This is day 3 of a four part series showcasing my outdoor makeover, courtesy of KMart, and a Flamingo Soirée, inspired by Party Bluprints dot Com to celebrate my new outdoor space.
On day 1 I created the invitations and paper goods. (See FREE recipe card printable below) On day 2 we saw the remarkable Kmart outdoor makeover. Today I turn my attention to the all important menu. With my Outdoor Entertaining Party Blueprint in hand, I sat at my new table and chairs and planned the menu!!! There are simple and special recipes, tips and ideas for you to host the best party of the season and much more. I love the advice…
Dawn of Party Bluprints writes, OUTDOOR PARTIES can be easy and enjoyable when you are prepared and have a great plan.
The Party Blueprint offered an easy, affordable and delicious Outdoor Party Menu including an appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert and cocktail! Each recipe features grilled ingredients and stars summer favorites like corn, tomatoes and berries! A good thing for sure.
I wanted to keep it simple, yet stylish and easy!! [I have a tendency to go way overboard.] In the mad rush to complete this makeover/party, I did not want to feel harried on party day. So the grill would be used to the fullest as it would allow me to get out of the kitchen and let somebody else cook!!!
As the blueprint advised, I prepped everything before guests arrived and let the guys be in charge of the grill. My daughter loves to entertain as much as I do, so I let her help as much as she wanted. Her husband loves to mix drinks, so I assigned him chief bartender. See where I am going here?
Fresh summer produce from the local farmers market–tomatoes, onion, basil, corn, scallions and berries are indeed front and center on my menu. The main dish is a Mixed Grill of pork chops and chicken. Easy peasy.
I used The party Blueprint as a guide and added some of my own faves and ideas to the mix. I didn’t want to be a total copy cat. You will see some adapted recipes and some that are completely my own and one that I didn’t change a thing…it was perfect as is for my Flamingo Soirée.
Pink Flamingo-tini: My summer cocktail is a favorite and oh so pink. I use fresh squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice and splash of grenadine syrup.
Marinated Grilled Shrimp
- 6 oz. fresh squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice
- small splash of grenadine syrup
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 grapefruit slice (garnish)
Place all ingredients, except garnish, in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain into martini glass.
Added touch: The kids can have mock-tinis of Hawaiian Punch in plastic wine or champagne lasses!
Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta: This light version of The Party Blueprint bruschetta features local shrimp and fresh produce. This starts the pink meal out just right!!!
Marinated Grilled Shrimp
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
- 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Marinade: Stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum, stirring once or twice. (HINT: You can do this early morning of party.)
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard the marinade.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.
Ingredients (serves 10-12)
- 1 loaf Italian bread (sliced into ½” slices)
- 1 clove garlic (cut in half lengthwise)
- 4 plum tomatoes (rinsed, sliced thinly and chopped)
- ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
- olive oil
- coarse sea salt, to taste
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- fresh basil (ribbon-cut/thinly sliced), to taste
- Preheat grill. Spray or brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil, then rub each side with cut side of garlic.
- Combine tomatoes, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Grill bread on medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Mix in basil to tomato mixture as you grill bread.
- Top each slice with a generous tablespoon of tomato mixture and three grilled shrimp.
Mixed Grill Chicken & Pork Chops: I adapted the Party Blueprint by substituting pork chops for London Broil. I also doctored their rub with my own faves…like cocoa powder (yes, cooca powder). Try it, you will love the flavors. I am not a big fan of spicy, so you can adjust “the heat/spiciness” of your rub according to taste.
- 4 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. Spanish sweet paprika
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 6 1″ thick Pork Chops
- 6 Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Homemade orange marmalade
- Prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce
- Mix dry rub ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Arrange chops and chicken on separate platters. Sprinkle both sides with dry rub then press the rub gently into the pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Preheat grill to high. Cook pork Chops and chicken breasts 10-12 minutes/side, or until desired degree of doneness (cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the cut and the temperature of your grill). The juice on the chicken should run clear.
- Remove meats from grill to platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Mix marmalade with horseradish to taste and dip your meat in it…you will love it!
Grilled Corn Couscous Salad: I borrowed this straight from Party Bluprints…why mess with a good thing!! This side salad is the perfect cool complement to the any outdoor grill fest. The fresh flavors from the produce brighten up this wholesome grain resulting in a refreshing and tasty salad. It’s an easy and affordable salad to make – a little couscous goes a long way!
- 1 cup tri-color Couscous (you can substitute plain couscous)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 ears of grilled corn on the cob (kernels removed)
- 6 scallions, sliced thinly
- ½ dry pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Preheat grill. Remove husks and silks from corn. Grill corn on medium heat 15-20 minutes turning midway through. Allow corn to cool thoroughly and then using a knife slice off the kernels from the cobs. Set kernels aside.
- Add chicken broth and grilled corn kernels to a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Remove pot from heat, add couscous, stir and cover. Allow couscous to sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork until fluffy and all clumps are removed. Add scallions, tomatoes and parsley and gently mix. In a separate bowl, prepare dressing by mixing fresh lime juice, canola oil, salt and pepper – mix thoroughly and then dress salad.
Grilled Pound Cake ALA Mode: I had to make mine pink!!! I just altered the pound cake and the ice cream for this recipe from Party Blurprints. We love this dessert because it’s so simple to make, but looks so special (and it tastes just as special.) The grilled pound cake serves as the base – its crunchy exterior hides a soft buttery interior, both tastes and textures are equally delicious in combination with the refreshing sweet flavors of the berries and the creamy rich ice cream.
- 1 large loaf of strawberry pound cake (cut into ¾” slices)
- 1 16 oz. package strawberries (rinsed and sliced)
- 1 dry pint blueberries (rinsed)
- 1 dry pint blackberries (rinsed and sliced in half)
- 1 1.5 quart carton strawberry frozen yogurt or ice cream
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Rinse and dry berries. Mix together in a bowl and set aside.
- Put slices of cake on medium heat grill, grill on each side 3-4 minutes per side until cake is heated through and grill marks appear.
- Remove from grill, top with berries and add a scoop of yogurt or ice cream.
The food is ready the tent is up so…
Let’s get this party started! tomorrow…
Here is a FREE printable Set of 3 Recipe Cards just for you…enjoy it an think of me every time you use them!!!
flamingo recipe card
Visit to other days of the Kmart Outdoor Makeover/Soirée by clicking the links below.: