Dressed for dinner: the barbeque edition

Justine Dungo, the blogger behind Pretty in Pistachio, gives us the inside scoop on some of her favorite recipes for a delicious Memorial Day BBQ.

I love when I start to feel the months warm up, because this means it’s officially the season of outdoor BBQs and summer get-togethers. In fact, Memorial Day weekend is coming up soon and it’s the perfect excuse to try out some new seasonal recipes!

When I am cooking or baking for crowds, I like to keep dishes simple. This means, recipes with only a few ingredients and none that are too overwhelming or extremely strong in flavor. Reviewing the prep and cook time of a recipe beforehand is also important – the last thing you want is to be stuck inside on a gorgeous day making a three-hour dish!

Once the menu is set, the next stressful dilemma arrives: what to wear! Personally, I like to pair basics with bold pops of color. With a simple solid dress, I’ll choose a bright accessory to add a little character.
Justine Dungo, the blogger behind Pretty in Pistachio

Justine Dungo, the blogger behind Pretty in Pistachio
I also love a denim jacket, especially if the party runs late into the evening.

Justine Dungo, the blogger behind Pretty in Pistachio
Here are some of my favorite recipes for you next BBQ bash:

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Misc Time: 30 minutes (for chicken to rest in marinade)
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Makes 10 Chicken Skewers
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped (discard stems)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 medium bell peppers (use a mix of colors)
1 red onion
10 skewer sticks

Directions

Clean the chicken thighs and remove any excess fat. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, about 1in squares.

Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl. Add in the onion, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, and marjoram. Mix until everything is well combined. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This could also be made ahead and left in the refrigerator overnight.

Wash the peppers and cut off the stem. Discard the seeds. Cut the peppers into roughly 1-inch squares. Cut the onion so that you have pieces in a similar shape and size as the peppers.

Assemble your skewers by alternating between peppers, onions, and chicken until all 10 skewers are full and the ingredients are all used up.

Fire up the grill or stove top to medium-high heat. If you are cooking on the stovetop you can use any cast iron surface or a large nonstick frying pan. Cook the skewers for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through.

Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
No cooking required

Fills a 12” dinner plate, adjust the quantities of citrus based on your liking and number of servings you desire

1 large naval orange
2 blood oranges
1 medium grapefruit
¼ tsp sugar (optional)
handful fresh mint

Directions

Remove the peels from the fruit. Lay the fruit on a cutting board so that the segments (carpels) are parallel with the cutting board. Use a large chef’s knife to slice the citrus so that you end up with circular pieces. Arrange the circles of citrus on a large service platter.

If you want to add a little sweetness to the citrus you can sprinkle sugar on top of the fruit. Then garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Pudding Parfaits

Strawberry Blueberry Pudding Parfaits

Prep Time: 20 minutes
No baking required
Makes 4 cups of parfait

1 cup mini vanilla wafers, crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
2 cups cool whip
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the vanilla pudding mix with the milk and whisk for 5 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thick. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes.

Combine the crushed wafers with the melted butter until the mixture starts to resemble wet sand. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of a serving dish and press down with your fingers until the crumbs come together and are firm.

Spoon pudding into the dishes and spread it out evenly. Add a layer of cool whip. Add a layer of fresh fruit. Continue to layer the parfait alternating with the ingredients until you reach the top. I like to end the layers with whipped cream and then use any remaining fruit to add a fun design or decorative top. The red, white, and blue is a great way to be festive for the holiday!