The patio, the porch, and the front stoop all become the most-used "rooms" in the house when the warm weather finally rolls in and our meals — whether it's dinner with friends or dessert without an occasion — all make those moments more special. In celebration of our outdoor living rooms, we've put together five recipes made for enjoying when you're outside and still at home.
Food Made for Summer Evenings
Summer evenings on the porch, front steps, or patio almost summon a refreshing breeze of air. Pair that reprieve from heat — or even AC — with dishes made for lingering. A big platter of panzanella takes on the flavors of your favorite diner salad in this Greek-inspired rendition. Briny feta and Kalamata olives contrast the juicy pops of tomatoes and encourage you to take sip after sip of a favorite cocktail.
Speaking of cocktails, our house — or rather, porch — drink is this sweet and slightly bitter pitcher of sunset punch. Mix together the grenadine and Campari and gently pour over pineapple juice and ginger beer for a layered effect that looks just like the sunset you're enjoying.
If your porch and patio time syncs up with a late-night heatwave, it's time to reach for ice pops and ice cream sandwiches. Firefly pops take their cue from a summer night, and the Dark & Stormy ice cream sandwiches take the classic cocktail and transform it into dessert. Gingery cookies and ice cream swirled with molasses and lime zest say it all.
Dessert for Outside
The best kind of porch hangs should last as long as a good conversation, so we're expecting some chats to go late into the night. You'll need a dessert that's low-key, a little playful, and won't melt, so banana pudding sundaes are the way to go. Swap the vanilla wafers for chocolate ones and pile on the cherries and sprinkles. If you're more of purist and want a classic banana pudding done up in a trifle dish, that too can be arranged.