American Backyards

Hey folks, it’s time to fire up that grill! One of the most common activities in American recreation is grilling that nice, big, juicy steak in the backyard. Here is my favorite steak recipe, along with a great grilled side to accompany it:

Griff’s American Grilled Black Pepper & Garlic Steak

Ingredients:

4 lbs. (approximate) thick cut rib eye steak (four steaks)

2&2/3 cups Italian dressing (cheap is good!)

8 tbsp. butter

4 large cloves minced garlic

2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper (or more, if you love black pepper!)

Instructions:

Marinate the steak in the Italian dressing for at least 1/2 hour. In a small pan, melt the butter and add the garlic, heating slowly until the garlic is golden brown. Place steaks on hot grill (preferably a charcoal grill), sprinkling half of the pepper on steaks. When the first side is done, turn the steaks over and sprinkle the rest of pepper on steaks. With a spoon, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the top of steaks while they are still on grill.

Griff’s American Grilled Potato & Pepper Pouches

Ingredients:

3 cups unpeeled, sliced potatoes

2/3 cup green bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced

2/3 red bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced

2/3 orange bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced

2/3 cup onion, cut in long, diced

2 tbsp. jalapeno pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), finely chopped

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. Lawry’s® seasoned pepper (or just black pepper)

1/2 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. butter

Instructions:

Combine everything except the butter in a large mixing bowl–really mix everything well. Cut 4 18″ x 12″ sheets of aluminum foil. Lay the foil flat (dull side up) and put 1/4 of the mixture on each sheet in a mound that is at the center of one end of the foil. Make sure there is space between the mound and all of the edges of the foil. Put 1 tablespoon of butter on the top of each mound. Fold the other end of the foil over the top of the mound and fold the side edges up over the top so that when you are done you have four neat pouches. Put the pouches (butter on top) on a very hot grill for about ten minutes, then flip over and grill another 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Take off grill and allow to stand a few minutes, then empty each pouch on four dinner plates.

Copyright © 2007 Lee Griffith. All rights reserved.

Lee Griffith, a.k.a. “Griff” is the author of several blogs. Griff describes himself as a “former kitchen klutz” who now has a passion for cooking and developing great recipes. Griff would like to send you a FREE E-BOOK with 32 great chili recipes, along with a free recipe every week via email.

To receive, simply click on [http://optin2.griffsrecipes.com]

Check out “Griff’s Recipe Report” at [http://GriffsRecipeReport.com]

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Backyard Adventure

These days, it is a common thing to find parents that want to build a playground at the backyard of their homes just to ensure that their kids get the maximum supervision needed during playtime. This is because most parents fear that their kids may end up sustaining injuries from the playground if they are not properly watched over.

To some people, this fear may be deemed as unnecessary and groundless. However, the reality is that parents have a genuine fear that makes them decide to build a backyard playground for their kids.

Recent stats have shown that there are over two hundred thousand (200,000) reported incidents of accidents sustained in the playgrounds. This number is not negligible and therefore calls for concern.

In spite of this, some other people prefer their kids to use a regular playground when they want to play. This also is not a bad idea even though it has its own cons too. Building a backyard playground for your children is a very good investment. There are many things that are prevented and your kid gets to have that dream backyard adventure that they really want to do. In having your own playground in your backyard, your children get to have a playground that is custom built for them. In other words, each child is taken into consideration when the building is done. This means that things like the handrails, flooring, and equipments are tailor made to suit each and every child as best as possible.

However, creating a means for a backyard adventure for your children can be costly and time consuming as you have to take your time to research, and consult with building experts and friends before you can finally have that blissful backyard adventure that you desire.

On the other hand, a regular playground does not involve all the stress of research, consulting, planning and extra costs. All your kids have to do is go there and have fun. It doesn’t take up extra space that could be useful for something else and your kids will get a chance at interacting with other children; therefore building their social skills.

Unfortunately, regular playgrounds with all its good sides, also have the negative aspects and the major one is the frequency of accidents that occur in these playgrounds. This is because the equipments are built using a one-size-fits-all model. So, pre-school children who play using equipments built for school age children runs at a risk of injuring themselves.

For instance, a school age child might be able to jump four feet to the ground. Imagine however, that a toddler has to do that. What would happen? So, before making your decisions of whether you want to enjoy a backyard adventure or a regular playground, weigh the pros and cons and well so as to make a well informed decision.

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Backyard Birding

We all know that our economy is slowly falling. Expensive hobbies like skiing, fishing, and golfing are not anymore the wise options to relax and enjoy our free time with family and friends. As an alternative, more people are into backyard bird watching hobby. Backyard bird watching is very relaxing at the same time inexpensive. Anyone from kids to adults can enjoy backyard bird watching while gaining more knowledge about nature.

To be able to enjoy fully your backyard bird watching experience, you should have one important gadget on your hand, the binoculars. Binoculars can help you observe birds from a distance. Keep in mind that you have to give distance between you and the birds because birds are very responsive to sound and human presence. The only way for you to observe their nature is to watch them from afar.

If you want to take backyard bird watching sincerely, you might need a journal to track down the different types of birds on your backyard. You may also write down the different behaviors and features of the birds you saw. You will be fascinated if you try to go through the pages and observe the same birds return at the same time every year. With a journal, you will have something to hope for as you wait for the birds to return on the same time. Furthermore, you have something to do on your free time as you make prediction when the same birds will appear again.

To make your backyard bird watching more exciting, you need to attract more birds on your backyard. There are several ways to attract different types of bird species. The most common way is to install fountains or birdbath where birds can find relief from the heat of the sun or quench their thirst. Feeding cages are also as effective as the birdbath. You can put seeds to attract wide variety of birds all year round. If the number of birds came to the cages increases, you can provide nestling facilities for the birds so that they can adopt it as their home.

Backyard bird watching can be very adventurous if you spend more time on it. As you gain more experience, you will soon easily recognized different types of birds without needing the aid of a guidebook. You can also learn the behavior and habits of different birds.

Before you start your backyard bird watching, make sure that you brought plenty of water and high energy snacks especially if you want to spend more time under cover. Water and snacks can help you enjoy your hobby much longer under the heat of the sun. Hats are also essential during summer while baseball caps are perfect during winter. Both can help protect you from the heat of the sun and the cold of the winter.

Birds are interesting creatures. Your interest on birds will grow if you observe them carefully. After due time, you will be planning for bird watching vacations with your friends and family.

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Backyard Rocks

When it comes to the ultimate in beautiful landscaping, few things can compare to a backyard rock waterfall. A waterfall can turn any backyard into a private oasis and significantly increase the resale value of the home. Before installing one of these units, however, there are a few important things to consider.

The first decision that must be made before putting in a rock waterfall is where it will be located in the backyard. Some people may want to see it from their kitchen window, but they should remember that the noise may cause a big distraction to those in the home if it is too close. Splashing should also be considered if the waterfall is to be placed next to a patio or seating area.

The size of the waterfall is also an important factor to take into consideration. It is tempting to get the largest structure that will fit into the backyard, but this may not be the best idea. Most importantly, it is important to take into account how much noise will be caused by the falling water.

Once plans are in place for the actual waterfall, there are other things to consider as far as making it as beautiful as possible. Water plants in and around the water are a great way to create the look of a real oasis. Including koi fish in the waterfall or other fish that can live in such a setting can have a soothing effect on anyone who comes near it.

If someone wants to significantly increase the beauty of their backyard, they should consider building a rock waterfall. Although it is tempting to get the biggest and most extravagant waterfall possible, it is important to consider factors such as splashing and noise. Adding fish to the waterfall can create an area that will be truly soothing for everyone in the backyard.

My name is John Blowers and I love to grill out with family and friends in the backyard. I have used the same grill for over 6 years and the reason is because I use replacement Grill Parts [http://grillpartsblog.com] to save money and headaches. You can find out how I do it at the authority site: [http://www.grillpartsblog.com]. Now start cooking!

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