Cookouts are a great way to entertain family and friends.

My favorite time of the year is approaching: summer! My husband and I cook almost every night during the summer. We like to have barbecues and invite family and friends and we are always looking for tasty and easy to prepare barbecue recipes.

I like dishes that I can prepare in advance. That way I can enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I’ve also found that homemade salads like potato salad, broccoli salad, and pasta salad taste better after they’ve been in the fridge for a day and all the flavors have changed to blend together.

When my husband and I cook and have family and friends over, he is the Grill Master. He has perfected the art of cooking burgers and steaks to perfection. A few years ago we came across a grilling time chart that we use to cook all kinds of ribeyes, from T-bone to Porterhouse and they come out perfectly done.

Another thing we’ve learned over the years is how to make the perfect burger. Start with the meat. You can’t use lean meat for burgers unless you want hockey pucks. You should use a 80%-20% burger for the best burgers. I like to add Lipton onion soup mix to mine. Sometimes I use Montreal Steak Spice instead. You can add any type of seasoning you like, but don’t over-mix the burger meat as it can cause it to become tough.

We also like to grill corn on the cob. When it’s just my husband and I, we’ll roast ears of corn in the husks. If we’re entertaining, we’ll shell the corn and grill the corn on the cob in foil to cut down on the mess for our guests.

My husband and I have a fairly large garden and we love to use as many fresh ingredients as we can when preparing our easy BBQ and cookout recipes. One of my favorite fresh salads is New Potatoes with Peas and Mint. It’s light and refreshing and is actually best made the day before. Another one of my favorite BBQ recipes is Strawberry Spinach Salad. It is healthy and tasty with a sweet and sour dressing.

From time to time we will cook lamb on the grill or cook fish on the grill. I grill the fish in a grill basket to help prevent it from breaking. We usually cook a leg of lamb on the grill for just the two of us. We have a fabulous recipe for Grilled Lamb Shoulder with Honey that we really like.

My husband and I love to entertain our family and friends, especially when we can cook or barbecue. I always have a few tried-and-true favorites to go around, and I always add a new dish or two to the mix.

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