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.
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
This month we’re bringing you an extra special outdoor entertaining tip of the month where you can enter to win a $9,000 outdoor living makeover that will make you the host with the most when friends and family visit.
In conjunction with Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and Midwest Living, we’re launching an outdoor living style quiz and backyard makeover sweepstakes running March 8, 2013 through May 27, 2013.
The questions at Belgard.biz/StyleQuiz will help you explore your tastes and preferences in outdoor living and entertaining, generating a profile that identifies your outdoor living style. Offering inspiration and education, the quiz matches you with the Belgard pavers that capture looks that are classic, transitional and natural. Upon receiving your outdoor living style type, you will be entered to win a $9,000 backyard makeover.
The randomly selected grand prize winner will receive a personalized landscape plan specifically tailored to the winner‘s outdoor lifestyle, up to $4,000 worth of Belgard pavers and wall product and up to $5,000 towards the cost of installation.
For full contest rules and regulations and to enter, visit Belgard.biz/StyleQuiz.
Breakfast will never be the same again after you try this recipe for Grilled French Toast Kebabs. A fun twist on a classic, these kebabs are a quick and easy treat you can make on the grill.
1 loaf (1 lb.) day-old pain au levain
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple or berry syrup
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Soak 12 wooden skewers (10 to 12 in.) in water to cover for 20 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium (350°).
2. Cut enough bread into 1-in. chunks, including some crust on each, to make 2 qts; save extra for other uses.
3. Whisk milk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Mix in bread to coat, then thread onto skewers.
4. Oil cooking grate, using tongs and an oiled wad of paper towels. Grill skewers, covered, until browned, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Serve with butter and syrup and dust with powdered sugar if you like.
From Sunset June 2010
We love the holiday season – friends and family coming together to celebrate, a coat of white snow covering the ground and a contagious holiday cheer that you can’t quite explain.
We love our outdoor spaces but in many climates this time of year isn’t quite right for sitting outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t deck the halls outdoors and bring a little holiday cheer to your porch or patio.
Adding a beautiful walkway path to your door welcomes guests and adds curb appeal. If you prefer a grander entrance, consider a paver driveway, steps or front porch. Adding pathway lights accents your décor plus helps guests navigate at nighttime.
Lights, garland and wreaths bring warmth to your outdoor space and often can be enjoyed from the inside, too. If the weather isn’t too frightful, enjoy a night outside warming up next to the glowing fire from a Belgard fireplace or fire pit. Grab some throw blankets and marshmallows and keep the fun going into the night.
Winter is the best time for planning your landscape and getting started now ensures you’ll be ready for spring. Visit www.Belgard.biz to request a complimentary Idea Book.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and if you’re still planning the day’s menu, we’ve got you covered. We’re serving up some of our favorite, mouthwatering Thanksgiving classics from Sunset magazine.
Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail
This is the perfect bubbly drink with a hint of spice for fall. For a nonalcoholic alternative, substitute lemon-lime or club soda for the cognac and champagne.
The Main Event
Dry-Cured Rosemary Turkey
Letting this turkey dry-cure in a home-ground mixture of spices gives it incredible, earthy flavor once it’s roasted.
Sage-infused Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Sage adds an earthy flavor to these mashed potatoes, parsnips lend sweetness, and sour cream brings a bit of tang.
Glazed Carrots with Pecans
These sweet veggies are so delectable that even the pickiest of eaters can’t turn these down.
Cranberry Port Sauce
The combination of cranberries, orange, and port in this easy sauce makes a wonderful accompaniment for the turkey.
Pumpkin-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel
Pumpkin and chocolate are surprisingly delicious together, and paired with sweet salted caramel – yum!
With fall comes falling temperatures, changing leaves and football season. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or just a casual fan who enjoys hosting friends, fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy your outdoor space and tailgating at home.
Here are a few tips for enjoying your outdoor space this tailgate season:
- Design an outdoor sports cave. Outdoor spaces become outdoor rooms when adding a television, comfortable seating, and outdoor kitchen conveniences like a mini fridge, cooking space and sink. You’ll love how a fresh beverage is within easy reach. Plus, if you accidently spill your drink while cheering on a touchdown, a paver patio will handle the mess much better than indoor carpet.
- Fire up the grill. Spending the day cheering on your favorite team can really work up an appetite. Be sure to keep your guests happy and full by providing lots of tasty, hot-off-the-grill treats. An added bonus, cooking outside on the grill will give off extra heat on cooler days and into the evening.
- Create comfortable surroundings. The cool temperatures of fall can be refreshing, but unwelcome if you aren’t prepared. Create comfortable surroundings for you and your guests by adding a Belgard fire feature. Fire pits make for a social center piece or mount your big screen above a fireplace. Show pride for your favorite team with color-themed throws and pillows adorning your outdoor furniture.
This ancho-marinated skirt steak with warm bean salad is the perfect meal to transition to cooler weather. The deep beefy flavor of skirt steak paired with red wine and the texture of black beans makes your taste buds dance. Enjoy cooking this meal in your outdoor kitchen and savor the last warm nights of summer.
1/2 cup Syrah or other dry red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar, divided
About 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon ground dried ancho chiles or chili powder
1 skirt steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 fresh poblano chiles (sometimes labeled pasilla)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cans black beans (15 oz. each), drained and rinsed
1 large red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-in. chunks
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
About 3 green onions, sliced (including green tops)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Combine wine, 1/4 cup each vinegar and oil, 1 tbsp. each garlic and pepper, 1 tsp. each salt and cumin, the oregano, and ground chiles in a large, resealable plastic food bag. If steak is in 1 long piece, cut in half crosswise; rinse, add to bag, seal, and turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
2. Preheat broiler. Halve, stem, and seed the poblanos. Lay skin side up on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches from heat until well charred, 6 to 7 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then peel and coarsely chop.
3. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté onion and remaining 1 tbsp. garlic in 2 tbsp. oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 tsp. each pepper, salt, and cumin; turn heat to low.
4. Oil cooking grate well. Lift steak from marinade (discard marinade) and grill, turning once, until browned on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a board and let rest at least 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, add poblanos, red pepper, tomatoes, 3 green onions, and cilantro to bean mixture, and stir occasionally until warm. Slice steak on the diagonal across the grain and serve on warm bean salad. Garnish with more green onions if you like.
From Sunset October 2011
Nothing says summer like sweet corn on the grill. The honey-chipotle flavor gives these golden kernels an extra punch of flavor. Once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to plain corn on the cob again!
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ears fresh corn in husks
1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-hot (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Combine chiles, butter, honey, garlic, and salt in a blender and whirl until smooth.
2. Put unhusked corn on grill and cook, turning occasionally, 15 minutes. Husks will blacken. Transfer to a work surface, remove husks, brush ears generously with butter mixture, and return ears to grill. Grill until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve warm, with remaining butter.
From Sunset July 2007
A simple, refreshing treat for those hot summer days is the perfect complement to a day spent outdoors. This recipe for Triple-Berry Popsicles is delicious but feel free to mix it up with your own combinations and make it just how you like it. You can strain out the seeds, but we love the texture they lend to the popsicles.
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1. Put sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Combine blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and lemon juice in a blender and purée until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup of sugar mixture and blend just until combined. (Left over sugar mixture can be used for sweetening iced tea or other summer treat.)
3. Transfer purée to popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze an additional 4 to 6 hours, or until frozen solid.
From Sunset July 2008