It’s Not Too Late!
The season is almost in full swing. The barbeques are out, the pool is open and the grass has already been mowed several times. If you’re thinking it’s too late to create the outdoor living oasis you’ve dreamt about all winter, it’s not. There’s still plenty of time to get the lawn in shape, plant and even design and install a new patio or outdoor entertainment and dining area. Summer does go fast, but you can still fit it all in!
Here’s what you can do now to maximize your family’s outdoor enjoyment for the months ahead:
1. Maximize outdoor living space. Even the smallest backyard can make room of an outdoor living area. Patios, walkways, stone walls, outdoor kitchens and fire pits can make any outdoor living area inviting for guests and add extra living space to your home. Consult with a professional landscape and outdoor designer to determine how to use outdoor space most efficiently. Often a little creativity and some good planning can turn an outdoor area into a backyard oasis. Adding elements that create a comfortable living area can extend the value of your home and add to your family’s enjoyment all year long. It’s an investment that pays off now and in the long term.
2. Know your grass. There’s a lot of grass growing season ahead, so fertilizing the lawn now will be rewarding for the next few months. To begin, know what kind of grass you have. Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass are the most common types of grasses in the Northeast. Use fertilizers specifically for these types of grasses. And for the multi-tasker, apply a combination of fertilizer and weed killer (Scott’s Weed & Feed is one to try). Just remember to never apply fertilizer on a hot day when the sun is high. Early mornings before the sun comes up is best.
Contact Joe Antine Landscape Design today for a free estimate on turning an ordinary yard into something extraordinary.
As your outodor parties start heating up, here are a few recipes you may want to try:
Perfect Grilled Steak
For juicy meat and a great crust, choose a thicker cut such as rib eye. Because this type of steak takes longer to cook, it will have time to develop a nice sear.
YIELD: MAKES 2 TO 3 SERVINGS
1 porterhouse, flank, or rib-eye steak, 1 3/4 pounds and 1 1/2 inch thick
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Heat grill to medium-high; clean and lightly oil hot grates. Generously season steak with salt and pepper.
Grill steak 8 minutes, rotating 90 degrees halfway through. Flip steak and cook 8 minutes more for medium-rare (a thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat should register 125 degrees), rotating again halfway through. Let rest 8 to 10 minutes before serving.
Skillet Corn, Edamame, and Tomatoes with Basil Oil
You can cook this dish on the stove or on a grill heated to medium-high.
PREP: 25 MINS TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS SERVINGS: 6
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions (from 4 scallions)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 3 small garlic cloves)
3 1/4 cups corn kernels (from 4 or 5 ears)
2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add basil; cook 10 seconds. Transfer basil to a bowl of ice water, then drain, and squeeze dry. Puree basil, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add corn, edamame, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring, until starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes (reduce heat to medium if overbrowning). Add tomatoes and vinegar; cook until tomatoes start to collapse, about 8 minutes.
Drizzle basil oil on vegetables, and stir. Serve immediately.
For this recipe and more side dish recipes check out Martha Stewart's side dishes.