Start the BBQ out on a delicious note with tempting finger foods. Fire up the grill and make lime-marinated shrimp and pineapple kabobs, or skewers filled with vegetables such as mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers and onions. You can't go wrong with a traditional vegetable tray served with creamy ranch dip; make sure the dairy-based dip is placed on ice to keep it from spoiling.
Use the best product your garden and farmer's market has to offer to make salads for your BBQ party guests. Make a classic creamy potato salad featuring a buttermilk and Dijon mustard dressing, along with fresh herbs, as a tasty side dish. A crisp lettuce salad complete with juicy tomatoes and crunchy carrots will put a refreshing twist on the outdoor meal. Cut summer fruit, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches and plums into bite-size pieces as sweet treat.
Grilled Main Course
As a main course, grill a selection of chicken, steaks and fresh fish to please all guests. Delight vegetarians by grilling olive oil and balsamic vinegar-marinated portobello mushroom caps. Slather chicken breasts with tangy barbecue sauce and marinade steaks in a soy sauce and lemon juice mixture for extra flavor. Enhance salmon fillets with fresh ingredients such as lime, ginger and mint.
End the summer meal with light and refreshing desserts. Top airy angel food cake with sliced strawberries, or treat guests to frozen fruit sorbets. If you're craving something a little more decadent, serve classic root beer floats, hot fudge sundaes or chocolate-dipped frozen bananas.