we included all the key players.

What’s a BBQ without a little cheese in a can?

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Dinnerware is important.

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For outdoor entertaining, I like to use these melamine plates that I’ve collected from various big boxes such as Target and K-mart. They’re reusable, kid friendly, and easy to mix and match.

Let’s talk food.

These buns are the bee’s knees.  If you’re in Philly Le Bus Bakery is a must.  Your burgers (and guests) will thank you.

I mean just look at these buns!

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Are those colorful Fruity Pebbles treats in the far right hand corner?

You better believe it!  Simple and delicious are my two ingredients for a successful BBQ.

Speaking of sweets…

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This banana pudding is always a hit.  I use the classic recipe on the vanilla wafers box (with one or two tweaks) and I add a meringue topping.  If you haven’t played around with meringue you simply must.  It’s a french technique that every chef should  master and definitely proves why french cuisine is le mieux.

Ok, let’s go back to the beginning… Dips.  I think dips are quintessential for any summer gathering.  They don’t require fancy plates or forks.  And you can dress them up or down.  I stuck with my theme of simple and delicious and made a few no bake dips for this BBQ.

This bean dip is on the top of the bean dip pyramid.  In fact, it’s the caviar of all bean dips. Texas Caviar, that is.  With a southern twist of course.

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My neighbor in Florida gave me this version and I swear by it for any party.  This dip was devoured.  Black beans, black eyed peas, shoe peg corn, rotel, veggies, lime, some herbs & spices… all chummed together with Italian dressing.  (I use wishbone as it was the only dressing I found without corn syrup) You can’t go wrong with this one folks.

Next up, refreshments.

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Hydration is so important for summer.  I infused some plain ‘ole purified water with watermelon and lime and another with cucumber and mint for the party.  I’m glad I did.  We had a few non-drinkers and this definitely made for a  light and refreshing drink.

Hey, what time is it?  

Beer-thirty.

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I love that expression.  Throwing a BBQ should most definitely include beer.  Is that prejudice of me?  I hope not.   We went with a case of saison, kolsch, and summer ain’t summer without some pbr’s!

Now back to food.

Pasta Salad…ahhh, so refreshing!

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To complement our burgers (who were camera-shy that day…) I whipped this bad boy up.  I wanted it chock full of veggies too.  I even took to the extreme and went with spinach pasta.  I don’t mess around.   I tossed some italian dressing together with the pasta and added broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sprouts, dried cherries, and walnuts. Really, you can add just about anything. Maybe some blue cheese, bacon… oh that could be good!  This particular rendition is my girlfriend’s ‘recipe’ loosely quoted… as she does not write any of her recipes down.  Drives me bonkers!  I really had to  search my taste buds memories for this one and I think I was close.

So there you have it.  I think you’re ready to throw your own BBQ* (allegedly).

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 Here’s to a fun and refreshing summer and a Happy 4th of July ya’ll!

Yours Truly~

Ashley

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