Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer and guess what? It's right around the corner. With the summer season knocking on our doors, and the Memorial Day holiday just a few days away, there's a good chance that a BBQ is in your near future. If you're anything like me, you've mastered the dinner party scene (or at least you feel pretty comfortable), you can throw a kid's birthday party like it's no one's business, and you've nailed the in-laws-over-for-weekend-brunch extravaganza, but if there's one event that gives me a little anxiety, it's the friends and family BBQ. What do you cook? How do you decorate? How do you coordinate? Be not afraid! We're going to master the summer BBQ together! With these tips and tricks, your next outdoor party will be the talk of the town!
Rule number one-- keep it simple! Don't overthink your BBQ. Let the simplicity of the event-- the grill, the outdoors, the sounds of nature--really set the scene. You don’t need to rent a moon bounce and hire a slew of miniature ponies, all you need is a couple fun recipes, a refreshing cocktail, some tasteful decorations, and of course these handy drink holders you can’t live without.
The internet is chock-full of awesome grill recipes and you don’t need to be Bobby Flay to nail them. Huffington Post has a great list of fun and easy recipes certain to wow your guests-- grilled watermelon with smoked salt and jalapeno rings, anyone? When it comes to grilling, all it takes is patience and a watchful eye to cook meat to perfection. Just a dash of seasoning will bring out the natural flavor of your meat. If it's a hot day and you want to steer clear of the flames as you cook (and get some laughs from your guests while you do it) whip out our extendable knife and fork set to adjust the meat from a distance. It’s both practical and hilarious!
When it comes to the drinks, you don't need full bar service, how about one or two cocktail options that will please the entire crowd? That along with a wheelbarrow full of ice, chilled beer, and some bottles of wine (if you're going for that rustic party charm) will satisfy most crowds. Food and Wine has some great cocktail ideas to compliment your grilled food both in taste and style. Check out their Porch Crawler rum recipe, or their Watermelon Tequila cocktail and really impress your guests.
Finally, when it comes to decorations, some strategically placed hanging lights and flowers go a long way. This is one time where the more casual your décor, the better. Embrace the cheesy checkered tablecloths and lantern lights-- it'll give your BBQ just the right element of charm. Keep it fun with these humorous BBQ plates. And get the kids involved by letting them "cookie-cut" their veggies to throw on the grill with these veggie-cutters.
If you're providing the entertainment for the BBQ all by yourself, let some hilarious gadgets help you along. How about starting the grill with this "Burn your dollar" lighter? Or stopping a bottle of wine with these hysterical shot-glass or ashtray stoppers? Your party doesn't have to be fit for the Queen, keep it casual, low-key, and fun and your guests will have a ball.
The BBQ is your friend! Embrace it for all it’s worth and let the great summer weather be the perfect backdrop to your outdoor fun! Happy Memorial Day!