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Kick Up Your Cookout This Summer

We are starting to feel the heat this summer, and you know what that means: backyard cookout season is here! You can go the basic route with burgers, hotdogs and potato salad—there’s nothing wrong with that—but we want to help you kick your backyard shindig up a notch with some unique ideas!


We’re pretty easy to please when it comes to drinks; we are more than happy to enjoy a nice local Kansas City beer or a glass of sweet homemade lemonade. But we’re going to kick things up so here are some easy drink ideas for you!

  1. Slice a watermelon into pieces and freeze, then add the frozen watermelon in place of ice in a margarita. You can call it a watermelorita!
  2. Make boozy popsicles. We suggest these strawberry mojito pops from Delish.
  3. Try a spicy margarita! All you have to do is add muddled jalapeno (remove the seeds for less heat) and a little pepper to your standard margarita recipe, and you have a delicious drink that brings the heat!

For people who aren’t drinking alcohol, serve fruit-infused water in creative flavor combination: cucumber lime, raspberry orange, lavender lemon, the possibilities are endless!

Fun Cookout Food Ideas

We’re sure your family recipe for pasta salad that’s been passed down for generations is good, but we want to kick things up and make this cookout something special!

Sweet Kickin Sides

Okay, have you ever tried chili mac-n-cheese? Probably. Well, how about salsa mac-n-cheese? Probably not, but we promise that salsa will add a delicious kick to this classic comfort food. Your guests taste buds will thank you, and they will definitely be asking you for the recipe. Sweet Kickin Salsa to use Spicy Habanero.

Some people say the only place for vegetables at a backyard BBQ is on a burger, but we disagree. Veggies are delicious when lightly salted, lightly oiled and grilled: squash and asparagus are both good choices (just make sure to lay them perpendicular to the slats on the grill). Have you ever tried salsa on squash? It is a healthy way to use what might be the best condiment ever. Sweet Kickin Salsa to use: Medium.

Not Your Average Burgers and Dogs

Try using a mixture of pork and beef for your burgers, it isn’t an unpopular mixture, but it adds an extra element of flavor. Add salsa and avocado for an unconventional flavor combination. Sweet Kickin Salsa to use Mild Original, Medium or Spicy Habanero.

Let’s be honest it wouldn’t be a cookout without hot dogs. Why not add salsa—there’s nothing basic about a salsa dog. Sweet Kickin Salsa to use Mild Original, Medium or Spicy Habanero.


Dessert That Won’t Disappoint

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with s’mores! How do you kick up s’mores? Set up a s’mores bar with different flavors of chocolate bars, marshmallows, different flavors of graham crackers or even some interesting graham cracker substitutes (like peanut butter cookies). If you don’t have a backyard firepit and don’t want everyone crowded around the grill, make miniature firepits by filling flower pots with gravel, then topping with some pieces of charcoal! Set your mini firepits on the s’mores bar and start experimenting with different flavor combinations.


If you get bored just talking to people, try playing a game. You can go old school by raiding your board game closet or breaking out a deck of cards. Alternately, you can find out which of your friends has a set of horseshoes or a set-up for cornhole and them to bring that instead of a side!

Comment below and share some of your favorite cookout recipes!

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