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Outdoor Barbeque with Bacon

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There is no doubt that spring is known for its beautiful flowers and outdoor weather. This is why everyone needs to take advantage of this and invite some friends over for an outdoor barbeque experience that no one will forget. So fire up that grill of yours and follow these simple tips and fabulous recipes to help make your outdoor party a breeze.

Things to think about before your guests arrive:

1. First things first, make sure you scrub down the patio furniture. No one wants to sit on dirty furniture. Make sure you also have enough patio furniture for everyone so once the food is ready to be eaten everyone has a seat. If you don’t have enough, simple folding chairs are a quick fix.

2. If you decide to have a party during the afternoon as opposed to night, have umbrellas covering your tables or at least make sure you have some shaded area for you guests. Also add some pretty potted plants and flowers on the tables to make it feel more like springtime.

3. Nighttime parties don’t need to have umbrellas (obviously) but you do need extra lighting. Candles are always a great addition and set a mood for a party. If you are thinking about candles then you should buy citronella candles to keep those pesky insects away. You could also put up white Christmas lights or fun and bright patio lights.

4. As far as silverware and plating ideas, use plastic or paper plates. Find some festive and springtime themed paper or plastic plates along with cups. If you are having margaritas then buy some fun colored plastic margarita cups.

5. Most importantly, remember that timing means everything for this party. Make sure whoever is the "griller" knows what he or she is doing and knows exactly how to time all the meats, seafood and veggies just right.

When it comes to food choices for a barbeque party, people have all different tastes and preferences. You can decide on serving the most simple and most predictable foods such as hamburgers, brats and hotdogs or you can be creative and grill up some fancier barbequed dishes. Below is a whole menu/meal planner for a fancier type of barbeque.

For starters you need a couple of appetizers for your guests to snack on since grilling could take a while. Here are some recipes I think would work out fantastically:

Spinach with Bacon Dip

Ingredients

1 frozen pkg. chopped spinach

1 loaf sheepherder’s bread

1 C. sour cream

1 C. mayonnaise

1 envelope dry vegetable soup mix

3 green onions, chopped (optional)

1 small can water chestnuts, chopped (optional)

Directions

Put the frozen spinach in a colander and run water over it until it is thawed out (or put it in the refrigerator ahead of time to thaw it out). While you are doing this, cut the top of the bread off to make a bowl. Chop up the top of the bread and save it to use for the dip. Scoop out the bottom part of the bread to make a place for the dip. Wring out the spinach with your hands to get out all the water. Mix all the ingredients together (except the bread) and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Fill the bread bowl with the dip and serve with the bread, crackers or vegetables.

Every barbeque has to have some side dishes to go along with your grilled meat or seafood. Here are some recipes I have found for you:

American Classic Bacon Potato Salad

Ingredients

6 C. quartered unpeeled small red potatoes

3/4 C. Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise

1 Tbs. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

8 slices Oscar Mayer bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled

1/4 C. chopped fresh chives

Directions

Add potatoes to boiling water; cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mix mayo and mustard in large bowl. Add potatoes, bacon and chives; mix lightly. Refrigerate.

Baked Bean and Bacon

Ingredients

1 (28 oz.) can baked beans

1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces

1 small onion, diced

8 oz. brown sugar

1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard

Few dashes Worcestershire sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.. Pour beans into a 2 qt. casserole dish. Place bacon in a 9 inch skillet, completely covering bottom of pan. Spread brown sugar over bacon and cook on medium heat. When bacon grease starts to bubble up through the sugar, transfer to the casserole dish and mix with beans, onion, and mustard

Grilled Spice Rib Eyed Steaks

Ingredients

8 1-inch thick bone-in rib-eye steaks (1 lb. each)

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground cumin

2 Tbs. kosher salt

Directions

Prepare grill for cooking. Let steaks stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Stir together allspice, cumin, and salt. Pat steaks dry and sprinkle spice mixture onto both sides of steaks to lightly coat, pressing to adhere.

Grill steaks in 2 batches on an oiled rack set 5-6 inches over glowing coals 4-5 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into thickest part of meat registers 130 degrees for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a platter and let stand 10 minutes.

Mesquite Grilled Chicken

Sauce:
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

2 tsp. olive oil or canola oil

1 Tbs. chili powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 tsp. prepared mustard

3 Tbs. finely minced onion

1 lb. chicken breasts, skinned and boned

Directions

In a jar with cover, combine all sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce may be used at once, but the best flavors are achieved if made early in the day. Prepare mesquite coals and cover the grill with foil. Grill chicken over hot coals about 6 minutes. Turn and grill 6 minutes more. Turn again, baste with sauce and cook 4-5 minutes. Turn, baste, and grill 4-5 minutes or until chicken is done. Baste generously with sauce during last few minutes of cooking.

When it comes to beverages, they are just as important as the food. Depending on the temperature outside drinks might be more important since your guests have to keep hydrated.

Have some non-alcoholic beverages available such as lemonade, ice tea, soda and water. As for alcoholic drinks, beer, wine, margaritas or some sort of fruity punch would be perfect. Just make sure you keep an eye on your supply of ice.

Take advantage of the beautiful weather. With time flying by these days, winter could be just around the corner.

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Author: Sarah Potts

2007 Ampere Media LLC, All Rights Reserved Recipe4Living.com features more than 11,000 user submitted recipes, ideas and recipes from Wolfgang Puck, reference guides, healthy living advice, tips for kids, and much more. All of the recipes mentioned in this article can be found at http://www.recipe4living.com

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