I sit here writing this blog post as the temperature outside hovers around 90 degrees F. This summer, while far from the hottest in recent memory, definitely has been a humid one. Thankfully, our backyard trees afford some decent shade, so even with the heat we try to eat outside as often as possible. Tonight, we have friends coming over for a rare ‘adults only’ night - no kids allowed! While my husband will certainly grill (steaks marinating in the fridge right now), my Instant Pot will not be getting the night off.
What’s the big deal about eating outside? PLENTY!
- Get away from technology for a bit - leave your cell phones inside and enjoy time with your family without the interruptions of televisions, computers and text messages.
- Learn to appreciate nature - listen to the birds! Watch squirrels play (or in our case, tease our dogs!). And yes, even the bugs!
- Take your vitamins - eating outdoors gives you a dose of Vitamin D, which our skin produces with the help of UV light. Strengthen those bones!
- Enjoy peace and quiet. When we eat outside, we sometimes get into great debates and conversations, but other times we just sit and enjoy the quiet time with each other.
- Get a mood boost from the sun and light!
What do you think of when you imagine your perfect ‘outdoor cuisine’? Hot dogs and s’mores on the fire? What about an old-fashioned picnic basket full of cold fried chicken and potato salad? Fruit makes for a refreshing dessert on a hot day.
The craziest meal I ever ate outdoors? Lobster. Cooked in a big copper pot (that we inherited, and I look forward to recreating that lobster and shrimp boil at our own house!) Really, anything your heart desires can definitely serve as an outdoor meal - and you can be as creative as you want. I know a lot of folks tend to forget that just because you’re eating outdoors, doesn’t mean you can’t use all the conveniences of your kitchen appliances!
So, what’s on the menu tonight? Steaks on the grill for sure, and then the majority of the meal is getting cooked in the Instant Pot! I’m definitely steaming some more green beans (we got probably half a bushel from our neighbor and steam some for dinner almost every night in the Instant Pot using my handy steamer basket. SO good). I have some zucchini so will probably make zucchini bread muffins in my egg bite mold (that mold can be used for some inventive meals!).
More importantly though, I’m looking forward to enjoying time with friends, watching the sun go down, and listening to our resident bullfrogs as we toast to a perfect dinner outside. Even in the heat. :)
I’d really like to hear what you all imagine as your perfect outdoor meal and how you’d utilize your Instant Pot to make it happen. Send me a message and let me know!