I could live without a stove, but not without a grill.  Weather permitting; my family grills four nights a week.  Now that it is summer and it seems that we have a bit of break from this heat wave, I am able to go back to my favorite way of cooking…grilling!  Grilling is also my favorite way of entertaining for extended family and friends, for numerous reasons.  It doesn’t matter if you have the most basic grill, or the one with all the bells and whistles, the act of grilling is all the same.  Nor does it matter where you are in order to have a good time.  One can grill outdoors on a small patio and serve inside, or grill in the garden; the feast is still the same.  The actual act of grilling is so informal and actually allows the host to enjoy their company and party.

By far my favorite type of grill party is a kabob bar.  This entails guests having the ability to assemble their own skewers of premarinated ingredients and bring them over to the grill.  I try to choose a few appointed “grillmeisters” (fully outfitted in aprons and with tongs in hand) who are then responsible for grilling the guests’ kabobs.  My husband Jim, is usually our appointed grillmeister, however depending on the number of guests, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra.

My classic menu for the Kabob Bar (all of which can be found in The Berghoff Family Cookbook) is as follows:

  • Zesty Garlic Shrimp, grilled on skewers, or Sesame Seed Tuna.
  • Chicken Saltimbocca Skewers
  • Bratwurst, Knockwurst, and Smoked Thuringer, cut and skewered, finished on the grill
  • Lamb or beef kabobs (marinate 1 ½-inch lamb or beef cubes in Balsamic Vinaigrette and grill until done.
  • Grilled vegetables
  • S’mores on the Grill, or
  • Seasonal Berry Shortcake

A few tips to keep in mind (for 15-20 guests)

  • 3 proteins (one seafood, one poultry, one meat, about 9 pounds total)
  • Assortment of 3 or 4 vegetables (about 4 pounds)
  • About 4 pounds of small new potatoes (seasoned with herbs, spices, and olive oil, and roast in oven)
  • All proteins and vegetables should be marinated, separately in the refrigerator for about 1 hour
  • Discard all marinades and present proteins and vegetables on separate platters
  • Presoak wooden or bamboo skewers in hot water for 30 minutes

Cheers to good friends, good food, and memories made!

S'mores on the Grill

Yield: Makes 12 S’mores or Serves 6-8

This recipe goes all the way back to my Girl Scout sleepover camp days. Over the years I have prepared it for my children and their friends, and it is one of my favorite times to have s’mores on the grill is during a grill party. Go ahead; give your kids a thrill!


  • 24 honey-graham crackers, separated into squares
  • 12 (2-inch) squares crispy rice or plain bar chocolate
  • 12 large marshmallows


Preheat the grill.

On a serving platter, preassemble the S’more bases: each graham cracker square topped with one chocolate square. Place the marshmallows on a cleaned tree twig or long wooden skewer, and toast over the grill until golden brown. Place one heated marshmallow on top of each chocolate square. Top with a second graham cracker square to make a sandwich. Serve immediately.


S’mores may be made ahead and individually wrapped in foil. When ready to serve, place the packets on the grill briefly, to melt the chocolate and the marshmallow. Serve hot.