Appetizers for a Back Yard BBQ


Best Shrimp Appetizer

This Bacon Wrapped Shrimp appetizer is always a show stopper for any gathering.  With a chunk of jalapeño tucked inside and a special dipping sauce, you’ve got to try this one.  AWESOME

We all met up over at Tom and Kathy’s house for a typical Highlands Ranch All-American backyard BBQ. To preface a great meal of beef kabobs, there were a couple of non-typical culinary highlights that merit mention.

Caprese Salad Display

Honorable mention goes to the Caprese Skewers.  Ever since Tom and Kathy returned from a vacation in Italy a couple of years ago, Kathy has been the Caprese Queen.  She served her latest creation;  a head of cabbage cut in half and placed flat side down on a silver platter. Alternate small balls of fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves on long wood skewers. Pierce green onion stems with the skewers to make leaves for a great finishing touch.  Stick the skewers uniformly in the cabbage and serve with a bowl balsamic vinegar on the side for dipping, this is a great idea and a beautiful display that guests will love.

First prize also goes to Kathy for her consistently delicious Jalapeno Bacon Shrimp appetizer.  We all agree we could eat these things every day, every meal.  I’ve made them and they’re easy,  just a little time consuming to assemble, but well worth the effort.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Shrimp
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Our favorite appetizer
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 24 medium shrimp -- shelled, deveined
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 24 wood toothpicks
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 24 pickled jalapeno slices
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs chili sauce
  • 1 Tbs sweet pickle relish
  • 1 Tbs minced red pepper
  1. Place shrimp and balsamic vinegar in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for about 15 min. Soak toothpicks in water while shrimp is marinating. Cut bacon in half, crosswise. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade. Put 1 piece of bacon on work surface, place on shrimp at the end, place one slice of jalapeno in the crook of the shrimp, roll and secure with toothpick.
  2. Stir together mayo, chili sauce, pickle relish, red pepper and 1 T. water. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Broil or grill shrimp brushing with marinade 2-3 minutes. Turn, marinade again and cook another 2-3 min.


We can’t ignore Kathy’s Beef Kabobs.  Delicious.  Her marinade fantastic.  I’ve got to get the recipe and will share when I do.

029Check out the Mourning Dove.  This little bird has chosen for her nest, a planter mounted on the side of the house,  right next the sliding glass doors that lead to the deck where we were having our party!  She didn’t seem to mind all the grilling and party activities that were taking place right next to her.  Amazing.

The evening concluded with an ice cream cake to unofficially celebrate Brian’s birthday.  Brian and Melanie were in Rome on his official birthday.  Kathy served it with some delicious ice cold Limoncello.   I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture, the bottle of Limoncello looked so deliciously frosty just out of the freezer.

Below you’ll find a gallery of attendees.

On this day..

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  1. Vickie Hemphill says

    Looks like a fun get together. Everything looks so delicious – I’m humbled by the caprese display – wow! Are the skewers set in chives or green onion stems? Does she use olive oil on them? (questions, questions)
    Can’t wait to try the jalepeno shrimp, too – thanks for sharing that recipe.

    • says

      Ya know, I don’t know the answer to the caprese questions. The jalapeno shrimp is just fabulous! And you can even prepare those on the grill. We’ve taken them camping.

      Lea Ann

  2. says

    It all looks so wonderful and good.

    I saw this great quote in the food section of the Denver Post the other day.

    “I’m overgeneralizing, but…women chefs cook to give pleasure and men chefs cook to show off” Nancy Silverton

    I think there is some real truth to that.


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