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Heat Up Your Fireplace Design

Fireplace season is upon us. It's that time of the year when the glow of a fire not only provides warmth to a room but offers a cozy backdrop for sharing special moments with friends and family. Though the fireplace is the centerpiece of a room, it is an element that homeowners don't often consider when designing their space. Interior designer Nancy L. Mikulich, ASID, offers some simple tips for bringing your fireplace to the foreground and getting more enjoyment from it this winter.

  1. Be Bold - If you have a fireplace that extends into the room, think of it as a different piece of architecture. Consider wrapping the exposed sides in a textured wallpaper, such as a grass cloth for an earthy Zen feel, or a shiny sparkly wall paper for a more modern, urban feel.  Since you do not need a large amount of material, you might consider splurging a on a pricier product. For a more low cost approach, pick up an accent color from your rug or favorite pillow to simply paint the wall above the mantle and then paint the mantle itself in a complementary accent color for a graphic bold approach.
  2. Expose the Inner Beauty – The inside of a fireplace is a showcase and should be harmoniously designed to work with your decor style. Gas logs are a wonderful option for those seeking convenience and cost-effectiveness. Real Fyre gas logs, known for their quality and beauty, offer more than 40 different styles of logs so it's easy to find one that works with your decor. For a more modern feel, try Real Fyre's Fyre Glass or Fyre Gems – available in a variety of chic colors. Whatever your preference, log or glass, these products look just as beautiful when the fireplace is off as they do when it's on.
  3. Expand Your Seating – If the room allows for it, create a separate sitting area in front of the fireplace. Find a decorative screen, and create a small sitting area with a pair of small fireside chairs, or tufted ottomans and a small accent rug.  The upholstered ottomans or poufs are great for extra overflow seating when the house is full of holiday visitors and visually bring the fireplace into the room for all to enjoy.
  4. Enjoy it Year-Round - Sometimes we only think of the fireplace when the weather turns chilly. But it is important to remember that the fireplace is in your room all year round, so make sure the dominant colors and textures in the room work from season to season. This way, you can interchange your accessories, your logs or glass, and even artwork seasonally, and enjoy the warmth of a hearth 365 days a year.

Article Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/heat-up-your-fireplace-design-282460921.html

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10 Cozy Home Ideas for Fall!

Fall is here! Fall is here! You guys. I’m so excited. It’s my favorite time of year!  And since Fall is finally here I know we all could use some cozy home ideas to make our houses just right as this season gets into swing. Take a look at my 10 tips below for making a cozy home and get inspired! All of these are quick and easy ideas that will get you in the autumn mood in no time 

And to top it off, it’s my last day at the library today and I’m so stoked to start dedicating more of my time to Dwell Beautiful.

1. Lots and lots of throw blankets!

I have a *small* obsession with blankets. Okay make it a BIG obsession! I keep buying them whenever I can, even though hubby rolls his eyes and says ‘but you already have so many!’ You can never have too many. Ever. Blankets and throws are absolutely one of my most favorite ways to cozy up once the weather starts getting chilly. Drape throws across furniture or display some blankets on a cool ladder for an ultra cozy look. And be sure to wrap up in them whenever you get the chance!

2. Lots and lots of pillows!

Similar to number 1 above, lots and lots of pillows will guarantee that your home is feeling cozy in no time! Add throw pillows that coordinate with the season (oranges, yellows, reds, and browns for fall) to the couch and pile them on your bed. You literally can never have too many pillows. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dive headfirst and burrow into a pile of down-filled cushions?? Add larger floor pillows and poufs for extra seating and a dose of cozy intimacy.

3. Dress up your mantle and use that fireplace!

Fall is the perfect time to spend as much time around the fireplace as you possibly can. I always start my mornings with reading my Bible and having a cuppa out by the hearth! Take the opportunity and glam up your mantle – either with fall decorations or cozy items like books, photos, and foliage. You’ll bump up the cozy factor and it will inspire you to spend a bit more time by the fireside reading a good book!

4. Create a cozy nook!

I’m a big fan of nooks. Hidden nooks, reading nooks, sleeping nooks, all nooks. And I just really love the word ‘nook.’  Carve out a space that will be a place of relaxation and rejuvenation for you. It can be a corner in your bedroom, a certain chair by the fireplace, or even the tub in the bathroom! Dress it up with your favorite things that make you feel at peace, such as pillows, blankets, candles, books, and more! Make sure you escape to this place often.

5. Display your favorite mugs!

‘Tis the season for all warm and delicious beverages. Teas, coffees, ciders, cocoas, *cough* pumpkinspicelattes *cough*. I personally indulge in at least one cup of tea or cider a day. It’s good for the soul, folks! Make your kitchen cozy and bright by displaying some of your favorite mugs on hooks, shelves, or even just sitting on the counter. I like to display all my lovely drink things on my Tea and Coffee Bar, which is definitely the perfect nook for this time of year!

6. Incorporate fuzzy and cozy textures!

Nothing says cozy quite like fuzzy and furry things. Faux fur, fleece, flannel, yarn, and more, are all perfect textures to incorporate into your cozy home design. This can come in the form of blankets, slip covers, throw pillows, and even your pets that you cuddle up with! I’m sure there is a scientific study somewhere that says fuzzy things make you happier. If there isn’t a study, then I’m going to start one. Who wants to participate? Kick back, curl up with Fido or Fluffy under a soft blanket and be sure to send me the results at dwellbeautiful.com 

7. Hang some twinkle lights and burn some candles!

One of my absolute favorite parts about this time of year is the fall-inspired scented candles! Whenever the season changes, hubby and I always go to Bath and Body Works and pick out the best candles to help us bring in whatever time of year it is. It’s one of our favorite dates! Burning an apple cider or pumpkin scone scented candle just really makes our house feel cozy  Now is the time we also start putting up some white twinkle lights in the bedroom! Set them on a dimmer and bask in the warm and comforting glow.

8. Layer some rugs!

When the weather turns cold, it can sometimes be unpleasant and jarring to go padding across the hardwoods in your bare feet! Try adding more rugs to the rooms you spend the most time in, like the bedroom, and living room, and even consider layering them for a modern and extra cozy effect. Materials like wool and thick weaves stay extra toasty on those chilly mornings!

9. Add lush curtains or put up a curtain wall!

Curtains are a great way to make a space more intimate and cozy feeling. Consider trading out light, airy, summer curtains, for ones that are a bit more heavy and lush. Another great way to use curtains is to install a wall of curtains, like the photo below, to soften the feel of any room, add textural interest, and make you feel warm and protected. Good curtains with some twinkle lights nearby is always a winning combo!

10. Break out that Fall decor!

Fall decor is a surefire way to keep it cozy and really get you in the mood for all the great days and holidays to come. Incorporate autumn colors and foliage by buying or making your own wreaths, banners, signage, crafts and more. Check out my Fall Favorites Round-Up to get some ideas on how to DIY some great autumn decor (and get some great seasonal recipes to boot!). Nothing makes me happier than seeing pumpkins, red and gold leaves, and fall vignettes this time of year!


Article Source: http://www.dwellbeautiful.com/cozy-home-ideas-for-fall/#_a5y_p=2501132

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7 Tips for Designing an Eye-Catching Fireplace

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you should draw attention to it with great decor! I love fireplaces for the warmth they provide in the winter, but I also love their charming looks and how they can enhance a living room’s interior design all year long.

If your fireplace is looking a little bare, add visual appeal by decorating above the mantel. These seven tips will help get you started.

1. Don’t forget about the wall. 

The mantel shelf is a great place to add decorative items, but you can also draw attention to your fireplace by hanging a mirror, clock or piece of artwork on the wall directly above the mantel. If you decide to go this route, decorate the shelf with pieces that complement your wall art and complete the look.

2. Illuminate with lighting.

Mood lighting can give your fireplace an even cozier look. Try decorating the shelf with candles or hanging two sconce lights on the wall above the mantel.

3. Get creative with art.

You can hang up your favorite piece of art on the wall, or if it’s small enough, stand it on the shelf at an angle. For an eclectic look, place three or more smaller paintings on the shelf so they overlap.

4. Play with different heights. 

Using decorative items of varying heights is a great way to create more visual interest. Play around with different arrangements and objects to get the look just right.

5. Use balance to create a put-together look. 

Consider how your fireplace would look if it were split down the center. Would it look balanced? Your fireplace decor doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical, but finding a balance will help your display look good.

6. Create a theme. 

If you’re struggling to find the right decor for your fireplace, try coming up with a theme. You could create a vintage theme by decorating only with antique items, or you could do something as simple as using the same color.

7. Keep in mind your room’s style. 

There are a lot of ways you can decorate your fireplace, and what works for you might depend on the room’s style. If your living room, for example, follows a minimalist style, then a cluttered mantel shelf might look out of place.

 

Article Source: http://www.bellacor.com/blog/7-tips-for-designing-an-eye-catching-fireplace/

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Big Green Egg Easy Cornbread & Super Sweet too!

Ever wonder how to make corn bread on the grill and have it turn out super sweet and moist?  This is the recipe for you.  This is an easy corn bread recipe that doesn't take long to mix up and comes out perfect every time.

We've made it in the oven and on the grill, and it turns out beautifully either way.  But if you are a Big Green Egg person ("an EggHead")...this is a great side dish to mix up and throw in a cast iron skillet and add to your grill while you cook up your favorite main course on the egg.  You can't go wrong with this one.

Big Green Egg Easy & Super Sweet Corn Bread
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Ingredients:

  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 3  c. all - purpose flour
  • 1  c. sugar
  • 2  Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter
  • 2  Tablespoons. honey
  • 4  eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 Cups whole milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • CAUTION:  Use heat resistant hot pads when removing from BGE...this will be incredibly HOT and should be removed with care.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving

Blog Source: http://www.thepatrioticpam.com/2013/10/big-green-egg-easy-corn-bread-super.html

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Big Green Egg Mac n Cheese

Our Family definitely has a love for good Mac N Cheese.  It has a little something to do with our oldest son Andy who absolutely would admit Mac N Cheese is his all time favorite food.  The rest of us like to keep changing up his favorite food with trying new recipes.  We did 12 Weeks of Mac N Cheese earlier this week and truly spent 12 weeks sharing with you guys our favorite of our Mac N Cheese recipes that we have made so far.  (That probably only touches of the hundreds we have tried.)  Well this past week we tried and LOVED another amazing recipe that I couldn't help but share with you guys.  What made this one so yummy was the ease to which it is made and the cheesy outcome it delivers.  (For those counting calories, this is a recipe to ONLY try with a small, small helping or lighten up with lightening up some of the ingredients.)  

We saw this recipe first on Sunny Anderson from the Food Network.  She made it as a SPICY Mac N Cheese, but we liked the basics to how she made it.  Check out the original recipe here.  The below recipe is how we altered it and took out the spicy as our son doesn't like spicy food.  We also made it completely on our Big Green Egg.  If you are considering a Big Green Egg of your own, know that this is one of the absolute best purchases I feel I have ever made.  The food off of the Big Green Egg is just always better.  I have to admit in the last two weeks we have made this recipe twice, once on the Big Green Egg and once in the oven.  The BGE one tasted just that much better.  We added some applewood chips to the coals and it created just a nice light smokey flavor to the pasta that just couldn't be recreated in the oven!

Prep Time:  15 mins
Cook Time:  30 mins

Ingredients:
 

  • 2 cups pasta
  • 24 oz of cheese - we used...
    • 8oz of velveeta cheese
    • 8oz of vermont sharp cheddar cheese
    • 8oz of munster cheese
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely grated onions (this gave it an amazing flavor, we used our cheese grater on fine to grate the onion
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese for topping
  • 8oz cup of applewood chips soaked in water

 

Directions:

1.  Place applewood chips into Big Green Egg with your coals prior to heating up egg.  (Drain water off of the chips prior to adding to coals.  Soaking wood chips help them add the smoke instead of burning)

2.  Preheat Big Green Egg to about 300-350 degrees.  Either use the place the plate setter OR place your baking dish on a cookie sheet just to display the direct heat a little.  

3.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside

4.  In a large bowl, mis together the flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg.  Add sour cream, egg, heavy cream, milk, and onions.  

5.  You can either cube of grate your cheeses, for this recipe it didn't really matter.  Add the cheese to the milk mixture and stir slightly.

6.  Pour pasta into milk/cheese mixture.  Stir slightly.  Pour into a baking dish.

7.  Top with shredded cheese.  (Variation:  add a 1/4 cup of panco to your shredded cheese for a crunchier topping.)

8.  Place on Big Green Egg and cook for about 30 minutes until top begins to brown and bubbly.

 It's one of the creamiest recipes we have made without having to make the rue ahead of time.  I like how everything is just thrown together stirred and placed in the baking dish.  Only thing pre-cooked is the pasta.  Super easy.  We varied it up a little by creating some in individual dishes that we did add Frank's Hot Sauce to and tried a little Spicy version also. It was also amazing

 

Blog Source: http://www.thepatrioticpam.com/2013/07/big-green-egg-mac-n-cheese.html

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Big Green Eggs Tips & Tricks

It's summer and football season is right around the corner.  In my house that means MORE grilling time.  We LOVE our Big Green Egg, and even when there is snow on the ground we still grill on it.  We have been known to shovel our patio first on a snow day, just to fire up the Big Green Egg....but nothing is better than great weather and cooking on the BGE!!!  So I thought it was time to put together a great listing of all the amazing Tips, Tricks and Recipes for your BGE! 

If you are new to the BGE, please make sure you go through the first section closer....these are...

First Timer Tips:

1.  BGE website itself has some amazing First Timer Tips for you to look through.  My favorite tip on their page is to purchase a good pair of HEAT PROOF GLOVES.  This is important!

2.  Egg Head Forums is another very useful site to find the answers to many of your questions.  You can search your question and probably someone has already asked and answered it here.  

3.  Big Green Egg Guide is another place that has a lot of useful BGE info.  

Eggcessories:

I have listed the eggcessories based off of NEED, WANT and FLUFF....so that you will know what we find the most useful.  

NEED:

  • Plate Setter and Baking Stones - I recommend (if your BGE doesn't come with one) getting a good plate setter for your size BGE.  We use ours a lot for indirect heat, cooking pizza, or for holding a drip pan under the grid.  
  • Heat Proof Gloves - This is a must.  I don't know how many times we have needed to adjust something once it is cooking and hot pads, just don't work as well.  Find a good pair that allow for extreme heat temperatures.  They sell them with BGE stuff....but you can even find gloves at the hardware stores that work just fine.  
  • Good Charcoal - I say good, because there are brands out there that we really don't like.  I will tell you the ones we LOVE....and you can figure out the others aren't as good.  Our favorite is actually the Big Green Egg charcoal....and we have tried them all.  Our second favorite is Wicked Good charcoal!
  • Fire starters - I recommend having two options....BGE fire starters are great for times that you don't have electricity.  But we also LOVE our electric charcoal lighter, this makes it super easy to light your egg!
  • Good V-Rack - OK....this might seem like a WANT over a need...but honestly we use this a LOT too.....so I decided it is a NEED!  Now I could give you the link to the BGE v-rack, but really there are less expensive v-racks out there, that work just fine.  Just a good one that will withstand oven temps (which should be all of them)!

WANT:

  • Big Green Egg Guru - Although I wanted to place this as the first NEED....I do realize you can cook without it.  It is expensive, so I left it on my WANT list.  I will tell you since getting the Guru, we cook with much more precision, and know better exactly how to adjust when needed.  It is one item you will want to consider once you have your BGE!!!
  • Cast Iron pans - We have really began cooking not only in the BGE but on the stove top too with Cast Iron. I never thought I would like it, but I now prefer them.  Keep them seasoned well and they will withstand anything.  You can buy anything from Lodge to more expensive William Sonoma brand, but honestly cast iron is cast iron.  I wouldn't pay more than you have to.  I LOVE to find old cast iron at antique stores, but they are hard to find because they hold up so well.  
  • Good seasoning - Found everywhere.  We love to create our own rubs for meat and the BGE keeps your meat tender and juicy.....can't beat it!
  • Wireless digital thermometer - This is close to a NEED....really helps to know internal temperature of your meat.  You can do it by hand with a regular thermometer, but the wireless digital ones have alarms to help you know when you need to check it.  This works hand in hand with the Guru too!!!

FLUFF:

  • Cooking Baskets - Just what it sounds like....easier ways to cook small burgers, fish, vegies, etc.
  • Cover for BGE - honestly we haven't covered our egg EVER....and it looks as good as it did new 4 years ago.  We also have lived in harsh weather conditions with it, every where from heat in the south to cold in New England.  
  • Table for your Egg - Below I will highlight some plans where you can build one yourself.  Otherwise there are many places that sell them too.  (This is really FLUFF....because you don't need it to make great food on your BGE!)

Blog Source: http://www.thepatrioticpam.com/2013/04/big-green-egg-tips-tricks-for-summer.html

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Outdoor Room Ideas

The garden is an extension of your home, so there is no reason you can’t give just as much attention to your outdoor rooms as you do your indoor ones! Just remember to look at your outdoor room in the same way…floor, walls, ceiling, furniture and accessories. Your accessories might just be flowers and plants is all! Along the way, use these DIY outdoor room ideas and tutorials to style a fresh space outdoors!

In our feature photo, above,  use a standard chaise lounge to create a daybed on their outdoor room, by laying it flat and pushing it against the deck railing as backdrop. Add pillows, and maybe a cozy throw, and what a wonderful place to nap away a summer afternoon!

Create a painted outdoor rug with a can of spray paint, some stencils or hand painting, and a clear sealant.

Lighting in your outdoor room makes a paradise on warm summer evenings… Hanging lights can be inexpensive and can make or break a room used after sunset.

This DIY twinkle light porch canopy from Opaque Canvas was made for less than $25, and they have a full tutorial. This would look amazing at night!

 

From The Project Table, this DIY icicle chandelier is made with simple twinkle lights and a grapevine wreath. Follow her instructions for an inexpensive but organic version of the hula hoop chandelier we see all over Pinterest. (Which we also love!)

The Budget Fashionista shows us how to make DIY outdoor pillows from vinyl table cloths or shower curtains! Love this!

This DIY metal tub coffee table by Liz Marie Blog is crazy cool! And while you are looking up the instructions on this project at her site, check out how inspiring her whole outdoor room is!

From Rachel at Thrifty Inspirations through 36th Ave… this amazing DIY outdoor sectional could solve that expensive outdoor furniture problem! She has full step by step instructions and links to the plans she used. Love this!

 

Blog Source: http://www.thegardenglove.com/outdoor-room-ideas/

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How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

 

The weather is warming up quickly  & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

 

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

The weather is warming up quickly here in NC & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

 

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

The weather is warming up quickly here in NC & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

 

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

The weather is warming up quickly here in NC & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

 

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

The weather is warming up quickly here in NC & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

The weather is warming up quickly here in NC & hopefully where you are too! We are all starting to think of the outdoors & beginning to spend more time outside as well. Whether you have a deck area, patio, porch, or a rooftop area in the city you can easily create a perfect outdoor space with just a few quick elements. You can make it more detailed or keep it simple. Here are a few outdoor spaces that are inspiring & great photos for motivation to work on your own outdoor spaces…


This colorful outdoor space from The Girls of Lincoln Park is perfection. The pops of coloralong with all of the interesting elements, greenery, beautiful seating, & those stunning light fixtures makes this space the brightest and happiest outdoor space on the block. Also the large outdoor rug really helps define the space & make it have all of the comforts of the indoors.


Hanging string lights on a patio like these lights on Bower Power Blog’s space can really liven up the place at night while providing great lighting to make the space inviting after dusk. String lights are a perfect way to add affordable lighting all over a large area that’s soft, subtle, & perfect for those summer nights.


Adding a fireplace to an outdoor space if possible either free standing or part of a structure is a perfect way to bring the indoors to the outside space to make the space feel more like a cozy living room all while enjoying nature in the great outdoors. Fireplaces also make the space warm when the weather is cooler & provides lighting for the evenings outside.


This outdoor space from The Idea Room is perfect for a family with all of the seating, dining area, cozy pillows, & the simplicity of it all. Creating different seating areas in an outdoor area is a great use of a large space.


A simple table in an outdoor space can be spiced up with a bench & some mismatched chairs. This is a great way to have different seating in a small area. Adding simple elements like vases, a table runner, rug, and cushions you  can easily create a quick and affordable outdoor space that is obtainable in any area.


Besides this space A Beautiful Mess being my dream backyard, the quirky furniture, fun fabrics, and the small area make this space seem so inviting and gives off a warm and homey feel. Adding fun elements like a DIY tee-pee make a space fun for all ages & of course a place that you want to hang out in.

 

This simple dreamy rooftop patio is perfect for outdoor dinners, bbq’s, gatherings, & all with an awesome city view. The colorful pops of color on the chair really break up all of the wood tones and neutral colors of the brick & wood all while keeping it very sophisticated. This space shows that a simple table & chairs, a couple accessories and some potted plants really make an outdoor space quickly come together.


An outdoor kitchen is on everyones wish list for outdoor entertaining especially if you live somewhere where the weather is favorable to be outside the majority of the year.

Surround an outdoor space with lots of greenery really defines the space & adds life & beauty all while decorating the area. Adding plants in pots, in the ground, and even on the structure can really tie the whole space together & make it stunning.


Another great way to define an outdoor space is using curtains. Not only is it a beautiful statement that brings a little of the inside to the outside space & makes if feel very cozy, but it also adds great privacy when needed.

I am always focused more on our indoor areas, but I’m hoping to do a few tweaks to our outdoor spaces very soon. Stay tuned!
Do you have an outdoor space that you use often? Are you planning an outdoor space at the moment? Share your plans or your spaces below! I would love to hear about them or see them. Send me a link, tag me on instagrampost it on the facebook page, or tweet me. I would love to hear from you.

 

Blog Source: www.lizmarieblog.com/2013/04/create-the-perfect-outdoor-space-10-inspiring-outdoor-spaces/

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15 Patio Design Tips

  • Put Pattern to Work

    In landscapes that include lots of different plant types and textures, too much additional pattern can be overwhelming. Small doses are a good way to provide visual relief as well as interesting contrast to furniture. This patio set's solid-red seating cushions are paired with red-and-white pattern accent pillows for a pop of style.

  • Move the Air Around You

    Patios that are shielded from the elements can also, unfortunately, be shielded from cooling summertime breezes. If you have a structure overhead--either a real roof or a pergola--you may be able to include a ceiling fan, which can help drop the temperature up to 10 degrees. Outfit your ceiling fan with a light and you'll have a reliable source of overhead illumination, too.

  • Consider Privacy

    If you have limited backyard space, you may want to screen your seating area from your neighbors. There are a variety of visually pleasing ways to do that, including attractive fencing, tall trees (which also supply shade), shrubs, or a hedgerow.

  • Include Lighting

    Exterior lighting has many functions--ensuring safety along walkways, offering ambience as natural light fades--and should be an integral part of any patio design. A pendant fixture above this table can cast light on diners lingering after the sun has set.  

  • Integrate a Patio with the Landscape

    A paved or bricked patio space that ends abruptly will feel out of place with a larger landscape around it. A better solution is to use materials to gradually transition -- and reinforce a connection -- between the two. Here, irregularly shaped pavers provide a pathway from patio to lawn, and mulch and containers segue neatly into planted areas.

  • Soften the Edges

    Tall trellises are an excellent way to establish gentle borders around a patio; they also provide a place to encourage flowering vines to reach high--just make sure to pick a vine that suits the area's light conditions. A fragrant vine can cast a sweet scent to a passerby. For a more defined, denser border, place the trellis's slats closer together.

  • Act with Architecture

    deck that's created with materials that are in polar opposition to a house will look out of place indeed. Use your home's architecture for cues as to color and type of construction. Here, stucco walls supply the neutral base, while stonework adds welcome visual complexity to the intimate fireplace area.

  • Mix up Materials

    Small shifts in color or material supply welcoming visual interest underfoot on a patio. Consider a border, or use different sizes of stones to delineate seating or eating areas like this red brick helps designate the dining area and warms up the blue flagstones.

  • Utilize the Hardscape

    A stone floor may gently transition to a stone border surrounding your patio--but why not design and build it at a height that makes sense for seating, too? The short wall adjacent to the fireplace supplies an impromptu spot for guests to sit a spell.

  • Rethink the Walls

    Vertical gardens aren't new, but living walls have gained newfound popularity. If you don't want to tend a garden on a wall, you can use an espaliered tree to soften a patio's border.

  • Fixate on a Front Yard View

    Front yards are an unusual spot to include a patio, but why not use the space to your advantage. With a few design tricks, they can be places  for you to engage with your neighbors while also creating a little privacy. Use mid-height containers to establish a border as well as a small, planted bed to gently transition between lawn and hardscape.

  • Accent Artwork

    Decorative elements certainly have a home on a patio, particularly if they're either outdoor-safe or protected from the elements. If your style is a bit eclectic, or favors a theme like this woodsy one, let the decorating scheme reflect that, with sculpture and centerpieces.

  • Vary the Purpose

    A one-use patio is far too limiting for most families. Instead, think about how to rearrange your furniture to maximize use. Here, a bar-height table is a gathering/prep/serving area, while a smaller dining spot allows for sit-down eating, too.

  • Use a Plant's Texture

    In the absence of a change-up of fabrics or hardscape, plants can be a welcome way to add living décor to a patio space. Intermix grasses and foliage-focused plants for variety in both hue and style.

  • Add a Water Feature

    Even a small fountain or birdbath lends a soothing sound or draws birds and butterflies. Petite water features can also act as a charming focal point, like this birdbath centered in a small circular brick patio.

Blog Source: www.bhg.com/home-improvement/patio/designs/patios

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Design Tips for Planning your Outdoor Room

Creating a truly functional and relaxing room for outdoor living requires careful planning. Just as when designing an indoor space, you'll need to consider architectural style, color harmony, traffic flow, space requirements and comfort. Plus, an outdoor room has its own special challenges, such as providing for privacy and creating shelter from the sun and wind.

Determine the size and layout of your outdoor space. This will largely depend on what activities you want to accommodate and the size of your property. Whether your outdoor room is small and intimate or large and spacious, you'll want to create zones to separate various activities-such as cooking, conversation and relaxation-while allowing for good traffic flow throughout the space. When situating your outdoor room, also consider the natural elements such as prevailing winds and sun orientation. Read more about dimensions foroutdoor room size.

Complement your home's architectural style. The patterns and colors possible with decorative concrete are unlimited. Narrow down the options by choosing a design scheme that harmonizes with your home and landscape and echoes the design of your indoor rooms. Get ideas for home styles.

Create a room with a view by orienting seating areas to overlook flowerbeds, water features and other attractive scenery.
Get tips for proper orientation and layout.

Plan for privacy. Your outdoor room won't have walls, so if privacy and noise are concerns, you'll need to install a fence or tall landscaping plants between you and the neighbors. For design continuity, consider installing a precast concrete fence or screening wall with a decorative stone or brick pattern that complements your concrete patio.

Consider convenience. Your outdoor room should be easily accessible from the house, with food preparation areas located near your indoor kitchen to reduce trips back and forth. Also consider access to power and water.

Provide a sheltered retreat. Awnings, umbrellas, gazebos, and pergolas supported by decorative concrete columns are all ways to shelter your outdoor guests from harsh sunlight and light rain while creating intimacy.

Take it in stages. If you're on a tight budget, you can build your outdoor room in stages, starting with a decorative concrete patio and a concrete countertop for serving food. You can install other features later, such as an outdoor fireplace, a decorative concrete fountain, landscaping and lighting.

Get help pulling it all together. Work with a landscape architect and decorative concrete contractor to make your design ideas reality. These professionals can help you plan an outdoor room that matches your budget, aesthetic and functional requirements.

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Dave's Ribs

Ingredients

4 racks loin back ribs
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) melted hickory bacon grease
Yellow mustard
BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade, Rib Rub and Frosting (recipes below)

BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade
2 cans frozen apple juice concentrate, prepared with 2 cans of purified water
4 Tbsp (72 g) canning salt (Dave prefers Morton’s green box)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) Wright’s Liquid Smoke
4 Tbsp (60 ml) Frank’s Hot Sauce

Mix ingredients together and equally divide into 4 two-gallon bags (turkey roasting bags work, too.)

BBQ Sticky Ribs Rub
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) fine sea salt
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Kosher salt
1⁄3 cup (80 ml) Maple sugar
1⁄3 cup (80 ml) dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Turbinado raw sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated onion powder
1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated garlic
1 tbsp (15 ml) paprika
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh ground pepper
2 tsp (10 ml) celery seed
2 tsp (10 ml) dry rosemary (grind in coffee grinder)
1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne pepper

In a bowl, add all ingredients and blend together. Note: when grinding dry rosemary, don’t grind into fine powder; grind just long enough to break it up into a coarse ground powder.

BBQ Sticky Ribs Frosting
2 cups (475 ml) Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce
2 cups (475 ml) Open Pit BBQ Sauce
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) dark brown sugar
12 oz (355 ml) Smucker’s Apricot Preserves
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 oz (60 ml) Kahlua Liqueur
1⁄2 oz (15 g) semi sweet chocolate

In a pan, add all ingredients. Blend together and heat up until the sauce simmers and the chocolate melts and is incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat and cool. I call my BBQ sauce “Frosting” because it’s so tasty you’ll want to lick it all up!

Instructions

Prepare ribs by pulling the membrane off the bone side. Start on the small end of the rack and work your thumb under the membrane (or use a butter knife). Once you have enough membrane to get a firm grip…grab it with a paper towel, and in one good pull jerk the membrane off the rack.

Prepare BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade. Place one rack in each of four separate resealable bags with marinade. Be careful the sharp ends of the bones don’t puncture the bags. Seal the bags and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

At 7 hours turn ribs over; at 12 hours remove ribs from marinade and rinse under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Rub both sides of ribs with a light coating of yellow mustard. Dust ribs evenly with Rib Rub and set for one hour to let the juices start mixing with seasonings.

Set the EGG for indirect cooking (with the convEGGtor) at 250°F/121°C. Place soaked hickory, apple or cherry wood (Dave’s favorite) chips on the charcoal. Place a Drip Pan on the convEGGtor and fill with 2 inches (5 cm) apple juice. Drizzle the ribs with melted hickory bacon grease and place on grate. After 2 hours, remove ribs; they should be a beautiful mahogany color.

Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place ribs on the foil and generously brush ribs with BBQ Sticky Ribs Frosting. Pour 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) apple juice into the bottom of the sheet pan. Next, create a foil tent over the ribs making sure the ribs do not touch the top of the foil. Place pan back in the EGG and cook 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours at 300°F/149°C until the ribs are tender. When you pick ribs up with your tongs, they should bend easily. Re-foil ribs and keep covered with a heavy towel to keep warm until you are ready to caramelize the sauce on your ribs. You do not want the ribs to be sitting out and losing their moisture.

While the ribs are resting, raise the temperature of the EGG to 600°F/316°C. You will need a hot grid to caramelize sauce on ribs. Baste ribs with sauce and place on hot cooking grid (Dave suggests you wear heat-resistant gloves like the Pit Mitt BBQ Glove.) Once the sauce starts to caramelize, turn over and slather with more sauce. With this last step, you are charring the sauce and building up layers of delicious flavors on your ribs. Don’t over-char your ribs or they will taste burnt…know the difference! When the ribs look beautifully caramelized, remove them from your EGG. Slice into single bones and serve with extra sauce.

Deliciously serves a party of 6

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Crab Cakes

Ingredients
1 pound lump crabmeat, canned
2 large eggs, beaten
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1⁄2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Big Green Egg Dizzy Gourmet Viva Caliente Seasoning
1⁄2 cup Big Green Egg Vidalia Onion Sriracha Sauce, or sweet barbecue sauce

Instructions
Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 375°/191°C.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, jalapenos, panko, mayo, parsley and BGE seasoning. Mix well until blended.

Add the crab meat and fold together until well blended.

Form the crab mixture into 4 equal size balls. Smash them into thick patties.

Bake until golden brown, approximately 18-20 minutes.

Combine the barbecue sauce and the ranch dressing in a small bowl. Mix well. Serve the crab cakes with the barbecue ranch as a dipping sauce.

Makes 4 servings

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