All Posts By Ricky Smith

5 Make-Ahead Desserts for Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, August 13th, 2014

Amid getting meats prepped for the grill and making sure cold cocktails are readily available, the last thing you want to worry about while entertaining in the summer is a big, fancy dessert. And to be honest, after all those cocktails, no one is going to fully appreciate that spun-sugar garnish you spent three hours on anyway. So keep things simple. And nothing is simpler than a sweet treat you can make ahead of time and pop in the freezer until it’s time to serve. These recipes utilize bold flavors that hold up well in the icebox, so you and your guests can indulge while keeping cool.

Frozen Key Lime Pie
Ah, what a classic. Summer is the peak of lime season, so this is a great way to showcase the freshest citrus of the year. A graham cracker crust is the perfect bed for the creamy lime filling, adding a bit of sweetness to balance all of the flavors. It takes just 25 minutes to prep and bake, then pop it in the freezer overnight. Plus, think about how much easier it is to divvy up and serve a pie that’s frozen rather than falling all over the place.
key lime

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New Ways to Get Your Quinoa In

by in Product Reviews, August 9th, 2014

New Ways to Get Your Quinoa InTaking a look at any package of quinoa (or even doing a simple search on the Internet) will give you plenty of reasons to join the superfood’s craze. Fitness gurus love the fact that it’s one of the most-protein-rich foods you can eat. But it’s definitely not the easiest thing to make. Many people shy away from preparing it because the process can be long, and getting the right texture and flavor balance can be difficult. The good news: There are plenty of ways to enjoy quinoa that require no effort on your part at all.

Recently more and more quinoa-based products have been hitting supermarket shelves across the country. Think tortilla chips, pastas, baked goods and more, all made with the ancient grain. While it’s totally acceptable to treat yourself to some classic potato chips every once in a while, it couldn’t be simpler to swap in a quinoa creation.

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The Jerky Revolution

by in News, Product Reviews, July 29th, 2014

JerkyRemember that beef jerky you got at the gas station during road trips? The stuff that’s loaded with sodium and has what you would imagine the texture of dog treats to be? Well, it has come a long way since then, becoming a bona fide healthy snack for protein lovers. With less sodium, better flavors and almost nothing unnatural about it, artisan jerky is on the rise.

Just one ounce of the leading brand’s beef jerky can have almost 800 milligrams of sodium, while new brands that concentrate on a more-natural process usually stay around 400 milligrams for the same-size serving (some as low as 300). Besides the fact that these new brands won’t make you feel like you’re gnawing on a salt block, they’ve also got an ingredient list you can fully pronounce. It’s refreshing to see words like “garlic” and “sesame seeds” in place of words like “flavorings” and “monosodium glutamate.”

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Keep Cool with Watermelon Cocktails

by in Drinks, July 19th, 2014

Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.

Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
Watermelon Mai Tai

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Classic Cocktails That Are Anything but Old-Fashioned

by in Drinks, July 12th, 2014

The food world is all about trends, and drinks are no different. You can barely walk into a bar right now without finding something containing muddled ginger. And there are plenty of tried-and-true classics that are easy enough to make (and elevate) at home. Drinks like mint juleps, mai tais and rum punch are always great to have in your entertaining arsenal during the summer. Plus, these favorites (below) each have an added twist, so they’re even more exciting than the originals.

Mint Julep: This cocktail is just about as simple as they get. A little bourbon, a dash of sugar and some mint and you’ve got yourself a foolproof refreshment. Bobby’s recipe includes shaved ice, so it’s the perfect option for a hot summer day. Don’t forget the cherry on top for a little sweetness and a splash of color.
Mint Juleps

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Sweet New Takes on Make-Ahead Sangria

by in Drinks, July 5th, 2014

Few drinks give us more of what we love in one sip than sangria. Each version, no matter how fancy or simple, always has refreshing fruit, perfectly chilled wine and that sweet element that brings it all together. But the best thing about sangria isn’t the fact that you can get your buzz on while drinking something that tastes incredibly good. It’s the idea that as long as you include a few basic ingredients, the possibilities are endless. So get started with this roster of recipes and soon enough you’ll be fixing up your own creations.

Peach, Raspberry and Lime Sangria
Most sangria recipes just infuse the liquid with fruit overnight, but Giada’s takes it one step further by recommending you puree the simple syrup with some of the fruit. In this case, most of the peaches are pureed, giving every sip a strong dose of flavor. And since the base of the drink is infused with peaches from the start, this one is a great choice for those days you just can’t wait overnight for a sample.
Peach Raspberry Lime Sangria

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Make Your Party Pop with Independence Day Cocktails

by in Drinks, Holidays, June 28th, 2014

While there are plenty of ways to get festive for the holiday with cakes, pies and all-American favorites, the drink department requires a bit of effort. At any July 4th party, you can probably find lemonade, iced tea and maybe some punch. But to really wow your guests, you’ll need a few of these colorfully creative cocktails.

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris
Ah, the daiquiri. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy this classic summer drink. The red portion of this version is sweetened with strawberries and watermelon, making it extra-light, while the white portion is made with coconut sorbet, giving the drink a bit of creaminess. And the blue center is made with white rum, blue passion-fruit liqueur and blue curacao, giving the drink its grown-up kick. Fireworks Daquiri

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Slushies for Grownups

by in Drinks, June 21st, 2014

Slushies for Grownups (Recipes)There’s no reason kids should have all the fun when it comes to slushies. They’re simple to make and they do a nice job of cooling you off during the hottest months of the year, so what’s not to love? While these options include alcohol, they can easily be made family-friendly with a bit of simple syrup or fruit juice. Either way, FN Dish is convinced that after a few sips of one of these guys, you’ll be bidding farewell to punch and beer this summer.

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