Posted June 5, 2008 -- Summertime is here and that means one thing for the cook who wants to switch it up, slow down and enjoy the outdoors: Cookouts. Besides, it’s a great way to bond with family and close friends. So what’s an easy way to make summer cookouts enjoyable and relaxing, without the hassle of slaving over a hot stove or spending hours in a hot kitchen cooking a meal?
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Summer Salads: Creating a tasty cold salad has always been a way to go when serving a delicious side dish at a cookout. There are so many different ingredients that can be used - from potatoes, tuna and chicken to seafood, fruits and pastas. The possibilities seem endless.
You can’t go wrong with the traditional potato, seafood or pasta salads, though. Or to give a more creative touch to your garden salads, try adding different fruits or nuts. An ordinary side dish can be easily transformed into a filling entrée for everyone to enjoy.
Barbecue Secrets: You can’t get the full experience of summer eating and cooking out without the foods we love right off the grill. That’s what summer’s all about - hot dogs, chickens, steak and burgers straight from the fire. Any one can cook perfectly grilled foods, and it can be easy, fast and fun.
Try using different flavored sauces, besides the usual barbecue sauce. Spice things up and use Hawaiian or honey mustard flavors, steak or marinate sauces like Worcestershire or soy. This will bring some zip and originality to your summer meal.
Finding the perfect cooking time for each of your items is key. You don’t want your food under or over cooked.
Drink Recipes: The final touch to a perfect summer meal is a refreshing summer drink. Flavored iced teas and lemonades are great. But fruits and flavors of all kinds can be combined with ice into amazing smoothies or other cold or frozen drinks. Drinks with vibrant colors are more fun and delicious. For a more adult crowd, add your favorite alcoholic beverage for kicks.
These easy cooking tips are not only good for cooking out, but also for just a household dinner. There’s no need in having the trouble of cooking, baking or frying a huge meal for hours, when simple meals can be easily created on your backyard grill.