With the weather warming up and summer officially here, many of us will be heating up the BBQ and inviting friends and family over for a fun get-together some time over the next few months. If you’re looking to throw a fab backyard bash that your guests will be talking about for months and would like some great new meal and dessert ideas to spice things up, you’re in luck! CBS Atlanta “culinary goddess” and What’s On Parker’s Plate founder, Parker Wallace joined me for an interview recently to dish on her favorite watermelon caprese salad skewers, delicious snacks and amazing new dessert ideas and much more.
Candace Rose: How can we spice up our summer meals?
Parker Wallace: “Well, one of my favorite parts of summer entertaining is that this is the one season where the lowest maintenance part of the meal is the main dish because you’re throwing your steaks, your ribs, your chicken on the grill and then they’re done. But where you can really make your party standout is in the accessory items- the appetizers, the snacks, and the desserts. I want to share a few of my favorite options with you!
When it comes to appetizers, people usually go too light with the veggie platter…and who wants to eat that? Or too heavy and you’re swimming in cheese dip! Well, this is a twist on a Caprese salad that’s creatively delicious – salad on a stick. It’s fresh mozzarella balls, watermelon and fresh basil just skewered together. It’s the best salad on a stick you will ever taste. The presentation is gorgeous, your guests will love it and it’s super easy. You can actually just be holding the stick, you don’t need a fork or knife and you have a free hand for your cocktail. That’s always a bonus when it comes to partying.”
Candace Rose: Are there any other snacks that you suggest?
Parker Wallace: “Absolutely. Wonderful Pistachios are my go-to snack. You always run into the snack trap at parties because they’re so fattening. Wonderful Pistachios, there’s a reason they call them the skinny nut- only 100 calories for every 30 pistachios. They’re actually the lowest fat snack nut out there. With great flavor options like Sweet Chili, Roasted and Salted, and Salt and Pepper, you’ve got really great options for your guests to choose from.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any ideas when it comes to sweet treats?
Parker Wallace: “Oh, yes! I tend to leave dessert until the last minute and then I’m running around like a crazy woman trying to put together something that my guests will love. Well, new Dole Strawberry Dippers do all the work for you, Candace. These are so delicious. They are strawberry halves that have been frozen and then covered in decadent dark chocolate. The best part is only 60 calories per serving. So you can have your chocolate covered strawberry and eat it too without any of the guilt. You just take them out of the freezer and serve them.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Parker Wallace: “Well, I always like to say that you don’t have to max out your budget when you’re throwing a party. You can keep it simple. Put some chicken on the grill; you don’t have to spend money on expensive steaks and you can max out the flavor by serving assortment of dips for the chicken. You can have a BBQ sauce, a honey mustard glaze, an Asian glaze so guests have options and you don’t have to spend the extra money on expensive cuts of meat.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Parker Wallace: “For tips and tricks and lots more delish, you can go to WhatsOnParkersPlate.com.”