By Nikki, Pure Matters

It’s summer which means cookouts and BBQs galore! However, our picky kids seem to never want to eat the delicious spread that we work so hard to put together. Here are a few alternatives to some BBQ dishes that are sure to be a hit with the kiddos at your next summer bash.

Funny Face Hamburgers

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large shallot, minced
• 1/4 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
• 1/2 small garlic clove, crushed
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme or chopped parsley
• 2 teaspoons honey
• 3/4 cup ground round
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon ketchup
• 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
• 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
• sunflower or olie oil, for frying
• green peas and mini-cherry tomatoes for decoration

Per Portion
• 1 ounce spaghetti or macaroni
• 3 tablespoons Annabel’s Secret Tomato Sauce or use good-quality bought sauce

1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and soften the shallot and apple for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, until evaporated, then stir in the thyme and honey. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Shape into four burgers. Cover and refrigerate. Or, wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
2. To cook, heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the burgers over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. At the same time, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and toss with the tomato sauce.
3. Arrange some pasta on a plate to resemble hair (spaghetti for straight, macaroni for curls) and place the burgers under the hair. Add peas for eyes and mini-cherry tomato for a nose (or use carrot or ketchup). For the mouth, use a curved piece of pasta (or tomato or red bell-pepper). Serve any leftover pasta in a separate dish.

Rocket Dogs

• hot dogs
• prepared breadstick dough (such as Pillsbury brand)
• skewers
• cubed cheese
• mustard

1. Simply wrap hot dogs in prepared breadstick dough and insert a skewer, letting it protrude at the top.
2. Bake the dogs according to the dough package’s instructions. Add a triangle of cheese for a topper, tie on a tail made from ribbon or aluminum foil, and squirt on stripes of ketchup and mustard.

Grilled Packet Potatoes

• 8 red or russet potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
• 8 green onions, chopped with some of the green, plus more for garnish
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and pepper

1. Prepare the grill for cooking. Place two 18-inch-long pieces of heavy-duty foil on a flat surface. Divide the potatoes, green onions, and garlic between the two pieces of foil, keeping the mixture in the center of each sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and season them to your liking. Gently toss the ingredients on the foil, then fold and crimp the foil along the sides to make a flat packet (make each packet a uniform thickness for even cooking).
2. Grill the packets for 15 minutes, then turn them over and grill them for 10 minutes more. The potatoes can be served directly from the foil packets, sprinkled with additional green onion. Serves 8.

Ocean Potion

• blue gelatin
• clear plastic glasses
• gummy sea creatures

1. Before the party, whip up a batch of blue gelatin and pour it into clear plastic glasses. Put the gelatin in the refrigerator to set as directed on the package.
2. At the party, guests can populate their Ocean Potion with edible sea critters

***Recipes courtesy Disney’s FamilyFun.Go.Com