Grill-Roasted Beer-Can Chicken for a Gas Grill: You can’t miss with barbecue chicken—it appeals to everybody. This recipe delivers one of the best chickens I’ve eaten: smoky, spicy, crispy, and juicy. But what I really like about this recipe is that since it's cooked upright on a beer can (or a vertical roaster), I can fit four or five birds on the grill to feed a crowd.
Grilled Corn with Flavored Butter: I find boiled corn boring. This recipe starts by charring the corn over high heat to give it a smoky flavor. It’s then finished in a disposable roasting pan with a flavored butter. The kids really like the Honey Butter, while the adults go for the spicy New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter.
Tomatoes: Whether simply sliced and drizzled with a fruity extra-virgin olive oil (one of our favorite premium options is Gaea Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or tossed with sweet, juicy watermelon in a Watermelon-Tomato Salad, no summer party is complete without garden-fresh tomatoes.
Ice Cream Sandwiches: I start with our Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and then get 3 or 4 pints of ice cream from the scoop shop down the road. Have bowls of sprinkles, toasted nuts, and mini chocolate chips available, and then everyone can build their own sandwich. Just make sure to have plenty of napkins.
To sip: I like to start out with a pitcher of vodka gimlets or mix some gin and tonics. After that it’s ice-cold beer—preferably a local hoppy IPA. For the kids, it's Strawberry-Lime Lemonade.