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Throw a spring fling barbecue

It is spring, and that’s just one more reason to throw an outdoor party! Sunny daisies, ripe blueberries and blue and white cabana stripes partnered with a quick and easy menu of grilling recipes, blue-hued cocktails and a vanilla cake crowned with ripe juicy berries are all you need for a sensational spring fling. The classic style of this spring-themed gathering is perfect for Mother’s Day, a bridal or baby shower, or even a chic brunch.

Woman at an outdoor party

Take some tips from the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Grilling 2 cookbook and throw a gorgeous spring gala starring her mouthwatering recipes from the grill. Your sunny soiree can be as dressy or casual as you desire. Regardless, your table and food offerings will be elegantly impressive with white and hues of blue.

Spring Fling Setting

Set your table with gilt-edged blue filigree china and a blue and white awning striped tablecloth. Lee suggests bunching daisies in footed cobalt blue vases for centerpieces and repeating the theme in water glasses at each place setting.Make place cards by tying a white and blue ribbon around small party favor boxes and tack a daisy to each box along with name tags. You can fill boxes with candy-coated almonds or specially-ordered blue M&M’s.


Blueberry Dream Cocktails

Serves 6Blue-stemmed martini glasses are an elegant showcase for a fun fruitini. Fresh blueberries make a showy presentation and give your guests a few juicy little orbs to nibble.Ingredients:
12 ounces Smirnoff Norsk vodka
6 ounces fresh-squeezed or store-bought lemonade
18 fresh blueberriesDirections:
Mix vodka with a splash of lemonade. Pour into glasses and drop 3 blueberries into each glass to serve.

Grilled Sausage and Summer Vegetable Pasta

Serves 6Pasta and smoky flavored sausage and vegetables tossed with olive oil and Italian seasoning make a perfect primavera dish for spring or summer. Serve with crusty French bread to dip in the delicate sauce remaining in your plate.
Sausage on the Grill
1 (16-ounce) package Barilla penne pasta
8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
1/2 of a red onion, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon Bertolli olive oil
McCormick salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 hot Italian sausages
1/4 cup Bertolli olive oil
1 tablespoon Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden crushed garlic
DiGiorno shredded Parmesan cheeseDirections:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.2. Place sausages and vegetables on hot, oiled grill (use a vegetable grilling basket, if desired). Watch for flare-ups when putting vegetables on grill. Cook 18 to 20 minutes or until sausages are done (160 degrees F.) and vegetables are al dente, turning sausages and vegetables often.3. Remove sausages and vegetables from grill. Carefully slice sausages diagonally. In a large bowl, combine pasta, sausages and vegetables. In a small bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup oil, salad dressing mix and garlic. Pour over pasta and toss. Serve hot topped with Parmesan.Indoor Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare vegetables as directed in Step 1. Place vegetables and sausages in a foil-lined baking pan. Roast in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until sausages are done (160 degrees F.) and vegetables are al dentée. Serve as directed.

Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Serves 12This is a quick cake to make — the effort is in the decorative frosting — and beautiful to present on a blue glass cake stand as a spring soiree dessert. Blueberry sauce makes every slice irresistible.Ingredients:
2 store-bought unfrosted round white cakes (or prepare with a box mix)
2 (15-ounces each) cans of cream cheese frosting or another white frosting
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 (15-ounce) can blueberry pie fillingDirections:
1. Place one cake round on a cake stand and spread a thick layer of frosting on the top. Place the second cake round on top of the frosting. Frost top and sides with a thick layer of frosting. Use a spatula to swirl additional frosting in decorative designs on top and sides.2. Set single blueberries along the bottom of the cake, where it meets the cake stand, making a border. Set single blueberries on the top of the cake, around the top edge, making a border.3. Slice and serve with spoonfuls of blueberry pie filling. Serve remaining blueberry filling in a glass gravy boat for guests to garnish their desserts with extra sauce.For more party ideas and recipes, visit these links:


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