Spice up your summer party with these do-it-yourself projects and recipes


It’s almost time for the summer holidays! Spice up your backyard party with these do-it-yourself projects and recipes.

Keep bugs away

Check your local dollar store for inexpensive glass cylinders for our bug spray centerpiece. Recipe Kevin Miller Design Contributor MYO party


  • 8 inch glass cylinder
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Water
  • A few drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 1 floating candle


1. Add slices of lemons, limes and rosemary to the glass cylinder. Fill 1 inch below the top of the vase with water. Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil (5-7 drops per cylinder).

2. Add your floating candle and light it. It will look cute and help keep bugs away!

GF Lemonade Sparkling Bar | V+

Lemonade is fun for all ages. Make a big batch of basic lemonade and take the base and add other summer flavors as shown below.

  • Simply Lemonade
  • Makes 8-10 servings
  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup sugar (can substitute ½ cup honey or agave syrup or 3-5 packets of unflavored Stevia)
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups of fresh water
  • A few pinches of sea salt


1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the water and sugar and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, or place in an ice bath for a quick cooling option.

2. In a large pitcher, add the sugar syrup, lemon juice, 6 cups of water and a few pinches of sea salt. Stir to combine. If you prefer sugar-free, omit the first step and replace the sugar syrup with 3-5 packets of unflavored stevia or add honey or agave syrup to taste.

Flavor options

· Blackberry Basil: Add 2 pints of blackberry puree with a tablespoon of basil to the base recipe.

Lemon Strawberry. Add 1 liter of strawberry purée to the basic recipe.

· Simply Lemonade: Float lemon slices in a pitcher.

· Citrus Punch: Replace ½ cup lemon juice with ⅔ cup orange juice and ⅔ cup lime juice.

· Sparkling: Offer a range of sparkling waters to mix with lemonade to make sparkling.

Adult Cocktail: This lemonade bar would also pair well with a vodka option for the adult faction of the party.


Guajillo chicken with citrus


Sedona Chopped Coleslaw

Summer watermelon salad

GF Traditional Street Corn Spread | V


Makes 6 servings


5 ears of corn

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup cotija (reserve ¼ cup and sprinkle on top)

2 tablespoons chilli powder

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

I teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce (optional)


1. Lightly brush corn with olive oil and grill over medium heat on barbecue, turning as needed, 4-6 minutes until corn is lightly charred. Leave to cool a little and cut the kernels off the cob.

2. Mix mayonnaise, chili powder and lime juice until well blended.

3. Gently stir in the cotija, cilantro and toasted corn kernels

4. Place in a baking dish, top with reserved cheese and bake at 350 for 15 minutes until golden on top

Sedona GF Summer Chopped Salad | V

Makes 10-12 servings


5 cups coleslaw mix (or a 10-14 ounce bag)

2 cups chopped green cabbage

1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts

1 cup cotija queso cheese, crumbled

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 English cucumber, medium diced

½-¾ cup diced red onion

½ cup chopped banana peppers

½ cup assorted bell peppers, finely diced

⅛ cup fresh cilantro leaves, picked

2 avocados, cleaned and diced

For the lime vinaigrette

1½ cup olive oil

½ cup fresh lime juice

1 bunch fresh cilantro (leaves only)

¼ cup agave syrup (or honey)

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

Small handful of banana peppers (5-7)

1 teaspoon sea salt

pinch of cayenne


1. In a large bowl, add the salad ingredients and toss gently.

2. For the vinaigrette, mix all the ingredients together using a blender or an immersion stick.

3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Finish with fresh cracked pepper if desired.

Citrus Guajillo Chicken SG | DF

Yields 12 pieces 6 thighs cut into 2 pieces (thigh and thigh)


6 quarter chicken thighs

For the friction

1 Mexican cinnamon stick

1 tbsp ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 whole allspice berries

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

For the sauce

2 whole dried guajillo peppers

2 cloves garlic

1 each of zest and juice: lime, orange and lemon

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons of honey


1. For the rub, in a small sauté pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the spices (all but the sea salt and sugar) and lightly toast. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before grinding in a spice grinder. Place the spices in a small mixing bowl or ramekin, add the sea salt and sugar and stir with a fork. Rub the chicken with the prepared spice blend and let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours.

2. For the sauce, in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chiles and garlic cloves for about a minute until fragrant. Place the roasted pepper and garlic in a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree. Pour the mash into a medium saucepan over medium heat and reduce the sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

3. Preheat barbecue grill to 400℉. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken. Grill the chicken over low heat for about 6-8 minutes on each side until an internal temperature reads 140-145℉.

4. Brush chicken with glaze every two minutes for another 4 minutes on each side until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.


Chef’s note

The spice mix can be made weeks in advance and the sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.


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