How to Host the Best Summer Cookout

Group Of Friends Having Outdoor Summer Cookout At HomeIs your backyard the perfect place for a summer cookout?  Mine is – I have a beautiful, large oak tree that shades the entire yard with plenty of space for the kids to throw the ball around.  The screened patio is great to hang out, grill out, watch a game on the  patio TV or listen to my summer playlist. As you can see, I’m going to take advantage of the outdoors and have family and friends over for the best summer cookout. I’ve compiled a fantastic menu with recipe links and options for each course as well as games to make my backyard party even more memorable. Are you coming over?

As the host, I tend to stress about getting everything ready and making the event perfect.  It feels so much better answering the question from my friends, “what can I bring” with a signup list ready to go with ThingtoBring. I use the iOS app more than the site to keep track of who’s bringing what to this summer cookout.

Here’s my selected menu along with links for other options:

Cocktails.  I always start here! I recently watched Tiffani Theissen mix up a Peach Texas Tea with Tequila and had to give it a try.  All I can say is YUM.  Delish also offers up other no-fail summer cocktails.

Appetizers. I love a good, light caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes with a fresh, right from the farm olive oil, but any of these apps from Bon Appetit will do just fine by me.

Meat on the Grill.  I’m in Tampa, so I’ll be choosing a fresh caught grouper from our Gulf.  I love how Grilling Companion compiled the most popular grilling recipes based on the top 10 grilling cities around America. Choose your main course to fit your location for a fun, local touch.

Sides & Salads. Everything is better with bacon and this BLT Pasta is a must for my summer cookout.  Potato salad, corn on the cob and other cookout side staples are organized nicely to choose from thanks to the food network.

Dessert. It’s hot. It’s summer. Dessert at my party will be cold, fruity, and sweet.  Raspberry icebox cake is my choice.  I love fruity desserts. These are a few runner-ups on my list. Maybe I’ll assign 2 or 3 desserts in my ThingToBring list.  You can never have enough dessert, right?

Add a couple of game options and you’re party planning will be done.  Water balloon dodgeball and lawn jenga are a ton of fun but don’t forget about slip and slide wiffle ball and traditional horseshoes. Of course, you can find all the outdoor cookout games your heart desires on Pinterest.

Create ways to share fun, quality time with your family and friends. There’s no need to stress when you’re the host when you use ThingToBring.  Let us know how your summer cookout goes.

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