One of the reasons that I look forward to Spring the most is cooking outside and eating on the patio...

One of the reasons that I look forward to Spring the most is cooking outside and eating on the patio; enjoying the back yard right up until we have to start winding down for bedtime.
In a typical year, I have to wait several weeks from now on into March or even April, but 2017 has decided to be its own animal so we’ve had several evenings outside recently. A little weird, but I’ve been loving it!
A couple years ago, we added a giant patio to our backyard so that we could have a whole second outdoor living area. We have music, we have LOTS of toys for 5-year-old including a relatively new swing set that he believes is his own castle, we have a fire pit if there’s a chill in the air, and we have the grill. I love several things about grilling out. Obviously the being outside but also the fact that I don’t grill which means I get to chill while my husband cooks dinner. There’s less clean up with a grilled meal too. No pots and pans to wash, yay!!
We have grilled everything out there; pizza, fish, salads, and fruit, in addition to your classics like burgers, steaks, chicken, and so on. An easy favorite that’s ready in a snap is chili lime chicken. Our family prefers dark meat so we use chicken thighs but breasts or even legs would be delicious too. I would recommend having a little shaker of cayenne at the table if you like spicy food. I leave it out of the marinade for my 5-year-old and add it later for my husband and me.
Grill up some corn on the cob and brush with mayo and lime juice, then sprinkle with cotija or parmesan, chili powder, chopped cilantro, and salt for an amazing side.
I have no doubt that we’ll have some more cold before spring is truly here but I’ve gotten spoiled so please spring, don’t take long to move in for good.
 
Chili Lime Chicken
2 lbs. chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
½ C. lime juice
3 tsp. lime zest
¼ C. olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder or to taste
Cayenne pepper: optional, shake on for grown up but leave off for kiddos
 
In a large bowl mix the lime juice, zest, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt and chili powder. Add chicken to the marinade and stir and coat the chicken evenly. Marinate for 2 hours up to overnight. When you’re ready to grill, brush a little bit of oil on the surface of the grill. Cook chicken 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden on both sides. Add cayenne to individual pieces for those who love it.