Thursday, June 04, 2009

Check it off: Dining outdoors

I know it looks like I never blog anymore, but I promise I'll get to a bunch of mouthwateringly good slow cooker recipes (!!!) after we finish our show on June 14. With how busy June has suddenly become, all I can say is, thank God for "set it and forget it..."

In the mean time, last Sunday's Chron carried another one of my Check It Off piece, this time with advice for al fresco dining...
As the warmer weather kicks in, thoughts turn to dining in the great outdoors. Whether you're firing up the grill for Father's Day, planning a fancy al fresco buffet or just relaxing out in your garden on a weekend, here are a few things that can make your next outdoor gathering a bit more pleasant.

- Frozen fruit. If you don't care for watered-down drinks, consider freezing some fruit the night before for use in your beverages the next day. Slices of lemon, grapes, chunks of pineapple, pieces of mango or raspberries can be a refreshing addition to iced tea, lemonade or a simple glass of fizzy water.

- Candle in the wind. Glass jars protect candles from being snuffed out by the breezes. You can soak the labels off of old containers and reuse. If the candle wobbles on the bottom of the jar, pour a little salt or sand in the bottom to stabilize it.

- Lap blankets. If you live in a part of the Bay Area where evenings get a little chilly, you may want to have a few inexpensive lap blankets on hand to keep your guests warm.

Read more at Check it off: Dining outdoors.

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