Celebrate Summer: Take your BBQ Recipes Up a Notch

Summer is a time for lots of barbecues – Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and, hey, just because. Summer lovers will take any reason just to be outside with friends and family, enjoying the pool, maybe having a beer or two, and, of course, grilling. Even though you can’t quite complain about receiving free food, you have to admit that eating hot dogs and hamburgers gets a little trite when you’re invited to outdoor parties a few weekends in a row. If you’re one of those people who loves to host, you’ve got to have a menu that makes mouths water, so before heading to the food store this summer, try adding the ingredients for these treats onto your list.

Homemade Lemonade

The most refreshing thing on a hot summer day is fresh lemonade. Forgo the sugary, artificial, powdered version and make your own – it makes for some tasty cocktails as well. All you have to do is boil together a cup of water and a cup of sugar in a small saucepan to make simple syrup – be sure to keep stirring it until it’s dissolved. Let it cool, then juice about 5 lemons and stir the two liquids together. Add this solution to four cups of water and serve over ice. If you’re serving it in a clear container, put some lemon slices inside to make it look nice!

For fun alternatives, try soaking different fruits or flavorings in with the lemonade – raspberries, strawberries, oranges, and even mint work well. If you really want to go above and beyond, do a pitcher with a bit of vodka added for some adult lemonade.

Italian Turkey Burgers

By the time your barbecue rolls around, your guests will probably be burgered-out from grilling so much this summer, but everyone wants to fire up their grills. Try turkey burgers, the lean alternative – there’s so much you can do with them!

Make a topping by mixing together warmed sun-dried tomatoes (found in jars at any grocery store), plain nonfat yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of basil.

In a separate bowl, knead a pound of ground turkey with some breadcrumbs, half a diced onion, seasonings of your liking (try oregano, salt, pepper, and fennel), and a small bit of water. Make the turkey mixture into patties – this recipe makes about six. Sprinkle minced garlic over the patties and grill them on well-oiled grill racks. Serve them on whole-wheat buns for more flavor with the yogurt topping and some lettuce.

Fruit and Veggie Kebabs

Have you ever tried grilled fruit? It’s fantastic and flavorful. For a fun treat that’s easy to eat, get some skewers and pile them with combinations of shrimp, mango pieces, strawberry halves, and pineapple chunks. Do another set of chicken sausage, peppers, and onions. Grill them until the meat is cooked through and the fruits and veggies are slightly blackened – kids and adults will love the summery flavors!

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