This post was sponsored by Smithfield as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Summer is almost here, so that means more outdoor entertaining. My husband looks forward to pulling out the BBQ. We love to throw parties or just family get-togethers but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Having family and friends come over and hang out is so much fun, but they need to EAT, so that means I need to cook. Well guess what I don't like spending all my time cooking or cleaning, I want to chill out too!
When the hostess is happy everyone is happy
Over the years I've mastered my party planning skills and how I prepare for our cookouts. I used to cook all day, clean up after everybody, then say goodnight without every sitting down. That is NOT FUN at all, so I had to change my ways. I want to enjoy my day like everyone else!
Tips for a Stress-Free BBQ:
- Prepare in Advance: I make two-three side dishes the day before like Potato Salad and Macaroni Salad. Plan to do as much as possible ahead of time. Plus don't cold salads taste better the next day anyways!
- Accept Help: When they ask, say yes! Also if people want to bring something let them. Have them bring snacks, drinks, dessert, or whatever you feel you might need. Don't say NO!
- Water & Ice: I've learned my lesson on this! Make sure there is plenty of water and ice on hand. I have a kid's small pool that I fill with ice and water bottles.
- Create a Kid's Corner: Keep the kids entertained. I have a corner with a blanket, pillows, coloring, legos, games, cards, and other cool kid gadgets.
- Buy Marinated Meat- This will save you a lot of time. My favorite is the Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork which is perfect for your summer gatherings because it’s already slow-marinated and perfectly seasoned in the bag. That means no prep time needed for the pork!
I know I'm getting the real flavor, real fast with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. Also, it allows you to enjoy the day, so you get to spend less time preparing and more time relaxing. The pork is made from 100% fresh pork and has no artificial ingredients, so I know I'm serving the best to my family.
I tend to shop at Food Loin for all my goodies for our cookouts. I know Food Lion will always have Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork in the meat department plus everything else I need. We love the SmithfieldRoasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet the best! However, Smithfield has several flavors and cuts to pick from so no matter what you want to cook- pork chops, pork sirloins, pork filets, or pork tenderloins.
Here is a $1.00 OFF COUPON (printable) for Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork at Food Lion
I have a GRILLING HACK you might be interested in when grilling the Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet. Instead of placing right on the grill (which is perfectly fine too) put the filet in a grilling bag. I do this because sometimes pork dries out on the grill so since it is already marinated, all you need to add some grilling sauce which is ingredients you already have in the kitchen. The grilling sauce adds more flavor and moisture.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Seasonings- whatever you like. I only use pork seasoning, salt, and pepper because the pork is already marinated with herbs and garlic.
- Pour all the ingredients above in a bowl and whisk until all blended
- Put Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet in a grilling bag or foil wrap.
- Pour sauce over the filet and close up the bag/wrap.
- Place on grill
- Cook for 15-20 minutes
Another reason why I keep the pork in a grilling bag is that it keeps all the different meats separate. As you can see we cooked chicken, prawns, and pork all on the grill. You want to make sure the pork is cooked -through, and juices run clear.
My husband is the grill master, so I try to stay away from the grill, but I make sure I prep everything for him so he can just grill! He loves grilling and enjoys everyone commenting on his skills.
On the plate is Ranch Pasta Salad, Mac & Cheese, Chicken, Shrimp, Chipotle Ranch Pasta Salad and the Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet. Yes, a lot of pasta but one for each kid- they all like different kinds, so I try to please the family.
Keep it simple but not boring!
Also, you can't forget the dessert! I make a very simple fruit and whipped cream parfait, and it is always a hit!
Enter the Sweepstakes:
Make sure to check out the http://www.SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com to enter the “What Can you do with 30?” sweepstakes by submitting a tip for getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less for a chance to win a trip to Napa Valley. Napa Valley is so darn beautiful, and it's on my bucket list for places I want to go. So you know I'm entering!