Effortless summer entertaining: Simple tips for unforgettable food and fun

(BPT) – When the tantalizing aroma of barbecues fills the air and laughter echoes through backyard celebrations, you know summer has arrived. From sun-soaked afternoons to relaxed evenings, people across the country are planning gatherings with friends and family to share food and fun while making lasting memories.

The Cooking Mom, Amy Hanten, is a cookbook author and popular blogger who loves to grill and entertain throughout the warm weather months. She shares her favorite tips for summer entertaining the easy way so you can create a memorable and stress-free gathering.

1. Keep it simple

Try to prep for your party as much as possible ahead of time and don’t try to do it all. For example, pick up the veggie and fruit trays from the local grocer. If you’re grilling, ask friends to pitch in and bring a dish to pass. Just be specific about what they should bring, such as an appetizer or dessert, otherwise you may end up with five pasta salads.

2. Make a brat tub

Avoid getting stuck at the grill for the entire party and try a “brat tub”. Grill the brats before everybody arrives and then transfer them to a big foil pan filled with butter, onions, sauerkraut and beer. Keep the pan on the grill over low heat to keep the brats warm and juicy. Everybody can just serve themselves whenever and you can enjoy more of the party.

3. Have fun with toppings

If you’re grilling burgers, brats and hot dogs, consider a toppings bar. Aside from the usual ketchup, mustard and pickles, set out fun toppings like shredded cheeses, fried onions, peppers, salsas and barbecue sauce. People can enjoy customizing their plates and creating their own flavor profiles.

4. Try a summer charcuterie

Give standard charcuterie boards a summer spin with grilled sausage instead of cold meats. Pick up Johnsonville smoked rope sausages (try Andouille or Chorizo for bolder flavors) and then serve the warm sliced sausage with a variety of mustards and spreads plus favorite cheeses, nuts and fruits. It’s a simple and delicious way to impress guests.

5. Explore new recipes

Want the flavors of summer but don’t want to grill? Give the grill a night off and try something new. A shrimp and sausage boil is an easy breezy way to feed a crowd and make a big impression. A big stock pot is your ticket to a delectable feast of potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausage. Get the full recipe at TheCookingMom.com.

Summer entertaining is more than just cooking — it’s a cherished tradition that brings people together, creating memories and forging connections over delicious food. These tips can help you create a memorable event that everyone will enjoy without the mess or stress. For more insight and inspiration visit Johnsonville.com.