Living in the city (or very near one like we do) has a lot of advantages, but personal outdoor space isn’t one of them. We are, in fact, the only couple in our group of friends who actually has a yard. So when we sent out the casual invite to come over for a cookout last weekend, we had an overwhelmingly positive response.
When I entertain for a mixed group of adults and kids, I really try to avoid making two separate menus, but instead make dishes that will be enjoyed by all (with a few exceptions). Dinner included barbeque ribs, this wonderful sweet tea brined chicken, green beans with pancetta and mint, macaroni and cheese and fruit salad. For the kiddies (all of them were 3 and under) I made sure that we had an abundance of bubble solution for our bubble machine, a giant inflatable sprinkler and plenty of sidewalk chalk. For the grown ups we had lots of booze, including some very tasty margaritas that I served in mason jars (recipe to follow).
The best part about a backyard barbeque? Unlike other dinner parties, the time spent cooking is pretty minimal. I roasted the ribs and chicken in the oven earlier in the day so that all I had to do was finish them off on the grill. I also prepared the macaroni and even the margaritas a couple of days ahead of time. Steaming some green beans and cutting up fruit doesn’t take much time and it gave me the opportunity to come inside and cool off.
Cheers to the first of many meals to be enjoyed outside with good friends, and to another wonderful summer!
Makes about 2 dozen
- 10 cans limeade concentrate
- 1 liter grapefruit juice
- 1 750 ml tequilla
- 2 cups triple sec
I make these in one of those giant plastic containers that pretzels and other snacks come in from Costco or Sams. You’ll need something large that is sealable and will fit in your freezer. Simply dump everything in and stir until it’s blended. Close up the container and stick it back in the freezer until you need them. I ladled mine into mason jars earlier in the day and froze them again and then just took them out as needed.
This isn’t the most authentic recipe in the world, but they are GOOD.