This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Home Depot Canada. All opinions and experiences are 100% my own.
Food is a powerful thing. Not only does it nourish your body & delight your taste buds, but it can make or break a party! Trust me, I’ve been to plenty of parties that served bad food… or worse, no food at all! 🙁
But the best thing about food is that it brings people together. It’s the one thing we all have in common. Conversations happen over food. Decisions are made over food. Love blossoms over food. Occasions are celebrated with food. No matter our background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion, we will always have food.
With Canada Day quickly approaching I wanted to put together a festive menu that can be prepared and enjoyed outside in the backyard. From grilled chicken and kabobs to refreshing sangria and luscious lemon cheesecake, this backyard BBQ menu is one that can be enjoyed by all Canada Day party go-ers!
Best of all, most of the prep can be done the day before so you’ll have ample time to spend with your guests!
Easy Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
What’s a backyard party without a BBQ? These chicken drumsticks are just the thing your BBQ is craving! Prepare & marinate the chicken the night before your party so it soaks up all the sweet and spicy flavours. Make sure you provide napkins, these should definitely be eaten with your hands!
12 chicken drumsticks, skin on
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp garlic. minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Chopped green onion, sesame seeds and cilantro for garnish
1. Add drumsticks to a large ziploc baggy.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin, honey garlic and pepper flakes. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinate for later basting. Pour marinade into ziploc bag over chicken. Toss to coat and refrigerate at least 1 hour before grilling (24 hours is ideal!).
3. Grill chicken over medium heat, basting with reserved marinate as you go. Be care as this recipe includes honey and it can quickly char the outside of your chicken. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), about 8-12 minutes. Serve hot with chopped green onions and sesame seeds as garnish!
Spicy Mexican Corn Salsa
Chips and salsa on Canada Day is a must in my books! Why not switch it up a bit with this delicious and easy corn salsa? I like to use grilled fresh corn in this recipe because I find it adds a nice smoky flavour, but you can very well use boiled corn or even canned! Your party guests will go bonkers for this!
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp Chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cobs of corn, grilled or boiled & cooled, kernels cut from cob
1 small red onion, diced
1-2 Jalapeno peppers, small diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 family size bag lime tortilla chips
1. In a large bowl whisk together lime, honey, chili, garlic and olive oil.
2. Add corn kernels, onion, and Jalapeno; mix well.
3. Gently stir in feta and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate or serve with lime flavoured tortilla chips!
Mushroom & Halloumi Kabobs with Maple BBQ Sauce
These three ingredient kabobs are fast and easy to pull together, making them an excellent last minute addition to any backyard BBQ. Halloumi is the perfect grilling cheese as it stands up to the high heat, and it’s texture is perfect with grilled crimini mushrooms!
2 packages Halloumi, cut into 1/5 inch cubes
16-18 crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup Maple BBQ sauce
1. Soak bamboo skewers in warm water for 1 hour.
2. Thread each skewer with three mushrooms and two cubes of Halloumi, making sure the cheese is always in the middle (this will help hold it on the skewer).
3. Brush with BBQ sauce and grill for 5-8 minutes, turning frequently, or until mushrooms have softened. Serve hot.
Red Wine Sangria
This sangria is my go-to drink on a hot summer day! What I love most about sangria is that it’s completely customizable. It can be red, it can be white, it can be sweet, or even really boozy, the choice is yours! But no matter how you make it, it’s a refreshing addition to any Canada Day party!
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 bottles (1.5L) of red wine
2 cups pineapple juice
1 bottle (1L) Pink Crush
1 bottle (1L) Sprite
3/4 cup hard liquor (I used Apple Pie Moonshine)
4 cups of assorted fresh sliced fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges)
1. Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar until the sugar dissolves; approximately 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Mix simple syrup with red wine, pineapple juice, Pink Crush, Sprite and liquor.
3. Add sliced fruit and 2-3 cups of ice cubes.
4. Serve sangria over ice.
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Lemon Cheesecake
This cheesecake was made for summer! With a tangy tartness and smooth finish this no-bake cheesecake is easy and fast to assemble; a definite win for your Canada Day celebration!
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (473 mL) cold whipping cream
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
6 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 cup fresh raspberries
Icing sugar & lemon wedge for garnish
1. Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment and spray sides with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl mix together butter and cracker crumbs until mixture holds together when pressed with the back of a spoon. Push crust into bottom of spring-form pan until level. Place in freezer to firm up.
3. Pour whipping cream into chilled metal mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks start to form. Cover and place in fridge.
4. In a stand mixer beat together cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Slowly incorporate white chocolate. Run mixer another 1-2 minutes on high until all ingredients are whipped together. Remove bowl from mixer, and using a rubber spatula fold in whipped cream.
5. Pour cheesecake filling over crust and smooth. Dollop 4 tablespoons of lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and using a knife or toothpick begin to swirl the curd into and around the top of the cheesecake. Place cheesecake in fridge to firm up for at least 3 hours.
6. When ready to serve garnish top of cheesecake with fresh raspberries, a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Now for my favourite part of any party… eating!