Cookouts are a great way to get together with your friends, without the hassle or expense of going to a restaurant. A more relaxed environment, fun foods, and great friends are a sure combination for a wonderful event! It’s also easier for families to get together. The children can play games and have fun with their friends while the adults get some “big people” talk time in!
We’ve hosted and attended many cookouts over the years. Some were more enjoyable than others. The cookouts where the host tried to have a perfect event were the least fun, honestly. Cookouts, by nature, should be relaxed. This begins with the hosts. Being prepared goes a long way to helping a host relax. To help with being prepared, I’m sharing my best tips with you today!
5 Easy Tips to Make Your Cookout a Success:
1. Go mini- Smaller sizes are easier to cook, serve, and enjoy. Instead of a large burger, make small burger sliders, minus the bun. Mini burgers are easier to serve, result in less waste, and are just plain fun! My version is to make mini burgers, top with a bit of ketchup, then cheese. You can use whichever condiment you prefer!
2. Chop fruit into bite-sized pieces- Large chunks of fruit are a mess to deal with at a cookout. Choose the most popular fruits and cut them up ahead of time. Pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, and grapes are my favorites to serve. Be sure to clean the strawberries so that they are ready to eat.
3. Use convenience foods- Even though I’m a “from scratch” cook, I do like to take advantage of convenience foods for cookouts. Something as simple as a box of Suddenly Salad can be eaten prepared as directed, or modified a bit to turn it into a whole different salad! See below for my amped up version of Ranch and Bacon Suddenly Salad.
4. Chill drinks ahead of time- Get those drinks in the fridge the day before. I like to make gallons of sweet tea and lemonade a day or two before our cookouts. Bottled drinks should be cold before putting them on ice. This preserves the ice and means no wait time for a cold drink. As the ice melts, just add more ice, don’t empty the water. The water actually helps!
OR, be super fun, and use frozen water balloons in the cooler! When they thaw, you have a fun activity for the children (and/or adults!)
5. Use a cupcake tin to serve condiments- Just squirt ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, etc into the wells of a cupcake tin. It’s much easier to carry a cupcake tin outside than several bottles. Use another tin to hold chopped pickles, tomatoes, onions, etc.
Now, here’s that recipe!
- 1 box Suddenly Salad Ranch and Bacon salad
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 TB ketchup
- 2 TB mustard
- 2 TB dill pickle juice
- ¼ pound hamburger
- ½ large tomato, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 dill pickles, chopped
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- Cook noodles from box as directed.
- Combine the sauce packet with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and dill pickle juice. Set aside.
- Cook hamburger, breaking into small pieces.
- Combine noodles with prepared sauce, hamburger, tomato, onion, pickles, and cheese.
- Allow to sit for 30 minutes for flavors to combine.
If you’d like to give this salad a try, I have good news for you! Here’s a coupon for you to save $.50 on two boxes! Of course, my favorite place to grocery shop is Publix, and here are even more coupons to save there!
Looking for more Suddenly Salad recipes? Visit this site and have fun!
Do you have any cookout tips? I’d love for you to share them!!
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