The theme of the day is backyard barbecue, so embellish the idea with plenty of decorations and the right atmosphere.
For the general barbecue theme, use classic red and white-checkered tablecloths on your picnic tables. For a little added pizzazz, line the walkway with votives or nice stones and drape red and white crepe paper on tree branches. Also, hang twinkle lights on fences or railings, which will create a nice ambience when the sun sets.
If you have a sturdy tree, hang a tire swing from it and let the kids enjoy themselves. If you have a large open area, set up a tent or canopy for a buffet area and make a fire pit for roasting marshmallows later in the evening.
Having fun in the warm weather and hanging out with family and friends is what barbecues are all about, but having a few games and activities on hand for guests of all ages will keep everyone entertained and liven up the party.
Set up horseshoes, croquet, or badminton and have prizes for the winners such as inexpensive grilling accessories. Have a three-legged race, a water balloon toss, or a potato sack race. If your friends are into food, hold a barbecue sauce contest and let the guests choose the best sauce. When the sun sets, light the fire or grill and roast marshmallows for s'mores.
Make a music play list of all your favorite summer songs. For example: Soak up the Sun by Sheryl Crow, In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry, Heatwave by Martha and the Vanellas, Summertime by Will Smith, All Summer Long by the Beach Boys, The Boys of Summer by Don Henley, and Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams, just to name a few. Let your guests move to the grooves – or just enjoy the tunes.
Besides the classic barbecue fare of burgers, hot dogs, and grilled chicken, serve up tasty, one bite appetizers your guests can nosh on before the grilling gets going.
Baked Mozzarella Bites, Cheesy Tomato Melts, and Chunky Vegetable Hummus are all crowd pleasers. See the recipes below.
Be sure to have plenty of drinks on hand, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Beer, wine, and a variety of liquor with mixers should definitely be behind your bar.
Make summertime lemonade and ice tea (both can be spiked for adults) and have a blender ready for margaritas and daiquiris. Be sure to have lemons, limes, and cherries to garnish your refreshing cocktails. Create your own signature cocktail for your guests, for example make a Michelada (recipe below).
All recipes courtesy of Ritz
Makes 30 servings
Makes 12 servings
Makes 30 servings
Makes 6 servings
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