It’s that time of year, when the weather’s cooling down and everyone is inviting friends over for a great day in the sun or evening feast. Make sure your cookout stands out as one of the best end of summer memories by offering everything your guests will need for a seriously amazing time.
Here are some sure-fire ingredients for having an awesome cookout.
While simply providing beer for your cookout is likely a no-brainer, many “experts” believe it’s important to offer a variety of options for your friends. It’s summer, so consider more drinkable beers that really quench your thirst on a hot day — try out some lighter styles like Pilsners, shandies or lagers. Look close to home and find specialized breweries or brands to capitalize on local sourcing and small-batch food trends. Choose area favorites that your guests can’t get anywhere else.
Just like with beer, it’s best to offer a variety of beans. And let’s face it — basic is boring! Your cookout has the potential to be talked about for weeks or even months to come. Don’t let boring beans ruin it. Your beans should bring a little shock-and-awe. And, if you fear you will be attending a friend’s cookout with only basic beans available, you’d better be prepared to BYOB. Try giving your guests a sampling of the bold bean flavors courtesy of SER!OUS Bean Co, such as Southern Mustard-Q BBQ Beans with your barbecue. Or for something truly unique, cook up some Sweet and a Bit Sassy Dr Pepper Baked Beans, with real Dr Pepper.
No matter what kinds of chips you’re getting for your cookout, they can be kind of blah without a great dip to go with them. As long as you have a base of sour cream, cream cheese or even Greek yogurt, there’s no limit to what you can add to make an exciting dip. Mixing in your favorite kind of beans with your dip base is a winning combination. Here’s one easy-to-make bean dip that will have all your friends asking for the recipe:
- 1 can Ser!ous Bean Co Buckin’ Buffalo Beans
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- Chopped cilantro, to taste
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced fresh jalapenos, to taste
Heat buffalo beans for about 2 minutes in the microwave, then add them to a food processor or blender with the cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with desired amount of diced tomatoes, cilantro and jalapenos. Perfect with tortilla chips for dipping.
Be prepared to talk and ready to navigate skillfully around topics like politics and religion (unless your religion is beer or beans). Brush up on current events and pop culture, including new movies, the upcoming football season, love/hate of The Bachelor and upcoming vacation destinations.
What fun cookout is complete without some hilarious lawn games? When was the last time you bobbed for anything? (Maybe peaches would be easier than apples?) How about a three-legged race, or a refreshing game of water balloon toss? Come up with some ideas for organized games and then provide a few Frisbees, badminton or beanbag toss games so everyone can join the fun.
Check out the SER!OUS Bean Co Facebook page for more ideas and bean giveaways.