I've been cultivating a little garden sanctuary in my own backyard for quite awhile now and by the time June arrives, it is the perfect hide away for outdoor cooking! For this particular occasion I prepared marinated chicken, roasted beet & chevre salad, spicy vegetable quinoa, grilled fruit with melted chocolate, and vodka sunrises to drink. I am lucky to have some ground to tend to, high fences for privacy, and a quaint patio for al fresco dining and grilling. Needles to say, and I take advantage of the situation as often as I am able. Lately I am discovering that I sometimes (okay almost always) prefer dining at home over spending money to dine out at a local restaurant! After working on a garden that truly has grown on me, I want to enjoy the atmosphere as often as possible and what better way to do so than to cook a delicious early evening dinner!
|*When grilling fruit, make sure the cooking surface is extremely clean so that you don't get any raw meat on the produce while it's cooking!|
|*I also try to grill fruits, vegetables, and breads before letting any meat touch the grill.|
This will improve the taste and make your vegetarian friends very happy too!
I keep my bar cart stocked with a variety of different alcohols that I typically use for cooking projects (like these recipes for pancake syrup & truffles) but it's also fun to mix a cocktail or two! I really enjoyed these vodka sunrises that I made recently, made with equal parts mineral water, orange juice, grenadine, vodka, and a twist of lime!
If you haven't tried grilling fruit yet I highly recommend giving it a go! The flames really caramelize the sugars and bring out all the best flavors! Some of my favorite fruits to grill are:
Simple Chicken Marinade:
-Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, the zest/juice of one lemon, finely chopped rosemary, and finely chopped fresh garlic in a large bowl. I don't ever use measurements for this because it's so effortless to put together for an easy dinner, just add ingredients according to your taste buds! Make sure that chicken is completely coated in olive oil while it is marinating in the fridge for 15 minutes to half an hour, cook and then enjoy!
I hope that this inspires you to get outside and get cooking this Summer, maybe even in your own backyard! Oh and if you have any recipes you think I should try, please let me know in the comments because I'm always looking for new ideas!