With summer well underway, we find ourselves in the middle of prime summer dinner party season. While nothing beats the drool-inducing tastes and smells of a good old fashioned backyard BBQ, even the most avid BBQ’er must admit there is a finite amount of cheeseburgers one person can endure in a single summer.

The bolder among us face a dilemma because wishing to leave the safety of the BBQ behind also means entering the adult world of dinner parties. For many, the mere mention of the term “dinner party” can lead straight to a unique strand of anxiety I like to call Banal Laborious Appetizers and Nourishment Disorder or BLAND. One of BLAND’s primary symptoms is a paralyzing fear of what to offer guests. What food is tired or boring? What dishes may be too daring for the tamer taste buds in the group?

Fortunately Coca-Cola and our friends from Toronto’s The Edible Story have a few suggestions on simple, tasty and refreshing menu items for your next patio party featuring some of your favourite summer beverages.

Appetizer: Watermelon Feta with vitaminwater® shine Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

Ingredients Quanitity
Small Watermelon 1
Feta ¼ cup
Basil 2 leaves
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
vitaminwater® shine 1 tbsp
Balsamic Vinegar 1 tbsp
Radish 1
  • Chop watermelon into cubes
  • Dice feta
  • Tear basil leaves into small pieces
  • Combine olive oil and vitaminwater, whisk to emulsify
  • Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste to complete dressing
  • Thinly slice radishes
  • Plate all together and drizzle with dressing

Main: Coca-Cola® Chicken and Potatoes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients Quanitity
Cornish Hens 2
Coca-Cola® 355 mL can 2
Paprika 1 tbsp
Garlic 1 tbsp
Fennel Seed 1 tbsp
Red Chili Flakes 2 tsp
Fresh Oregano 1 sprig
Potatoes 2 cups
Green Onions
  • Chop green onions in half
  • Open the cans of Coca-Cola®, empty half (enjoy!) and put the chopped green onions inside the cans, set aside
  • Rinse and dry the Cornish hens
  • Crush the paprika, garlic, fennel seed and red chili flakes together
  • Rub chicken with spices, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Put the Coca-Cola cans in a baking tray, opening-side up, and stand the Cornish hens up on the cans.
  • Chop potatoes. Rub with olive oil, salt, pepper. Place around the chickens
  • Cook at 410⁰ F for 28 minutes
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut in half and serve with potatoes

Side: Mushroom Sprite® Risotto

Serves 4-6

Ingredients Quanitity
Risotto Rice (Aborio or Carnaroli) 2 cups
Mixed Mushrooms 2 cups
Butter 1 stick
Finely Grated Parmesan 2 cups
Finely Chopped Onion 1
White Wine ½ cup
Sprite® ½ cup
Olive Oil 1 tbsp
Vegetable Stock 4 L
  • Bring a pot with the vegetable stock to a boil
  • Chop mushrooms into bite size chunks
  • Cook mushrooms in a hot pan with olive oil until golden and cooked, season with salt and pepper
  • Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside
  • Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan, add the onions and sauté onions until soft
  • Add rice and coat in the oil, toast until the rice is hot to the touch
  • Add wine and Sprite®. Stir and let the liquid reduce to half the original volume
  • Once reduced, add stock in a few ladles at a time, with a pinch of salt
  • Keep on stirring and let the rice soak up all the liquid, and then keep on adding liquid, and stirring to absorb into the rice, until all the stock has been added
  • The rice will take about 20 minutes to cook at a light simmer, add water as necessary so the rice becomes creamy - you don’t want the rice to look dry
  • Once the rice is cooked (to your liking, approximately 20 minutes) take the pan off the heat and add the butter and ½ of the parmesan, mix until creamy and the right consistency (not too thick, not too thin). Stir in the mushrooms
  • Divide the risotto between plates and garnish with mushrooms and parmesan

Dessert: Banana split with Core Power® Chocolate Sauce

Serves 4-6

Ingredients Quanitity
Your Favourite Chocolate Bars 2
Core Power® Chocolate ½ cup
Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream 1 scoop each
Banana 1
Whipping Cream ¼ cup 
Peanuts 2 tbsp
Strawberries 1 pint
  • Prepare toppings for banana split: whip cream to stiff peaks, chop peanuts, slice strawberries, slice banana in half lengthwise and peel
  • In a saucepan over low heat combine chocolate bars and Core Power® Chocolate high protein milk shake
  • Plate all together – scoop ice cream onto a place and put ½ of the banana on each side of the ice cream.  Top with whipped cream, peanuts, and strawberries.  Drizzle with chocolate sauce to taste

The Edible Story offers catering, special events and private cooking classes driven by the simple belief that restaurant quality food can be served anywhere. They customize each experience, offering specialized menus tailored to vision of each client. For more information please visit them online here.

¼ cup

¼ cup