Being a 20-something gal, I've found that along with new found adulthood has come the pleasure of "entertaining."
In college, this meant a fully stocked cabinet of red plastic cups and bottles of Moet and PBR on the rocks. And while this may still satisfy my recession riding friends, the adults in my life are less than impressed by cocktails contained in a cooler and the idea of ordering some "za."
But lucky for me, post-graduation, I have become a bit of a Suzy Homemaker. Give me a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress inspired apron and a pink Kitchen Aid, and I'm Martha, Paula, and that "semi-"chef cougar, Sandra Lee, combined.
However, grilling, considered a summer sport of it's own to some, has never been my forte. At the risk of sounding as though Suzy Homemaker is corrupting my college-educated sense of women's lib, it was always more of my father's domain growing up and I was -- and still am -- much more content with cupcakes and cookie cutters.
While I can keep my family and friends up to their eyeballs in buttercream frosting and a variety of pastel novelty-shaped sprinkles, it's beyond me how to even flip my grill switch on, let alone, flip a piece of charred meat.
But I've found a summer soiree savior -- Grilled Fruit! -- fresh and fleshy, brushed with a bit of olive oil or honey (depending on whether you're going for sweet or savory.) Spray some nonstick to avoid serious post-party clean up. Then pop halves of your favorite pitted fruit over your grill for about a minute on each side and enjoy!
Red plums muddled with mint in the bottom of a mojito or brown sugar balsamic peaches perched on top of salads or salmon are some of the easiest ways to impress a crowd and get your grill on.
And honestly, you have no excuse not to, since in July most fleshy fruits are in-season and plentiful for the picking at your local orchards.
Click here for a list of local orchards in Connecticut. (I personally recommend Lyman Orchards in Middlefield in July for fresh peaches - served over a slice of their amazing Coconut Custard Pie... mmmm.)