Attempting to eat with a fork while balancing a drink in one hand and a plate in another is a universal party buzzkill. At summer cookouts, we tend to avoid silverware and go hand-held — think burgers, hot dogs, grilled wings and corn on the cob. So why not keep your party sweets utensil-free too? The ice cream cone is the quintessential hand-held frozen treat, but that involves scooping to order. Here are five cool desserts that you can make ahead, then freeze and forget. Just grab ‘em straight from the freezer for the finale of your 4th of July bash or any weekend gathering. Read more
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Though chicken might rule the weeknight dinner menu, there’s no reason why steak can’t step up to the plate. Just like its poultry counterpart, steak is the perfect blank canvas for decadent sauces, zesty salsas and crisp beds of lettuce. In the following recipes, your favorite chefs have you covered, from weeknight-friendly steak dinners to open-faced steak sandwiches and tacos. Keep browsing below for more steak recipes that will keep you going (and grilling) all summer long, then check out a step-by-step grilling guide to cooking the best beef.
One of my favorite summer dinners comes together in about five minutes. (Coincidence?) Pulling ingredients from the pantry, fridge and freezer, then loading them onto the cutting board is equal parts handy (chop those peppers right here, slice the cheese too) and festive — like a cheese tray with extensions. Set the whole thing in the middle of the table and let everyone dish up exactly what they like.
Mix and Match Any Combination:
A Little Something Salty (Served in a Bowl)
Olives, peanuts, pickles (dill or sweet), pistachios
I taught my daughter’s third-grade class how to make good guacamole. It was my second time working with classroom 3B, this time not in the art room but on a diminutive desk in the classroom itself. On this knee-high rectangle of beechwood-colored Formica with a scooped out slot for a pencil at the top, I was able to use skills gained long ago interning at a doll-size garde manger station, elbows pinned to my sides.
When kids came into their classroom, they found tortillas, knives and avocado halves on their tables, and the other ingredients were ready on mine. It smelled like onions and cilantro. Passing teachers poked their heads in to see why. I worked fast to outpace the kids’ hunger, questions and strong desire to get avocado goo on their sleeves. Eventually I guided my 19 cooks to a high-five-inducing guacamole (with a side of chips).
First I told them the safe and polite way to handle their plastic knives (by the handle, always cutting away from your body, the other hand’s fingers curled under, etc.). Then we cut up tortillas to make chips. They are studying fractions, so there was a lot of debate. Some tables chose eighths for more chips, some went with sixths for bigger chips, and others chose straight strips for the sake of innovation. We tossed them in a bowl with oil and salt, layered them on sheet pans and popped them into the oven down the hall in the art room. Then we moved on to the main attraction.
Grills don’t need to be reserved just for burgers and hot dogs this summer. Give ingredients like fruit and veggies a quick char, and you’ll find that salads and side dishes get a delicious bonus in texture and flavor. In Giada De Laurentiis’ Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella (pictured above), she grills up bread and artichokes — hearty ingredients that will make a meatless salad satisfying — as the stars of her Italian dish.
Perhaps the best part about this salad is that it’s ready to eat in just 16 minutes. Take Giada’s lead and use whole-wheat bread or any day-old variety that you have on hand. The “staleness” will actually give the salad a nice additional crunch. First, drizzle the cubed bread and frozen artichokes with olive oil and grill until golden brown. Giada adds tomatoes, black olives and basil for extra freshness and a beautiful contrast in color. The final layer: a simple vinaigrette. Whisk together extra virgin olive oil with white wine vinegar and then toss with the salad mixture until combined.
Nothing says summer like biting into a ripe, juicy slice of watermelon, particularly when it’s fresh off the rind. Though the purists may say there’s no better way to eat watermelon, we’d argue that it’s time to get your fill of this in-season fruit by incorporating it into all of your meals. Consider this your personal watermelon bucket list: six recipes for anytime of day.
In the spirit of Father’s Day this weekend, The Kitchen co-hosts shined a light on one of Dad’s all-time favorite pastimes — snacking — on this morning’s episode. While bags of cheese-flavored chips and salty pretzels are surely tried-and-true classics, you can easily dress up these go-to bites and turn them into all-new munchies.
You know Dad loves Buffalo chicken wings, so he’ll surely be wowed by these Buffalo Potato Chips too. The secret ingredient? A mild hot sauce drizzle, which clings to ruffled potato chips. For an extra level of flavor, add blue cheese for a welcome bite.
There’s nothing quite like a sweet, juicy fruit pie in the summertime when an abundance of berries, stone fruits (see: Peach Streusel Slab Pie, above) and melons are at their peak. And slab pies are great for feeding a crowd — or at least a crowd of eight. If you’re entertaining a larger group, dessert can quickly become an afterthought, what with all the appetizers, side dishes, drinks and grilled mains to coordinate.
Choosing the right appetizer for a group gathering is no easy feat, and on an occasion like Father’s Day, the stakes are even higher — Dad deserves a solid celebratory feast. Dips are an ideal choice thanks to their ease and versatility, and they will commence the meal without overshadowing it. Better yet, the whole family can get involved in dip preparation — even the littlest kids. To get your game plan in order, start by selecting a main dish you know Dad will love, then prepare a dip that plays off of those flavors, whether rich and creamy or bright and refreshing. These seven winning dips are guaranteed to score big.
Spicy Bacon Guacamole (pictured at top)
There are few dips more satisfying than fresh, chunky guacamole — except for guacamole with bacon in it. When preparing a batch of this cumin- and jalapeno-spiced guac, cook up a few bacon slices, then crumble them into this chunky dip. Dad will surely approve.
Once our burgers reach charred, juicy perfection on the grill, we tend to stack them high with all kinds of toppings. More often than not, they come with a layer of melting cheese on top. But that doesn’t mean that burgers should always be built from the bottom up. Instead of laying cheese and other toppings on top as an afterthought, surprise your fellow burger eaters by stuffing your next patties at the core.
If you’re grilling for a crowd, offer up burgers with a little variety. Trisha Yearwood’s Cheese-Stuffed Burgers (pictured above) are stuffed with different cheeses, like pimento, mozzarella or blue cheese. Though they may be stuffed differently, they’re all grilled to juicy perfection with an oozing cheesy center.