Author: Mary Kremer
There’s no better way to celebrate the summer than with an outdoor party. Friends, family, and burgers on the grill. It doesn’t get any better. Or maybe, it does. Here are some tips to help you get everyone involved this summer, as well as some delicious recipes to shake things up and add a little zing to your gathering.
Why Throwing an Outdoor Party May be the Most Fun Thing Ever
Outdoor parties are a blast. When you do them right, they can bring together old friends and help you create new ones. They’re also a great way for both kids and adults to get together and have some fun. If you’re thinking of hosting a party this summer, here are some tips to consider. You may want to:
- Invite that neighbor you don’t really know. A relaxed social gathering is a great way to meet new people.
- Send out invites. It may sound a little formal for an outdoor party, but people appreciate a heads up. Plus, invites are a simple method for asking for help with drinks, side dishes, and desserts.
- Plan a few games. They don’t have to be elaborate, but a few games can help break the ice in a social gathering. Grab some fun group board games for the adults and break out a volleyball and simple net for the kids.
- Check your yard and deck for repairs. An injury is a recipe for disaster at an outdoor party, so check your lawn for any damaged sprinkler heads, make sure your fence is in working order, and check your deck for repairs. To learn more about having your deck repaired by a professional, click here.
- Try a new recipe. Burgers are a barbecue staple, but they are definitely not the only thing you can cook on a grill. Consider some of the following recipes to really help your event stand out…
Here’s a grilled pizza that everyone will enjoy. (It’s especially popular if you’re planning a kid-friendly event). Total prep time: 30 minutes.
Pizza dough (you can go with store bought dough, or make it from scratch)
Any pizza topping you can think of, but you’ll definitely want:
And you may want to consider:
Pineapple chunks or tidbits
- Heat up your grill. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you can’t hold your hand an inch above the surface for more than a few seconds.
- Grease the grill with olive oil using a soaked towel and tongs.
- Lay your dough on the grill. Don’t worry, if your grill is heated properly, the dough won’t fall through.
- Cook the dough for about two minutes, or until the bottom is browned. The top of the dough should be bubbling up.
- Take out your dough, and place your sauce and toppings on the grilled side.
- Reduce the heat on your grill (if you’re using a charcoal grill, close the vents on the lid almost all the way).
- Lay the pizza back on the grill (uncooked side down), and close the lid. Led cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble.
Pull the pizza off the grill and enjoy!
- If you’d like to make dough from scratch, make it the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’ll improve the flavor of the dough and you’ll have less to do the next day.
- Go easy on the sauce. Too much will make your pizza soggy.
- If there will be kids at the event, let them pick their own toppings and put together their pizzas (with your help). They’ll love it!
A kabob is a good way to sneak some vegetables into a traditionally meat-heavy meal. This recipes calls for marinated chicken (which needs to be marinated for about two hours). While it takes a little prep ahead of time, actually preparing and cooking the skewers only takes about a half hour.
Also, kebabs are a cooking free-for-all. Which means, feel free to add on any veggies you think will add to the taste.
¼ cup of vegetable oil
⅓ cup of honey
⅓ cup of soy sauce
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
2 cloves of garlic
5 small onions, cut into 2” pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 2” pieces
In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, honey, soy sauce, and black pepper. Save a little of this marinade to brush onto the kabobs as they cook. Place the chicken, onions, peppers, and garlic into the bowl and let it soak in the fridge for at least 2 hours (longer is even better).
After the two hours, drain the chicken and veggies from the marinade and discard the leftovers. Then, thread your chicken and veggies alternately onto a skewer.
Heat up your grill to high heat. Lightly oil your grill and cook the skewers for 12-15 minutes. You’ll want to turn the skewers and brush them with marinade often.
Lastly, serve them and enjoy!
You Won’t Regret it
It’s hard to regret an outdoor gathering. Even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly as you planned, it’s impossible not to have fun when you’re with a group of friends and there’s good food. But possibly the best part about a summer party is that it’s never the last one. There’s always time to get together with friends and try one more recipe. So have fun and eat good food! There’s no better time to do it!