Watch and learn what these women are cooking up; then start a grilling club of your own. This slide show gives you the 101 on the art of entertaining around the grill.
Girls on the Grill, Too
Just ask these Valdosta, Georgia, women, who have made an art of entertaining around the grill. They started their "Girls on the Grill, Too" supper club more than five years ago, and now there are nearly 20 members. "We all love to entertain," says Rhonda Thagard, host of this month's gathering. "We try to make every event special with different themes, unique recipes, and fun decorations." There is, however, a strict dress code: Members must wear their specially designed Girls on the Grill, Too aprons.
This group is ultra-organized, with a 12-month calendar of recipe assignments and scrapbooks of each event. "It's an outlet for most of us, who are either busy raising kids, volunteering in the community, or building careers," says second-grade teacher Kristy Johnson.
Just wait until you taste what these grill-savvy girlfriends fired up for us. Here are a few of their favorites, including Herbed Salad With Grilled Balsamic Vegetables, just in time for spring. Save room for Sour Cream Pound Cake--you won't believe how good the cake slices taste when toasted on the grill.
Serve a colorful platter of Herbed Salad With Grilled Balsamic Vegetables. It received our highest marks at the taste-testing table.
"Outdoor Gathering Menu"
Serves 6 to 8
Light Your Coals With Ease
You can use a gas or charcoal grill to make these recipes. If the thought of grilling over charcoal sends you running indoors, fear no more. Lighting the coals is easier than you think. Consider purchasing a charcoal chimney, available at any home-improvement store for about $20. It eliminates the need for lighter fluid or treated charcoal, which can affect the flavor of your food. Just follow these simple steps, and you'll have hot coals in no time.
- Pack the bottom of the charcoal chimney with newspaper, and fill the canister with untreated charcoal.
- Place the chimney upright on the grill food grate. Light the newspaper through the chimney holes at the bottom.
- Let the coals smolder in the canister until they turn completely ashy in color. Remove the food grate, and carefully pour the hot coals onto the bottom of the grill. Replace the food grate, and start grilling.