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Outdoor Entertaining Made Easy

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Brampton (ON) - For many Canadians the first sign of two-digit temperatures signals the unofficial start of summer and a season of outdoor entertaining. With the only ice in sight floating in a refreshing beverage, it's the perfect time to soak up the sunshine with a relaxing, casual gathering of family and friends.

Grilled goodies

According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association the most popular barbeque foods are hamburgers, steak, hot dogs and chicken. If you are looking to add to your grilling repertoire visit Web sites such as Fiesta Barbeques (www.fiestabbq.com) where you'll find recipes for everything from a classic burger to grilled quail and beer can chicken.

Dual décor

Add a little ambience to your outdoor fiesta while keeping the décor fun and functional with these simple suggestions:

  • Dust off the kiddie pool and fill it with ice. Place beverages and salad bowls on the ice to keep them fresh and cold.

  • Hit the local dollar store for some inexpensive beach toys. Colourful, plastic pails and shovels are perfect for serving veggies or chips and dip. Or add a twisty straw and some fruity punch for an unforgettable beach beverage.

  • Buy small, colourful, flowering potted plants and group them together in baskets or festive containers. When the party is over, plant them!

  • Create your own patio lanterns by securing wire around the lips of jam jars, anchoring a votive candle in sand within and hanging onto tree branches. Remember; don't ever leave burning candles unattended.

Whether it's a pre-fireworks fiesta or an annual family picnic, make the most of your backyard bash by keeping it simple, easy and fun. The season's much too short to sweat it.


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