Backyard Grilled Pizza Bar + Root Beer Floats with Whole Foods Market

The 4th of July always reminds me of summertime gathering and grilling. But instead of the typical BBQ, how fun would it be to have a Grilled Pizza Bar where everyone could make their own personal pizzas? Today, I've partnered with Whole Foods Market for another grilling shoot as part of our summer grilling series, bringing you a little 4th of July inspiration--a low-key Backyard Grilled Pizza Bar and Root Beer Floats. As with our Father's Day shoot, we had some friends over (thanks Eric, Susana, Nico and Mateo!) to help us build pizzas and make root beer floats for kids AND adults (hello, alcoholic root beer and bitters!).

I wanted everything to be easy and low-key. Whole Foods Market made it super easy to pull together everything I needed for the pizza bar, from my favorite refrigerated multi-grain pizza dough to the frozen grilled corn to the jarred pesto sauce. To be honest, everything but the tomato sauce and vegan cashew cream was premade! We followed these easy directions on How to Grill Pizza from the Whole Foods website.

I put ingredients in muffin tins so the kids could easily see all their options--surprisingly, Theo chose grilled corn to put on his pizza! Everyone was encouraged to get creative. It was fun and funny to see the dough take form--some were rectangular and others were the shape of Montana and Texas. Some of the pizzas we made included:

  • Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto
  • Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese (my personal fave!)
  • Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Lemon Zest
  • Olives and Spicy Vegan Cashew Cream (recently discovered the magic of cashew cream!)
  • Zucchini, Corn and Lime Zest
  • Turkey Pepperoni and Wild Mushrooms

The root beer floats for kids and adults were a hit as were the sangrias in the cutest bottles. I consulted with Dan, a cocktail expert at Whole Foods Market Gilman, on the best way to make an alcoholic root beer. His recommendations were spot on not to mention the packaging! He also recommended these amazing sangrias! Here's a list:

Whole Foods bagged organic kale salad! Easy!

Every time I make any kind of pizza, I brush garlic olive oil on it when it comes out hot. A tip I learned from Cheeseboard.

Ummm, luckily Theo was making his own personal pizza!

Those lashes!

Lucas LOVES tomatoes!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

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Special thanks to Whole Foods Market for sponsoring this post. All content, ideas, and words are my own.

Father's Day Camp Grilling and Beer Tasting with Whole Foods Market

Father’s Day is just around the corner on June 19th. I've partnered with Whole Foods Market to bring you a little Father's Day camp grilling and beer tasting inspiration for all you dads out there--new dads, single dads, grandads, animal dads and every other rad dad out there.

We invited our good friends Brad and Nancy and their son Ben, along with Eric and Susana and their boys Nico and Mateo, over for some urban camp grilling (think foil-wrapped camp food cooked on a backyard grill).  We also roasted s'mores over a portable fire pit, set up an outdoor movie screen for the kids, and had a blind beer tasting for the dads. Oh, and we can't forget the Warriors playoff game that happened to be playing that night. Go Dubs!

Take a look at our drool-worthy dinner menu:

For the beer tasting, I wanted two IPAs and two Stouts, I wanted them to be from local or California breweries, and of course, the label had to be cute--Rachel from Whole Foods Gilman was amazing at helping me select a few craft brews for me to choose from. Here were my final selections:

Almanac IPA (San Francisco, CA)
With intense aromas of grapefruit and tangerine peel, melon, pineapple and pine trees. The finish has a clean bitterness and light saltine cracker note.

Iron Springs Casey Jones Imperial IPA (Fairfax, CA)
This double IPA has twice the hops and grains as its counterpart. Significant floral, citrus, and peppery notes on the nose, yet even with the enormous hop profile, the huge grain bill results in a very well balanced brew.

Modern Times Beer Mega Black House Imperial Stout - Special Release (San Diego, CA)
An imperialized version of Black House loaded with their house-roasted coffee.  Thick, chewy, and bursting with coffee aroma & flavor.

Bike Dog Brewing Company Milk Stout (West Sacramento, CA)
A sweet stout with chocolate notes and a hint of coffee and milk.

I hand painted a rough buffalo plaid pattern onto kraft butcher paper to line the tables. I designed some cute beer tasting cards for the dads to rate each beer.

Um, luckily I printed out four cards! And please note that Theo did not actually taste test any of those beers. ;)

Three rad beer-loving dads with their winning selections from the beer tasting--so fun that they each had a different favorite! They had a lot of fun discovering these new beers and were pleasantly surprised that Whole Foods had such a great selection of craft brews.

Delicious olives and cheeses including ones from Kite Hill (made with almond milk and so good!), Mitica Cana de Oveja Mitica and Fromi Brebirousse D'Argental.

These Candied Hazelnuts from the new Camp Sunset cookbook were so easy to make and highly addictive. You could also find the recipe here.

These Cool Kebabs from the Camp Sunset cookbook were super easy and quick to make. Even Theo helped out--he made the one with all grapes and one cheese cube ;)

And can we talk about these delicious little goodies? A Whole Foods Market exclusive, they're from Fork in the Road, a company that acts responsibly, humanely and compassionately and are made with sustainable, pasture-raised uncured beef without any antibiotics or added hormones.

I used this recipe for Grilled Salmon in Foil Packets for the main dish using fresh, wild Alaskan salmon from the fish section at Whole Foods, organic cherry tomatoes, lemons, olives, and fresh thyme, oregano and parsley.

For dessert I made these Peach Crisps in Foil Packets with Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream from the Camp Sunset cookbook.

It wouldn't be urban camping without s'mores by the firepit, right? Nick put together our Stahl Firepit in a jiffy. Should have started the fire earlier so it would be perfect for s'mores but the guys were too busy beer tasting!

Now THIS is urban camping! Go Warriors!

Setting out all the ingredients in a pan made it easy for everyone to assemble their s'mores. I used Elyon Natural Vanilla Marshmallows, and 365 Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, and Organic Honey Grahams from Whole Foods.

Let's not forget the amazing Father's Day gifts you could get at Whole Foods. These include a Kleen Kanteen, grilling tools, books, Allegro coffee and mugs, Kikkerland Bike Phone Holder, 3-in-1 Mini Screwdriver, TrueFlask Soft Touch Flask, Herban Cowboy products, and Thrive skin care products.

And my favorite photo of the night...

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Special thanks to Whole Foods Market for sponsoring this post. All content, ideas, and words are my own.