zak designs
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Dinner Bars

Taco ingredients in a festive dish

Summer is here and it's time to head outside...not only to cook dinner, but also to enjoy eating out on the patio. One of my go-to concepts when entertaining friends and family during the summer is "the dinner bar."

One week it could be a taco bar, another week it could be a potato bar, or a grilled chicken packet bar, a quesadilla bar, and even an ice cream bar. Dinner bars allow guests to customize their dinner (or dessert), and everyone gets to enjoy the backyard party with yummy eats and fellowship.

Table set with taco ingredients in a colorful dish

Set up a taco bar as you see above in small dishes dishes...lay them out as a flower, or in a line, or as petals with some chips in a bowl in the center. The design and setup options are endless...let your creativity take over!

Load up the petals with fixings for a baked or grilled potato bar. You could also set out some foil and have guests make up packets to grill. Include chicken tenderloins or sliced chicken breast, or steak strips, along with a variety of vegetables for the grilled packets. Combine what you like into a piece of foil, wrap it up and grill it until the meat has cooked through.

And for dessert, drop all your favorite ice cream toppings or sauces into the petals and let your guest come up with their own sweet creations.

I have found that "dinner bars" often leave a mix of leftover ingredients...just be strategic about the way you use them up. Make a Loaded Potato Frittata with leftovers from your potato bar, or enjoy a refreshing taco salad with what's left from your taco bar dinner.I know you're dying to wow your family and friends with these adorable Rainbow Petals dishes.