#cooking

Time To Pull Out That Grill: 6 Tip To Get All Your Neighbors Knocking Down Your Door

Are you planning ahead for summer grilling season? Do you want to ensure that all your neighbors feel free to drop in without an invitation? Try these six tips to bring all your neighbors to your next barbecue.

Meet and Greet

Making a connection with a neighbor can be as simple as a short conversation while you’re out with the stroller or walking the dog, or taking a meal to a new neighbor. Ideal summer covered dish meals included grilled vegetable kebabs, burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget tasty homemade vegetable dips or salsa.

Keep Your Yard Attractive

Mow your yard regularly, sweep your sidewalk and keep outside decorations seasonal but subdued. Make it a daily chore for the kids to pick up their outdoor toys. Grill out regularly with your family. This gives you practice in trying different dishes and tells your neighbors that you enjoy entertaining and eating outside.

Get the Bugs Out of Your Yard

Bug zappers aren’t attractive when you’re trying to eat. But there are a lot of different, subtle ways to discourage mosquitoes in your yard or around your patio. Flies and mosquitoes can easily be deterred by the scent of rosemary, peppermint, basil and thyme. Simple solution, plant a herb garden around your eating area outside. And think of all the benefits, no pesky bugs, a natural solution, looks beautiful, and you will have fresh herbs to incorporate in your cooking adventures. Just be sure to leave some on the plants for the bugs.

Light Up the Night

Outside lighting doesn’t have to be expensive or even professionally installed. You can buy solar lights from your local farm supply or lawn and garden store. Use solar lights to light your walkways and mark the perimeter of your patio or the stairs up to your deck.

Anticipate Different Dietary Needs

When you’re throwing an open outdoor barbecue, it’s entirely possible that potential guests may be diabetic, vegetarian, on a gluten-free diet or on the wagon. Provide at least one dish to meet every need and be sure to have non-alcoholic beer and sparkling grape juice on hand. Don’t be afraid to grill traditional meat entrees and provide beer and wine as well. There are so many different options and different recipes you can test out. You can even save money by buying meat online in bulk and in different cuts. Then you will have it on hand for an impromptu get together. You can easily satisfy all your guests with just a few dishes.

Dropping in and Saying Goodbye

Your guests shouldn’t feel any pressure about dealing with their dirty dishes before they leave. Put out two or three garbage cans with bags so that guests can easily clean up after themselves. That way your guests don’t feel obliged to load your dishwasher and you have less to do after the party.

When your neighbors know that your summer barbecues are casual and easy-going, you won’t have to invite them. They’ll show up as soon as you put the meat and veggies on your grill.

Stand Out: Five Surprising Ways to Use Your Stand Mixer

Stand mixers are great for replacing several other appliances and cookware items in your kitchen. You can create many new recipes and become a chef by using your stand mixer in a variety of new ways. All you need to do is purchase a few new accessories for your mixer. Here are five ways to use your stand mixer that might surprise you.

Grind Food

When you want fine or coarsely ground meats, cheese, nuts and vegetables, the food grinder attachment is perfect. Create fillings for your ravioli, freshly-made ground beef for hamburgers, crumbs for coating other foods and even Parmesan cheese to put on your pasta. Make your own ham salad as well. You can also add a vegetable puree and strainer attachment to your grinder to make your own jam, jelly, baby food or pasta sauce.

Mill Grain

Create your own flours and fiber-filled goodies by grinding down corn, rice, oats, wheat or other grains. Create flours that are extra fine all the way to cracked-grain style. You can also grind your own flaxseeds to add to your smoothies, pancakes or put on top of just about any food to boost the health benefits.

Make Ice Cream

There is no need to create room for an ice cream maker in your kitchen when you can purchase the added accessories for your stand mixer and make a perfect treat that way. The trick is to make sure your bowl, which is available through Mendingshed.com and other retailers, is very cold before attaching it to the mixer.

Slice and Shred

Whether you want cheese slices and deli meat or sliced vegetables or fruits, the cone-shaped shredder comes with four blades. Two of these are for shredding and two are for slicing, which makes it possible for you to create healthy salads all with your stand mixer. Shred cheese for any meal including pizza also.

Create Pasta

There are actually several attachments besides the genuine KitchenAid mixer parts that allow you to create your own homemade pasta. The pasta roller helps you to make long strands of pasta such as spaghetti noodles and linguine. The pasta extruder helps you to create smaller pastas like macaroni and fusilli that hold sauces well. The ravioli attachment creates perfectly-sized and matching top and bottom layers for you to create your own stuffed ravioli. The pinching tool keeps fillings in and water out.

You can create a wide variety of meals and snacks with your stand mixer by adding accessories such as the the ice cream maker, slice and shred accessories, grinder, tool to mill grains or the variety of pasta attachments so you do not need so many kitchen appliances. Use these five ways to use your stand mixer to mix it up!