Tips for Hosting a Backyard BBQ

July is almost here and that means that we are gearing up to celebrate our 243rd birthday as a country. There will be countless parties, picnics, and backyard barbeques administration-america-american-flag-1202723in the works. Today we’ll look at how to host a backyard barbeque with a few helpful tips and tricks.

For backyard party, the easiest way to plan and invite is through Facebook Events. You can create an event, invite guests, and post details in one area. This especially works well if you’re doing a potluck style where everyone invited brings a side dish because everyone can post what they will be bringing. I would recommend sending the invite 2-4 weeks in advance.

The best way to handle food for this type of event is potluck style. The host/hostess provides meat, drinks, and a side dish or two. Every guest that attends brings a side dish or a dessert. Menu options for meat can include burgers, hotdogs, beef brisket, shrimp, sausage kabobs, or steak. Almost anything tastes good grilled so there really isn’t any limitation. Watch grocery ads closely as many markets will have fantastic deals in July. It’s always beneficial to compare pricing for a large party .

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Grocery stores that typically have good summer sales (in St. Louis) include Aldi, Dierburg’s, and Fresh Thyme. When I do my shopping, I usually go to Dierburg’s for meat, Fresh Thyme for produce, and Aldi for everything else. I’ve found the best deals by doing this. You may have different grocery chains where you live, so I encourage you to watch ads and online sales closely.

Side dishes for outdoor events are fun. You want to be sure that whatever you’re sitting out won’t spoil within an hour of being out. Limit dishes with a lot of cream cheese and milk. During the Summer, seasonal dishes full of flavor are going to be magic. Lot’s of fresh ingredients and colorful choices.

Popular BBQ party sides include:
Potato salad
Coleslaw
Veggie skewers
Corn on the cob
Veggie tray
Chips and dip
Caprese skewers
Grilled pineapple and watermelon (see recipe below)

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There are all kinds of smart hacks for keeping bugs out of drinks and food, keeping children occupied, and keeping guests comfortable. Some of my favorite include:

1.) Use cupcake liners upside down over drinks to keep bugs out. Insert a straw straight through the liner to keep drinking.

2.) Use large apothecary jars with lids to hold potato salad, fruit salad, and pasta salads.

3.) Use a garden flag pole and bucket to keep things like sunscreen, bug spray, and extra sunglasses on hand for guests.

4.) Plan a simple scavenger hunt for children to keep them occupied. If you really want to take it up a notch, you can draw and copy “maps” of the back yard and have a treasure or prize at the end.

5.) For super easy clean ups set out a roll of paper towels, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a tub of baby wipes. This will also minimize indoor traffic.

6.) Use large metal tubs or large planters full of ice to keep canned and bottled beverage cold.

7.) Have a playlist with soft party appropriate music set up and ready to go. My husband and I use Google Play music with our Google home system, but there are many other options.

I’m looking forward to backyard barbeques and parties this Summer. I hope you are too. I’ve created a guide to food amounts for parties, completely free for you! Click the link below to download and use.

How Much Food do I Need for My Party

Happy barbequing!
Paige

 

Grilled Watermelon:

Ingredients:
1/2 Watermelon sliced into triangles

Olive oil of coconut oil for brushing
Juice from 2-3 limes
2 TBS Honey
Sea salt to taste
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup mint leaves

1.) Brush triangles with oil. Grill on hot grill just until charred. Do not overcook.
2.) Drizzle with lime juice and honey, sprinkle with sea salt and walnut, and garnish with mint leaves.
3.) Serve as fresh as possible.

 

 

 

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Easter Brunch

I love brunch. You’re most likely going to read about it a few times as you’re reading through my posts. Brunch is one of the funnest (not a word?) events to do. The food is amazing, you can use more florals, and who doesn’t like brunch?? Today, we’ll look at Easter Brunch! Now that we have moved into our new home, the very first event I’ll be hosting is an Easter brunch this Saturday for family. I’m going to share my menu and decoration plans, as well as a few tips I’ve learned over time.

I’ll be using the following to create my tablescape:

Pastel and floral plates
Pastel faux eggs

Pastel Eggs

Crystal glasses
Floral tea cups

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White bunnies
Milk glass vases
Tulips
Vintage floral handkerchiefs
Monogrammed Silverware

I’ll be using a mixture of pastel and blue floral dishes, with crystal and pale pink glasses. Centerpieces will be simple milk glass vases of tulips and surrounding the vases will be miniature bunnies and chocolate eggs in a nest of edible grass. I’ll be using white egg cups holding pastel faux eggs for name cards. We’ll be using our wedding monogrammed silverware wrapped in vintage floral handkerchiefs for napkins. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns when it comes to incorporating floral into your Spring table. Also, don’t be afraid of color. You want your table to look alive and celebratory.

TIP 1) Don’t have or like milk glass? Raid the vase aisle at Dollar Tree. They have a great selection of study vases for only $1 a piece.

TIP 2) Explore your local antique shops and flea markets for vintage handkerchiefs. They make wonderful brunch and tea linens

TIP 3) Hobby Lobby is heaven on Earth to an event planner. The day after a holiday, decor goes 50% off. And a week after, decor goes up to 90% off. You can’t beat those sales. It’s a great way to stock up for next year’s festivities.

Now on to the important part: the menu. This is just what I’ll be serving. Feel free to change it up, change recipes, and make it your own.

Easter Brunch Menu

Berry French Toast Casserole*

Omelet Cups with Ham

Cheesy Hash-browns

Mini Pancake Stacks

Sausage Patties

Donut holes

Brunch is one of the easiest meals so don’t make it more difficult than it has to be. I chose the Berry French Toast Casserole because it can be prepped the night before and then all you have to do it pop it into the over the morning of the event. *Recipe at the end of this post* For the omelet cups, all I do is take a muffin tin and place a slice of ham in each cup. Then add an omelet mixture and bake at 325 until eggs are cooked. You can sprinkle with cheese if you’d like. There are multiple ways to do hash browns, and several recipes can be found on my Pinterest board.

TIP 1) I’ll use frozen sausage patties, mini pancakes, and store-bought donut holes. I try to make it as easy as I can, especially when I’ll have a house full.

TIP 2) To dress up the mini pancakes, attach 2-3 with a toothpick and top with a berry and confectioner’s sugar.

TIP 3) If someone asks if they can help or bring something, let them. Assign them something small, but it takes a task away from you and makes them feel good about contributing.

Drinks

Mock Mimosa (1/2 orange juice and 1/2 sparkling water with a dash of cherry syrup)

Orange Juice (Or any kind of fruit juice)

Hot Tea/Coffee

I’m looking forward to this brunch, and the many more to come! What are some tips you’ve discovered over time? Comment below with your thoughts, questions, or tips!

~Paige

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*French Toast Berry Casserole

Ingredients

  • 12-14 cups cubed bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries (or mixed berries)
  • 1-2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
  • maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Butter a 9″x13″ casserole dish. Cut bread into cubes and add to dish (fill up to ¾ way).
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Whisk mixture and mix well. Pour mixture over bread.
  3. Top mixture with strawberries and blueberries.
  4. Wrap the casserole and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours)
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
  6. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
  7. Serve with maple syrup.

This will typically serve about 8 people.