Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Special Summer Gatherings

We love entertaining outdoors here at Windy Poplars! There is something so relaxed, informal, and simple about an old fashioned hot-dog roast that appeals to all ages. Gathering 'round the campfire with good friends and good food? That spells S.U.M.M.E.R. to us.

Keeping the menu simple though, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your foodie sensibilities! Amp up the gourmet factor of your next roast by offering quality meat (we like 100% Angus beef with no nitrates added) - even throwing in some fully cooked sausage options if you want your campfires to be the talk of the town! 

Potato salad is an American summertime staple, so find a variation with a little something special to it, and make it your signature. Mine is Roasted Potato with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Salad. Just typing it makes my mouth water! 
Baked beans from a can? Easily dress them up with an additional (rinsed and drained) can of butter beans, some cooked pancetta, and a swirl of maple syrup on top. 

And when it comes time for the grand finale? Make your s'mores bar something to write home about by offering two (or three or four!) varieties of marshmallows to choose from, and instead of the traditional milk chocolate bars, offer a selection of Ghirardelli squares.

All of these things can be prepped ahead (assemble and keep your beans hot in your crockpot), and then pulled out at the very same moment your friends are pulling in. Summer entertaining ease at its finest!

Do you have a favorite summer cookout recipe? Feel free to share the link in the comment section below!



  1. Looks awesome, Kristin! I'd come!! :)

  2. Those sausage links! Those pink marshmallows! Love it all!

  3. You may be aware of this already, but if you're a fan of Peanut Butter, Reese cups make an amazing substitution for the chocolate in s'mores. I'm particularly fond of the holiday versions (eggs, pumpkins, trees, hearts) as they have more PB filling in them. :-)

  4. We love having bon fires in the summer time months too!! Smores can be made sooo many ways..instead of chocolate you can use your favorite candy (think reeces, mallow cups, etc) and you can always use chocolate grahams instead of regular! Love the idea for the sausages too! Since we're all 'southern' here..I shouldnt have to remind you how great bologna is grilled!


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