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.
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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.
Eating outside is one of the joys of summer. For the kids it’s about fresh air and fun. For me it’s about not having to clean the floor. And cooking all the food outside? Even. Better. Here’s our foolproof family meal, made completely on the grill.
Somewhere along the line, brunch became a Mother’s Day thing. But why shouldn’t Dad be spoiled with a lazy, morning-into-afternoon feast on his special day as well? Here are eight brunch ideas that will satisfy even the manliest of fatherly appetites.
Kick off Dad’s special day by treating him to a burger for breakfast. These juicy patties are topped with fried eggs and served on English muffins for the ultimate morning treat.
During the summer months, biting into a juicy piece of watermelon can feel like you’re drinking a tall glass of cold water. Crisp and refreshing, the fruit not only quenches thirst but, better yet, can satisfy a midday sweet tooth. Instead of slicing up watermelon as a side or serving it as dessert this summer, take Tyler Florence’s lead and use it as the base for Watermelon Gazpacho (pictured above).
Although gazpacho is traditionally a cold Spanish soup that combines tomatoes, vegetables and spices, the watermelon in this version gives it an unexpected twist while retaining that classic red color. Perhaps the best part about this dish is that there’s no stove necessary. Simply prep the ingredients, puree in a blender and it’s ready to serve in just 15 minutes. In addition to the two cups of fresh watermelon that act as the star in this soup, Tyler adds a dash of red wine vinegar — this acidity helps offset some of the sweetness — and half of a serrano chile for a spicy kick. Add tomato, red onion and cucumber for your veggie element. Before serving, garnish with fresh dill and crumbled feta cheese for contrast in color and a tangy bite.
Is there anything better in this world than an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer afternoon? From the classic straight-from-the-truck sandwich with slightly melted vanilla ice cream and cakelike chocolate cookies to more adventurous pairings like red velvet or oatmeal cookie sandwiches, it’s easy to mix and match your favorite flavors for different combinations all summer. Here are five of our favorites, plus an extra to try if you’re feeling like a challenge.
Drop a dollop of butter pecan ice cream between two oatmeal-raisin cookies and roll the edges in chopped pecans for an ice cream sandwich with a little bit of crunch. Raisins not your thing? Feel free to swap in chocolate chips — lots of chocolate chips. As with all homemade ice cream sandwiches, make sure to cool your cookies completely after baking before you begin assembling sandwiches.
We’re big on birthdays here in the Food Network offices. It’s a time when we all preheat our ovens, pull out our mixers and bake something special for our co-workers. But that whole birthday cake thing? It’s been done. We’re here to prove that there’s more to birthdays than birthday cake — and our treats don’t need to be sweet either. Instead of agonizing over the perfect gift, remember that all a birthday boy or girl needs is a little something homemade to know how much you care.
Baking the birthday boy or girl a homemade cake is a treat all on its own, but it’s a whole different story when that cake is an ice cream cake. With the best of both dessert worlds all in one place, there’s no better way to celebrate June babies’ birthdays as summer gets underway. Although it may look like a whole to-do, an ice cream cake is actually quite easy to make, and you can bet these ice-cold recipes will look good with a lighted candles. Just be sure to blow them out before the cake melts!
An ice cream cake doesn’t need to be overly complicated for it to be a showstopper. Learn how to make a simple yet showstopping ice cream cake (pictured above) using store-bought ingredients, and see why it’s all about technique. More importantly than anything else, be sure to work quickly so that the cake doesn’t melt, causing ice crystals to form when you freeze it later.
To bite into a drippy pulled pork sandwich, to gnaw at tender smoked ribs or even to fathom going at a mound of falling-apart brisket without a side of slaw close at hand would be a summertime travesty, up there with never making it to the beach. Though coleslaw is rather unassuming — traditionally nothing more than shredded raw cabbage in a mayo-based dressing — it lends a bright, creamy and tangy crunch to everything it meets, making it a must-have for this summer’s outdoor cookouts, barbecues and picnics. Be sure to whip up these six favorites this summer.