Summer Entertaining Tips

Grilled food, cold drinks, outdoor games and making memories with friends and family--those are the basics of great summer entertaining. Whether you’re throwing your first shindig or your 100th, every host can use a few tips to make their summer party the best on the block.

You’re Welcome
Let guests know you’re happy they are here by setting out essential supplies they might need during the day. Sunscreen, mosquito spray, towels for the pool, hand wipes and light blankets or wraps for an evening party make a good start. Place items in a clean wheelbarrow or large basket for extra presentation points.

Make it Ahead
Summer entertaining may be more casual than holiday gatherings, but it still takes work and planning. Prepping as much as you can ahead of time will help ensure you are outdoors having fun with your guests and not stuck inside. Some things, like tossing a salad, are best left till the last minute, but several party chores can be completed a day or two ahead of time:

  • Clean and chop vegetables for salads or grilling
  • Cut up fruit and store in a serving bowl
  • Tidy up the deck or patio and hang sturdy decorations such as festive lights
  • Mow the grass and make sure lawn games are in good repair
  • Prepare freezer desserts such as ice cream or chilled pies that don’t’ require baking

Burger Bar
Burgers are a must at any summer party, but serving the same old cheeseburger won’t make you the host of the year. A burger bar puts a new twist on America’s favorite sandwich. Fire up that grill and use it to cook a pile of onions, bacon, portabella mushrooms, slices of pineapple, a variety of spicy-to- mild chilies, a few halved and peeled avocados and whatever else you can think of to put on a burger. Set up a burger-fixing station with all the usual condiments plus your delectable array of grilled fruits and vegetables, and let your guests build their own gourmet burger creations.

We All Scream
Homemade ice-cream really is worth the trouble. Not only is it delicious, but it requires only wholesome, real ingredients—no additives you can’t pronounce. And you get to choose the flavors! It’s also a whole lot of fun. Kids of all ages will enjoy taking turns with an old-fashioned hand-crank machine or tossing around an ice cream ball that churns ingredients into dessert while you play with it.  Today, there are a variety of ice cream accessories available like single-serving molds, ice cream sandwich makers and easy-serve tubs that make eating everyone’s favorite sweet treat even more fun.

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