The Key to an Easy Cookout

Strawberry Pink Lemonade

Summertime means one thing for sure; it’s time for a cookout! Whether you’re planning a family cookout for three or a “Summer Kickoff” party for 50, I have some easy ideas to save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. From an easy way to grab a hot dogs, to a safe way to serve salad and my favorite drink idea, I am here to uncomplicated your cookout.

One of my favorite ways to save time and money AND make my cookout an event to remember is to create a signature drink. Your signature drink can be everything from a fresh light sangria, a fun, flavored water, or one of my favorites, Strawberry Pink Lemonade. While a signature drink might sound fancy and overly complicated, it does not have to be. In fact, my rule is that it can’t be. The goal of having a signature drink is to make your life easier, and your party even more fabulous. Just like all of my tips, this one is an easy way to add pop to your party without breaking the bank or eating up all of your time.

Strawberry Pink Lemonade How To:
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Ingredients:
3 cans pink lemonade
2 bags frozen strawberries

Tools:
Large drink dispenser or pitchers
Cups or mason jars

Directions:
Follow the instructions on the can to mix all 3 cans of pink lemonade in your drink dispenser. Add all frozen strawberries and stir.

The frozen strawberries will not only add delicious flavor to your drink, they will act as ice cubes and keep your dinks cold without watering them down. If you have the space and time, set out all of your cups or mason jars with a strawberry or two in them. You can also add a fun label so that your guests know what yumminess they are about to enjoy. If you don’t want to take the time to make a name tent, you can simply add a piece of painter’s tape that says “Strawberry Pink Lemonade.”

Fun Variations:
Lemonade and Frozen Blueberries
Pineapple Juice and Frozen Mango
Grape Juice and Frozen Red Grapes

Hot Dogs To Go

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Hot dogs and brats are a staple of any cookout, as are the millions of topping options thaat can quickly become overwhelming and are always a bit messy. So how can you avoid the mess you can expect after everyone loads up their hot dog with ALL of their favorite toppings? Coffee filters. Yep, coffee filters! Save your carpet and your taste buds by serving your hot dogs in coffee filters. Believe it or not, your plain old coffee filters make the perfect hot dog holders. If you don’t happen to have extra coffee filters, you can pick up 200 for under $2 at your local grocery store. Now that is what I call a D-E-A-L!

Tip: Coffee filters can also double as popcorn or chip holders.

Mason Jar Salad
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If you are worried about leaving your tossed salad in the backyard during the cookout, I have the perfect trick for you – a Mason Jar Salad! To protect your salad from the heat and pesky bugs, simply layer all of your salad ingredients in Mason Jars and place all of your jars in a tub of ice. This will protect your salad from the heat and bugs and acts as the perfect grab and go snack for your guests. This time of year you can also find plastic Mason Jars at your local craft store.

TIP: Save yourself a few dollars by washing out and keeping spaghetti sauce and pickle jars to use on such an occasion. Your little one’s travel snack cups will also do the trick!

What is my ultimate secret for an easy, stress-free cookout? Take your guests up on their offers to help! There is no reason you have to do all of the work by yourself. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Happy grilling!

Until next time,
Jennifer

www.CluelessChick.com

Categories: The Clueless Chick