Here’s some hella simple recipes that will knock their socks off and have them all thinking you’re Gordon Ramsay. We have a tailgate barbecue every year and these are some of my favorite quick and delicious recipes that are always crowd pleasers.
1. Red, White, and Blue Jello Shots
In an homage to “Merica” by Earl Dibbles Jr. you have no choice BUT to make the most patriotic cocktail possible. And what’s more patriotic than layers of red, white, and blue jell-o mixed with booze?
I like to make mine with strawberry jello mixed with strawberry vodka, blue raspberry jello mixed with UV blue vodka, and plain gelatin with Malibu for the white layer. These take a little time because you have to let the layers set up a couple hours between, but your friends will be blown away by how cute they look.
2. Caprese Salad Skewers
Just get some mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and basil and stick ‘em on a toothpick. Drizzle them with a little balsamic glaze (I like Bertolli brand but you can make your own). Put them on a cute, festive plate and voila!
3. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is LITERALLY the easiest side dish of all time, but it’s also one of my favorites. All you have to do is boil pasta and toss it with some Italian dressing while it’s still hot. While it cools down, cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, and black olives. Toss those plus some mini pepperoni and slices of mozzarella cheese and you’re in business.
4. Homemade Pickles
Knock it out of the park when you show up with a jar of your own pickles. They’re really easy and pinterest has a million different recipes on how you can make them.
5. Fruit Salad
Obviously everybody knows how to toss a bunch of fruit together to make a salad. But to spice yours up a little more (and keep the fruit from browning) make a dressing of vanilla Greek yogurt, lime juice, and honey for a little more sweetness.
6. Dessert Kabobs
Buy a pound cake from the store along with strawberries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips. Cut the cake into cubes and alternate pieces of cake and fruit onto a wooden skewer. Melt the white chocolate chips and drizzle them over the kabobs, dress them up with some star sprinkles and let them harden. Bonus points if you go to a craft store and get red and blue colored white chocolate too.
7. Blueberry Whiskey Lemonade
Get a jug of lemonade and pour about half of it into another container. Then, pour in your favorite whiskey (but not Fireball cuz that won’t work) until the jug is about ¾ of the way full. Then make a blueberry simple syrup by putting 12 oz of blueberries, ½ cup water, and ½ cup sugar in a sauce pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Strain out the blueberries and then put about a cup of the syrup into the mixture. Then top with soda water for a light fizz. It travels well and is delicious!
And if worst comes to worst, just be in charge of ice and a case of beer.
Nobody will be mad when it comes time to shotgun some beers for ‘Merica.