Someone very graciously has invited you to a summer cookout and instructed you to “bring only your sweet self.” Well, that’s an outright quandary for any southern lady or gentleman! Consider one of these no-cook options for some side dishes or add-ons that every guest will appreciate:
Appetizers: There’s something about waiting for that grill to heat up and for all the guests to arrive that makes us all a little “hangry” sometimes! Bring a plate of before-dinner munchies and you’re sure to be a hit! Charcuterie is so popular right now, and a plate of assorted cheese and crackers, fruits, or veggies will disappear in a flash.
Caprese Salad: Light and refreshing, it’s tough to beat the summer refreshment of a Caprese Salad! Simply slice up some beautiful summer tomatoes (buy your favorite or, better yet, grab one from your own garden!) and add fresh mozzarella chunks and fresh basil. Top off with a drizzle of balsamic dressing to serve as an appetizer or great addition to the brats and burgers!
Texas Caviar: Perhaps the greatest thing about this side dish is that you can basically mix some up out of whatever you have in the pantry or fridge! Black or white beans, garbanzo beans, onions, canned corn…you can be creative with this yummy dish or follow this recipe to a tee. And don’t forget to top it off with some healthy flakes of cilantro. So tasty!
Tangy Cucumber Salad: Light and refreshing, this tasty side dish can be made last minute or even the night before the cookout! You need only a half-dozen ingredients that we all commonly have on hand, and the blend of flavors only improves over time!
Broccoli Salad: This is another side dish that gets more fabulous over time! You can throw it together the morning of your barbecue, but it’s even a touch more delicious once the flavors settle in overnight. Try Amish Broccoli Salad for a little different touch to the traditional salad we all know and love.
Ice cream: A gallon, a bar, a scoop, homemade or store bought, ice cream is ALWAYS a hit at a cookout! If you don’t have the time to throw anything together, at least take a minute to stop by the grocery store and pick up an assortment of ice cream. It remains (and I predict always will be!) America’s favorite summertime treat and will be a hit at any event you are attending!
If you get an invite, the most important thing to remember is that YOUR presence is what is most appreciated. Pack a lawn chair and some sunscreen, and let the hours tick away carefree. These are some of the most treasured moments of the season!