One of our favorite summer parties is the home BBQ. We’ve recently held them for our niece and her college roommates, our son for his birthday, and our foreign exchange daughter and her friends. We try not to be elaborate, but to focus on a few great dishes and lots of easy “accessories”.

We usually have hamburgers on the grill for the main dish (watch for an article to come on sprucing up the Costco burger) with lots of add-ons: cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, condiments. The kids love the taste and all the neighbors comment on the smell!

Then, we prepare one or two really tasty side dishes. Favorites at our house are the broccoli salad (see the recipe) and sweet baked beans (recipe to come). We like to dip potato chips (the original kind) in the beans. All the kids rave over both these dishes.

Beyond this, we keep it really basic: watermelon slices, potato chips, chips and salsa, sodas on ice. We use disposable plates and utensils to keep clean-up easy, and serve ice cream cones or brownies for dessert.

It’s nothing complicated, but we have a great time!

We often will drag the BBQ into the yard and put a bunch of chairs in the shade fairly close to the grill. The kids hang around the grill for hours talking and playing and enjoying the outdoors. They get the food hot off the grill and have a great time! They all comment on how great the food is when they leave and how much fun they had.

This has been a real success for us!

Try moving your grill close to the action. It is a great conversation piece and brings the party together!