Summer Recipes: Get Your House and Menu Ready for Outdoor Family Fun

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It feels like we’ve been waiting over two years for summer to finally arrive. Oh wait, we have. Luckily, things seem to be improving enough that we can all start to gather again and that means you’ll need to get your house and menu ready for guests.

Now that summer is in full swing, you’ll be planning all sorts of get-togethers, so you’ll want to get started on that to-do list right away. We’ve put together some great tips to get your house and backyard ready for BBQ season as well as some great new summer recipes you’ll be sharing time and time again.

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Clean Up and Clean Out

You may have already started on your spring cleaning, but now is the perfect time to check out your summer inventory and start purging some of those old, worn-out items. Trade out the winter décor items for your summer pieces. Move the boot tray and winter rug into storage and pull out the bright, cheery welcome mat and front entry carpet. Wipe down the front door, hang your summer wreath, sweep off the porch (clean off all the cobwebs in the corners), and replace any burned out light bulbs.

Work your way throughout the house changing out pillows, heavy winter blankets, open the curtains and blinds, and let the sun shine in. Natural sunlight gives everyone a new outlook and provides much-needed Vitamin D for a healthier body.

If you’re expecting guests to stay overnight during the summer months, you’ll want to inspect the guest room, change the sheets, remove all the stray items that made the room their new home over the winter months, and give it a thorough cleaning.

Backyard Oasis

Whether you’ve got a deck, patio, or just grass, you can transform your backyard into a comfortable space for fun festivities with family and friends. 

  • Clean up the flowerbeds—pull any weeds, trim bushes, plant some colorful flowers, and lay down some fresh mulch.
  • Weed and feed the lawn, mow and trim—tackling stubborn weeds early in the season will help ensure your lawn is lush and green by the time guests arrive this summer.
  • Power wash the patio, deck, siding, and walkways—remove dirt and grime from every surface. Freshen up stain on your deck. 
  • Pull outdoor furniture out of storage—check the cushions to see if any need replacement, clean those in good condition and spray with fabric waterproofing. Need a new look? Consider buying something new to add extra seating for all your guest. 
  • Wash the windows—you’ll want to be able to see your backyard festivities clearly so make sure the glass is sparkling inside and out.
  • Add outdoor lighting and fansnew decorative hanging lights will help create a party atmosphere. Add some new path and garden lights to illuminate those hot summer nights and create a magical environment. Outdoor fans under a pergola or awning will help keep guests comfortable all season long.
  • Add a drink station—keep your guests happy and hydrated this summer by setting up an outdoor bar or mobile bar cart. No need to run around trying to serve your guests. Everything will be in one place and ready when they are. 

There’s nothing more refreshing than adding some watermelon agua fresca (blend fruit, water, sugar and lime juice) to any cocktail. Don’t forget the lemon, orange, or lime wedges to the edge of the glass for a little extra flavor and a festive look. Try out one of these fun summer drink recipes too. Your guests will definitely be asking when the next event is.

It's All About the Grill

Outdoor cookouts aren’t complete without the proper grill. Whether you opt for a simple charcoal model or invest in a mega-sized gas BBQ, you need to think about how you’re going to use it, if you’ll need to feed large groups, if you want to prepare specialty items (like rotisserie chicken), and the heat source (charcoal, propane, natural gas.) There are a variety of models and price ranges available through home improvement stores. Make sure you plan ahead or you might find the model you want is out of stock.

Once you have your grill set up, why not try out a few of these recipes ahead of time. Did you know that grills aren’t reserved just for hot dogs and hamburgers? Try out a few of these unconventional foods like grilled watermelon, veggies with balsamic vinegar, chicken shish kebabs (add red onion, green peppers, lemon slices, cherry tomatoes, and even asparagus pieces for a fresh take on a traditional recipe. Coat with French dressing for a tangy treat.)

Stop Bugging Me

There’s nothing more annoying than to set up a beautiful outdoor party and find you’ve got a bunch of unwanted guests (aka bugs and mosquitoes.) There are a few modern remedies for eliminating these pests without lathering up with bug repellent.

  • Bug lantern—you’ve probably seen or “heard” of these. Bugs are attracted to a light, get zapped, and are no longer a problem. There are some new, attractive styles available that will add to your décor while ridding the area of the nuisance.
  • Tiki torches or citronella candles—smoke is a great repellant for those pesky flies and mosquitoes. Add a little ambiance around your deck or patio while keeping these bugs far away.
  • Mosquito net—sometimes you just need a barrier between you and biting insects. Set up a private, bug-free space with a stand-alone framed net. Add some twinkle lights and everyone will want to hang out in this cozy spot.
  • Colander—Flies and other insects will leave your plated food alone if you place an upside-down colander over it. The holes will keep the food from getting soggy while deterring those persistent bugs from nibbling on your menu.

Say Yes to Easy Summer Desserts

Hot, steamy days are better than cold, snowy ones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little cool refreshment to your outdoor event. Check out these chilly favorites that can be prepared ahead of time:

Strawberry Icebox Cake—this no-bake dessert combines fresh strawberries, graham crackers, cream cheese, and a little heavy cream for a luscious, layered extravaganza.

Key Lime Cakes in a Jar—this fun recipe is perfect for outdoor parties. Kids and adults will both love these individual desserts in a mini mason jar. You can either make the cake from scratch or shave some time off by using store-bought vanilla cupcakes or pound cake. The lime filling is quick and easy and can be made the night before to set perfectly.


Grilled Apples a La Mode—while you’ve got your grill on anyway, why not make this yummy apple dessert. You’ll only need apples, sugar, some spices, and some vanilla ice cream. Ohhhh, can’t you just taste them already?

Let Puls Make Your Summer Festivities a Succes

Our team of professional technicians can provide you with all the services you need to prepare your home for summer holidays and gatherings. Puls’ handyman services include everything from furniture assembly to power washing to fan installation to interior painting and more. 

All services are fast and easy. Book online in seconds, select the day and time for your service, and sit back and relax while a skilled, fully vetted tech takes care of your projects. It’s our goal to provide the best possible experience before, during, and after each appointment which is why we offer a 90-day guarantee on all of our handyman services. 

Don’t delay, the summer party season is just around the corner. Call or click to schedule your handyman services today and get your home ready for some serious fun.

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Debbie D.
Debbie Dey is a professional writer with over three decades of experience in residential construction. Her background gives her a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of home improvement projects, which she enjoys sharing through her writing. She has been a Puls staff writer since 2018. In her free time, you can find her relaxing by the water or cruising with her husband in their sports car.
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It feels like we’ve been waiting over two years for summer to finally arrive. Oh wait, we have. Luckily, things seem to be improving enough that we can all start to gather again and that means you’ll need to get your house and menu ready for guests.