How to Have the Perfect Summer BBQ (w/Dessert!)

There are few summer traditions that equal the pure pleasure of a casual backyard barbecue with plenty of tasty side dishes and followed by a chilly dessert.

We’re slowly settling in after our move from San Diego and as much as we’re dreading the cold winter weather, at the moment it’s kind of gorgeous outside so it’s made a nice transition.

We took a break from unpacking to take advantage of the nice weather and had a summer barbecue together as a family.

We’d just taken a trip to the library so my kids were loaded up with fresh reading material. A quick trip to Walmart on the way home to grab some barbecue essentials and we had a quick and easy dinner.

My husband likes to joke that when I bought him the barbecue grill for Father’s Day one year I really bought it for myself because I’ve loved it just as much as he has. Besides the fact that food just tastes better on the grill, it gets me out of cooking and I’ll never turn that down.

So what does the perfect summer barbecue look like?

watermelon smoothie

Appetizer

Wheat thins dipped in cottage cheese (don’t mock it until you’ve tried it. It’s a great low-fat snack)

Drink

Watermelon Smoothie

Main Course

Mushroom/Swiss burger topped with sauteed mushrooms and guacamole. We mixed mushrooms and shredded swiss cheese into each hamburger patty and then topped each burger with extra mushrooms that had been sauteed in just a little bit of butter. If you are trying to cut calories, you can mix in some cooked wheat berries into your meat before forming a patty.

Side Dishes

Baked beans (the real kind made from mostly scratch with lots of crispy bacon and brown sugar)

tortilla chips and salsa

A fresh summer salad filled with brightly colored berries and topped with feta cheese. This is delicious topped with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Dessert

Summertime is all about the ice-cream. Nestle Drumstick Lil’Drums for the kids (they are the perfect size!) and Dreyers Black Rasperry ice-cream for the grown-ups (f you haven’t tried this flavor yet you have absolutely got to).

We ended the night with the perfect sunset.

summer sunset

What does your perfect Summer Barbecue look like?

This shop/project has been compensated as part of a campaign for Nestlé. All opinions are my own.

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