Easy Grilled Pizza

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Grilled pizza is one of my favorite summer meals. It’s easy, involves almost no planning and it’s super quick. The first time I tried this I was thinking, there’s no way this is going to work! But it works and it works really well.

The ingredients for grilled pizza are the same as you’d use for a traditional pizza:

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I like to prep everything inside and lay it out on a cutting board to take outside.  This seems to keep things contained a little better, and it’s easier than carrying a million things back and forth to the kitchen. It’s also a great idea to have everything prepped before you start – these cook quickly!

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In a nutshell, you plop your dough onto the preheated grill. When the bottom is firm and has grill lines (after about a minute on the grill), you flip it over.    [Read more…]

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10 Graduation Party Menus Plus Desserts and Snacks!

It’s that time of year when our graduates take the stage with caps and gowns and march off to get their diplomas and take on the world! Graduating is a great milestone and it’s something that should be celebrated.

But planning a graduation party menu can feel a bit overwhelming. Feeding a crowd can be a lot of work, and picking a menu that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!


Whether you are looking for a casual feast in the backyard, a pizza party, or a special sit down family dinner after your Grad gets home, these ten menu ideas will inspire you with some fun ideas and make planning your meal easy and fun. There’s plenty of different kinds of meals to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences, and I must say that they all have me drooling.

Don’t forget to read to the bottom for all the dessert and cookie ideas! Instead of adding one idea to each menu, you can pick your guest of honor’s favorite…or make it a dessert bar and serve a few!

Easy and Casual BBQ Feast

Super easy BBQ Peach Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, or any other easy slow cooker BBQ sandwich for that matter!

The pork can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated in the crockpot.  The baked beans cook in the crockpot and are easy to put together.  The only thing that will have to be done the day of the party is tossing the dressing on the Asian Broccoli Salad.

Pair this with favorite sides like these:

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asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

Add desserts and probably potato chips and perhaps some cut fruit!

Grill Out

Get out the grill and make it a backyard party!  Serve any of these and your crowd will be raving.

And when you pair these smoky meats with some classic sides, you have the makings of a winning combination!

Plus, you can get more backyard barbecue side dish ideas in this post here!

Nice Family Dinner

If you are thinking a nice sit-down dinner at home after the ceremony is the way to go, these recipes are mouthwatering and so easy!

italian seasoned salt pork tenderloin done

To make this meal easy and special, pair the tenderloin or chicken with:

Enchilada Buffet

Make a buffet of a couple big pans of different kinds of Enchiladas and let everyone serve themselves!

Some of our family favorites include:

white enchiladas

enchiladas with chili-tomato sauce

Serve these with fresh things like:

Need more side dish inspiration? Check out this post about what to serve with Enchiladas!

Build-Your-Own Fajitas or Tacos

Cook up meat in your crock pot or instant pot. Set out the meat, grilled veggies and a plethora of favorite toppings and let everyone build their own fajita or taco!

You could also grill up some chicken breasts in advance or buy a few rotisserie chickens and have them all prepped and ready to go for the big day to make one of these tasty options.

Serve them up with:

Teens Party Menu

Convert this snackadium into a teen’s dream meal! Both of these strombolis were part of a meal I made for super bowl, but with a few little tweaks it’ll be a great “main course” for your graduate and his or her friends.

Keep it simple and add a variety of chips and dips, chilled drinks and cookies and candy.  Anything they can grab, munch and head back out to dance or talk with friends.

Sandwich and Salads Buffet

Make up some easy sandwich trays that your crowd can pick and choose from!

  • Get a bag King’s Hawaiian rolls or other small buns to make a plate of small ham sandwiches and a bag of croissant rolls for Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can get Virginia Brand ham in the deli section and have it shaved.
  • We love this easy Peach Chutney Chicken salad for sandwiches. So delicious and moist!

Serve these with a plate of assorted cheese slices, mayonnaise and mustard and almost homemade pickle slices.

 

Round out your menu with an easy pasta salad, a veggie tray with dip and some chips.

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Pizza Party

Whip up a bunch of homemade pizza and make a party out of it! You can make this easy dough in advance, and even make super easy awesome pizza sauce. Or buy your favorite premade crust and sauce and top the pizzas in any way you like. Here’s a few of our favorite pizza combos.

Serve this with a veggie tray with ranch dip, and a fresh fruit tray and fruit dip and some favorite chilled drinks.  I love root beer floats as a dessert option with pizza!

Spaghetti Feast

Cook up a bunch of pasta and serve it with one of these easy and delicious homemade sauces and meatballs! These meatballs are freezer friendly so you can make up a big batch in advance and they are absolutely delicious!

Round out the menu with garlic toast and an easy salad! Here are a couple more side dish ideas, too.

Brats or Dogs Your Way

Cook up a bunch of dogs and brats on the grill or stove top and let your people go to town topping them however they like.

You can serve this with:

Add a bowl of chilled melon balls or just an easy plate of watermelon slices and cantaloupe chunks.

Snacks

Want to have a few snack foods on hand for easy munching? Here are a couple of our favorite snack mixes and other snack ideas that are really easy to make!

Dessert Ideas

Clearly no celebration is complete without dessert! Or better yet – desserts! Make one or more of these and your graduate will feel like the party is complete.

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peanut butter fluff pie done

lemon cheesecake dessert slice

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blue velvet cupcakes 2

School color cupcakesBlue Velvet Cupcakes, Red Velvet, Green Velvet, Orange Velvet, Purple Velvet

Here’s a handy tip on how to cut cake to feed a crowd!

Cookies

Narrowing down your favorite recipes to include in your menu is sure to be easier than choosing a college major these days. Especially since any of them will leave you at the top of the class when it comes to a graduation party!

Pin this post!

 

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Apple BBQ Pork Chops

The inspiration for these came from a Dairy Queen run the other week.  We went for ice cream, but while we were there I noticed a sign advertising apple bbq hamburgers.  I’m not sure what those are like, but it started my mind thinking about the combination of apple and bbq.

I like to keep things simple, so this is what I came up with.  Three ingredients give a sweet, smokey flavor to the pork chops.  You could use the sauce on chicken or burgers too.

And you could choose to grill the meat, cook it in the oven or use the slow cooker.  I chose the oven, only because I ran out of time for the slow cooker and it was way too hot outside to grill (triple digits – whew!).

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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Grilled Round Steak with Red Wine Vinegar and Homemade Seasoned Salt

grilled round steak with red wine vinegar and homemade seasoned salt done

We rarely eat steak.  It’s more of a money issue than anything else.  Yesterday I bought this round steak at the store.  Sure, it’s not NY Strip or fillet mignon (my fav) but it’s still beef on the grill.

I decided to do a quick marinade and rub with red wine vinegar and homemade seasoned salt.  The steak tasted as flavorful as it was quick to fix.

This is a bit of a tangent, but I’m loving the homemade seasoned salt.  It’s perfect on all kinds of foods.  You’ll see more recipes in the future (like tomorrow) that feature this new favorite seasoning.

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Chicken Smothered with Summer Vegetables on a Bed of Couscous

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5:30pm and I still didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner.  I piled all the likely ingredients from my fridge on the counter – bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley.  My first thought was an omelet, but when I went rummaging for eggs I found only 5.  Not enough for my family.

Boneless chicken tenders and a box of couscous came to the rescue.  Everyone in the family loved this, even the kids who aren’t crazy about veggies.  In fact, my pickiest eater tried and liked the bell peppers.

[Read more…]

Barbeque Chicken Fajitas

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These make for a super easy weeknight supper.  Use your favorite bbq sauce.  My kids like the sweet taste of Sweet Baby Ray’s. 

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Grilled Chicken with Soy Marinade

This is a simple way to dress up grilled chicken. Ingredients – equal parts soy sauce, sugar and Italian dressing. I used about 1/2 cup each.

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Mix up the marinade ingredients and pour it over boneless chicken breasts. I put the chicken in a ziplock bag. You could marinate the chicken the night before you plan to cook them, or the morning before your dinner or if you’re like me, about 30 minutes before they hit the grill. Just be sure to put them in the fridge while they’re waiting for grill time.

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Yes, the chicken breast in the middle is a little pale. My grill doesn’t cook even, but it does cook.

That’s it! Easy and fast. Leftovers pack up the next day as part of a salad, wrapped in a tortilla with lettuce, on a roll for a sandwich etc. I had a salad at Chic-fil-A the other day that would be easy to create at home with this chicken. (I know this blog is about eating at home, but that doesn’t mean you can never eat out!) The Chic-fil-A salad had grilled chicken, lettuce, apples, grapes, mandarin oranges, cran-raisins and a berry vinaigrette dressing. Yum! I may have to make that for dinner sometime soon!