Celebrate Dad with a BBQ

Whether on quarantine or not, the Best Father’s Day Gift is Time and Some Good BBQ

Coordinating a simple but delicious BBQ, some homemade decorations, and backyard activities can make Father’s Day special and fun.  We all know the grill takes center stage at a cookout, but adding in a few homemade dad-themed decorations will kick it up a notch. Use a canvas drop cloth or some burlap as a tablecloth to create a base. Then, layer in some flowers from the garden and lanterns or candles to create some contrast. Have the kids make some signs to hang around the yard or make a strand of garland in the shape of neckties or balls from one of his favorite sports. If you have older children, have them plan a few yard games like bocce, corn-hole, ladder ball or whiffle ball that will get the whole family engaged in the festivities.

Planning the menu doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few ideas that are easy and yummy. Corn salad with chickpeas is a great side and can be made ahead. 2 cups of corn kernels, 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas rinsed, 1 seedless cucumber quartered and cut into ½” pieces and 2 scallions, white parts finely chopped (can use green parts thinly sliced), 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, and ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves.  Combine corn, chickpeas and sliced scallion. Heat the oil and chopped scallions in a small nonstick skillet until warm (do NOT let sizzle). Pour over the corn mixture, and then toss with the lime juice and cilantro.  Serve warm or chilled. For the main course, we recommend BBQ Beer-can chicken (recipe on next page), which combines dad’s favorite flavors and is quick enough to allow for game time! End the meal with a big chipwich ice cream cake!  You’ll need 2 (16.5 oz.) packages of chocolate chip cookie dough, ½ gallon of vanilla ice cream softened and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two round 9” cake pans with parchment paper. Press 1 package of cookie dough into the bottom of each pan.  Bake for 20 mins. Let cool in the pan for 20 mins then freeze 30 mins. Remove cookies from the freezer and smooth on ice cream evenly. Place the second cookie on top. Roll the sides of the cookie in chocolate chips until your ice cream is completely covered.

BBQ Beer Can Chicken


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (5 lb.) whole chicken

1 (12 oz.) can of beer or soft drink

¼ cup yellow mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


1-Preheat a gas grill to medium (about 400°F) on one side, or push hot coals to one side of a charcoal grill.

2-Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Starting at the neck cavity, loosen and lift chicken skin from breasts and legs with fingers. Rub oil mixture under loosened skin. Open beer can; pour out 3/4 cup beer, reserving for future use. Place chicken upright onto can, fitting can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, so chicken stands upright. Place chicken upright on grill grate over unheated side. Cover and grill 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thigh registers 165°F, rotating chicken once.

3-Combine mustard, honey, vinegar, and tomato paste in a small bowl.

Place chicken and can on a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin and can. Cut chicken into pieces; place on a platter. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with parsley.


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