The summer season is made for entertainment; the days are long, the temperatures are warm and the grill rarely grows cold. Mother Nature provides the perfect backdrop, but the onus of throwing a successful outdoor party does not rest solely on her shoulders. When it comes to outdoor entertaining, the key is to keep it simple. Set the table using melamine dishware in fun, festive colors. Keep an ice chest outside filled with chilled bottles of water, soda and wine. Also keep ice cubes handy for mixing cocktails. Food should be prepared ahead of time; kebabs, veggie trays and salads prepared with vinegar-based dressings are ideal. Citronella candles and incense will keep the bugs and other pests at bay. Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you have to forego the ice cream; try this little trick to make disposable ice cream cups. Hollow out lemon halves and pop them in the freezer for an hour. Fill with scoops of ice cream and serve immediately. The cold lemon cup will help the ice cream stand up to the hot Oklahoma temperatures.

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