Here's a fun idea for a party that both children and adults will enjoy: an ice cream social! This traditional gathering, which dates back to the 18th century, is a great way to get people together. It makes a delicious event during the Summer when the weather is hot, so why not throw one now before the kids head back to school? From scrumptious sauces to marvelous mix-ins, here's the perfect menu for the ultimate ice cream bar.
Although cooked corn eaten right off the cob is a classic Summer side, my favorite way to enjoy in-season corn is raw, stirred into a salad with basil and tomatoes. The kernels are slightly sweet, juicy, and have a nice light crunch. Raw corn can be mixed with everything from black beans to greens to fruit, and they are delicious in soup. If you've never had raw corn before, I suggest you give it a try. To encourage that you do, here you'll learn my easy technique for removing the corn from the cob.
After making and enjoying salami chips, I wondered, what would ham chips taste like? The concept is simple: you take thin slices of prosciutto or jamon serrano place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy. The resulting snack is salty, crunchy, and downright delicious. Add to a cheese display or use in a sandwich, burger, salad, or crostini recipe. The method is uncomplicated; read more to learn how to make ham chips.
Hurry — before you know it, the end of September will be here and fresh, in-season blackberries will be gone. Like the lingering warm nights of the Summer, the last of the blackberry pickings should be delightfully savored. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy them.
Sunday afternoons are a great time to prepare meals for the week. You can make a big batch of pasta or salad and eat it for lunch in the days to come. This weekend, why not put together this easy and delicious quinoa salad? It's packed with colorful vegetables and is super flavorful thanks to a simple mint-orange vinaigrette. Feel free to use the recipe as a guide and substitute in your favorite fruits and vegetables. Keep reading for the vegan recipe.
Ever since I heard the news that Dunkin' Donuts is finally going to be opening up shop on the West Coast, I can't stop thinking about doughnuts! I've never had a Dunkin' Donut before and I'm already trying to decide what kind I'll order first.
Jelly-filled? Bavarian Kreme? Maple-frosted? While I love all these flavors, I'll probably go with my all-time favorite doughnut: old-fashioned chocolate. Since everyone has a different preferred doughnut type, I'm wondering what is yours? Which doughnut can you not resist?
When living in a small apartment in a big city, it's easy to get discouraged from entertaining. After all, a studio isn't the best place to host a blowout thirtieth birthday for you and your closest 50 friends. However, savvy hostesses know that they can take their party elsewhere, specifically to a beloved bar. It can cost a lot of money to rent out an entire bar or event room, and if you don't have the funds to set up a private space, have no fear! You can still host a party at your favorite watering hole. Want to know how it's done? Find out after the jump.
It's hard to believe that many schools are starting the new year this week. Although your schedule will be more hectic, don't skip lunch when you head back to school! Instead, take the time each evening or morning to put together a healthy and appetizing lunch. Here are some helpful hints for packing the best brown bag.
- Be creative! Try not to make the same thing every day. If you have a sandwich on Monday, bring a salad on Tuesday. Variety is the key to not getting stuck in a peanut-butter-and-jelly rut.
- Skip the processed foods (like single serving packs of chips) and opt for fresh ingredients, like sandwiches and salads that are made with in-season herbs, greens, fruit, vegetables, and cheese. Nuts, sliced carrots, and popcorn are great for snacking.
- Avoid sogginess by packing food items in different containers. Place salad dressing in a small tupperware and greens in a large ziplock baggie. Dress and assemble the salad just before you plan on eating.
There's nothing like a beautifully ripe tomato. Be it an heirloom, roma, cherry, or any other varietal, these luscious fruits are one of the most coveted ingredients of the Summer. They're at their peak now, so pick up some tomatoes from the market and get cooking! Here are 10 tomato recipes to inspire you.
Although the title is a mouthful, these chicken breasts are super easy to put together. There's no marinating involved, so you can make the chicken at the last minute, even on a weeknight. In the recipe, plain chicken breasts are grilled and once they're cooked, they get doused in a mixture of herbs, citrus juice, and oil.
That's where the fun comes in: use whatever herbs and citrus you want! When I recently made it, I used lemon juice and parsley, but the possibilities are endless. Orange juice and tarragon, lime juice and cilantro, lemon juice and basil, even grapefruit juice and rosemary would work! Want to experiment with citrus and herbs? Read on for the technique.
National Rum Day isn't until next Tuesday, but why not get the party started now? After all, it's the end of a work week, and there is no better time for a rum drink than Friday afternoon. There are tons of mojito variations out there, but the one I've been sipping lately is this refreshing and potent pineapple version. It's like a mojito that's decided to go on a tropical vacation!
The pineapple provides a nice sweetness, so no extra sugar is necessary. There's four ounces of alcohol in this drink, but thanks to the pineapple juice, it doesn't taste too strong! If you prefer a mojito with a little effervescence, top it off with sparkling water or soda. You've got to make this beverage: here's the recipe.
The simplest preparation of ripe watermelon, fresh from the fridge and sliced into wedges, is arguably the best way to eat it. But I'm going to play devil's advocate and recommend that you do something unexpectedly delicious with watermelon. Fresh popsicles or another sweet treat are awesome uses of watermelon, but they are a little too common. To really blow your friends and family away, incorporate the juicy pink flesh of watermelon into a savory dish. Here are four to try:
- Salad: Arugula (or some other green, like watercress), feta, and watermelon salad has popped up on so many restaurant menus it could practically be considered a classic salad! Other salad ingredients that pair well with watermelon are jicama, mint, red onion, olives, tomatoes, goat cheese, radishes, basil, cucumber, avocado, and fennel. Try adding watermelon slices to Caprese salad: it tastes wonderful with balls of fresh mozzarella.
- Seafood: The brightness of watermelon complements many kinds of seafood from squid to swordfish to crab.
- Cocktail: When pureed and strained, watermelon juice is a refreshing ingredient in many cocktails, specifically drinks that have a little spice like this chipotle-rimmed tequila beverage.
- Grill it: Earlier this Summer, Mark Bittman, columnist at The New York Times, blew me away with his recommendation for grilled watermelon burgers! If that's a little too adventurous for you, grill watermelon and add it to a salad.
Do you use watermelon in savory dishes? Share your techniques with us below!
What's cold, creamy, and buttery? Butterscotch ice cream! If you've never made butterscotch before, don't be intimidated; it's much easier than making caramel. You simply put brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a saute pan and heat it until the mixture magically turns into a rich golden brown syrup. The ice cream base is made in the traditional custard method with egg yolks, cream, and half and half. Like most ice cream recipes, you'll need to get started a couple of days before you want to enjoy it. It's worth the effort especially when served with peach pie. Read more to look at the recipe.
When it comes to cooking, there's nothing more rewarding than serving your friends and family at a party. Whether it be a dinner, baby shower, or birthday bash, crafting the perfect menu is crucial to an event's success. From your guests' dietary needs to the occasion to the season, there's a lot to consider when planning a menu. Don't be overwhelmed, I've got a handful of suggestions to keep in mind the next time you're deciding what to serve.
- Being a good hostess means that you make guests feel welcome and comfortable, that's why it's important to think about their diets. Don't serve a meat-heavy menu if you have vegetarians in attendance. A friend allergic to gluten? Offer a gluten-free meal. While you may have to think outside the box, there are millions of dishes in the world; it can be done!
- If it's easier for you to cook with a theme, like rustic Italian, casual Californian, or traditional Spanish, do so!
- Unless you are highlighting a special item on purpose, (like serving a blood orange meal, where each course features blood oranges), make sure there isn't too much of one ingredient. Too much cheese or starch or vegetables will result in an unbalanced meal.
We're at the peak of fresh corn season, and I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of the sweet juicy kernels! However, I do have a confession: corn on the cob is not my favorite way to enjoy corn. It's somewhat boring, boiled corn on the cob with butter, and the silks always get stuck in my teeth!
I prefer to cut the kernels from the cob and use them in a salad, soup, or saute. My recent preparation of choice involved chopping the corn in a food processor, then mixing it with cheese and herbs to make delectable corn cakes. What about you: How do you eat corn? What dishes do you make with corn in Summer?
It's easy to forget that shellfish, like clams and mussels, are an affordable and quick-cooking option for weeknight meals. That's why if you're a fan of shellfish, you should make an effort to add these delectable bivalves to your repertoire! Start with this finger-licking good mussel recipe. The mussels are cooked in a flavorful broth that consists of chorizo, fresh tomatoes, white wine, and garlic. The ingredient list calls for a small amount of cream, but if you want to omit it, the dish won't lose anything. For a complete meal, serve with crusty French bread (for dipping in the delicious sauce!) and a side of mixed greens. Pair the mussels with the wine you used to make the broth. Mussel lovers: add this recipe to your collection now.
When I think of classic cheeseburgers, orange cheese, like slices of America or cheddar cheese, come to mind. This cheeseburger is found in every fast food joint across the nation, but if you're making a cheeseburger at home, why not think outside the box and melt on a different kind of cheese? Here are some unexpected suggestions:
- Pimento cheese: Spread a liberal tablespoon or two of the Southern condiment, which is made with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and pimentos, on top of pork or beef burgers. It will melt onto the patty and provide the burger with a nice creaminess.
- Parmesan cheese: It's commonly associated with pasta, but why not shave some of this cow's milk cheese on a burger? Parmesan would pair with a burger that's seasoned, like meatballs, and topped with tomato sauce instead of ketchup. Or, for a special crunch, bake disks of grated parmesan until brown and put the cheese crisps on the burger just before serving.
- Nacho cheese: Bobby Flay's burger, with a creamy nacho cheese sauce, was the talk of Rachael Ray's Burger Bash last year at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. It won him the people's choice award and will win you raves with your family.
Meat isn't a necessary component of alfresco entertaining; one can easily host a complete vegetarian barbecue, and I've got the perfect menu to prove it! This feast takes its inspiration from the simple but scrumptious cooking found in the countries near the Mediterranean sea. To ensure that you spend as little time as possible in a hot kitchen, most of the dishes can be assembled in advance and are cooked on the grill. If you're in need of a laid-back vegetarian menu for an upcoming party, read on for inspiration.
Compared to the produce stars of Summer, I'm looking at you heirloom tomatoes and corn on the cob, eggplant is somewhat of a sad little sister. Rarely does it get the recognition it deserves and it's normally served fried or in expected preparations like eggplant parmesan. However this earthy purple vegetable, that's in season from May through October, is an excellent ingredient in this hearty chopped salad. The delectable recipe combines chunks of eggplant with tomatoes and zucchini. It's seasoned with a generous amount of fresh oregano and just before serving, all the veggies are tossed with bread crumbs and salty feta cheese. The resulting side dish is so flavorful and satisfying that even self-proclaimed eggplant haters asked for seconds when I served it. You've got to add this delicious vegetarian dish to your repertoire, so get the recipe now.
Although there is much debate over whether or not tomatoes should be stored in the fridge, the best way to keep tomatoes depends on the ripeness of fruit.
- Keep unripe green tomatoes, stem side down, in a paper bag or single layer in a cardboard box in a cool area until they turn red in color.
- Perfectly ripe tomatoes, fresh from the garden or farmers market, should be kept at room temperature, on the counter away from sunlight, in a single layer, not touching one another, stem side up. Consume within a couple of days.
- Overripe tomatoes that are soft to touch with very red flesh are best kept in the fridge. The cold air will keep the tomatoes from ripening more and they should last for another three days. Before eating refrigerated tomatoes, take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature. This will allow the fruit to develop some of the flavor it has lost due to refrigeration.
What's your method for storing Summer's bounty of tomatoes?