Aah ... barbecue season!
Perfect proof that a homey meal can be as delicious and fun as any big-deal restaurant event. We've bumped up the flavors of backyard classics and made them lighter — and given you so many variations, you'll never get bored! Encourage everyone to pitch in — shucking corn, minding the grill, refilling drinks. It's not just easier on you: They'll feel part of the event — and even more welcome.
Get the casual look that's just right for an outdoor feast:
Choose informal blossoms, such as daisies or bee balm. You can purchase flowers, like the dahlias and chamomile, or pick whatever's blooming in your garden. You can even look around your yard for pretty weeds, including clover flowers, purple nettles, and Queen Anne's lace.
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Arrange the flowers loosely in ultrasimple containers, such as buckets and jars.
Group the containers with natural found objects like rocks, graceful branches, or shells.
Change it up!
Suit the recipe to your taste — it will be just as yummy whatever ingredients you choose. Try one of these swaps:
Fruit: plums, pears, or apricots rather than peaches
Topping: crisp store-bought meringues, peanut brittle, or toasted nuts instead of macaroons
Sauce: honey, maple syrup, or fudge sauce to stand in for caramel
Chicago-Style Buffalo Dogs
Turkey Spinach Burgers
Pasta Salad with Cucumber, Red Pepper, and Feta
Grilled Mexican Corn
Watermelon with Lime and Ginger Syrup
Grilled Peaches with Macaroons and Caramel Sauce
Recipes by Jean Kressy