Meal Planning Week 18 has you dreaming of warmer weather with delicious backyard barbecue recipes. For those on the flip side, you can make these recipes now!
Yes, I realize that most of my readers are going into winter. And grilling or backyard barbecues are the last thing on your mind. Or, depending on how much you hate winter, could be the first thing on your mind. For those in warmer weather states and other parts of the world, you could enjoy these backyard barbecue recipes right now!
What do you bring to a backyard barbecue?
First thing I would do is ask what I can bring. Maybe suggest some beverages. They can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic in nature. But make sure they are chilled or bring a cooler to help keep them chilled. Of course, wine could go either way. I’d ask, “If I bring some white wine, would you like it chilled beforehand?”
Also, if you are bringing something that requires refrigeration, let them know or bring it on ice. I’m sure they’re fridge is just as packed as yours when you host a gathering. If you’re hard pressed for a cooler, buy a foam one. They have some that are eco-friendly now if you’re concerned about the whole “foam” thing.
Healthy side dishes. Tossed salads or non-mayo-based potato and pasta salads. Some side dishes that don’t require refrigeration or best served at “room” temperature. Like guacamole! It doesn’t have anything in that really needs refrigerating. And if you use adequate citrus, it shouldn’t brown too much. And if it does, just keep stirring it every now and then.
Extra ice. It doesn’t matter how many bags you’ve purchased. Ice melts faster than you anticipate. And if someone brings warm drinks, it burns through the ice even faster. They don’t cost a lot, but could be a life saver to a host.
Desserts are always welcome! Extra brownies, cookies, pies (with server) always go over well. Cakes maybe not because some of them have icing that might need refrigerating. Strawberry shortcake! It’s easy to prep the ingredients and could be a fun “bar” to have for the party guests. Maybe suggest this one ahead of time so the host can plan room at the table. Or bring a table!
What are some good backyard barbecue appetizers for Meal Planning Week 18?
For some, deviled eggs are probably the first to come to mind. But those sometimes have mayonnaise and will require refrigeration to keep them safe. The same with potato chips and dip. Typically they are made with sour cream or another dairy item. While they’re the most popular, they’re also high maintenance for a backyard barbecue party host.
Guacamole is a good appetizer, like I said. Salsa or bruschetta. You can make salsa in a myriad of flavors and styles. Fruit, no fruit, tomatoes or not, cilantro or not; there’s a slew of ways you can dress up salsa for a delicious backyard party. Bruschetta is also customizable depending on the balsamic vinegar you use. There’s a store in town that has a bunch of fun flavors. And you could dip crostini or pita chips in there, too.
Hummus is another great appetizer! And you can dip chips and veggies in there. Texas caviar! It’s sort of like salsa but with beans in there. It’s great with chips or by itself as a side dish. Pickled okra, marinated mushrooms, or marinated shrimp. All of which taste better the longer they sit in their juices. So, as you can see, there are many options for appetizers and snacks without dairy or mayo in them.
What are some fun backyard barbecue party ideas?
While you don’t need a backyard barbecue theme, it does make them more fun to have a backyard bbq theme party. I’m not talking about the usual Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. And aside from the obvious western barbecue theme, there’s other themes for your backyard shindig.
How about a tasting theme? You can have a beer or wine tasting for your outdoor guests. The menu can have food that would pair well with the beverages of choice. Maybe take it to the next level and have food that would pair well with the wine and the beer so your guests have a choice.
How about a lawn games championship? You could have the backyard barbecue games be like a triathlon and see who is the “best in show” of all the games. Or you could have individual competitions for each of your events. Cornhole, lawn darts, and frisbee golf are always fun and a great way to get guests involved in the party.
Host a farm to table spread. Have all the ingredients be sustainable. And you could even so far as to make sure it is all local ingredients. Or, if you have one, use some of the items from your own garden. Herbs and veggies are great for this. You can also talk to your guests about the farmers and their offerings so they can search for them when shopping for groceries.
Camping out is always a fun theme. You can do foil wrapped meals. Everyone can make up their own packets. They can even cook them if you want, or you can master the grill for them. Maybe a kabob bar so they can create their own food on a stick. Then there’s the s’mores bar! No camping trip is complete without s’mores!
What about backyard barbecue decorations?
As Mom says, some of these are based on your theme. But I know there are some generic decorations that would work well with any backyard barbecue. Like mason jars. Those are always a great go to for serving drinks, stashing silverware and napkins, and even serving up some salads or desserts in them.
Anything plaid or gingham works very well. Especially in red, white, and blue colors. And this could double as a Fourth of July theme, too. A red and white checked tablecloth comes in handy for many parties, not just a barbecue. It easily pairs with red, white, blue, green, or yellow napkins, placemats, or paper products.
Stringing lights is always a good idea. Especially if it’s an evening party or you plan on it going into the evening. Colors are okay, but white is probably best for visibility. Blinking lights might make for a fun strobe effect. Yes. I am kidding. Or am I?
Balloons are not only decorative, but also could serve to help guide your guests to different stations throughout the yard. Drinks could be one color balloon, appetizers another. You could even write on the balloons once they’re inflated to make the stations more obvious besides the color coding.
Rustic items like reclaimed wood and galvanized steel are a couple of backyard barbecue ideas. They are great for that farmhouse chic look that is very popular now. Thanks to the Gaines’! Though I am partial to the enamelware that’s popular with campers. I think it’s different, fun, and comes in a range of colors.
There are some ideas for backyard barbecues! If none of these are exactly what you’re looking for, at least it gets your mind thinking about what you want at your summer backyard barbecues. Once you get the theme down, then it’s a matter of making an easy backyard barbecue menu. Of you can kick it up and make it an upscale backyard barbecue. Try surf and turf or upscale wine or beer to go with your backyard barbecue menu. Or you can pair it down and have a backyard bbq on a budget with burgers and hotdogs.
Either way you serve it up, just make your party the ultimate backyard barbecue with fun activities, pretty decorations, and great family and friends. The latter is more important, I think. All the other is icing on the cake. But the guests (and some of the food) are an important part of a great backyard barbecue.