One of my family’s favorite things to do is BBQ. My husband is a magician behind a smoker, both my father and father-n-law have mad grilling skills, and our friends are super talented in this arena as well. When it comes to sides, I enjoy a variety of food, but we do have our “go to” recipes that never let us down at any BBQ or neighborhood gathering.
The key to any good BBQ is figuring out how to stay calm and wait for your food, right? I’m pretty impatient in all things, so I have a pre-BBQ solution that is yummy and can be paired well with beer.
Spicy Garbanzo Beans
1 can garbanzo beans (organic is best)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open and drain your garbanzo beans in a colander and take time to dry them a bit. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle the olive oil. Stir the beans well. Spread them out on an oven pan. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Move the beans around so they are all covered. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Open the oven, move the beans around a bit, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Open and move them around a final time and bake again for 6 extra minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish. These salty snacks pair well with your favorite beer or soft drink. They are delicious for adults, and my kids love them as well. They really take the pain out of waiting for the food to grill.
My husband loves cream cheese filled mushrooms, like the ones shoppers can buy at the meat counter. I can make the exact same thing for MUCH cheaper at home. This is a win with him, with me, and with our BBQ companions. These mushrooms also go along well with the meal.
Cream Cheese Mushrooms
1 package whole mushrooms
½ package of 8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup shredded cheese (Colby Jack is what we use)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Take the stems off of the mushrooms and wash that edible fungus well. Form the tin foil into a tray shape that will go directly on the grill. Place the mushrooms upside down on the tin foil. Take the cream cheese and microwave until soft. Stir until smooth. Add the garlic and cayenne and mix it up. Take a dollop (I’ve always wanted to use that word) of the cheese mixture and fill all of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Add to the grill for about 30 minutes. Enjoy.
This next recipe I retrieved from my favorite cookbook, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Again, I have never worked my way so thoroughly through a cook book and had so much approval from my family. It’s really worth the time. This is a dessert and requires a person to prep before heading out to the BBQ, but it’s healthy and yummy!
Graham Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated zest of lemon
16 graham crackers broken into squares
Shredded coconut (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and freeze for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the mixture starts to thicken.
To form the sandwiches, scoop out and then press about ¼ cup of the semi-frozen yogurt mixture between two graham cracker squares. Wrap each in waxed paper and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
If using coconut, put some on a plate and dip all four edges in the sandwich to coat.
My kids, the neighbor kids, and my husband love these sandwiches. I have altered this recipe if I didn’t have coconut or lemon zest, and it still tasted delicious. In addition, my oldest child eats the frozen yogurt part without the graham crackers like an ice cream. No matter how you alter it, this is the perfect, healthy-ish, summertime treat, and an excellent finale for a warm summer night.
What is your go-to dish for summertime gatherings? Share them with us on the blog or Facebook. Thank you for reading!