Backyard Bon Appétit!

Backyard Bon Appétit!

Set the picnic table and fire up the grill. It’s the start of cookout season, and your family, friends and neighbors are ready to celebrate! And while Mother Rucker’s Sweets can’t help with the main course or the activities, we do know how to liven up a dessert spread for diners of all ages in any ambiance—including the great outdoors. Here are some tips we’ve gathered that are sure to help you throw the perfect backyard cookout:

Ambiance. Keep things casual and comfortable. Depending on where you live, warmer weather can welcome mosquitoes, ants and other uninvited guests. Light a few citronella candles and keep bug spray on hand for those who may need it. If you’re low on outdoor furniture like tables and chairs, ask your guests to bring some so that everyone has a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the cookout.

Activities. Make your cookout about more than just food by providing games and activities for your guests. Horseshoes, washers and Twister can keep people of all ages active, while board games are fun to play once the sun goes down. Don’t forget to hook up your stereo or iPod to a set of outdoor speakers to really set a festive mood.

Main course. Whether you serve an array of grilled meats and veggies or a sandwich platter and chips, consider using fresh ingredients as well as foods that won’t spoil if they’re left outside unchilled for a few hours. To protect your food from pesky critters and anything the wind may blow in, invest in dish covers or mesh netting so that nothing can get in your food before it gets into your stomach.

Drinks. A cookout is no place for a warm beverage. Keep cans and bottles in a cooler filled with ice, and make sure anything in a dispenser is placed in a shady area. Have a spread of alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic options so everyone in attendance can enjoy the party. And most importantly, always have water available—hydration is important!

Dessert. Finally, our forte! For the young at heart (or anyone looking to cool down on a hot afternoon), consider using Mother Rucker’s cookies to make a sweet ice cream sandwich. (Here are some of our favorite recipes.) You may also consider setting out a tray comprised of the Classic Cookie Brittle Collection or our Sugar Gems for guests to snack on after the main course.

And if you really want to get really creative, use our sweets (ideally Cookie Brittle) as a graham cracker substitute and treat your guests to some freshly-made s’mores!

Most importantly, remember to have fun. Cookouts don’t have to be complicated. All you need is some good food and good company, and the fun will follow!