(Family Features) Summer is the ideal time to have friends and family over for casual get-togethers that are centered on the grill and outdoor dining. Add some zip to your summer party with a few tips and a simple recipe that are sure to please your guests.
Set the Mood - Get the party started right with some great music. Bring the speakers outside and start your playlist about 20 minutes before anyone is expected to arrive. That way, you get into the swing of things early - and you're ready for any early birds.
Creative Summer Apps - Set out some no-fuss appetizers that add some fun to the menu. Make festive veggie shooters by putting some of your favorite dip into shot glasses along with a few colorful veggie strips.
Keeping it Cool - Dress up a pitcher of ice water - and add flavor - by adding slices of lemon, orange or even cucumber to the water. Keep some slices on ice for extra garnish on the glasses.
The Main Event - Nothing beats the taste of food hot off the grill. Whether you're cooking beef, chicken, seafood or veggies, you can make them even more delicious with marinades.
"Adding a flavorful marinade kicks it up a notch when you're grilling meats at home," said chef and entertaining expert Jamie Gwen. "Start with a basic sauce and layer flavors to suit your family's taste."
Many of the tastiest grilled dishes can be whipped up using just a few ingredients. "A versatile sauce like Heinz® 57® Sauce, an American classic that's celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is a great way to add zest and flavor to meats, veggies and even seafood," according to Gwen. For a marinade, she recommends covering your meat in an air-tight container and refrigerating for at least half an hour so it has time to absorb the flavors completely before hitting the grill.
This recipe for marinated grilled shrimp, using Heinz 57 Sauce, gives a tangy new twist to a classic favorite. If you want to serve it in appetizer portions, use 6-inch skewers. Thread 2 shrimp on each skewer and grill as directed.
For more delicious party recipes, visit www.heinz57.com.