Yippee!!! Summer is finally here. Fine, summer would soon be here, give or take a couple of weeks. Everyone is excited and looking forward to sunny skies and cool breezes: a perfect atmosphere for cookouts. Almost everyone reading this post is either planning to host or attend a cookout during this summer period.
If you are searching for a little pizzazz: something to make your summer cookouts more fun, or even unique, why don’t you check out these fun themes?
- Go Mexican
Instead of your regular summer cookouts of burgers and barbecued meat, you can decide to implement an all-Mexican buffet. Make some spicy guacamole which can be enjoyed with tortilla chips and even homemade burgers. Don’t forget tacos, nachos, salsa and yes, burritos. Not only would your guests enjoy these unique foods, you would also have a lot of fun making them. Just ask Alejandra, our resident Mexican recipe writer. She has recipes on carne asada, carne con chile, mexican pozole, and yes, guacamole.
- Ditch the fat, go vegan
Oh, come on, let’s face it. Summer cookouts are legitimate events for consuming pure, undiluted fat and cholesterol. Now, some of you may protest not-so-quietly that your cookouts are mostly healthy. If so, then why don’t you take this year’s cookout a step further in the cholesterol-free department and have a totally vegetarian buffet.
“What?? A cookout without meat. That’s….not a cookout!” It’s alright, I feel you. If you would feel un-American for having a totally ‘healthy’ cookout, then you can mix it up some. But ensure the majority of foods consist of vegetables and fruits. Pasta salads topped off with chopped veggies and a nice creamy covering for the main dish with tomatoes shaped in the form of tulips serving as appetizers. The dessert option remains my favorite. A watermelon keg! Yes, just add a nice little tap to a big juicy watermelon and fill it up with juice. And there you go, your very own healthy ‘beer’ keg.
- You can’t go wrong with a garden theme
Do you own a beautiful garden? Have you ever tried hosting your cookout in such a lovely, serene environment? If not, you should give it in a try in these coming months. Where I come from, there is a quite popular saying: “If Mohammed won’t go to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Mohammed.” In the same vein, if you don’t have a large enough garden to host your cookout, then bring the garden to the party!
Decorate your tables and sideboards with beautifully arranged flowers. Add a single flower at each place setting, and place blooming pots and containers in strategic positions. When it comes to gardening and flowers, there truly is no shortage of creativity.
- What’s summer without a camping cookout?
Nothing screams fun like a bonfire night. You can serve anything and everything: S’mores, hot dogs, barbecues, tinfoil dinners and even baked potatoes. What’s more? You get to tell stories (definitely the scary ones) and share jokes with loved ones and close acquaintances around a roaring fire. This, my dear readers, is the definition of a fun summer cookout.
Other fun suggestions for your cookouts include festive party lights, colorful homemade decorations using white paper, watercolors, and leftover paper napkins. Don’t forget to include games in your cookouts. Darts, Cornhole, Frisbee, and even Croquet are fun games and suitable for all ages.
A quick note of warning: A good host ensures his guests are happy and comfortable. Now, if I’m a guest at your cookout and bugs and mosquitoes pester my life, I wouldn’t like your party very much. Therefore, it’s best to keep some bug or mosquito repellent on hand. Sunscreen, napkins, fans and light blankets are little but important items that should also be made readily available, and trust me, your cookout would be remembered for many summers to come.