Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the summer season and we’ve got plenty of tips for making your outdoor space the place to be with friends and family.
- What better way to celebrate Memorial Day than to fire up the grill and cook up some all-American favorites like hot dogs, burgers and corn-on-the-cob? An outdoor kitchen is the perfect accessory for entertaining and eating outdoors.
- The Memorial Day holiday is a popular time for homeowner to open their pools for the summer season. So don’t forget to invite guests to bring their bathing suits for the first pool party of the year.
- Keep plenty of cool beverages within easy reach. Adding a mini fridge to your outdoor kitchen is a small investment you won’t soon regret.
- Refreshing snacks like fresh fruit and veggies are easy-to-eat munchies that are perfect for a warm day.
- Whether your patio is equipped with an outdoor speaker system or you have a portable speaker for your iPod, create a summer jam playlist that will keep the good tunes riding all weekend long.
While the weekend is all about entertaining and enjoying the company of friends and family, be sure to schedule some relaxation time to unwind. Enjoy a quiet Monday evening on the patio under the stars and listen to nature’s music before the real world begins again Tuesday morning.
These Open-face Caprese Sandwiches are a refreshing snack you can enjoy cooking on the grill. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are the perfect foil to crunchy, grilled Italian bread and they are a breeze to make. Follow the simple recipe below and be prepared as your family requests it again and again.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 slices (about 1/2 in. thick) crusty Italian bread
3 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
16 medium basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare a grill for medium heat (350° to 450°). Combine 1 tbsp. oil and the garlic and brush onto 1 side of bread.
2. Lay bread oiled side down on grill and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Turn bread over, lay tomato slices on bread to fit, overlapping if needed, then lay cheese slices over tomatoes. Cover grill and cook until cheese starts to melt, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer sandwiches to a platter. Put 2 basil leaves over each sandwich and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. oil and the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
From Sunset July 2009
As we prepare to head into the month of May, we can’t help but admire the colorful blooms popping up around the garden. Here are a few of our favorite ways to incorporate flowers on and around the patio:
Every homeowner has their own personal style when it comes to their outdoor living space. If you prefer an organic appearance, your style can be described as natural. If you’re drawn to the traditional, timeless look, your style is characterized as classic. If you like a contemporary appeal with clean lines and distinct looks, you likely have a transitional style. Whether it’s natural, classic or transitional, Belgard has designs and colors to fit any aesthetic and every lifestyle.
From amenities and features, to paver colors and styles, and even recipes for entertaining outdoors, the Belgard Idea Book provides advice on designing and enjoying the perfect outdoor retreat. You’ll learn tips such as what patterns help to make an area look more spacious, and what paver colors coordinate best with your home’s style.
Visit belgard.biz/request for a FREE Idea Book to help you get started.
Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.
15,000 sq. ft. of Belgard pavers installed
We love our contractors and that’s why we want to help them and their business succeed. Our Belgard Authorized Contractor program offers a number of benefits including listing on our online search tool, the Belgard Rewards program, the Belgard Tool Kit including the Preferred Payment Program and other sales tools. We also back any product installed by an Authorized Contractor with our lifetime warranty.
The next question is, how do you become a Belgard Authorized Contractor? We take our BAC qualification very seriously because we only want the best for our homeowners. All contractors looking to become a BAC must complete the following requirements:
- Be recommended by a Belgard Authorized Dealer or Sales Rep based on an acceptable credit standing
- Provide documentation for at least one ICPI certified staff member
- Satisfy three of the following:
– 15,000 sq. ft. of Belgard pavers installed
– Installation of two vehicular applications
– Successfully use polymeric sand on five projects
– Installation of ten paver projects
- Provide proof of insurance
- Provide proof of home improvement or state license if state required
- Workmanship guaranteed for at least two years
- Belgard inspected project (Minimum installed for 1 year)
- Belgard inspected project under construction (Verify ICPI installation guidelines)
- Understand status will be reviewed every 12 months
In addition to the initial requirements, all BACs must submit to these yearly requirements:
- Install 15,000 SF of Belgard Pavers
- Attend a minimum of 1 continuing education program offered by Belgard
- Place BAC logo on business cards, letterhead, or website
- Submit to a yearly review by a Belgard Representative
Once you’re part of the Belgard family, we’ll help you with the tools for success in making your business grow.
For more information on becoming a Belgard Authorized Contractor, visit http://belgard.biz/docs/bac_requirements.pdf. To find a Belgard Authorized Contractor, visit http://belgard.biz/contractors_search.php.
Start the outdoor season with a creative new recipe for fish tacos. These light, refreshing Golden State Fish Tacos are the perfect meal to enjoy on your patio. The delicious ripe avocado paired with fresh, zesty lemon will perk up your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned halibut fillets (1 in. thick), cut into 1 1/2-in. chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 to 14 corn tortillas (5 to 6 in.), warmed on grill
3 cups iceberg lettuce cut in fine shreds
Avocado and Salted Lemon Salad
1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Mix seasonings in a small bowl. Put halibut on a rimmed baking sheet; coat with oil. Sprinkle with seasonings. Thread fish on 6 to 8 slender metal skewers. Oil cooking grate, using tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels.
2. Grill fish, covered, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total. Fill tortillas with lettuce, fish, and salad. Serve with yogurt sauce.
From Sunset September 2010
Hardscapes aren’t just pavers underfoot. Hardscape walls can be used in outdoor spaces in many ways, from decorative walls to seating walls, retaining walls and garden walls. Plus, many times a wall can serve as more than just one of these functions.
Wall block can be used in a number of decorative ways to enhance the appeal of your outdoor space. Ask your Belgard Authorized Contractor how you can use wall block to create a custom fireplace or fire pit, a custom piece built to fit your grill, or how walls can help define a space.
Seating walls are a great way to add additional seating for your outdoor space. We love curved seating walls around the fire pit – perfect for large groups and entertaining. Outdoor pillows can add a cozy, decorative element.
Visit Belgard.biz/request to order a complimentary Idea Book to help you get started.