Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space

(Family Features) Transforming your backyard into a true extension of your home’s living space is a relatively easy way to add usable square footage and increase enjoyment of your home. Making outdoor upgrades is also a scalable project, meaning you can do as little or as much as your budget allows and continue enhancing the space over time. Start planning how you’ll create a backyard paradise with these ideas from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI): Living Space Living rooms and kitchens are among the most popular choices for upgrading a patio space. This approach …

Invite The Outdoors In

(Family Features) Despite the comfort and convenience it affords, modern society is contributing to a vanishing relationship with the natural environment. However, there are plenty of ways to bring nature indoors to reap the benefits of an earthy connection inside your home. According to a survey commissioned by the Velux Group, a gap is growing between the time Americans spend outdoors and the time they’d like to spend in nature. In the United States, 63% of survey participants said they average one hour or less a week in nature, but 88% agreed they would like to spend more time. In …

Keep Cool On The Grill

Refreshing, dairy-infused dishes for warm days (Family Features) Keep your kitchen cool and comfortable with grilled meals that banish the heat to the outdoors. Crisp, fresh greens and a perfect blend of spices and savory ingredients make each of these refreshing dishes perfect solutions for toasty days. Featuring ingredients across the food groups, these dairy-fueled recipes from Milk Means More are ideal for well-rounded meals filled with nutritious flavor. Zesty mustard, spicy Sriracha and rich buttermilk lend a marinated flavor upgrade to traditional grilled chicken, while homemade pesto, fresh corn and ham create a perfect harmony for a cheesy grilled …

A Tasty Take on Trendy Toast

(Family Features) While many food trends come and go, some desired food traits seemingly never go out of style. For example, dishes that provide nutritional benefits will pretty much always be popular, along with types of foods that can be customized to match personalized preferences and tastes. Toast is a versatile option for nearly anyone seeking a bite for breakfast, especially those eaters looking for both nutrition and flavor. Because you can add a variety of toppings to your toast, it can be a simple way to add a healthy element to your morning routine. These recipes, for example, include …

Get Grilling with Fresh Ingredients

(Family Features) Grilling season provides ample opportunities to put flavorful fare on the table, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy cooking process. By planning ahead, having the right equipment on-hand and using ready-to-go ingredients, home cooks can quickly put family meals together. With an option like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, which is perfectly seasoned and ready to throw on the grill, you can have a delicious meal ready in 30 minutes or less. Available in a variety of flavors and quality cuts, it’s ideal for grilling, roasting or sauteing any night of the week. To get ready for …

Simplify Summer on the Grill

(Family Features) Summer is typically a busy time for families, making those moments you spend together all the more precious. The hustle and bustle of the season doesn’t have to mean sacrificing wholesome meals, however. Take advantage of the warm weather and step outside the kitchen to focus on enjoying the outdoors with family around grilled favorites, such as burgers. You can even make meals on the grill your own by putting twists on a classic, such as Barbecue Macaroni and Cheese Burgers or Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Burgers. Another time-saving tip: Consider refrigerated side dish options like mashed potatoes …

Hot Ideas for Outdoor Living

Create the backyard retreat of your dreams (Family Features) Livable space may be traditionally confined to a home’s interior, but the growing popularity of outdoor living design suggests that homeowners are broadening the definition to make the most of a home’s total footprint. An outdoor patio is a natural extension of the home, offering additional seating and, with the right amenities, a way to enjoy meals and entertainment al fresco. After the sunlight fades, features powered by propane – like full outdoor kitchens, patio heaters, fire pits, flame lighting and more – can keep the fun going well into the …

Battle Weeds, Leaves and Shrubbery with Tech

(Family Features) The same type of technology used in some of the United States Navy’s most powerful ships also powers handheld lawn equipment. A lineup of string trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers from Cub Cadet use an innovative technology to power the units called CORE (Conductor-Optimized Rotary Energy). The sophisticated motor technology generates power equal to gas engines and maximizes pound-for-pound power efficiency, compared to its 25 cubic centimeter gas-powered engines. The technology also features a unique Power-Lok system. This standalone drive unit offers lightweight, high-performance string trimmer, blower and hedge trimmer attachments. It saves storage space and money …

Spruce Up for Summer

Make your backyard the perfect outdoor space (Family Features) To make the transition to summer season effortless, there may be some backyard upgrades and prep to be done to ensure your outdoor space is in tip-top shape. From your pool and patio to the grill, these tips can help get your backyard summer-ready. Overhaul the Patio Patios and decks are often considered the hub of the backyard, so consider sprucing yours up by power-washing the stone to remove any winter buildup or use stain for a complete refresh. Adding a pergola or umbrellas can help protect you from the elements …

Make Room for New Favorites on The Grill

(Family Features) Whether firing up the grill for a pool party, barbecue or even just a weeknight meal, one thing’s for sure: summertime means grilling season. Grilling takes many forms and flavors from casual favorites like burgers and hot dogs to flame-kissed vegetables and the artistry of a perfectly done steak. However, the possibilities don’t end there. By mixing and matching traditional grilled classics with options that have a variety of textures and flavors, you can shake up your at-home menu and add new favorites to your routine this grilling season. One ingredient to consider adding to your repertoire is …