Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Barbeque Challenge

I mentioned a few weeks back about how I love grilling out in the summer. Well, this month's Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program event was to host a Weekend Barbeque with friends. The challenge - come up with a meal plan that uses three different Hormel Food products as ingredients.

I love a challenge...especially when it involves food!

We had some friends coming over for game night, so we invited them all to come over early for dinner. I started my quest by checking out to see all of the brands that they offer. I did some exploration on their site looking for recipes that I could include, but then I also stopped by for some inspiration. I love that I can enter ingredients and categories to search. I quickly came up with ideas for the first few courses and struggled with dessert. I had made the cinnamon tortillas with fruit salsa before, but wanted something more substantial for dessert. After gaining ideas, I took creative license on a few ideas and made them my own.

We started our meal with a bit of an appetizer - Chips and Dip. I started with the Chile Ole Dip recipe on Hormel and tweaked it a bit. You can see my version of the Chili Cheese Dip recipe here. I sprinkled it with a little bit of shredded cheese at one point too. It was a huge hit - I really enjoyed it, ate way too much dip but it was very tasty.

Then, for our main meal, I made a salad and offered crumbled Hormel Microwave Ready Bacon on the side as a topping for the salad. I served it with the Poppy Seed Dressing that I normally have on Spinach Salad and Feta Cheese (so pretty much my Spinach Salad with a substitution of Romaine for Spinach).

We had Turkey Burgers on the grill, using Jennie-O Ground Turkey as our base. We are very used to making the frozen pre-made patties. We had issues with the burgers starting to fall apart when we were first cooking them. They turned out fine, but we decided next time we would grill them on a cedar plank instead of directly on the grill, in hopes that we don't have as many challenges. No real recipe here, I added an egg, some bread crumbs, some barbecue sauce and some seasoning. They seemed to form nicely in patties. They may not have been pretty, but they were tasty! (After reading some posts online about burgers falling apart, many people noted that you shouldn't turn them too frequently or pushing down with a spatula, I know my grill master was pushing down on them, so maybe that is the solution!) We also had some macaroni salad as a side dish.

Then, came dessert. I wasn't sure how to take a line up of mostly savory foods and create a desert. It felt a little like being on Chopped. I decided that using ChiChi's Tortillas would be the best route to making a dessert. In searching on I came across an assortment of "enchiladas" and "chimichangas" filled with fruit. That was all the inspiration I needed. I had some apples in my refrigerator that I needed to use up and had been wanting to try making some spiced apples, so I went the route of Apple Enchiladas. I prepared spiced apples, rolled them in tortillas, topped with the remaining sauce and baked. They were very yummy. You can see my recipe here.

After dinner, even more friends showed up and after getting the kids settled in for the night, we went downstairs and played a few games. It was a wonderful evening - good food, good friends, good times.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine or that of my family. I am currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Each post written for this role, serves as an entry into a grand prize giveaway. Hormel provides materials and resources to assist me with my posts.