While throwing summer barbecues and backyard parties definitely require some planning, there’s no need to tire yourself out as a host so that you can’t enjoy the party yourself. Fortunately, your Eclipse retractable awning makes it even easier to enjoy your time outdoors with friends and family. Check out this list of great tips and tricks for making an awesome and easy summer BBQ for you and your family to enjoy under the awning!
1. Make it a Potluck
There’s no need to take on everything all on your own when you’re throwing a party. A potluck is always a great and easy way to get everyone involved in the party while lightening your load as the host. Plan on asking a few people to bring some appetizers, side dishes and shared desserts. This way, you can focus on providing the entrees without getting distracted or running short on time because of all of the other set up.
2. Simplify Your Menu
If you’re determined to do everything from soup to nuts yourself, the best thing you can do is keep everything as simple as possible. Pick easy recipes with simple ingredients that you can make ahead of time. Try to limit each dish to three to five ingredients. By using this approach, you’ll not only save money on your party but you’ll also save a ton of time in terms of food prep. Simple appetizers like roasted artichokes or vegetables and homemade dips can be great to kick off parties, while simple marinades of chicken and beef are great and easy entrees for grilling.
3. Set Up Yard Games and Music
If you’re outdoor living area is big enough, set up a few simple yard games like bocce, volleyball, or lawn Twister! For smaller outdoor areas, consider bringing a deck of cards or a few board games outside for tabletop fun. And most importantly, don’t forget about the music. You can use a portable Bluetooth speaker or set up a stereo with some of your favorite tunes for your friends to enjoy. Make sure it’s loud enough for your guests to enjoy but not so loud that it will scare the neighbors!
4. Do the Big Cooking Before Guests Arrive
This simple, understated rule might be one of the most essential in terms of allowing yourself to enjoy your own party to the fullest extent. Try to do as much of your cooking before the guests arrive, including anything you might need to grill. If anything finishes early, just hold the temperature warm in an oven around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’re ready to serve, take your meats out to rest for a few minutes before slicing and dicing. Cooking before your guests arrive just means that you’ll have more time to enjoy the party yourself! Apply this same rule to your drinks. Mix up large batches or punch or cocktails ahead of time so that guests can serve themselves easily.
5. Choose Simple Summer Desserts
The best way to end any barbecue on a hot summer day is with cold desserts. Some of the easiest and simplest cold desserts include ice cream or homemade popsicles. While some adventurous party hosts might opt to make homemade ice cream, store-bought ice cream will be just as big of a hit, especially if you pair it with some tasty toppings. For easy homemade popsicles, all you need are a few molds for your favorite fruit juices or blends of juice and fruit. Just pop them in the freezer the day before for a cool treat. Serve your snacks under the shade of your Eclipse awning to make sure they don’t melt too quickly.
As you can see, a few simple prep steps ahead of time will help make sure your outdoor BBQ goes off without a hitch. And with an Eclipse retractable awning, you’ll also be able to keep your guests more comfortable on those hot summer days. For more information about how to enjoy the great outdoors with the help of an awning from Eclipse, give us a call at (800) 501-3850 today!