The Outdoor Lifestyle Blog

Michael Dougherty

Recent Posts

Make a Simple Romantic Dinner That Tastes Like You've Been Prepping All Day

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 14, 2019 8:05:00 AM

It's Valentine's Day. Yay! An excuse to eat chocolate and buy flowers and eat out at your favorite fancy restaurant!

Unless you forgot to make reservations at your favorite fancy restaurant... In that case, you're in desperate need of a Plan B. 

All is not lost because you forgot to reserve your favorite table at your favorite dining spot on February 14th. In fact, we'd venture to say that you'll be better off savoring a romantic dinner at home with your sweetheart in your very own backyard.

We know you weren't planning to whip up a romantic dinner in your outdoor kitchen this evening, which is exactly why we found three easy dinner recipes that will still taste like you've been planning for weeks! 

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Topics: Cooking Tips, Outdoor Lifestyle

A Chocolate Lover's Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 7, 2019 9:54:48 AM

It's February, and regardless of how you feel about Valentines Day, if you're a chocolate lover, this just might be your month. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate is everywhere, taking on the shape of hearts, making its way into packages shaped like hearts, and coating sweet strawberries resembling hearts. It's all about love — love for that special someone expressed through a common love for chocolate.

But why wait for someone to gift you with a decadent chocolate heart on February 14th? Why not create your own chocolate heaven in your own outdoor kitchen? Try these delicious treats:

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Topics: Cooking Tips

What Type of Swing Should I Install in My Outdoor Living Space?

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 31, 2019 8:04:00 AM

Who doesn't love getting on a good swing every now and again? For many, swings takes us back to our childhoods when we'd play in the backyard or go to the park just to get on a swing and imagine that we were flying. 

While you've probably given up the fantasy of flying at this point in your life, there's still something magically relaxing and even fulfilling about being on a swing. If you agree, then why don't you have a swing in your backyard living space?

Ensuring that you have comfortable seating in your outdoor kitchen is one thing, but a swing — that's another entirely.

When you're ready to install a swing in your backyard living area, the first thing you'll need to decide is what type of swing you want. Let's look at your options.

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Topics: Outdoor kitchen design, Outdoor Lifestyle, Backyard Trends

Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 24, 2019 8:00:00 AM

The kitchen can turn into a pretty messy place — with or without a child's help. If you are cooking with a kid, though, you can expect it to get even messier much faster.

In this article, we'll talk about the best ways to teach kids to cook, not so much with the goal of helping you avoid a mess, but instead with the intent of making memories and instilling in them an invaluable skill.

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Topics: Cooking Tips

30 Meals to Help You Maintain Your New Years Resolutions (for at least another month)

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 17, 2019 8:00:00 AM

It's about that time when people start giving up on their new year's resolutions to cook healthier and eat better. If you're one of those people who are falling off the bandwagon, we're here to help you hold on for at least one more month! 

We have some incredible recipes for every day of the week. Try them out!

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Topics: Cooking Tips

6 Sins of Grilling a Steak

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 10, 2019 8:00:00 AM

If you think that the perfect steak is determined solely by the precision of grill marks, there's a strong possibility that you may be falling into one of the 6 sins of grilling steaks. 

There are certainly many different ways to prepare a delicious steak, but there are several foundational rules that should be followed every time you grill.

Unfortunately, the outdoor kitchen owners and grillers who are not aware of these "rules" end up committing some serious steak sins. Let's look at those 6 sins so that you can avoid them the next time you're tempted to grill. 

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Topics: Cooking Tips

Your Outdoor Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 3, 2019 8:01:00 AM

We understand if cleaning is not your favorite part of having an outdoor kitchen. However, it is a necessary part. Usually, having a plan for a project makes it less daunting, which is why we've put together a checklist for cleaning your outdoor kitchen.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the idea of keeping your outdoor kitchen spotless, just take it one piece of equipment at a time, and give yourself a pat on the back for tackling a project many people avoid. 

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Topics: Kitchens, Outdoor Lifestyle

Outdoor Kitchen Design Trends for 2019

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Dec 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM

The rapid approach of a new year always seems to inspire us and spur us toward new endeavors — perhaps an endeavor like designing an outdoor kitchen or breathing new life into the one you already have. Either way, 2019 is opening the door to new trends that could influence a whole new backyard paradise for your home.

Keep reading to find out what design trends are on the cusp of the coming year and discover how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle.

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Topics: Outdoor kitchen design

Holiday Recipes That Won't Pack on the Pounds

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Dec 20, 2018 8:09:00 AM

There's no getting around it. This time of year is the season for sweets. From sugar cookies to eggnog, it seems like everything we put in our mouths from Thanksgiving to New Years is packed with sugar, carbs and fat. 

This sugar overload presents a major challenge for those who are trying to lose weight, or at the very least, maintain the weight they're at. But who wants to fill up on celery sticks while everyone else is indulging in cheese boards and chocolate-covered Oreos? Not us!

That's why we found some delicious holiday recipes that are a lot healthier and just as tasty as the traditional options. We're confident that when you taste these recipes, you won't even miss the calories!

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Topics: Cooking Tips

7 Holiday Traditions to Start in Your Family's Outdoor Living Space

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Dec 13, 2018 7:59:00 AM

Your outdoor kitchen isn't just a gathering place for summer barbecues. and football parties. It can also be the perfect place to start some great family traditions. 

In addition to the obvious Christmas festivities like putting up a tree and hanging stockings above the fireplace, we have some other holiday-inspired ideas that you can try in your very own outdoor living area. Pick your favorites and make them traditions for your family for years to come!

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle