McCormick Grill Mates Grill Ambassadors Party

Monday, June 4, 2012

DISCLOSURE:  I was selected by and McCormick Grill Mates to host a party to promote the Grill Mates brand.  All opinions are my own.

It's grilling season!  I don't know about you, but once the weather gets warm enough and it isn't raining, we are grilling our dinner.  Steak, chicken, burgers -- we are eating something grilled almost every night! 

So, I was super excited to be selected to host a grilling party for Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Mates!  I was familiar with the line of Grill Mates products but I've only tried one of their products, the Montreal Steak Seasoning.  We had a bottle of it in our spice drawer that we had bought a long time ago.   It was good but we hadn't used it in over a year, if not two!  [Later, I realized why we hadn't used it.... it was the 25% less sodium version, so not as good!]  I was really interested in trying out the other products that McCormick Grill Mates had.

  Hosts were sent a kit that included a package of:
  • Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade
  • Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub
  • Molasses Bacon Seasoning 
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Here's a picture of the kit and the products I received.  I got it about a week before we were going to have the party but we just so happened to be grilling that night, hence the steaks and beer in the background:

The party was supposed to be held sometime between May 25 and June 10.  But we were leaving to go on vacation on May 26th.  We were going to be in the Outer Banks (NC) until June 2nd.  My in-laws rent a beach house every year and my family, my husband's brother's family, his aunt and uncle and his parents all stay there for a week.  So I thought it would be great to hold the party at the beach house!  It's a great house with its own pool and a few minutes walk to the beach and to shops.  I pictured a party by the pool with my husband grilling meats and eating on the pool deck and drinking margaritas!  But of course, things don't always turn out the way one expects them to.

For one thing, I wanted an awesome picture of the house with the volleyball court in the front and me standing there in my beach dress that I got at Old Navy to wear for the party.  Here's what I got instead:

We were there a week and the only picture of the house I managed to get was with the kids out front while we were on our way to walk to the beach.  I did though manage to get a picture of us before we left to buy food for the party:

I also envisioned getting pictures of me and my husband while we were out buying the meat for the party.  I wanted pictures of us walking into the Harris Teeter, which I did kind of get:

Here's my husband holding the baby while we were walking into the Harris Teeter to buy all the food we needed.   I also wanted pictures of us looking at the meat counter and talking to the butcher but that didn't happen.  We planned on buying Delmonico steaks to grill but boo, Harris Teeter didn't have any.  There was another store though that was selling the Delmonicos, but they were charging $20 a pound.  Way too much!  So even though Delmonico Steaks are my favorite, we didn't buy any.  We bought Rib-Eyes instead at Harris Teeter.  

We planned on making Tafooleh, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Peaches wrapped in Prosciutto, Grilled Steaks, Chicken Breasts, Chicken Thighs, Chicken Drumsticks and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Caps.  We also had some blueberries and watermelon and planned on having some Bumbleberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert.  It wasn't as much food as I would have liked to serve for a party but with only 8 adults and 5 kids -- two being babies -- the food was more than enough to feed us.  Thanks Mom and Dad for lending us your credit card for this!  ^_^
Here's a picture of a lot of the things we bought for the party:

Instagram makes it look so cool too.  We bought wine and beer too.  Though you don't see the frozen Daily's Cocktails that I got to drink.  No one else was interested in renting a margarita machine, like I would have liked, so I bought these frozen cocktails you squeeze into a glass and drink.   Next best thing.

When we got back from the store, it was time to start getting things marinating.  There really wasn't anyone around to take our picture as we prepped.  So the only picture I have is this one that my daughter took.  You like how none of us are looking and my eyes are closed?

My brother-in-law was in charge of making one of the marinades.  We told him to follow the recipe on the back of the package for the Southern Peach Marinade instead of the Spiced Brandy & Herb, but I don't think he was listening!  So he made it the regular way:

We marinated the chicken thighs in it:

I was in charge of making the Tafooleh.  What is it?  It's really yummy!  Here's a picture of the finished product and the recipe from Health-Bent:


  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • Handful of mint
  • 4 glugs of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Roughly chop the tomatoes, cucumber and mint and place in a large bowl. Dice the onion as small as you can and add to the bowl. Add the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 4, along with the olive oil and some salt & pepper. Let the salad marinate for a few hours so the flavors can meld.
The longer you let this salad sit, the better it tastes.

While the chicken was marinating, it was pool time!

Here's Grandpa and Grandma, helping my son with his floaties.

Here's my son rocking out with the inflatable guitar pool toy.

Here's my youngest son watching everyone.

Here's my husband, daughter and oldest son.  Doesn't the water look nice?

Here's my sister-in-law and her daughter getting in the pool.

He's gonna jump!!

Okay back to getting ready to grill!  Here are some shots before grilling:

Shaking on some Montreal Steak Seasoning on the Rib-Eyes.

You have to pat the seasoning into the meat.

Our chicken drumsticks probably could have used more Molasses Bacon Seasoning.

The portobello mushroom caps are ready to go!

And my husband's ready to go too!

You have to make sure the grill is ready to go.

Time to put those babies on the grill!

Looking good, Grill Master!

Even better with an Instagram filter!

Meanwhile, inside, I decorated the dining area with the only decorations I had with me.  A banner of American flags!

My daughter got decked out in a red, white and blue lei:

All right, here comes the food!  First up, the corn on the cob:

Next, the chicken breasts and the chicken drumsticks:

Yummy!  And now we have the chicken thighs:

And the mushroom caps:

And finally, the steaks!

So here's our spread:

Wait.  Where are the grilled peaches wrapped in prosciutto and fresh basil?  Yeah.... about those... the peaches were so not ripe.  They were terrible so we ended up not making those.  Which was fine, there was plenty of food.  Here's my plate and my Strawberry Daiquiri:

And a shot of everyone enjoying the food:

Here's one of the baby enjoying his food:

And me with my Strawberry Daiquiri!  It wasn't the same as the real thing though...

The food was delicious.  Everyone loved it!  I really really liked the Montreal Steak Seasoning on the steak.  We've been using it now every time we grill steak.  We didn't get a chance to use the rub for the ribs though because it would have been way too much food!  We hope to make it soon.  After the party, the kids ended up going out to the ice cream shop for dessert.  The adults ate the pie.  Here's a shot of my slice of bumbleberry pie and ice cream.  Yum!

Thanks so much Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Mates!  

Would you recommend it? Yes, absolutely!  McCormick Grill Mates are an easy way to add a boost of flavor to your grilled meats and veggies.  You can even use some on your seafood.

How much does it cost?
It looks like the Grill Mates products range in price from about $1 to $4, but I'm sure it depends on where you buy them.

Where can I buy it?
You can find it in all major drug stores, mass merchandisers, grocery stores and online retailers.

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