Planning a Summer BBQ

    Summer is here and what better way to celebrate than to have a BBQ? Fire up the grill and call your friends and neighbors - they won’t want to miss out on this!

    If you are hosting, tell friends to come around 3 PM for games and drinks. This way you can mingle and catch up. Make sure you introduce guests who don’t know each other. Make the atmosphere comfortable, that’s what BBQs are all about!

    As for the menu, keep it simple to keep yourself sane, especially if you are having more than ten people over. Burgers and hot dogs are a safe and delicious way to go. Ask guests beforehand if they have special dietary needs. Vegetarian, vegan and kosher options are available for these friends! For side dishes, a large salad is easy to throw together. Greek Salad is a big hit for summer, especially with fresh vegetables! If a guest is incredibly insistent on contributing something to the food table, ask them to bring a salad or fruit or veggie platter. A bowl of chips accompanied by salsa or guacamole is the perfect treat for people to munch on before dinner! Dishes of peanuts are also good snacks and pretzels go great with beer for the adults! Looking for an exotic and flavorful side dish to your meal? Try some Mexican style grilled corn! Spicy with a hint of citrus, this will have your guests begging for your secret!

    Serves 6:

    6 ears of corn, husked

    1 teaspoon chili powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Cooking/grilling spray

    1/4 cup Crema Mexicana (can be replaced with low-fat or regular sour cream)

    6 lime wedges


    1. Preheat grill to medium-high

    2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, salt and pepper.

    3. Place corn on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook 12 minutes or until corn is slightly browned, turning frequently. Place corn on a platter; drizzle with crema. Sprinkle with chili powder mixture. Spritz with lime juice. Enjoy!

    If you’re committed to being a bartender, have your station stocked and ready to go. Try out some of these fun recipes! For the kids, have water and lemonade or other juices available. Some fun fruit platter ideas can make fruit kebobs! Give them skewers and cut up fruit so they can each make their own! If you're worried about the younger ones with skewers, help them and keep a close eye on them.

    Activities for kids can be simple and easy for you! A few water guns can keep them busy for hours! For a more relaxed activity, set out paper and crayons at the kids table for them to color! A jar of bubbles and a bubble wand can also be a great way to get the kids to stop asking when dinner will be ready! Have them take turns blowing bubbles while the others see how many they can pop!

    If your crowd is made up of adults only, there are a lot of things you can do together to keep the night fun and exciting! Charades Cards is a great game, especially after a few drinks! Give everyone three slips of paper and have them write down a famous person or historical figure. Each person tapes the paper to their forehead. The group gives each other clues to help them guess who they are. First one to guess correctly wins! Don't stop, though, helping everyone guess the rest is the best part of the game!

    As the evening comes to a close, make sure to send your guests off with something sweet! A fresh fruit salad is a delicious and healthy way to do dessert. For a fun and sweet treat, fire up the grill again and roast marshmallows over the flame. Add graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores, a classic summer treat!

    We'd love to hear about some of your Summer BBQ's! Let us know what ideas you have to keep your BBQ fun and exciting!