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girls' night

Girlie Backyard Barbecue

Cap off a summer well spent with one last outdoor get-together. Chef and author Elizabeth Karmel (a.k.a. Queen of the Grill) spices up the standard shindig.

decor
Position old-fashioned Mason jars around the lawn and drop a votive inside each one for a sweetly nostalgic alternative to more-expensive hurricane lamps.

tabletop
Swap out paper napkins for colorful, machine-washable cotton bandannas; the more than 70 styles on bandanaman.com cost just $2 apiece.

activity
There's a reason bocce is in the midst of a major resurgence: The classic, all-ages lawn game requires almost no setup—and barely any backyard real estate.

cocktails
Pomegranate margaritas add a tangy twist to an old favorite—just replace the lime juice with a mix of pomegranate and fresh lemon juices.

food
Stock a DIY burger bar with fancy cheeses, relishes, spreads, and breads, and let guests customize to their hearts' content. For perfect patties, resist the urge to flip repeatedly; the meat will be juicier if you turn it only once.

Chef Elizabeth Karmel is the author of Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ (Wiley, $25).

 
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