This summer sure has been a hot one! But you can't deny this is the best time of year to enjoy barbecues, picnics, and popsicles (even if it means enduring heat, crowds, and insects). So we recommend grabbing a friend and squeezing in a last al fresco get-together before the autumn breeze arrives.
Need some last-minute tips? Here's how to enjoy outdoor dining without much advance preparation:Backyard BBQ
Swing by the store and pick up the following:
- frozen burgers
- hot dogs
- hamburger and hot dog buns
- pre-made cole slaw and potato salad from the deli
- corn on the cob
- pre-made festive-looking cupcakes from the bakery
At home, pull back husks on corn and rinse, then replace husks and wrap corn in foil. Pop on the grill for about 30 minutes, turning throughout. Grill the burgers and hot dogs, and toast the buns at the last minute. Serve with whatever fixins' you already have on hand (you likely have at least some of the following: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, ranch, relish).
Set out the salads and some paper plates, plastic forks, napkins, and beer. Dig in! Then bring out the cupcakes to finish things off.
If you have more time you can consider making more of the items at home or adding more variety (different burger toppings, desserts, and salads). But we think all of the above - paired with great friends - sounds like a great time as-is!Parisian Picnic
Picnics can be harder than meets the eye but they don't have to be! You want to have everything you need so you're not stuck without something, but you don't want to lug around a ton of stuff. Our Parisian-inspired picnic for two focuses on fewer, higher quality items that will feel gourmet but will keep things simple.Bring from home:
- mini cutting board
- 2 knives (1 for cutting, 1 for spreading)
- wine glasses (or at least some pretty plastic ones)
- picnic blanket
- picnic basket (or canvas tote)
- assorted deli meats, the more unusual the better
- assorted cheeses, such as brie, camembert, chevre, and comte
- a bottle of Bordeaux
- a bottle of sparkling water
- a fresh baguette
- a bar of dark chocolate
Once you arrive at your picnic destination, spread everything out and have at it! Take your time and savor the flavors. Just be sure to keep the chocolate out of direct sunlight until you're ready to enjoy!Ice Cream Social
Swing by the grocery store. Open the freezer door and enjoy the cool air until someone else catches you. Then grab an assortment of different flavors: French vanilla, chocolate, and mint chip usually go over like mad.
Grab a bottle of chocolate sauce and a bottle of caramel sauce, some whip cream, some maraschino cherries, and a few bananas. If you're in an extra good mood, go ahead and throw in some sprinkles.
At home, set up an assembly line of all your ingredients. Pre-slice the bananas. Scoop out the ice cream for the kids (otherwise I think you know how much they'll try to pile on) then let them go nuts over the toppings. Enjoy!
Is your mouth watering yet? Want to try one of these this weekend? Send one of our summer ecards to set up a sizzling summer celebration with friends and family!
I Love BBQ
How about a picnic?