Outdoor Life

Outdoor Life, Cooking, Kitchen

Summer Grilling Tools

It’s mid July, mid summer and high grilling season. I love to grill. I don’t have a super fancy or high tech grill. It’s a grill that I can use propane or charcoal. It also has a side burner so I appreciate having that option. I usually use the gas because honestly it’s faster and easier. Also, I usually am only cooking for 2 adults and 1 child. Sometimes only 1 child and 1 adult.

I am always interested in gadgets or insider tips and tricks. I’ve been looking into taking a bbq class at a local teaching kitchen but the schedule just hasn’t been right. I did recently start receiving Bon Apetit magazine and the current issue was the Grilling Issue! You can find it here. Which I have to say as a sidenote it is a bit bothersome the article can be accessed for free online. Maybe it’s posted once the magazine is published. Back to the subject at hand. There are a lot of cool tools talked about in the article written by Jesse Sparks. My absolute fave was using a mesh basket to grill things that get messy and fall apart. Grilling strawberries for a shortcake. YUM! And the grilling tool idea came from a Brooklyn chef, Christine Lecki formerly at Reynard which I have never been to.

Love this idea!

grilling tools


So I absolutely am going to try this. If you have tried it how did it go? What did you think?

Did you make a shortcake? Or what did you put them on?

Enjoy!

Tracey

Eco, Outdoor Life

Eco Travel Ware and the Harmfullness of Plastics

Have you noticed the increase in eco flatware? On the go cutlery. I work from home so I usually eat my meals here. I say no to flatware when we take out. However sometimes the restaurant still gives it to me.  If they do give it to me and this also happens to you, save it. Our local soup kitchen takes plastic ware to give to their patrons. 

Recently Anthropologie had their eco flatware kits on sale. Lots of cute options!

But why is bamboo good? Bamboo grows sustainably. It does not pollute, grows quite fast (2 feet a day) and it composts relatively quickly. Plastic, once used and disposed sits in the landfill. Sometimes contaminating the land, ground water and the sea. Have you walked on the beach seeing trash?

albatross filled with trash (photo: onegreenplanet.com)

albatross filled with trash (photo: onegreenplanet.com)

Above is a harsh photo. It is an albatross that was found with so much garbage in it. This bird, the Layson Albatross, dives for his/her meals. When he or she dives they pick up trash as a result.

By using bamboo cutlery or even pack some cutlery from home for your lunch at work or your picnic you are helping prevent some plastic end up in our waterways.

If you have plastic utensils from take out. Don’t use them and donate them to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Thank you!

Tracey

Inspirations, Outdoor Life

Summer's End, September Florals

Flowers from the Park Slope Coop, delivered from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op - sunflowers, basil, celosia, mint

Flowers from the Park Slope Coop, delivered from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op - sunflowers, basil, celosia, mint

Enjoying the month of September.

I was writing a blog post about the start of school and celebrating Labor Day signifies the end of summer. It doesn’t need to be. The post was bumming me out. End of summer, bummer.  I decided instead to write the Enjoyment of September.

Clay decorative plate from  Elemthebrand

Clay decorative plate from Elemthebrand

I received an email from Etsy and it had this picture in it. I thought, oh so pretty. It exudes the calmness that one craves by the end of the summer. Our bodies want to wind down, start getting ready for winter hibernation. Right now flowers and plants are so intense and overgrown. Colors are a deep saturation of hues and starting to droop. Aren’t we all like that? Tan, exhausted from the sun and heat ….maybe not overgrown. But I am wowed by the floral explosion going on. In my backyard, somewhat, we struggle with getting enough sun. The flowers delivered to my local grocery store, the Park Slope Co-op. I can’t stop buying them, they are amazing! Go buy or pick some flowers and put something together for your dining table.

Here are a few of my favorite arrangements.

Type up Lancaster flowers on Instagram and you will find some beauties. Check out these rudbeckias. This photo was shared by petalslnc

Type up Lancaster flowers on Instagram and you will find some beauties. Check out these rudbeckias. This photo was shared by petalslnc

From the woman who did the flowers for my wedding,  Soiree Floral in Nantucket . Dawn is always posting the most beautiful, rustic looking arrangements. I see sunflowers, chamomile, what else….

From the woman who did the flowers for my wedding, Soiree Floral in Nantucket. Dawn is always posting the most beautiful, rustic looking arrangements. I see sunflowers, chamomile, what else….

photo by  Longest Acres in Vermont.  Kate Maclean shares her life thru the most beautiful and moody photos. I saw this one today and couldn’t help but share it with you. At first I could not make out the duck. And then I though oh wow, those stripes on his head with the butter yellow sunflowers behind him, I want to hug him! Enjoy the sunflowers while they last!

photo by Longest Acres in Vermont. Kate Maclean shares her life thru the most beautiful and moody photos. I saw this one today and couldn’t help but share it with you. At first I could not make out the duck. And then I though oh wow, those stripes on his head with the butter yellow sunflowers behind him, I want to hug him! Enjoy the sunflowers while they last!

Enjoy!

Tracey

Outdoor Life

Picnic / BBQ Prep - Food Platter Ideas

Nantucket Wildflower Farm flower truck  on Main Street in Nantucket, Ma. The geese hold the spot until Charlene the truck arrives.  The farm specializes in growing native flowers and only sells on Main Street during the summer season.  If you can, grab some flowers for your picnic and put them in a mason jar or an old food jar. Easy to carry, it's an upcycled producct and will add a bit of summer fresh whimsy to your meal. 

Nantucket Wildflower Farm flower truck on Main Street in Nantucket, Ma. The geese hold the spot until Charlene the truck arrives.  The farm specializes in growing native flowers and only sells on Main Street during the summer season.  If you can, grab some flowers for your picnic and put them in a mason jar or an old food jar. Easy to carry, it's an upcycled producct and will add a bit of summer fresh whimsy to your meal. 

With Labor Day upon us our days of enjoying a meal outside are winding down. Vacationing on Nantucket where I have been lucky enough to come every year for the past 10 or so years. And 4 years ago we upped it and started coming for 2 weeks. It is for me the most relaxing and beautiful place. Whenever I am here I think can I live here year round?

The crowds can be a bit much but just this morning I dropped off Harper and my husband at the docks for a pirate adventure and it was relatively quiet.  A ferry just arrived and delivery trucks were making their way to restaurants. I walked along the cobble streets to the coffee shop and thought this is one of the things I love about this place. Just walking around the quaint, historic New England village. AND pedestrians have the right away, cars and trucks stop for you and wave across. Complete opposite of life in NYC. 

Summer is wonderful here. An abundance of places to have picnics and barbecues; the beach, the docks or the wharf are all a perfect setting.  In our case we utilize the barbecue at our rental which also has a beautiful yard and garden with a quick 5 minute walk to the beach. We really are lucky.

So what to do when you pack a picnic and want it to look like the lovely dinner parties you give at home?  Here are some platter ideas that are picnic and environmentally friendly.

Simple sandwiches and chips.  Food52  using bamboo plates, paper straws, glass bottles and cloth napkins. 

Simple sandwiches and chips.  Food52 using bamboo plates, paper straws, glass bottles and cloth napkins. 

Food52  crudite platter using a mesh net cover from Dot and Army. Starting from the bottom clockwise, yellow pepper sticks, cherry tomatoes keeping the vine intact, snap peas, orange pepper sticks, carrot sticks and celery sticks.  Notice how the green snap peas are placed to be diagonal from the artichoke dip; color coordination. 

Food52 crudite platter using a mesh net cover from Dot and Army. Starting from the bottom clockwise, yellow pepper sticks, cherry tomatoes keeping the vine intact, snap peas, orange pepper sticks, carrot sticks and celery sticks.  Notice how the green snap peas are placed to be diagonal from the artichoke dip; color coordination. 

Antipasto platter from Southern Living   - pickled okra, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, salami, breadsticks and cheese. 

Antipasto platter from Southern Living  - pickled okra, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, salami, breadsticks and cheese. 

Layered salad in a jar from  Lavender and Lovage  -  starting from the bottom, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, green olives, salsa and sour cream.  Don't add the chips on top until you are ready to eat. No one likes soggy chips. 

Layered salad in a jar from Lavender and Lovage -  starting from the bottom, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, green olives, salsa and sour cream.  Don't add the chips on top until you are ready to eat. No one likes soggy chips. 

Do you have any go to favorite platters you like to create for picnics or barbecues? There are so many wonderful ideas out there. Please share if you have a favorite. And thanks for visiting!

Tracey