The 4th of July is coming up, and what could be more all-American than a summer backyard BBQ. We've put together a selection of our most popular family-friendly grilling recipes, along with a few great summer sides, desserts, and other treats. So fire up the grill and cook a feast for family and friends today!
These marinated and grilled short ribs are the perfect thing for a summer backyard BBQ. They only take a few minutes to make and cook (outside of the marinating time), and the sweet-salty soy sauce-based Hawaiian marinade delivers a taste of the islands without having to get on a plane.
You can serve these short ribs in classic Hawaiian plate lunch style, accompanied by two scoops of rice and macaroni salad, but we opted to be a little healthier and make an island-style sesame-cabbage slaw that has added texture from crumbled dry instant ramen noodles.
You'll want to get Hawaiian-style—also called Maui- or flanken-style—short ribs, which are cut in thin strips across the bone. These don't need to be marinated all that long, and only need to be grilled a few minutes on each side. The marinade works great with chicken or pork, too.
Who doesn't love a sweet, refreshing, frozen treat during the summertime? Make it a little more healthy with sweet fresh strawberries and tangy Greek yogurt. You don't even need an ice cream maker to make this dessert.
It's fantastic scooped into a cone or frozen into ice pop molds—whatever tickles your fancy this summer. My kids and I made this sorbet with fresh strawberries that we picked up at the farmers market.
While our recipe calls for strawberries, you can use whatever fresh berries you happen to have. Frozen berries work perfectly well, too, so you can make this at any time of year. You can also feel free to substitute low-fat yogurt, but do try to use extra thick Greek yogurt; it makes a difference.
Summer means it's time to fire up the grill and cook something delicious for dinner. One of the hardest things to cook on the grill is whole chicken. It's too easy to end up with a birds that's charred on the outside and underdone on the inside, but I think this technique is almost foolproof and results in a perfectly cooked chicken every time. It also speeds up the cooking time.
I like to marinate the chicken for a few hours—or overnight, if I'm thinking ahead—in a citrusy, herb-laded mixture that's full of great Mediterranean flavors. I can't say that it's purely Greek or Italian, but it uses flavors common in each cuisine. It helps to have an herb garden just steps from the kitchen door, too!
Feel free to vary this recipe to suit your taste. For example, I sometimes replace the oregano with fresh chopped rosemary for something equally delicious. Whatever variation I decide on, this is one of my go-to dishes for a summer cookout.
In addition to your standard grilling tools, you'll need a heavy weight to press down on the chicken while it's cooking. A cast iron skillet or even a brick wrapped in aluminum foil works great.
The warm days of summer call for something cool and refreshing to drink, and my family thinks this homemade strawberry lemonade fits the bill perfectly. The combination of sweet berries and tart lemons makes for a truly special summertime treat.
It's easier to make than you think, and it's much better than the stuff you get from a bottle or can. Plus, you have the added assurance of knowing exactly what goes into it.
You don't have to use strawberries, either—other sweet summer berries like blueberries or blackberries are also equally delicious. Any way you make it, it's fantastic!
I know some people who say that pizza is one of those dishes that's always better when you dine out. I respectfully disagree! While that might be true for topping-laden old-school American pizza, we've been successfully making some pretty wonderful Italian-style pizzas right here at home. Unfortunately, we lack a wood-burning pizza oven in the backyard (someday…), but we get some good results in a regular home oven with a little preparation and a few tricks.
As for tomatoes, I often use good quality canned plum tomatoes pureed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a clove of garlic. If I have really good fresh tomatoes, I'll often just slice them thinly or puree them on their own. We're really looking forward to later on this summer when we can go and grab some fresh tomatoes straight out of the garden!
Marin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.
Do you love chicken chow mein but want a healthy alternative? Making it yourself is not only quick and easy but you control what you are putting into the dish unlikely what you might get at a restaurant. In this recipe, I use whole-wheat pasta as a healthier alternative for noodles. The sauce is simple with easily found ingredients from most any grocery store. Don’t order out, eat in with a dish you will be proud you gave your family!
Few things signify that summer is finally here as much as the easy availability of fresh and juicy stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Now that we're seeing delicious peaches at the farmers' market and in the produce section of the supermarket, why not make a fantastic dessert like peach crumble? This recipe is a summertime staple in our house, especially when my mom brings over a load of peaches fresh off the tree in her front yard.
Fruit crumbles don't look as pretty and require less work than pies, but are just as delicious. Born out of the need for rationing flour and sugar during World War II, crumbles, in their basic form, involve a fruit filling covered with a crumbly flour, sugar, and butter topping. It's something that's easy enough for the kids to help make, too. They love to mix up the crumble topping and spread it on top of the fruit filling.
As Memorial Day and summer approach, try this easy recipe for Mexican-style carne asada on the grill. Soak thin slices of beef in a citrus-based marinade, grill it over a charcoal fire, and serve it alongside grilled green onions and hot homemade tortillas. Carne asada is often the centerpiece of a festive occasion, so it's the perfect thing to make for your next backyard BBQ.
This time, we made our own homemade flour tortillas, which are customary in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. They're surprisingly easy to make, and are far more delicious than any store-bought ones we've tried.
For the carne asada
1 1/2 pounds sirloin tips or skirt steak
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 to 6 limes)