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How to Throw a Garden-Party-Barbecue

Summer is here and now that more of us are taking the fun outside we thought we’d bring you some tips on how to fuse a garden party with a barbecue for the ultimate backyard blowout – where seared meats and plates not made of paper can exist in joyous harmony. That’s right: Combining these two yard-party plans presents an opportunity to get the best out of both worlds, but how do you pull it off? In a nutshell, it’s all about letting go of the preconceived notion that you can’t wash down a plate of ribs with lavender lemonade, because you totally can. And, it’s delicious. <strong>Step 1: Expand the menu.</strong> Garden parties have a reputation for offering lighter, perhaps even healthier fare than the traditional barbecue, which is a win-win for everybody. Fresh fruit and vegetable dishes made with artisanal ingredients can make a nice substitute for a soggy dollop of store-bought potato salad. Of course, <a title="Grilled Artichokes Recipe" href="http://www.atgstores.com/ourblog/atgs-lazy-chef-artisanal-grilling/" target="_blank">artisanal grilling</a> is all the rage and adds more depth to the typical grilled-food menu. Grilling various fruit (maybe pineapple and plantains) and veggie (try artichokes and green tomatoes) combinations and dressing them in honey or spices can make nice <em>hors d’oeuvres</em> to accompany more traditional garden-party favorites. And, even those favorites can be tweaked with down-home flair. Sandwiches made with fancy cheese on crusty bread can be finished on the grill to make finger food hot and gooey while still sticking to a more sophisticated script. <strong>Step 2: Dress up the yard; perhaps add a theme.</strong> Garden parties aspire to something more than an excuse to hoover down charred foodstuffs while only using a napkin as a white flag when peak volume has been reached. Once again, this is a good thing. Slow down the pace and class things up with a nice spread that features real <a title="Flatware" href="http://www.atgstores.com/flatware_2217.html" target="_blank">silverware</a> and <a title="Tableware" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tableware_2170.html" target="_blank">tableware</a>. Make seating arrangements available so all in attendance have a place to sit down and enjoy your amazing food at their leisure. The final touch is to consider a theme; a particular mode of dress and/or some snazzy <a title="Outdoor Decor" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor-decor_3474.html" target="_blank">outdoor décor</a>. Garden parties are often formal, although since this is a “GPB” maybe something a little more creative may work – Kentucky Derby Disco, perhaps? <strong>Step 3: Don’t forget the entertainment.   </strong> This is where you can let barbecue rules trump garden-party etiquette. Badminton and the sweet serenade of a string quartet are nice, but so is kickball and karaoke. Blow your guests’ minds by having both or let your theme determine the diversion. Either way, we're sure your fusion of barbecue and garden party will be a huge hit.
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