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8 Summer Menu Must-Haves for a Family Reunion Cookout!

8 Summer Menu Must Haves

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8 Summer Menu Must Haves

8 Summer Menu Must-Haves for a Family Reunion Cookout

This summer, put all of your Food Network viewing to good use and host the mother of all family reunion barbeques in your back yard. Go non-traditional and cook up unique fare. Ditch the hot dogs and brownies for tequila fish tacos and kid-friendly dirt cups.

Here's a collection of 8 recipes that will impress your guests:

Guacamole With a Kick

Leave store-bought guacamole for amateurs and go homemade. Alton Brown's guacamole recipe featured on "Good Eats" uses three Haas avocados, spicy jalapeños, fresh garlic and fragrant cilantro. Bake whole wheat pita bread for pita chips to dip into the creamy, smooth dip. This appetizer will surely disappear in no time.

Ultimate BBQ Burger & Chipotle Ranch Sauce

A mixture of smoked sweet paprika, cumin, steak seasoning and allspice takes an old-school burger recipe from ordinary to extraordinary. Rachael Ray's Ultimate BBQ Burger is a spicy blend full of sweet-smoky flavor. Pile on fresh toppings, including lettuce, tomato, onions and a slice of cheese. Finish it off with a zesty cool ranch sauce made from fresh herbs, sour cream and buttermilk.

Raw Corn Salad

Another Rachael Ray hit, Raw Corn Salad will color your picnic with fresh corn, cucumber, tomato, onion and bell pepper. The blend of hot sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice and olive oil keeps it light and flavorful. Guests won't be able to stop themselves from taking a second or third scoop. 

Grilled Tequila Lime Fish Tacos

The Grilled Tequila Lime Fish Taco recipe, as featured on Guy Fieri's "Guy's Big Bites," includes tequila-marinated mahi mahi filets skewered and grilled. Top each taco with crunchy red cabbage and mouthwatering cilantro lime crema. Each bite will be a tasty and sensational mouthful.

Peach & Berry Salad

Sweeten your family reunion fare with a summery, juicy fruit salad made of peaches, strawberries and blackberries. A light sauce of honey and cardamom complements the natural sweetness of fruit.

Strawberry Punch

Fruity strawberry punch is not only refreshing, it's a sweet treat that cools you down on a hot summer afternoon. Mix frozen sliced and fresh strawberries with orange juice and pink lemonade concentrates. For the fun uncles and young over-21 partiers of the family, spike the punch with crisp ginger ale and rum for a boozy beverage.

Oat Fudge Bars

Keeping with the theme of Food Network favorites, bake healthy Oat Fudge Bars by celebrity chef Rachael Ray. These Oat Fudge Bars mimic Starbucks brownies and are filled with a thick layer of fudge in the center. Mix the batter, including chocolate chips, oats and brown sugar. Serve with a disclaimer that warns your family just how addicting these bars can be.

Dirt Cups

Liven up your barbecue with a kid-friendly creepy chocolate dessert. Get creative and make individual dirt cups in miniature terra cotta flower pots lined with foil. Set up a craft table where kids can have fun painting, decorating and personalizing their pots.

Make your family reunion the summertime event of the season. Your cookout menu picks will delightfully impress. For more easy, breezy and fun BBQ Recipes, visit Grilling Central on www.FoodNetwork.com or never miss an episode of star chef cooking shows, such as Guy Fieri and Alton Brown, by upgrading your cable package through Direct Special TV.

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