Hosting a Summer BBQ
Holidays tend to be popular times for people to cheat on their diets (and by cheat, we mean throw out the window for the day), and the Fourth of July is no exception. Consider these ideas when preparing for a BBQ.
Do the Prep
The day before the cookout, marinate the food, chop the veggies, buy cups and paper plates, and do all things you can to make sure you’re not stressing over the small things the day of the party. Check to make sure the grill is ready to go, too. Buy charcoal and propane, clean the cooking surfaces, and make sure you’ve got accessories like lighter fluid, smoking chips, and grilling utensils ready to go.
Set up the buffet area for easy access when it’s time to eat, and clean the house and mow the lawn if you’ve got time. Junk King offers its Ultimate Yard Waste Removal Guide to manage yard waste, and if the job looks too big for one person, drop them a line and they’ll handle the rest.
Set-Up Lawn Games
Nobody has to play them, but lawn games like horseshoes and corn-hole can keep the guests entertained and engaging with each other while they’re waiting for the food. Plus, most lawn games don’t require much skill to play, so anyone can participate.
If the guests bring their kids, similar toys like jump rope and bubble wands get them out of the house and away from their electronic devices. And if those don’t work, there’s always squirt guns.
Keep It Simple but Flexible
It’s really hard to screw up the menu at a BBQ, but unless you’re attempting to cook a turducken (chicken stuffed into a duck and stuffed into a turkey), it helps to keep the offerings simple. Grilling classics like hamburgers hot dogs, and chicken always go over well, especially when paired with side items like corn and potato salad. But don’t’ be afraid to be a little adventurous, either. Try roasting some corn and onions on the grill as side items. And if you’ve got vegetarians attending the party, consider entrée offerings like veggie burgers or kabobs with tomatoes and peppers.
To help cut down on food prep stress, make the party a potluck and encourage guests to bring a dish to share. That’ll save the hosts money as well, and they won’t have to figure out a way to store all the leftovers in their fridge at the end of the night.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Doesn’t matter if the guests have eaten enough food for three meals, dessert will be needed. The good news? Desserts generally tend to be insanely simple. Cookies, cupcakes, pies, ice cream; all good dessert offerings. Plus, dessert can be included as a potluck item, which means the guests have to take home the uneaten stuff and THEY’LL have to deal with the sugar temptation. Everybody wins!