During summer’s hottest days, you might think it best to stash the slow cooker away until fall’s cooler temperatures have you craving slow-simmered stews and braises again. But it’s time to rethink your kitchen equipment! It turns out that there’s nothing better for summer’s lazy days and high temperatures than your trusty slow cooker. Here are six easy, make-ahead recipes that don’t require turning on the stove.
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On the end of every growing zucchini or summer squash you will find a vibrant yellow-orange flower — the blossom — which is a vegetable in its own right. Zucchini blossoms are fragile and delicately flavored, a little sweeter and more ephemeral than the flavor of the squash itself. The blooms are naturally soft, but pick those that look fresh, not droopy, with mostly closed buds.
Summer is a time to have fun with your food, and an empty ice pop mold is the perfect blank canvas for dreaming up colorful flavor combos. Allow us to offer a few ideas as inspiration; with this bevy of pops, you’ll never be bored.
Chai Tea Latte Pops (above)
Sweet and spicy, these pops are just like the cozy drink you love sipping all winter, but reimagined for warmer weather.
If your pesto prowess starts and ends with picking up a jar of the stuff at the supermarket, listen up. Your own from-scratch pesto is super-easy to blend at home (and it tastes infinitely better). And get this: Pesto isn’t just exclusive to basil anymore (or pricey pine nuts either); the summer staple can be made with really any green, and you can get even more creative by using sun-dried tomatoes and more unconventional picks. If you’re never made your own before, start with Ina Garten’s top-rated recipe for classic basil pesto, then move on to some of our favorite riffs, bound to be tossed into pasta, spread onto a sandwich and more. Now rev those food processors — let’s get blending!
If you’re departing from the classic basil blend for the first time, keep things familiar by opting for another leafy green. Food Network Magazine’s Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti (pictured above) is green through and through with hearty kale, which adds a delightfully rich earthiness, and roasted, salted pistachios.
It may seem impossible to improve on the flavor of a perfectly ripe and juicy peach, plum or nectarine eaten out of hand, but these gorgeous stone fruit recipes — both sweet and savory — prove otherwise.
Our Nectarine-Raspberry Slab Pie (pictured above) is a showstopping dessert you can slice up any way you’d like. And when you combine the sweet taste of stone fruit with tart raspberries and tuck the juicy gems into pie crust, all the ingredients are heightened. Read more
I was that kid. You know, THAT kid. The kid who only wanted to eat the “red” popsicles and drink the “red” juice and steal the “red” gummy bears from the bowl. I didn’t want grape — ever. In fact, if we had a box of some sort of treats and the variety included grape, I’d eat all the others and leave the grape in there for someone else.
Except nobody ever wanted it, because grape was the worst. The absolute worst.
I didn’t even want the blue raspberry flavor, and that was huge in the ’90s. I was all about the red: cherry, strawberry, watermelon or whatever. That’s the one I loved the most.
In my opinion, strawberry was always the best “red.” I think cherry was more popular among my group of siblings, neighbors and friends, but I didn’t care about that. Strawberry was the only one I wanted.
American cheese gets a bad rap. It’s too processed, people say. It’s not “real.” There might be truth to these critiques, but one other thing is certainly true: It’s just so good. Melted to the perfect consistency, American cheese definitely has a place in our recipes. Here are six we know you’ll love.
Classic American Grilled Cheese (above)
This one’s a no-brainer. American cheese was practically created to be melted between two slices of pillowy bread. Jeff Mauro’s version pairs a white slice with a yellow slice for the perfect eye-catching mixture.
Bobby Flay is our resident grill master here at Food Network. When we’re not watching him crank up the heat on Beat Bobby Flay, we’re trying our hand at one of his best burger recipes. But even though he’s a burger and steak guy, not all of his grilled recipes are super-meaty — often he dresses up vegetables, too, with a smoky char. Check out his top droolworthy veggie recipes for fresh seasonal inspiration.
By Angela Carlos
This week on Chopped Junior we saw the contestants battle the clock and each other through three rounds of dishes that challenged the young cooks’ ability to balance flavors.
In each round of mystery basket ingredients, sweet and savory items upped the ante. In Round 1, the bacon soda and maraschino cherries needed to be neutralized so they wouldn’t overpower the smoked chicken breasts and bitter puntarelle. In the entree course, the sweet grape mini balloon dogs challenged the contestants to incorporate sweetness with their gamey goat, and in the dessert round, the final two struggled to work farmhouse cheddar cheese and duck fat into their caramel-apple-dominated desserts.
We may not have scientific proof of it, but around here we consider it a fact that certain foods simply taste better in the great outdoors. And nothing is better than a flame-kissed meal enjoyed around the campfire it was cooked on after a long hike or a lake swim … or merely after the exertion of figuring out how to put up a tent. All these recipes would be delicious cooked in an oven or stovetop, but they’re no doubt improved by the hint of smoke and crackle of flames that a campfire imparts, paired with an epic view.
Guy Fieri’s pro camping tip: Make toasted, melty sandwiches by stuffing Pullman bread with camping leftovers and cooking over hot coals in a sandwich press (pictured above). Go savory with combos like chili and cheese, pepperoni and marinara, and mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon, or whip up a dessert ‘wich with cream cheese and berry preserves, or peaches and ricotta. Read more