3 min readBy Published On: May 26th, 2011Categories: Features0 Comments on Party time – some tips for throwing a cook-out

The official kick off of summer is before us – Memorial Day Weekend! 

With the pleasant weather finally here – it’s a perfect excuse to get together will friends and have a cookout in the yard.  Here are some suggestions of how to get your party started:

Pick up the phone, send a text, facebook or tweet

An impromptu invite is sometimes the best kind and makes for the best party.  Guaranteed more often than not that many do not have plans yet.
If people offer to bring something, let them. Side dishes, dessert and beverages are always a safe suggestion if they ask what’s needed.

Plan your menu

Are you going the burger and hot dog route? Will it be steak tips or chicken?  K&8th Market and Butcher Shop can help you with when it comes to meat.  Here are some specials from Paul and Phil:

Homemade chicken and Italian sausages for $5.99 lb

BabyBackRibs for $4.99 lb with all different types of BBQ sauces available

Freshly marinated and antibiotic-free Famous Steak Tips – choose either burgundy, Italian, or teriyaki  $8.99 lb

The freshest strawberries, whipped cream and pies from the Pie Guy to round out your meal!!

American Provisions has some creative ideas for you too!
From the meat case:
Hog wings: mini bone-in smoked pork shanks marinated in a zesty golden BBQ Sauce – ready to grill!

Molasses marinated lean all natural turkey tips.  Just throw on the grill and they are ready to go!

Watermelon & Cucumber Salad: Fresh watermelon balls, shaved English cucumbers, fresh local feta cheese, mint leaves & a light citrus vinaigrette

Corn Salsa: roasted or grilled corn, mixed with diced red & green peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime juice & local wildflower honey. Great on fish (tacos) or hot dogs

Add a little booze

Nothing goes better with a burger off of the grill than an ice cold beer or perfectly chilled glass of wine.  Eastside Market (474 East Eighth) has some suggestions for you.  Here is Steve from Eastside’s
hot picks for the (finally here) hot weather:
Red Wine:  Agua De Piedra Gran Reserva Malbec Argentina $12.99 – Bold and fruit forward.  Perfect for grilled steaks, ribs, BBQ chicken and Burgers
White wine:  Palagetto Vernaccia San Gimigniano Italy $11.99  – Light, crisp, white flower aromas.  A beautiful white in a beautiful bottle.
Beer:  Lagunitas’ IPA $9.30 + dep. Classic west coast style of crisp, powerful (but balanced) hops and grapefruit aromas.

Set the scene

Eat at the picnic table but add a colorful tablecloth for a homey cozy feel.  We love a brightly colored floral or bold striped. Add a simple centerpiece made up daisies in small class vase.  Done but not overdone.

Sweet tunes

Nothing sets the mood like music – make sure you have a great summer mix on your ipod.  Tip: take into account who will be at your cook-out.  Mom and dad might not be too keen on Lil’ Wayne.  And your brother might be less than thrilled with Dean Martin.  A nice mix is best.  Here are some of our suggestions for summertime music:

Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys
Summertime – Will Smith
Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
MacArthur’s Park – Donna Summer
Summer of Love – B52’s
Hot in the City – Billy Idol
Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone
Summer Girls – LFO
Summertime – New Kids on the Block

Have a great weekend!  Enjoy!