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YOUR EVERYTHING-GUIDE TO OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING THIS SPRING
How to Celebrate, Decorate, and Entertain All Season Long With Lifestyle Expert Jeanne Benedict
April 20th, 2011- Two in five of the millions of Americans who fire up their grills each year say they start grilling in the spring, setting the stage for the perfect outdoor soiree this year. With the late arrival of Easter, it’s the ideal time to get your backyard ready for friends and family to host a successful spring get-together.
Entertaining and lifestyle expert Jeanne Benedict shows us how to perk up your patio with a tasteful twist on classic outdoor entertaining with simple solutions for outdoor dining including décor must-haves, the latest in grilling technology and an easy way to bring your holiday meal outdoors for a change.
Here is Jeanne’s guide to warm-weather entertaining:
It’s starting to get warmer outside and one of the best ways to enjoy spring and summer is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Now’s the time to sweep off the deck, junk the old grill and prep the patio for the outdoor barbecue season! In fact, two in five of the millions of Americans who fire up their grills each year say that spring is the first time they light them up.
An outdoor space should allow you to interact with nature while also being an extension of the comforts of your interior space.
There are a lot of amazing options out there so you need to really know what to look for to get the best quality and help you create a comfortable yet functional outdoor dining area.
For example, in all of its patio sets, Sam’s Club provides shade innovation technology that is fade and stain resistance. Additionally, they are continuing popular color palettes (red, green and brown) so people can build on their investment by adding more pieces over time.
One of my favorite sets is the Toronto 6-Piece Deep Seating Set - a hand-woven, deep brown, all-weather wicker collection that features a roomy three-cushion sofa, two deep seating chairs with matching ottomans and an elegantly beautiful granite top coffee table. For extra versatility and function, the coffee table has a shelf that can be used for storage. This set is available for $1,599.
If you have a larger area or need more seating, the Hamilton 10-Piece Dining Set includes eight bar-height chairs; a 60" slate tile table and a matching wrought iron umbrella base. An added benefit is that each chair has a high performance e-coating for extended all-weather protection against corrosion and rust. This is also available at Sam’s Club for $999.
Grills are synonymous with summer and outdoor entertaining- and nothing says summer like a barbecue. And this year, I have found the ideal grill that meets the needs of every type of griller! Exclusively sold at Sam’s Club, the Hybrid Gas/Charcoal Grill System is great for quick meals but also works for big events since the cooking area can hold more than 45 half-pound burgers or as you can see here, it’s great for large pieces of meat like pork spare ribs. This product comes with a gas grill, a charcoal grill and an infrared burner all in one for $259.88.
Talking about charcoal grills, to get that great smoky flavor, you have to start with quality charcoal. Kingsford Charcoal now has deeper, wider and longer grooves, which helps it to light easier and heat faster while burning just as long as before. Each briquette is made with high-quality ingredients, including real wood, which creates that authentic, smoky flavor we know and love.
Some great grilling items include pork spare ribs, which are easy to grill and offer a twist on the traditional meal. They are also simple to dress up with sauces like chipotle chili, BBQ and much more.
For a well-rounded nutritious meal, nothing says springtime like fresh grilled vegetables. They’re a wholesome side dish and the mix of colors looks decorative when entertaining.
One of my go-to tricks when presenting food and beverages is to incorporate garnishes like citrus leaves or other natural elements into whatever I’ve whipped up. It’s easy to add your own flavored twists to summer drinks. One of my favorite tips is to fill l a beverage dispenser with floating lemons, limes, oranges or even mint so that drinks not only taste good, but also look amazing. This 3-Gallon Unbreakable Beverage Dispenser, which is made of shatter resistant Tristan and includes a removable ice core that keeps drinks cool without diluting the liquid, will last you all summer long. It retails for $19.98 at Sam’s Club.
To learn more visit www.SamsClub.com
About the Talent: Jeanne Benedict is a lifestyle and entertaining expert who has logged more than 100 appearances as a lifestyle / party expert and chef on shows such as The Today Show, ABC’s Live with Regis & Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The CBS Saturday Early Show, and many more. Benedict’s popularity has been on the rise since the success of her first book and a four season run as the host / chef / designer of the TV theme party show, Weekend Entertaining, on the DIY network. She knows how to impress, and has found great success teaching this skill to others. Her talent, creativity, and hard work have earned her a reputation as one of the top lifestyle experts in America.
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