Hello, Summer! Now that we’re rapidly approaching the longest day of the year and have the temperatures to prove it, it’s high time to put on some breezy classics with a good beat, break out the ol’ barbecue tongs, and fire up your trusty grill. Whether you’re tossing together a weeknight meal for the family or meeting a few of your favorite Solstice™ neighbors for a sunset cookout by Chatfield Lake, a good barbecue is the secret to summertime happiness. Read on for every recipe you’ll need to host your best cookout yet! 

First We Drink
Satisfy your guests’ parched palates from the moment they arrive with handcrafted cocktails concocted to beat the heat. For the adults, consider pre-mixing a batch of Sangria with a twist by combining a bottle of your favorite rosé with pineapple juice and muddled mixed berries. If you’re looking to make something with greater visual interest (and a fair bit more chopping), try pouring Pimm’s and ginger beer over layers of sliced cucumber, strawberry, and citrus to create the striking Strawberry Pimm’s Cup. Don’t forget to whip up an alcohol-free option for the non-drinkers by omitting the booze from the Strawberry Pimm’s Cup or by mixing up a pitcher of tart homemade lemonade which you could easily get creative with by adding mint or lavender.

Mason Jar Lemonade Mint Leaves Getty Images

Don’t Be Green
Honestly, little beats a veggie plate chock full of seasonal produce — but if you’re already tired of boring traditional leafy salads, you might love this watermelon and quinoa salad that’ll bring a pop of pink and a punch of protein to your dinner table. And when you’re looking to keep the protein coming, look no further than this Greek chickpea salad which borrows all the base flavors from a standard Greek salad and blends them with creamy chickpeas straight from the can. Both of these dishes are new twists on old favorites that come together in minutes, leaving you with more time to relax and make memories with your family and friends.

Fresh Watermelon Getty Images

All About the Flavor
Good barbecue lives and dies by its spices, and we’ve found a cherry glaze that will define your grilled meats through its curious sweetness. It’s the kind of flavor that your guests will adore — but they may not quite be able to put their finger on the surprising stone fruit ingredient — and you’re under no obligation to tell them your secret! This glaze works equally well on chicken or pork — and if you know you’ll have a vegetarian at the table, it’s sure to brighten up a block of grilled tofu, portobello mushrooms, or a cauliflower steak. For another surprising vegetarian meal, skip the frozen black bean burger and toss some shelf-stable gnocchi and summer vegetables onto the grill in a tinfoil packetyour beautiful backyard will be smelling like a five-star restaurant before you know it!

Bowl of Cherries Getty Images

It’s All Peachy
To round out your delicious celebration of all things fruity, consider a rustic peach and plum galette. For this dessert you’ll want to use fresh fruit, but the good thing about summer in Colorado is that we’re never at a shortage for homegrown stone fruit (including the iconic Palisade Peach). Matured on the sunny side of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado peaches, plums, and apricots are all absolutely stunning and will bring an initial hint of sour tartness to your galette before settling into a complex and honeyed sweetness.

Peach Orchard Getty Images

We hope this list helps all our Solstice™ residents grill up a summer to remember, with long and lazy nights of good food and even better company. Whatever dish you ultimately settle on, you’re sure to hit the mark when your barbecue is a celebration of the cornucopia of summer fruits and vegetables grown right here in Colorado. Does it sound almost too good to be true? Trust us, it’s not. Reach out today to schedule a walkthrough with one of our realtors to make Solstice™ a place to put down roots.

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