With Memorial Day weekend just a day away, sportscaster and cooking expert Rich Hollenberg joined me to share tips on throwing a great backyard barbecue bash this weekend and all summer!
Candace Rose: With summer almost here, what are some simple tips for cooking up a great barbecue?
Rich Hollenberg: "Well, one of the things that I like to do is eliminate stress, that's the most important thing for me. If you're having a party it's supposed to be fun, even when you're planning. Candace, what I've done is I've come up with three S words to make it easy for everybody to remember to throw a great backyard bash this summer time and they are: smart, savory and sweet.
So we'll start with smart. It all starts in the pre-planning when you put together a grocery list or a menu list of what you want to serve your guest when they show up. And when you go to the grocery store it would be nice to earn some cash back from whatever you're buying, so the Chase Freedom credit card allows you to do that. Through June 30th you can earn 5% cash back on purchases at your grocery store up to $1500. So, Candace, that means even if you're having the hugest family reunion or graduation party you're still going to be smart with your money and not overspend."
Candace Rose: What are some budget friendly ways to wow our guests?
Rich Hollenberg: "Well, that brings us to food. I don't think you have to spend a fortune on food, I just think you need good quality food and when you're making your menu up, I like to be traditional because usually that means everybody is going to be happy. You don't make a lot of different things for different people, so I start with hot dogs. I think they are universally loved because people can personalize them with whatever they want on top, but you have to start with a great hot dog and I always like to start with Ball Park Angus Beef Franks. They're big, bold, really juicy and tasty and it's kind of like that ultimate guy food where you can put ketchup and mustard on top or you can go all the way with chili and cheese and peppers and onions and pickles and relish – you name it. But if you start off with a good quality hot dog like that, I think basically everybody is going to be happy."
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to dessert?
Rich Hollenberg: "I certainly do; that's my third S. We've covered smart, we've covered savory and now we move on to the sweets. I think you'd be missing the ball if you let people leave your party without dessert. I grew up on Sara Lee pound cakes and they've really one-upped themselves now because now they make that great pound cake in either original or double chocolate flavor, and they make them individually wrapped in pre-sliced, so it's easier than ever. And here's my biggest tip for the summer time and since we're talking about grilling hot dogs, you could also grill your dessert believe it or not. Take those pound cake slices, put them on the grill for about a minute on each side (not really very long at all) and it gives it a nice toasty texture and then you can do what you want with it. You can make it a little healthier and go with maybe Greek style yogurt and seasonal fresh berries or you can make it a little more decadent if you have a sweet tooth and go with whip cream and chocolate syrup. But either way I think that is the ultimate summer time treat."
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to entertaining so we're not behind the barbecue and we actually get to enjoy ourselves?
Rich Hollenberg: "That's very important to me. You have to enjoy your own party just like your guests are and it's not just about food, it's also entertainment bang for your buck. I found a 3M mobile projector that could give you outside that same big screen movie experience that you have inside. Believe it or not Candace, this is about the size of a remote control and yet if you project it on to any blank wall like the side of any house or even a garage door it can get up to 80 inches diagonally, so that is a really big screen experience and all you need to do is hook it up to an iPad; an iPhone or an iPod or maybe if you don't have one of those you can hook it up to a laptop or a computer and you can play movies that you've bought or downloaded, you can play home videos, you can even do a photo slide show of your family and your friends."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Rich Hollenberg: "Well, the only information is keep it simple. I never go out of my way; I'm never sweating, I'm never stressing. I don't want to bend over backwards, but at the same time I want everyone to enjoy and you want people to walk away from the party thinking 'man, that was really fun' and at the same time you can enjoy yourself too. Keep things simple, follow those three S': be smart, have savories and have sweets, and I think you'll have a great backyard barbecue."
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Rich Hollenberg: "Well, if you want to find more out about the card you can go to Chase.com/Freedom; the food that we talked about- the hot dogs and the pound cake, they're easily available at your local grocery stores or supermarket; and finally for the projector it's www.3Mmobileprojectors.com."