Happy Hour: A Crowd Pleasing BBQ Side Dish

Jun 16, 2023

Every summer, the BBQ circuit takes full effect.  And while the cookout classics — potato salad, macaroni salad, broccoli salad — are always welcome, wouldn’t it be nice to have something different on the table?

I have a shortlist of cookout sides that are crowd pleasers: an avocado corn salad, green bean salad with mustard dressing, and lentil salad with radishes and herbs.  But the absolute star of the show is also the best way to clean out my crisper drawer.

This Cucumber Salad with roasted peanuts and chili oil (gift link) goes fast, and I mean fast, at a party.  Every time I have cucumbers that need to be eaten (now!) this is the first recipe I reach for.  It’s fresh, crunchy, a little spicy, and feels healthy.

I recommend going a little light on the chili oil and packing extra chili crunch so people can spice it up as they like.  I also recommend going heavy on the peanuts and cilantro.  On the allergy front, if you’re going to a cookout with a big group, you should ask if there are peanut allergies before bringing this dish.  If there are, I have also made it with pistachios and added a little extra salt.  It’s a different flavor profile, but it’s also very good.

Whether you make it for yourself or others, this dish is a great way to eat cucumbers that are on their way out.

How did I end up a woman who wears shorts?  I had a baby and my needs changed.  I used to love a t-shirt dress for outdoor events (and I still do), but when we go to our friends’ house, I need shorts.  There are just too many children and dogs to chase to run the risk of flashing an entire party of people.

These Chambray Shorts from J.Crew Factory give you soft, comfortable shorts that move with you.  They’re little nicer than denim, a little more relaxed than chino.  And they’re $20.

For shorts, I want something a little nicer than my beloved (and I mean, beloved) North Face Aphrodites.  Because even though it’s common in Montana and the PNW to dress like you’re ready to go hiking on a moment’s notice, that is just not my look.  But if you need a versatile workout and outdoor short, the NF short is it. Also in plus.  (Pro-tip: Buy the long version.)

This weekend, we’re headed to a Father’s Day BBQ, and now is the appropriate time to wear linen or gauze.  Ann Taylor may think I am wearing linen to the office, but I am not.  I am wearing it to a BBQ.

For linen, I love this button up shirt and stretchy shorts set from J.Crew.  It’s breezy and easy.  If you still can’t get on board with linen, Gap can give you the same look in a gauze short and a gauze button up.

Still just want a dress to wear?  I would wear this smock-sleeve midi dress anywhere.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

 

Happy Hour, Style

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  1. KL says:

    “dress like you’re ready to go hiking on a moment’s notice” – hah, ain’t that the truth! I’ve found myself adopting more of that “dress code” after living here, especially now that I work from home full-time (and my office was super casual to begin with, so I don’t even need to dress up on top). I remember meeting my husband in college and being shocked that he didn’t own sneakers or slip-ons, just hiking sneakers that also served as everyday shoes.

  2. Ashleigh says:

    I rock bicycle shorts underneath all of my t-shirt dresses after I became a mom. Still get to wear the beloved t-shirt dress, no flashing.

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