18 Make-Ahead Recipes for Your Summer Cookouts
Staying close to home this summer like the rest of us? Keep your summer cookouts fun and stress-free with bbq must-haves, summer slow cooker recipes (they do most of the work for you), and cold dishes like pasta and potato salad. What do these things have in common? They can all be made in advance, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the weekend. We have you covered with 18 make-ahead dishes, from fruit salad to homemade hamburger buns, that will make your Fourth of July cookouts and beyond a total success.
1. 3-2-1 Ribs Method: The 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs refers to the number of hours spent at each stage. Three hours are spent smoking the meat, unwrapped and at a low temperature. Then there are two more hours of continued smoking, this time wrapped in foil. Lastly, there’s one final hour of smoking. This method ensures flavorful and tender ribs every time. (via Fox Valley Foodie)
2. Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes: Cheese and potatoes are one of the best combos ever, amirite? These scalloped potatoes can be made way in advance and reheated right before serving. Just try not to eat them all before your guests arrive. (via Chew Out Loud)
3. Strawberry Oreo Chocolate Icebox Cake: Icebox cakes have been a potluck staple since… forever. This strawberry Oreo recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will be loved by adults and children alike. The cake needs to be made at least eight hours before your party so the cookies have time to soften, so allow for plenty of chilling time. (via Sweetest Menu)
4. BLT Deviled Eggs: Sundried tomatoes, green onions and bacon are the delicious threesome that makes up the filling of these delightful deviled eggs. Be sure to make extra, because these will fly off of the platter as soon as you set them out. (via Ketogasm)
5. Cowboy Caviar: If you’re interested in testing out your knife skills, this dip is great for practice. It’s full of hearty beans, cilantro, chopped peppers and onion. You can even try adding a chopped avocado if you’re a major guac fan (and who isn’t?). (via Culinary Hill)
6. Cucumber Lemon Orzo Salad: Pasta salad is a cookout must, but you may not have had it with orzo. It’s just the right size to mix with finely chopped veggies and goes great with the fresh flavors of lemon and cucumber. Allow this to sit in the fridge overnight so the pasta can absorb all that delicious flavor. (via Give Recipe)
7. Fruit Salad With Lemon Dressing: By the time everyone has scarfed down their burgers and potato salad, dessert might be an afterthought. This fruit salad is a wonderful post-dinner treat that eases your sweet craving without being too heavy. (via Paleo Leap)
8. Homemade Hamburger Buns: If you really want to impress a crowd, show up to a party with homemade hamburger buns. They’re not at all as difficult as you would think, and they’re the best accompaniment to a gourmet burger. (via Domestic Dreamboat)
9. Healthy Pepperoni Pasta Salad: This pasta salad could be a whole meal in itself. It’s packed with veggies, protein and whole grains that will keep you energized for all the fun outdoor games (lookin’ at you, volleyball). (via Well Plated)
10. Make-Ahead Layered Picnic Salad: Your mom will be so proud when you bring out this dish she made when you were a kid. There’s a reason this type of layered salad has stood the test of time: It’s easy, delicious and can be assembled way before your barbecue. (via The Kitchen Is My Playground)
11. Grilled Maple Sriracha Chicken Skewers: These simple skewers have only four ingredients, but pack some intense flavor. The chicken is best marinated overnight and takes only 15 minutes to grill the next day. Score! (via Table for Two)
12. Minty Pea Salad: We’ve all had those moments when we forget about a barbecue until the day before. Those times call for this easy salad that can be made on the fly or ahead of time. (via Budget Bytes)
13. Potato Salad Bites: It’s just not a Memorial Day cookout without potato salad, but the same-old-same-old can get a bit boring. These little two-bite potatoes are a mix of potato salad and a twice-baked potato. They’re perfect as an appetizer or as a cute hand-held side dish. (via The Recipe Rebel)
14. Prosciutto Wrapped Melon With Sage and Black Pepper: Class up any outdoor party with these sweet and salty prosciutto-melon bites. The mix of flavors is addictive, but there’s no cooking involved. That means you can wrangle in just about anyone to help you assemble. (via The Homemade Haus)
15. Shrimp Boil Foil Packets: Put together all of these shrimp boil packets whenever you have a spare moment — that way, all you have to do is throw them on the grill come party time. Did we mention there’s also ZERO cleanup involved? (via Damn Delicious)
16. Vegan Barbecue Baked Beans: When hosting a cookout, it may be tempting to grab a can of baked beans from the store and call it a day. Refrain from that temptation and you will *not* be sorry you took the time to make your own. The flavor is unreal, and you can even mix everything up and throw it in your crockpot if you like. (via A Virtual Vegan)
17. Vegan Mexican Sweet Potato Salad With Avocado Dressing: You’ve never had potato salad like this before. If you’re dying to switch it up, go for this Mexican version with corn, avocado and chipotle. Everyone will be begging you for the recipe. (via Food Faith Fitness)
18. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt Popsicles: Cold treats on a hot day are absolute summer perfection. These pops last in the freezer for weeks, so don't be afraid to make a big batch… just in case. (via Tastes of Lizzy T's)
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This article has been updated from a previous post.
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Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com