Menu Ideas: A&K’s Summer BBQ Spread

Monday, 25 June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With summer in full swing, we're always looking for unique recipes for our BBQ menu. Here are a few of our favourites from cookbooks tested on Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag!


Nothing says summer like a cold, crisp, microbrew, or a simple gin & tonic with a juicy lime twist. Summer is also the perfect time to switch it up and try a rosé wine. Not as heavy as a red, and great match for fish. (Read more about wine pairings.)

While there are plenty of simple cocktails to serve up, you can really add a bit of fun to your get-together with a specialty mixed drink.

O Fizz

A sparkly glass of summer sunshine, with a mint & berry garnish. Goes down almost too well!

A&K’s Grocery Bag cookbook review:
Oprah Magazine Cookbook

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Pomegranate Cosmopolitans

We made these on our cook day for Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. Sweetly tart, summery, and fresh. 

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics


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Instead of grabbing easy packaged food as your pre-BBQ snacks, try some tastier, healthier, whole food alternatives. Your guests will not feel guilty about indulging in these crunch-tastic dishes!

Olive & Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade with Endive Leaves

This recipe is easy, fast, and a fresh, healthy alternative to chips and dip. Endive is often overlooked in the produce aisle, but it’s got a sweet, crispness with a mild flavour that really lets your olive & tomato dip shine. 

A&K’s Grocery Bag cookbook review:
Everyday Italian
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Stuffed Zucchini Rolls

One of the recipes in Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare summer entertaining menu, this is a great little dish to pull out and make ahead of time. Just save the balsamic drizzle until you’re ready to serve. 

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare
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Thyme Toasted Pecans

Sweet, savoury, salty, and crunchy – we’re not talking about potato chips! This is an easy dish you can make well ahead of time (up to 2 weeks) and have on hand as light, simple finger food. Your guests will gobble them up!

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Bon Appetit, Y’all

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Baby Greens with Asparagus & Pistachios

A great way to take advantage of veggies available in season at your local farmer’s market! This salad is light, colourful, crunchy, and full of flavour.

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Oprah Magazine Cookbook



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Grilled Pepper Salad

A rainbow on your grill! Grilling peppers is quite easy, just don’t let them turn black. They’re sweet and delicious, and go great with many BBQ main courses.

Also check this cookbook for other grilled vegetable recipes, like corn, zucchini, squash, asparagus – all great seasonal additions to any BBQ menu!

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: How To Grill Chapters-Indigo Barnes & Noble icon

Whole Wheat Pasta with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

What’s a BBQ without a pasta salad? This quick recipe calls for a special type of broccoli, but if you can ‘t find it, regular broccoli does the trick just fine. Make this one the night before and chill in the fridge until meal time.

Don’t overcook the pasta. In fact, it’s better to undercook slightly since the pasta will absorb moisture overnight. Give it a stir and add a small drip of olive oil and some fresh ground pepper to perk it up just before serving.

A&K’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter 

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Evolution Potato Salad

If you must include the classic potato salad, do it Jamie Oliver’s way, home made and healthy, with fresh ingredients. As Jamie says: “Once you try making fresh potato salad, you won’t buy read-made again!”

He’s got four variations for you to try, one even includes bacon. Delish!

From Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

We haven’t actually tested this one on Grocery Bag, but we’ve tested two other Jamie Oliver cookbooks (Cook with Jamie, and 20-minute Meals). This cookbook also has some great dishes!

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Main Courses

Steak, chicken, and ribs are always welcome BBQ day favourites, but here are a few other ideas to give your menu some variety:

Herb Marinated Loin of Pork

This is a delicious dish when it’s oven roasted, but WOW, the BBQ grill just gives it an extra flavour and outer crispness that takes it over the top. And it’s super easy! You definitely want to use fresh herbs on this one. Remember to start the marinade a few hours ahead or the night before.

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics



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Cedar Plank Salmon with Soy Ginger Glaze

What’s summer without some delicious, fresh-caught salmon? (Caught by you if you’re lucky!)  We made this dish on our cook day and it was delicious, even though we didn’t pre-soak the cedar plank for long enough! (Luckily we were cooking outdoors. No smoke alarms that time!)

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: A Good Catch


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Coca Cola-glazed Baby Back Ribs

We made this recipe on cook day while in Savannah, Georgia. Moist and flavourful, with a delicious mix of sweetness and char-grilled. Some of the best ribs we’ve ever made!

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Bon Appetit, Y’all


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Cheesy Stuffed Burgers

A delicious twist on a classic BBQ favourite. Try using a couple of different cheeses (mild for the kids, stronger for the adults) to really take these burgers up a notch. And don’t forget to grill the buns a light, toasty brown!

A&K’s Grocery Bag cookbook review:Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter

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Watermelon is a classic BBQ staple, so good and so easy. It’s also a great way to cleanse the palate, and satisfy a sweet tooth. Watermelon is also a super food, so have a slice or two, and then indulge a little with the recipes below…

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

These are so easy to make, it’s almost too easy! These chewy cookie-like brownies are delicious, bite-sized, and no utensils or dishes are necessary for your guests. Add a twist by substituting the vanilla & nuts for peppermint extract or food-grade peppermint essential oil (you only need a few drops!) Mmm!

Also great bake & take cookies when you need something for a potluck. Let everyone else bring the healthy stuff – you’ll be the only one bringing home an empty plate!

From A&K’s Grocery Bag – season 4 episode Absolutely Chocolate.


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Home Made Gelato
If you’ve been thinking about making your own ice cream, there’s no time like summer time! You’ll need an ice cream maker, but it’s well worth it, especially if you’re an ice cream-aholic. Making your own allows you to control exactly what goes into it, and you can buy the best ingredients available. If you’re going to indulge, do it right!

Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: A16: Food + Wine

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What are some of your favourite summer BBQ get-together meals? We’d love to hear!

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  • KikiMa17

    This was an excellent way on putting a menu together and they all have different views on food. Im glad I own at least 3 of those books!