Summer is the perfect opportunity to break out the home bar, especially when you’re entertaining friends and family for backyard barbecues and get-togethers. Grab a pitcher, the blender, some ice and these fantastic recipes, and you’re all set for making some of the best cocktails you’ll want to enjoy all season long.
Whether it’s cooling melon, tangy berries, sweet peaches or aromatic herbs, like mint or basil, all of these cocktails feature the refreshing flavors of summer. You can’t go wrong using seasonal ingredients when you’re putting together a drink. FN Dish has 10 summer cocktail recipes that are all easy to make — most require only pouring and assembly, others might use the blender to whip up silky smooth drinks. You’ll be chilling with cocktails in hand in no time.
Get the Summer Cocktail Recipes, Plus Trends and Serving Suggestions
For most of my life, I thought rice pilaf came either from a small cardboard box or a steam table at my college cafeteria. It never occurred to me that it was something that could be made from scratch with just a few pantry ingredients.
Happily, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that a pilaf is a dish that can easily be made at home and without any packaging at all. When cooked from scratch, it bears more than a passing resemblance to risotto and goes well with all manner of saucy foods.
This time of year, I like to make a batch of oven-roasted ratatouille and spoon it over a layer of pilaf. The rice soaks up the juice and while other ingredients bring flavor and texture to the meal.
Right now, my go-to pilaf is Guy Fieri’s Basmati Rice Pilaf with Prosciutto, Garbanzo Beans and Orzo. The prosciutto lends a porky meatiness, while the garbanzo beans add light protein. It’s a perfect pairing and a quick summer meal just right for The Weekender.
Before you start cooking, read these tips
If you’re looking for a no-fuss way to grill, look no further. FN Dish has a great technique for making your summer grilling easier — it’s mess-free and stress-free. All you need is aluminum foil for grilling your favorite foods. With this method of grilling in foil packets, you can completely eliminate cleanup and any frustration from foods sticking to the grates. But undoubtedly the best part is the outcome, because the foil seals in moisture and flavor. The method works great with chicken, fish, vegetables and even fruit.
Get the Recipes and Tips for Grilling in Foil
One of the easiest and most versatile grilled dishes you can make, kebabs are the ultimate family-friendly dinner because they can be built to each person’s individual tastes without trouble, and they take just a few minutes to prepare. If you’re cooking for both die-hard meat eaters and vegetarians, simply skip the beef, chicken or fish, and stick with vegetables alone for some of the kebabs. Little ones, however, may likely appreciate kebabs without any veggies at all, choosing instead simply grilled chicken or steak alone. In both cases, the kebabs will turn out hearty, seasonal dinners that are easy to prepare on a weeknight but satisfying enough to entertain with. When making kebabs, it’s up to you to decide whether to use wooden or metal skewers; just keep in mind that if you opt for the wooden variety, you’ll need to soak them in water before stringing on the ingredients. The liquid will help prevent the wood from flaring up and ultimately disintegrating on the grill. Check out Food Network’s top-five kebab recipes below to find five-star dinner inspiration from some of your favorite Food Network stars, like Ted Allen, Melissa, the Neelys and Tyler.
5. Thai Beef Skewers with Pickled Cucumbers — Soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar come together to do double duty in Ted’s easy recipe: The sweet and salty mixture is both a marinade for the beef and a dipping sauce for serving.
4. Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri — Melissa prefers to use a firm white fish, like cod, haddock or halibut, to make these herb-topped skewers, strung with seasonal zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
Get the top three recipes
I sometimes question my own sanity when I crank the oven to bake pies, cakes and cookies during the summer. When the temperatures reach record-breaking highs, though, as we happen to be experiencing here in New York City, even I come to my senses. That doesn’t mean I give up on cooking from scratch, or on sweets — life is too short to skip dessert.
Sliced fruit or berries macerated — chef-speak for marinated — along with sugar, are perfect paired with fresh whipped cream. Ice pops are an easy go-to summer dessert, too. I recently made watermelon ones reminiscent of Jolly Rancher candies. Cherry Slushies are another favorite of mine and require no chilling time. You simply puree cherry conserves with ice cubes in a blender. What are your favorite ways to stay cool and still indulge?
Try these no-bake recipes
There aren’t many reasons to turn on the oven during summer, especially in the middle of a heat wave. But if there ever was a reason, it would be to bake a seasonal fruit pie or tart. Summer is the time to bake with beautiful fruits like blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries, strawberries, plums and more because that’s when these fruits are in their prime.
FN Dish has put together a great selection of 10 pie and tart recipes to bake this summer, along with tips for making the best pie yet. If you can take the heat for a couple of hours (with the a/c turned on high), then make one of these amazing pies.
Get the Recipes and the Most Important Things to Know About Pie
No matter if you’re preparing a lean vegetarian dinner or a hearty beefy entree, cooking on Monday nights needs to be easy and fast. With summer camp schedules, after-work commitments and various errands, the first day of the week isn’t the time to experiment with complicated meals. Instead, reach for tried-and-true recipes — those that require hardly any prep time.
Giada’s Penne with Spinach Sauce (pictured above) is one such dinner, ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The secret to her fuss-free dinner is relying on a no-cook sauce to dress the noodles. After whirling garlic, goat cheese and cream cheese in a food processor, she adds nutrient-rich spinach to create a tangy, smooth puree, which she mixes with whole baby spinach leaves and uses to top just-cooked penne. Be sure to save some of the pasta water when draining the noodles; you can use the starchy liquid to loosen the sauce. Before serving, season the pasta and finish with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese. Click the play button on the video below to watch Giada made this go-to dinner.
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We challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.
At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?
This week, Star Season 7 winner Jeff Mauro and Chopped judge Scott Conant are cooking up their best hot dogs. Both chefs beef up their grilled dogs with over-the-top toppings – so whose will you serve up? Cast your votes below!
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each weekend, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and the star of this weekend’s spread is tender, juicy pulled pork sandwiches.
The sweet, smoky flavor, the fall-apart-tender meat and the tangy, sticky sauce — you’ve surely enjoyed traditional barbecued pulled pork sandwiches at restaurants, but thanks to the Neelys’ recipe and step-by-step photos from Food Network Magazine, you can now re-create that tried-and-true taste at home. One 10- to 12-pound pork shoulder will make up to 12 sandwiches, so this top-rated recipe is perhaps the ultimate big-batch dish to feed a crowd; plus, the Neelys’ signature barbecue sauce is more smoky than it is spicy, so it’s a sandwich fit for kids and grownups alike.
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When my husband was little, he and his brother went to spend the night at their aunt’s house. The next morning, she made pancakes for them. Scott thought that the pancakes were studded with chocolate chips, so took a giant stack. Turns out they were filled with blueberries.
Because he wasn’t mentally prepared for blueberries, he spit out the first bite in surprise and yelled “yuck.” His aunt was mightily offended and despite his protestations, made him eat the rest of the stack. He has not touched a cooked blueberry since.
What this means practically is that when I’m cooking and baking for the two of us, I take care to avoid making things that involve blueberries (it’s the nice thing to do). I dearly love a blueberry baked good, however, and so at least a couple times a summer, when blueberries are in season, I make up some treat that my friends and neighbors might like so that I can have all the enjoyment of it without eating the whole thing on my own.
Before you start baking, read these tips