Tips for a successful summertime bash

Tips featured in the segment:

  • Nothing says "summer" like throwing a good old-fashioned picnic or BBQ for family and friends! Start by setting the mood. It's always fun to throw a party and decorate around a theme. The summer has so many fun occasions to celebrate-like 4th of July.

  • While you prepare the main eats, have stations set for guests to serve themselves. Offer snacks, finger foods and beverages. Set them up in different places so guests are encouraged to walk around and mingle.

  • Besides the beautiful weather and being outside with loved ones, the best thing about BBQs and picnics is the variety! There is so much to throw on a grill from chicken to clams, to burgers. Don't forget vegetables and fruits too!

  • But not everything has to be grilled. Prepare your salads the day before and let them "marinate" in the fridge.

  • For the adults at the shindig, serve up a fun, festive cocktail! This is great to relax in the warmth of summer, chitchatting and playing games with your guests!

  • Instead of buying disposable plates and utensils, why not invest in reusable plates and cups that you can use year after year.

  • Spice up traditional recipes like a grilled chicken by using a sweet and spicy marinade. It's easy to do and is sure to impress your guests.

  • Do fun picnic activities like tug of war, three-legged and wheelbarrow races. You should also have some outdoor game equipment around, so that everyone will have something they can do. Also have water guns or sprinklers in case it gets too hot. For some of the younger kids bring sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, hula hoops and kickballs.
Classic American Breakfast Burgers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Time to Table: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
  • 2 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burgers
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Slices (2 oz total) reduced-fat Cheddar, mozzarella or Swiss cheese
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 thin slice red onion, separated into rings
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
Directions:
  1. Cook burgers according to package directions. Immediately top each burger with one slice of cheese, if desired. Let stand for 1 minute to allow cheese to melt.

  2. Place a fried egg on top of the burger.

  3. Place one lettuce leaf on each bun bottom. Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side.
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Pace Simply Spicy Grilled Chicken
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 / 4 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 3 / 4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken parts, skin removed
  • 1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 2 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Orange slices(optional)
  • Fresh thyme leaves(optional)
Preparation:
  1. Stir the picante sauce and barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Reserve 3/4 cup for the rice.

  2. Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 20 minutes. Brush the chicken with the remaining picante sauce mixture.

  3. Grill for 20 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through, turning and brushing often with the picante sauce mixture. Discard the remaining picante sauce mixture.

  4. Cook the rice according to the package directions without salt. Stir in the reserved 3/4 cup picante sauce mixture and the onions.

  5. Serve the rice with the chicken. Garnish with the orange slices and thyme, if desired.
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About Rich Hollenberg:

A sportscaster who also happened to be a self-proclaimed "foodie," Rich Hollenberg's career path led him from sports, where he covered 8 Superbowls, to working in the kitchen cooking side by side with some of the most renowned names in the culinary world: Wolfgang Puck, Roy Yamaguchi and Todd English.

He is currently part of the development of an on-line reality cooking series called "HomeCookingStar.com," which he will also host. An avid cookbook collector, Rich has continued his love of cooking by developing 'signature' recipes for his own family and friends, while continuing to travel the country in search of inspiring and exciting restaurants and cuisines.

For more information, visit www.richhollenberg.com

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