Wish you could take your outdoor space from plain to Pinterest-perfect? You can—and we’re here to help! In the July/August issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray (pick up your copy on June 9th!), we teamed with with the pros at Porch to share four drool-worthy backyard upgrades and tell you how to get each look. This cozy, built-in fire pit with lush landscaping cost the homeowners $40,000, but for those who don’t have that kind of cash to spend (read: most of us!), we explain what’s involved in getting an expert to do a less involved project and how to create an inviting yard in a weekend—on a budget. All you need to pull it off? A few stylish-yet-inexpensive pieces:
photo via Alderwood Landscaping
This Wood-Burning Fire Pit measures almost 30 inches in diameter, so there’s plenty of room for a crowd to gather around. $99, Garden Treasures, lowes.com
Use this Outdoor Rectangular Pouf Footstool to sit by your pit; it’s surprisingly lightweight and comfy. $50, Threshold, target.com
Load up the Hartman Adjustable Firewood Storage Rack. It allows air to circulate around your wood to help prevent rot and mold. $60, Crosley, bedbathandbeyond.com
We’ve got three other transformative upgrades in the issue, and the deal of the summer: Our friends at Porch and Cost Plus World Market have teamed up to give one lucky winner $3,000 worth of expert work and $2,000 to decorate their space.
The collaboration between these two companies seems like a match made in heaven. Porch is a site that helps consumers get connected with home improvement professionals that they can trust. Simply browse by job type (from home cleaning to kitchen remodeling), leave a note about your budget and time frame and hit submit! You’ll be contacted by a reliable professional to get your project going. Once your space is clean and remodeled, head over to World Market, where you can find original and handmade decor, kitchenware, furniture and more from around the world.
To enter the sweepstakes, click here. And hurry! Contest ends June 30 (and summer ends September 23).
Happy June! We’re kicking it into high summer mode this week with five dinners that are meant for the grill. So get your seasonal veggies ready, your patio furniture dusted off and your charcoal nice and hot. It’s officially grilling season.
Monday, June 1st
The Kentucky Derby may be over, but its famous cocktail, the Mint Julep, lives on– it’s National Mint Julep Day! So in honor of this fresh and strong cocktail, we’re sharing our best recipe. T-G-I-Saturday, right?
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
5 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
1/2 cup bourbon (4 ounces)
Add the sugar, the mint leaves and a few drops of the bourbon to a chilled glass. Muddle or crush the mint with a spoon to create a thick paste.
Add a handful of crushed ice to the glass. Place a straw so that it reaches the mint paste at the bottom of the glass. Pour the remaining bourbon over the ice.
Add more crushed ice, making a mound that reaches to the top of the glass and leaving about 1 inch of the straw peeking above the rim.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
For a fun twist on the Mint Julep, try our Rye Julep, with a hint of grapefruit!
We’re so happy it’s National Biscuit Day– biscuits are the perfect food to eat for every meal! When it’s time for dessert, make a cobbler. Top it off with this simple and delicious biscuit topping that can be made two different ways: it can be rolled and cut into shapes or, even easier, turned into rustic drop biscuits. The difference? Just a few tablespoons of cream.
The upcoming week might not seem like anything special, but we beg to differ: it includes Memorial Day, Hamburger Day and Biscuit Day! If those three holidays aren’t reason enough to get in your kitchen, these recipes should do the trick. Happy celebrating!
Monday, May 25
Happy Memorial Day! Grilled Sausage with Fennel Slaw
The classic Italian cocktail is getting shaken and stirred into all kinds of delicious treats. During Negroni Week, June 1-7, participating bars and restaurants around the country are serving up fresh takes on the tipple and donating at least $1 from each sale to a charity of choice. Check out some of our picks for places to get your Negroni on. Cheers!
The Negroni pie at Brooklyn’s Butter & Scotch stars a custard of Campari, gin and vermouth. (butterandscotch.com)
For a dessert of pillow-soft Negroni marshmallows, hit Cambridge, MA’s Ames Street Deli. (amesstreetdeli.com)
Gin-flavored ice cream meets vermouth, Campari and Cheerwine in the Cheergroni float at Chuck’s in Raleigh, NC. (ac-restaurants.com/chucks)
The Negroni pop at San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe blends the cocktail’s spirits with grapefruit juice. (humphryslocombe.com)
Serve yourself! To make a classic Negroni, stir equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in an ice-filled rocks glass (strain to serve if you wish). Garnish with orange peel.
By Erin Meister
Stir it into coleslaw, potato salad or pasta salad for extra zing.
Add it to water when boiling potatoes to infuse them with a bit of extra flavor.
Stir it into Bloody Marys, martinis or micheladas.
Whisk it with olive oil, minced herbs and lemon zest for a tangy dressing.
Use it as a marinade for chicken before grilling. Let sit overnight to help tenderize the meat.
Or boil it until the brine is reduced by half to concentrate flavor, then whisk with butter to make a bright sauce for drizzling on cooked fish or vegetables.
Warm weather means it’s finally time for light, produce-packed dinners and plenty of grilling. This week, we’re filling you up with veggies galore and dishes that are meant to be enjoyed outside. Happy spring!
It turns out that whiskey is such a beloved spirit, it doesn’t just get a national holiday—it gets a global one! Today we’ll celebrate World Whiskey Day by imbibing one of the most versatile and delicious liquors out there. And, since it wouldn’t be a true holiday without a sweet ending, we’ll put a splash of whiskey in our dessert, too. Cheers to that!
Let the ice cream truck drive on by! Make your own treats with the summer’s best new cookies and ice creams.
1. Coffee Break
Drizzle on the caramel sauce that comes with Pillsbury Melts Caramel-Filled Brownie Cookies ($3.69) after you bake them, then sandwich them with rich Talenti Coffee Toffee Gelato ($5.99).
2. Cookie Monster
What’s better than spice-cookie-flavored Ben & Jerry’s Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core ice cream ($4.89)? A scoop of it smooshed between two chocolate chip Just Cookie Dough cookies ($5.49).
3. Berry Light
Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-cal and seriously delicious: slightly salty Lundberg Organic Thin Stackers ($3.49.) rice cakes with sweet So Delicious Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert Oregon Mixed Berry ($6).
4. Freshly Minted
Imagine a frozen grasshopper pie: Thats what Dannon Oikos Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Frozen Yogurt ($3.99) between Pepperidge Farm Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies tastes like!
Give chewy, Grandma-style Krusteaz Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix ($2.25) cookies a tropical twist with a scoop of refreshing Haagen-Dazs Banana Rum Jam ($5.29).