Epic Summer Grilling Menu

Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend, and I’m back with one epic summer grilling menu. Like most of you, one of the things that I love turning to Annette for is a recipe. She just has a knack for creating something gorgeous and delicious. It’s so inspiring!

Since Wednesday marks the official first day of summer, we’re about to be in the thick of grilling season. We have a Big Green Egg, so we spend a lot of our summer evenings outdoors near the grill. Not only is it a quintessential summer activity, but it also means I don’t have to turn on the oven. Win win.

I thought I’d round-up a few of Annette’s summer grilling recipes from over the years. Not only are these recipes stand-alone favorites, but put them together, and they make up one heck of a summer menu. Invite your friends and family over for an evening of fun and food on the grill!

grilled-veggies

Awesome Appetizer: Grilled Veggie Antipasto

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Main Course: Lamb Burger

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Sensational Side: Watermelon Salad  

As always, I’d love to hear if you give any of these recipes a try! What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

xo, Nicole

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Atlanta Magazine’s Home Summer Issue :: Backyard BBQ with Chip Wade

Atlanta Magazine's Home

Chip Wade and I have been friends for years, and it’s been fun to watch him excel in his profession and his personal life. Recently, I had the pleasure of covering one of his family gatherings at his beautiful home for Atlanta Magazine’s Home where I am the Entertaining Editor.

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One of my favorites recipes from the feature is this watermelon margarita. All the recipes are in the Summer issue of Atlanta Magazines Home and will be available online soon. In the meantime, share this yummy beverage with your family and friends at your next backyard BBQ.

Watermelon Margaritas
Serves 6

You will need:

– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup water
– 3 wide strips orange peel
– 8 cups watermelon cubes
– 1 cup fresh lime juice
– 2 cups white or silver tequila
– 6 Watermelon wedges

To prepare:

In a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and orange zest to a boil over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Let syrup cool in a bowl discard orange peel.

In a blender, puree watermelon cubes until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids, into a pitcher (you should have about 1 cup juice). Stir in syrup, lime juice, and tequila. Place in a pitcher

Fill salt-rimmed glasses with ice, then pour margarita mixture over top. Garnish with watermelon wedges.

Pick up a copy on newsstands now.

Photo credit : The Raftermen

Styled by : Moi

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Grilled Veggie Antipasto

grilled veggies

It’s grill season! I love my grill. In fact, I just purchased a new one after our trusty grill finally bit the dust. One of my favorite things to make is this grilled veggie antipasto. Here’s a great recipe from my book Picture Perfect Parties. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish because it’s colorful, healthy, and a real crowd pleaser.

Make sure to add it to your summer repertoire.

Grilled Vegetable Antipasto Appetizer
Serves 8

You will need:
– 1 red onion
– 1 eggplant
– 2 medium size zucchini
– 2 medium size yellow squash
– 6 Roma tomatoes
– 2 red peppers
– 2 lemons
– 1 bunch asparagus
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 loaf of rustic bread sliced + 3 tablespoons olive oil to coat
– 8 oz. of soft goat cheese

To Prepare:

Coat both sides of the bread with olive oil

Slice eggplant into ¾ inch disks

Slice zucchini down the center lengthwise

Slice yellow down the center lengthwise

Leave red peppers whole

Slice lemons in half

Cut the tough ends off the asparagus

Peel and slice onion, place onion in aluminum foil pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over the onion on top, seal the foil forming a little package

In a separate bowl, place olive oil, and with a micro plane, grate the garlic cloves into the oil, add salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the mixture for later.

Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with cup of olive oil mixture.

Grill bread slices until nicely toasted. Pull off the grill and set aside.

Place all vegetables on the grill beginning with the onion. 10 minutes into the onion grilling, add eggplant, zucchini, squash, peppers, and lemons. Grill for about 15 minutes, and finally add asparagus spears. Grill all the vegetables for another 10 minutes.

Pull everything off the grill but the onion. Run the red peppers under cold water until cool to the touch, peel, and pull seeds from inside the peppers under running water. Place on paper towels to drain and then slice the peppers into ribbons and place onto the platter. Remove the onion from the grill. Slice zucchini, squash, and eggplant into bite-size pieces.

Place the all of the grilled veggies onto a platter.

Drizzle remainder of the olive oil mixture and squeeze grilled lemon over the entire platter of grilled vegetables. Serve at room temperature with spreadable goat cheese and rustic bread slices.

Photo Credit: Deborah Whitlaw

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Recipe:: S’mores Donuts

SmoresDonut2

Hey everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s web-manager and friend, and I’m back today to help you celebrate a very exciting holiday…Happy National S’mores Day! Did you know there was such a thing? Neither did I until I stumbled upon it on…where else? The internet. Some of these holidays are just silly, but if it involves chocolate and marshmallows, I can certainly get on board…and just wait until you see this clever twist on a classic summer treat.

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There are few things better than s’mores in the summer, but s’mores donuts take it to an entirely different level altogether. Before you get started on this delectable recipe, there are a few things that you need to know:

First, use stale donuts for these s’mores. A stale donut is firmer and therefore will be easier to place on and off of the grill. Second, make sure you buy the jumbo marshmallows. Jumbo marshmallows will melt into the perfect size for your s’mores donut.

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S’mores Donut
serves 1

You will need:

– 1 stale, glazed donut
– 2 squares of chocolate candy
– 1 jumbo marshmallow

To prepare:

Preheat your grill.

Slice a stale, glazed donut in half length-wise so that you’re left with two halves (like a bagel). Set aside. Prepare a kabob skewer by adding one jumbo marshmallow. Roast your marshmallow over your grill to desired doneness (I like mine crispy and extra gooey). When your marshmallow starts to crisp, add your 2 donuts to the grill, cut side down for 30 seconds to 1 minute. *Note: it’s very important that you grill the donut cut side down because sugar from the glaze will burn easily and will not hold together.

Remove your donut halves, add chocolate to one half along with the toasted marshmallow. Top with other donut half. Enjoy!

xo, Nicole

photographs via

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