8 fun things to serve at your summer barbecue

Whether you choose to stay in the city for the summer or simply can't leave because of work or other responsibilities, it doesn't mean that you can't still have fun with your friends.
Instead of moping about not being able to hit the beach, bring the beach vibe to you by throwing a poolside summer barbecue!
All you will need is pool access (plan your party with a friend who has one!) a cute swimsuit, fun music and lots of food and drinks.

Don't know what to serve? Here are a few ideas:
1.  Pork Belly and Steaks
Good ol' liempo is always the star at any picnic, excursion or barbecue.
HOW: All you have to do is marinate the pork belly in soy sauce, calamansi and black pepper (or even just salt and pepper is fine) and throw on the grill. Your steaks can be lightly marinated in mustard and liquid seasoning, or,  you can also try a dry rub and cook them to your liking.
TIP: In order to keep from wasting food, cut your pork belly and steaks into bite-sized strips so people will only take what they can eat.
2.  Chicken Wings
There are so many kinds of chicken wings but the most popular seems to be chicken barbecue. Pinoy-style BBQ is slightly sweet and goes perfectly with the charred flavor the grill provides.
HOW: Marinate chicken wings in a mixture of garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, pepper, pineapple juice, and a bit of peanut butter overnight and half cook in the oven. When your guests come, all you need to do is throw on the grill and it will cook pretty quickly.
TIP: Don't forget to baste your wings with the marinade while grilling.
3.  Sangria
This Spanish drink is especially great on scorching days. Even those who say they don't like wine will love this. For an even cooler, more refreshing drink, try a white wine version.
HOW: Simply chop 1 apple and about 8 large strawberries. Mix with 1 bottle white wine like chardonnay or a sparkling wine, ¼ cup brandy, ¼ cup apple juice and ¼ cup lemon soda. Mix it all together and leave in the fridge overnight.
TIP: Serve with ice if desired.
4.  Italian Soda or Soft Drink
Provide the non-drinkers with more than just store-bought soft drinks.
HOW: Make your own Italian soda out of carbonated water and flavored syrup.
TIP: You can make strawberry, grape, even mint if you like!

5. Garlic-Parmesan Pasta
Don't make your pasta too complicated or hard to eat.
HOW: All you need is to sauté your noodles in garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle some parmesan and add a handful or fresh basil leaves and you are done!
6.  Jello Shots
Who doesn't love this party food?
HOW: Dissolve your Jello or gelatin with boiling water. Pour in the liquor of your choice and refrigerate till cool. Pair different flavored Jello with different kinds of alcohol for double the fun!
TIP: Disposable shot glasses are the easiest way to pass these adult desserts around.

7. Cupcakes
These mini cakes are easy to eat while chatting with people or moving around the party—no plate or fork required!
HOW: Make or buy two different flavors for variety.
TIP: Generally, a chocolate option would be good. Make the other one more creative and interesting, such as peanut butter and jelly or strawberries and cream.

8.  Pomelo Salad
This is the most refreshing salad ever! Your vegetarian and health-conscious buddies will love you for adding this to your summer barbecue menu.
HOW: Peel pomelo and divide sections into thirds. Add chopped cucumber, shallots, mint and coriander, crushed peanuts, red chili, cooked medium-sized shrimp and red pepper. Mix. Make your dressing out of fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and chilies.
TIP: Make this salad fresh and serve immediately.  

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Erica Paredes has been working in the publishing industry for almost a decade as a fashion and beauty editor, newspaper columnist, stylist and make-up artist. Nowadays she juggles her time between food and fashion, beauty and travel plus mommy duties to her 8 year old daughter.