10 tips for an easy summer potluck

10 Tips For An Easy Summer Potluck

Celebrate summer without breaking a sweat.
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Some of the best hostesses make entertaining look effortless. You can too, with these 10 tips for throwing your easiest, breeziest summer party ever. And if you’re looking for an occasion, zero in on June 20. It’s the Summer Solstice, the sunniest day of the year.

Plan a potluck

Opt for an easy-to-organize grilled potluck dinner. That way the chef (likely you!) won’t be stuck in the kitchen.

Grill it up!

Suggest guests bring anything (including meat, vegetables and fruits) that can be cooked on the grill. Add a few salads and sides like coleslaw with ginger vinaigrette, grilled pear and watercress salad and loaves of crusty bread. You’ll have the makings of a magnificent summer feast.

Serve an icy treat

Toast your guests with chilled glasses of frozen strawberry lemonade or watermelon ginger slush. Make drinks in advance and chill the glasses, so your guests can serve themselves. Or try an interactive lemonade bar with different lemonades, fruit and garnishes.

Light up the night

If you have an awning, deck or an outdoor umbrella, string up mini white lights for a festive twinkle. The sparkling, flattering light relaxes everyone and adds to the party mood.

Brilliant blooms

Choose vibrant flowers like hot pink zinnias, yellow roses or orange dahlias and group them by color. For variety, toss in a few sunflowers or use cruet vases for a more distinctive look. If your style is minimal or elegant, consider all white flowers that will glow as the sun goes down.

DIY decor

Accentuate your summer theme by tying blooms to cloth napkins with a piece of raffia. Place the napkins in tin buckets or on each guest’s plate. For place cards, go natural and use a marker to write each guest’s name on a flat leaf.

Deejay delegation

Ask guests to bring their own MP3 players with their favorite summer songs and take turns being the deejay.

Star light, star bright

Keep the kiddies occupied by conducting a star scavenger hunt. Print out names and pictures of the constellations and appoint a judge to award prizes or special treats to children who find the most constellations.

Flight of the firefly

For another kid-friendly activity, pass around Ziploc® brand Twist ’n Loc® Containers to catch fireflies. Just be sure they have plenty of room to breathe and set them free by the end of the night!

A parting gift

Upon their departure, present guests with treasures from your garden: fresh zucchini, fragrant parsley or a bouquet of daisies. Tie your goodie with leftover raffia for an added touch.
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6/5/2012 , 
Caroline  D.
Great tips!! Mny I have used. The most awesome is the parting gift from your garden. I do this and it's always a huge hit!!

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Outdoor Party Suggestions

Prep the yard, patio or deck: Cut the grass, weed the garden and, to make sure your guests are comfortable, spray OFF!® Yard & Deck Area Repellent II on outdoor furniture legs and surrounding foliage.

Make it cozy: In some regions of the country, guests might need a sweater or shawl as the evening falls. Consider having a few on hand to pass around.

Keep it safe: Preparing food in advance is easier on you, but keep in mind good advice from the USDA: “Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.”

Keep biting insects away: Keep plenty of OFF!® FamilyCare Insect Repellent I Smooth & Dry on hand for bare legs and arms. Its unique cornstarch formula dries on contact, leaving your skin feeling smooth and dry.