I’m sure most of us run to the grocery store and pick up the standard meat and cheese tray when we get invited to a BBQ… right?
Or we think bringing a case of beer is acceptable.
We’re all of age and should no longer think that bringing alcohol as a “side dish” should be okay. We can bring our own … plus crappy Bud Light is so 5 years ago 😉 . And as for that meat and cheese tray? Yeah, no. That screams “Sorry, I’m lazy and didn’t feel like making anything … but you go ahead and slave over the grill in 100* weather so I can enjoy BBQ chicken.” Especially if you know the host always prepares tasty snacks for a chill weekend gathering, take a few minutes and MAKE A HOMEMADE DISH! I’m going on a rant because by now, at the age of 29+ (as most of our friends are), we should be preparing something better than what you’d get at a 12 y.o. birthday party/sleep over (minus the beer, LOL!). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve totally brought chips and dip to a friends house but those are for laid back, “Hey, want to come over and have a few?” kind of nights.
I’m talking about holidays or celebration/event gatherings. If a host says “I’m having a pot luck, I’ll provide the meat and you bring a side”… a meat and cheese tray should not be your go to. Listen, if you have to buy something store made – put it on a nice dish; take it out the cheap plastic container, show SOME effort in the presentation.
On to yesterday and a BBQ we were invited to. I gave Josh a choice of what to make, either cucumber salad or zucchini rolls… he picked the latter. Easy dish, maybe took 20 minutes to make a large casserole dish full of yummy finger food goodness.I’ve made these rolls before so knew I could knock them out fast (I think I showed them as a side dish leftover … maybe not the entire recipe so I’ll list it below).
Here’s what you need: 2 large zucchini, 1 container of grape tomatoes, 1 small container of goat cheese (Josh found a brand that was already seasoned with sun dried tomatoes and basil: YUM!) I used my mandolin and George Foreman to speed up the process.
– S&P/evoo each side of the sliced zucchini
– grill said zucchini
– let them cool for a few minutes
– put a small mound of cheese on zucchini
– put tomatoes on cheese
– ROLL & STICK
So simple and yet it received so many compliments. The guys were scarfing them down – I’d rather have them snacking on veggies than greasy chips any day. I pigged out on a friend’s pasta salad; yet another easy dish: elbow macaroni, bologna, and pickles (mixed in a light coating of mayo). She had brought it our house for a BBQ and I fell in love – see, it’s the easy things that people crave!
What have we learned? If the host is taking his/her time to make an entree for 10+ people, you could take 20 minutes and show that you appreciate their invite by making a little home made dish. Or you may start wondering why you don’t get invited to parties anymore…