Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grilling Up a Backyard BBQ?

Perhaps it's the cabin fever from a stormy weekend, but tonight we're inspired by a fan request for anniversary backyard BBQ ideas! So here's a few ideas we've pulled together to get your creative juices flowing. 

The beauty of throwing a summer party is a simple menu. Of course, the traditional fare (hot dogs, hamburgers, and shish kabobs!) are always a given, but if you're in the mood to add a bit of the Hamptons to your hometown shindig, we suggest adding a special to your menu: lobster rolls! Try this great recipe or order a copy of this cookbook by the famous LUNCH on Long Island's East End. If you'd rather be chilling than grilling, many caterers offer BBQ packages where they haul everything in, right down to the the red-checkered tablecloths and lemonade spigots! In the New York area? Call my friends over at Thomas Preti Caterers (212-764-3188), who offer this amazing summer BBQ menu. And no matter what you choose, go local! There is nothing sweeter than farmstand corn-on-the-cob. For dessert, it's all about fruit! So pass some (spiked) popsicles, grill up some peaches, and get fresh with whipped cream parfaits.

Mason jars, galvanized buckets, potato sacks, and lanterns...mix it up a bit because there's no such thing as matchy-matchy in your backyard. is a one-stop shop for all of those items at a good price. The key to pulling it all together is a uniform color palette like red & white (seen in this photo by our friend Matthew Robbins)--and no need to spend a fortune. Pick an inexpensive bloom (like these white dahlias) in a single color to make a big impact on just a few pennies. Carnations and gerbers also work for this purpose. The key to summer flowers at backyard bashes? Durability. Don't waste your dime on flowers that'll wilt or brown in hot weather (like gardenias, sweet peas or lily of the valley). Consult with your florist on your safest bet. Cover your tables with a conscience: in 100% recycled kraft paper . Simply roll it out, cut it, and toss back into your recycled paper stash at the end of the night. Be sure to place colored pencils at the kids table for a built in activity! (Skip the crayons if its super hot--they'll melt. Trust me, it's happened!)

Bugs can totally put the kibosh on summer fun--so don't skip out on offering protection. Have a basket of family-friendly, fresh-smelling bug repellent sprays for those who'd like to keep themselves bite-free, and stock up on that citronella. If you're feeling super-craft, you can even make your own candles like these! 

Keep the requests coming. . .We're loving all this event inspiration! Oh, and that awesome retro Lemonade Spigot is from Uncommon Goods. It's an investment at $135, but I think it can be used 135 times, don't you? 

PHOTOS: The Knot, Martha Stewart, Matthew Robbins Design/Artfool,

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