Whether it’s a party or a park bench, dining outdoors is a simple pleasure. Make the most of your backyard restaurant with just a little creative planning.
First, make it comfortable and convenient. It’s no fun having to trek in and out of your kitchen for every little thing, so if you enjoy the outdoors, add some touches to make it easier to enjoy. Of course, outdoor furniture is the start, but many homes have added an outdoor refrigerator, cabinets and grill areas with serving items. Another trend is indoor/outdoor looks that include carpets, lanterns, even sofas and pillows. Outdoor sound systems are great, as long as you don’t blast the neighbors, and be sure to extend your graciousness to the outdoor creatures, with a birdbath, feeders and a butterfly bush. Some people have even added sand pits, to create the beach feel. A cart is good to, to help bring lots of items in or out with ease.
When menu planning, keep it simple, and have lots storage containers to keep food covered while you take a little snooze.
Basic barbeque is always delicious, but adding cool summer soups (like gazpacho) and fresh garden salads, whether a traditional green salad, a spinach salad, or freshly dug new potatoes scrubbed and tossed with olive oil and chives, make for a more memorable and enjoyable dining experience, and they’re easy to prepare ahead of time.
Give your food extra flavor by grilling with wood chips. Soaked wood chips don’t burn, they just smoke, and this provides great flavors. Types of wood recommended for grilling poultry are: Alder, Apple, Cherry, Grape vines, Hickory, Maple, Oak, Peach, Pear, and Pecan, as well as herbs such as bay leaves, garlic, rosemary or tarragon.