The swimming pool has finally opened for the season, the weather has gotten warmer, and the kids have been released from their educational sentence for the next two months…summer is officially here! With homes in full-swing chaos, are you ready to pack everything and everybody up for a road trip in a streamlined tin can, or would you like to implement a staycation this year? For families that have outdoor amenities to keep their families occupied and happy, stay at home fun isn’t tough to create or hard to come by. To keep the fun outdoors (and the wet feet out of the kitchen), we have whipped up a short list of a few snacks to make over your fire pit that go beyond the hot dog and the sticky s’mores! Grab your favorite roasting sticks and give these ideas a try…
This snack on a stick has many names and many variations that you can experiment all summer long and even continue in the autumn months! Instead of having to make your own bread dough at home, try going to your local pizza place and buying an already-made ball of dough. By rolling out the dough and wrapping it around your stick of choice, giving it a nice even roast over the fire pit will give you a delicious delight within 10-15 minutes to quell the gurgling bellies. Pass out little cups of marinara or pizza sauce to take these snacks straight to flavortown! Crave something on the sweeter side? We got you covered! Reach in the refrigerator for biscuit dough, mold the biscuit around the stick and roast in the same fashion as the bread dough. Trick of the trade: stop the stick before it pokes all the way through, creating a pocket. When the biscuit is cooked, you can fill the center with whatever your heart desires….maybe some Nutella, preserves, maybe even cheese! Great, now I am hungry.
Grab some fruit and that pound cake your mother-in-law insists on bringing to your house at every visit, and let’s get started! Cut some strawberries, pineapple, peaches, apples, whatever you have on hand into little bitesize pieces easy to skewer, and the same for the pound cake. Alternate cake and fruits just like a shish kabob and give it a nice slow roast. The key to this sweet treat, is to keep the sticks out of the belly of the fire and conduct a nice even rotation. This will ensure the natural sugar of the fruit and the cake don’t burn. When it becomes too hard to wait, chances are, they are done. Because calories don’t count during the summer, feel free to give a sprinkle of sugar, cinnamon or a spritz of whipped cream to give the pound cake a little more pow!
Perhaps the kids are having a sleepover at their friend’s house and you have the opportunity to take back your outdoor kingdom for the night! Grab your significant other, a bottle of wine and enjoy your outdoor oasis without any booboos to patch or any loose guinea pigs to find. While sipping on your favorite cabernet, grab your roasting stick and try your hand at a more sophisticated carte du jour. Alternate cherry tomatoes and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella balls on a skewker and roast to perfection. Accompany this nosh with some fire toasted bread and drizzle with some balsamic or top with some fresh garden basil for the perfect date night delicacy! Summer never tasted so good.
I never quite know what to call these things, because they are called something different everywhere I go. Maybe you know them as mountain pies, moon pies, hobo pies…either way, they all use the same cooking iron. While these recipes are cooked over a fire using a pie iron (found in the camping section of almost any store), instead of a stick, I just couldn’t write a blog about fire food without mentioning these delicious and memory-induced treats. Load up your iron with 2 slices of bread or dough, fill with whatever you have on hand, close the iron, shove it in the fire and rotate when the iron is hot. This is the easiest way to make any kind of campfire pocket, from breakfast pockets and French toast, to grilled cheese or simplistic apple dumplings, you can’t go wrong. Just be careful, these irons will get extremely hot, so if you have little ones, you may want to help them out.
Now for the boring yet important stuff: When deciding to cook over an open fire pit, make sure you are using the right wood. By all means, do not use any pressure treated wood or cook over the scrap wood that used to be the shed in the yard. Deductive reasoning will tell you that whatever the wood is treated with will be transferred to your food. While you can surely cook over soft woods like pine, fir or cypress, these woods burn quickly and make a lot of smoke which isn’t very conducive to an enjoyable evening at home. The best wood to use for fire pit cooking is a nice dry hickory or oak. The hickory will give you a hot and slow burn which will give your food a strong yet sweeter flavor. Burning oak will provide a nice medium smoke, perfect to tickle your tastebuds.
It goes without saying that the remembrances of making these little snacks with your loved ones will far outlast the recipes selected. A fire pit is one of those backyard features that elicits light-hearted fun with the first flicker of flame. However you choose to spend your time in your outdoor living space, but sure to take it all in. The memories associated with this space will stay with you a lifetime!
If you feel that your outdoor living space isn’t living up to its potential or you would like to reimagine and reinvent your space, reach out to us at MasterPLAN Outdoor Living! We realize that your backyard is so much more than the features that are in it, but a place to create memories and share amazing times with loved ones. Whether it is feasible for your backyard transformation to be built all at once, or it makes more sense to construct in phases, MasterPLAN is ready to be your partner throughout the whole process. From concept to completion, we would love to discover the full potential for your property and create a space that your family will love. We look forward to welcoming you into the MasterPLAN family!
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