Let’s Celebrate!

fireworksCanada Day celebrations are underway, but do you have your backyard party in order? If not, you are in the right place for some helpful tips on how to make your get together a memorable one. First of all, if you read my previous blog it is a no-brainer where you will be purchasing your steaks for the ultimate patio bbq this weekend! The food should be all planned out, from potato salad, to fruit kabobs drizzled in white and dark chocolate as an indulgent dessert. A lovely cheese and fruit platter will keep guests busy while you fire up the grill, and will buy you time to cook those steaks to perfection!  Drinks should be simple but exotic. For example: A simple lemonade with mixed berries thrown into the bottom of the pitcher, along with crushed ice and slices of lemon, would make a beautiful thirst quenching statement. For those who like their drinks a bit stronger, the option to splash a little vodka into the mix could also satisfy your palette.

The decorations are key to this event because it sets the tone of the party, which is festive and fun! You could hang red and white paper lanterns, and string a homemade banner behind the food table to keep the Canada Day theme alive throughout your outdoor space. Dress your table with various sizes of empty bottles, and place red and white carnations, and/or mini Canadian flags in each one. This will work as an instant centerpiece that people will think you slaved all night over, trying to complete!

Another helpful hint: Don’t be shy to dig into your Christmas crates for red and white. In this case, your solid red plates, and plaid tablecloth will work on your summer table! At least this way you can make the argument to the significant other that the Christmas decor is never a complete waste of money! You can definitely repeat its use throughout the summer months too.

For those who don’t trust themselves with explosives, simple sparkling candles will do just fun for the night’s entertainment. They work really well for pictures, and kids can partake in the sparkler festivities safely. Remember that the mosquitoes come out at night, so equip your guests with adequate bug spray to keep the critters away.  Have a great long weekend!

Grill it Up!

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It is officially grilling time! There should be something simmering on the BBQ almost everyday, from jerk chicken legs to seasoned corn on the cob! Don’t let the season go down on your opportunity to grill this summer.|I though I’d share a meat experience with you. I have finally discovered a “go-to” place for steak when I can’t make it to the farm in Orono, Ontario. Could you believe that I picked up Costco steaks the other day, and they were comparable to the meat that I buy fresh at Scott’s Natural Meats farm? Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing is better than meat that you can literally see being raised free-range, right in front of you. However, this steak really surprised me!

I bought four thick sirloin steaks for $25, a steal of a deal! I seasoned them up and threw them on the grill the same night. Let me tell you how juicy and tender it cooked, and how I watched my neighbours salivate over the fence in awe of the grilled meat smell! Delicious! I cut the steak with a butter knife and had to be mindful of chewing, as the steak was melt-in-your-mouth delectable! If you are looking for a good steak dinner tonight in a hurry, make your way out to Costco for your juicy cut of heaven! (All the Vegetarians who are reading this, please cover your eyes because this reading material is x-rated!)

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Lisa’s Grilled Steaks (serves 4)

Ingredients:

Sirloin steaks (Costco)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce

1 Tablespoon of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Rub in the ingredients and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hr (overnight will make it even more flavourful)

Use Pam grilling spray on your grill before you start the BBQ, and get to it!

 

If you are looking for a side to partner with your main course, may I suggest Mexican Grilled Corn. Below, I have shared a recipe from the Allrecipes website that I think you will enjoy:

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Mexican Grilled Corn

Rated as 4.75 out of 5 Stars
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Recipe By:Chef John
“I consider this to be the greatest corn-on-the-cob recipe of all time. The way the mild, subtly salted cheese works with an ancho-lime mayonnaise, along with that buttery, smoky corn, is a magnificent combination of flavors. Perfecto!”

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 ears corn on the cob, husked
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Cotija cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)
  • 1 lime, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice, ancho chile powder, and smoked paprika in a bowl; whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil corn in the salted water for 5 minutes. Drain the corn.
  4. Place ears of corn on hot grill and cook until the kernels begin to brown and caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the corn and continue to cook, turning ears after 1 to 2 minutes, until they are browned with slightly charred, caramelized spots.
  5. Generously brush corn with melted butter and ancho-lime mayonnaise until kernels are coated. Sprinkle ears with Cotija cheese and salt. Garnish with slices of lime.