Host the ultimate outdoor gathering in your backyard, and let the beauty of the winter landscape take center stage. This guide, complete with décor ideas and food recipes, promises great times for all!
Get Your Backyard ReadyKeep the chilly night at bay and help your guests stay all toasty with these... While decorating the walkway with something whimsical (perhaps some tinsel!), don’t forget to also illuminate it with some floor lights.
Tis' the season to be warm and cozy! Add blankets and cushions to your seats to build yourself a comfy little cuddle corner. Did you know that cuddling releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps you feel happy and connected to others?
You can bet that the fire itself is going to be what everyone gathers around, and we recommend using a wood-burning fire pit here. Not only are they charming, any food cooked over it will get that nice, smoky, charred flavor!
Sunjoy’s Recommended Recipes
Grilled Clams with Garlic Butter
Grilled clams are delicious outdoor recipes all-year-round. Grill them over a fire pit with toasted sourdough toast on the side.
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
- 2 dozen littleneck clams
- 1 sliced loaf of sourdough bread (or you can opt for baguette or ciabatta)
- 4 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- Place the clams in a large bowl after thoroughly cleaning them under running water. For high heat, prepare a fire pit with a campfire grate or a charcoal grill (direct flame).
- Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (approximately 500 degrees) or use a charcoal grill.
- Place the bread pieces on the grate and toast for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and charred around the edges. Remove with tongs and place on a serving dish.
- Place the butter in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron pan or Dutch oven on the grate. Stir in the minced garlic until the butter has melted.
- Allow the garlic to sauté in the butter while you set the clams on the grill with tongs.
- Allow the clams to cook while keeping a careful eye on them. When a clam pops open, gently transfer it from the grate to the pan, preserving as much clam juice as possible.
- If any clams don't open, toss them out. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
- To absorb all of the savory garlic butter in the pan, serve the clams over toasted bread.
Note: It's better to buy and consume fresh, live clams on the same day. Remove the clams from their bag and set them in a colander to preserve until ready to cook. Fill a big bowl halfway with ice and set the colander over it, this will allow the clams to be kept chilled without being submerged in fresh water, which may kill them.
Cover the bowl of clams with a towel and chill until ready to clean and prep.
Party In The Backyard Cones
These are a favorite with the kids! Lay the ingredients out and let the little ones mix it up into their own little creations.
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
- 8 ice cream cones
- 1 pint of vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup of chocolate (milk) M&M's
- 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup of salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup of white baking chips
- Set up a campfire or grill on medium heat.
- Ice cream cones should be filled with as many M&Ms, marshmallows, peanuts, and white chips. Each cone must be fully wrapped in foil and tightly sealed. (Fill the cones with your favorite treats. Miniature peanut butter cups are a great idea.)
- Cook until heated through, 7-10 minutes, over a campfire or grill. Carefully remove the foil and serve while it's still hot.
- Top it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Now, you've satisfied your fun-sized campers with a tasty campfire treat.
Note: There's no right or wrong way to enjoy this playful spin on s'mores, whether you spoon out the filling before eating the cone or just dig right in.
Feel free to try these recipes at your next backyard gathering. Remember to include the hashtag #Sunjoymoments when sharing your photos on social media with us, and we might feature them!