Kickoff Summer with a Cookout

Kickoff the summer season with family and friends at a summer cookout. To make sure that everyone enjoys the delicious food, plan your summer cookout recipes based on the preferences of your guests. Think about food preparation, recipes, drinks and cookout supplies in advance of the party to avoid last minute barbeque blunders.

Here are some summer cookout ideas to keep in mind as you plan your shindig:

  • Marinades: Add extra flavor to your summer cookout recipes with tasty marinades. Marinate meats like chicken and steak before the summer cookout for the most flavorful results. Popular marinades include barbeque, teriyaki, buffalo sauce and garlic and herb. Feel free to use whichever one is your favorite!
  • Cooking Prep: Cook large barbeque menu items in advance of the summer cookout. This will save time and diminish stress on the day of the event. Partially cook items such as chicken breasts and pieces of steak. Finish cooking the food on the grill on the day of the barbeque.
  • Kabobs: Make kabobs for your guests with a combination of ingredients. Include chicken, steak and vegetables on the kabobs. Select vegetables such as red and green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and onions. Marinate the chicken and steak in either barbeque sauce or teriyaki sauce before you place them on the skewers. Then, add a little extra sauce once the kabobs are on the grill for a flavorful kick! Finally, sprinkle sesame seeds on top for an extra special touch.
  • Side Dishes: Plan side dishes to complement the main course at the barbeque. Make side dishes such as pasta salad, potato salad and coleslaw. For a delicious pasta salad recipe, include ingredients such as black olives, diced onions, feta cheese and Italian dressing. Yum!
  • Desserts: Serve cool and refreshing desserts at the summer barbeque. Fresh summer fruits like strawberries make excellent ingredients for delicious summer cookout desserts. Serve with whipped cream or make strawberry shortcake. Another option is to serve a fruit salad with melon, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple and any other fruit that you love! Pair with yogurt or ice cream for a cool and creamy twist.
  • Drinks: Serve a variety of refreshing drinks at the summer barbeque. For the adults, make summer cocktails such as white sangria, strawberry daiquiris and long island iced tea. Serve non-alcoholic beverages such as lemonade, punch and iced tea for the kids. Include beautiful garnishes for an eye-catching touch!

Don’t forget to include condiments if you plan to serve foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers. Include ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and relish on your condiment checklist. For a spin on the classic hot dog, serve sauerkraut and chili as condiments.

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