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Summertime is definitley a great time to host an outdoor BBQ. Here are some tips to ensure a great time will be had by all.

- Let your invitations set the mood, be creative and make sure to let everyone know whether you'll be supplying all the food, or if it's pot-luck.

- Consider writing on the invitation "in case of inclement weather, rain date is....) This will give you the piece of mind knowing that you will not be outside in the rain, or, hosting everyone inside your house!!

- When you consider your menu, consider that the food may be outside in the heat. Avoid mayonaise based salads and foods that will easily spoil. Make sure you have enough drinks on hand, especially if the day is a hot one.

- Put up bug lights or burn citronella candles so that when the sun goes down, you and your guests wont be eaten alive.

- Will kids be attending the party? Consider hiring a teenager to keep them entertained. Or, maybe you want to put out some toys or a small wading pool. You may also want to consider a special kiddie menu if you are grilling sophisticated fare for the adults.

- Tell your guests in advance where the washrooms are and where they can go to get out of the heat.

- After grilling, place the food on the buffet table and cover with an insect cover or tin foil to keep unwanted bugs away from the food.

- If you don't have enough seating for everyone, lay out big blankets on the grass.

- Make sure you have gas in the grill or enough charcoal. You don't want to have to make a trip to the store in the middle of the BBQ.

- To make sure food stays fresh, try and keep everything inside the refrigerator until you actually start grilling.

- To avoid having half-empty cups littering your yard, buy large coolers and fill with ice. Place cans directly on the ice.

- Make sure you have garbage cans all over the yard, to encourage guests to dump their finished plates before they blow away.

Here are some fun food ideas to consider:

Instead of ice cream which drips and melts easily, consider renting a sno-cone machine to make ices for your guest. Or maybe even a popcorn machine.

For dessert, try fresh-fruit kabobs, that guests can dip in chocolate or fruit sauce.

Along with the hot-dogs and burgers, try grilling ahi tuna, or marinated veggies for a more sophisticated touch.

Have fun, and pray for great weather!!