It’s hard to imagine that the world was clamoring for blue wine — what’s wrong with red, white and rose? — but the presumed dearth of demand hasn’t stopped someone from making it. A group of someones, that is.
Summer is in full swing, and that means most of us are firing up that backyard grill. If you are shying away from grilling, or just want a refresher course on the basics of grilling, then keep reading. Here are my top 10 tips for excellent summer grilling.
1. Start with a clean grill. Don’t let last night’s salmon skin impart a fishy-char flavor to tonight’s chicken breasts. Use a sturdy metal brush to clean off the grates in between uses. (This is easiest when the grill is hot.)
2. Don’t move the food around. In general, the fewer times you flip something, the better (once is ideal for most meats). If the meat is stuck to the grill, let it cook more — it will unstick itself when it’s ready for flipping.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who make the burgers (hovering over an open flame, flipping each one with serious skill and taking all the credit) and those who devour them (with glee and zero regrets). For the former group of burger lovers, expanding your burger craft is what summer is all about. Turn on the grill and switch things up — we’ve got some surprising ways to better your burger game from here on out.
1. Reconsider your meat mix.
Your go-to, home-grilled burger might be made entirely of beef, but integrating another kind of meat for a more flavorful blend will have your next batch neck and neck with the pros’ patties. The Ultimate Backyard Burger, for instance, calls for a blend of ground chuck, brisket and lamb for moist, juicy results.
Oh, if only that were all there was.
In the After-Show following tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the fourth and final preliminary heat of the Time Warp Tournament, host Alton Brown unveiled a roster of totally righteous sabotages in keeping with the 1980s theme of the battle — and judge Antonia Lofaso was on hand to experience some of the best of them. The Miami Vice-style boat, which made its debut in Round 2’s blackened-fish challenge, looked innocent enough to the judge as she took her seat at the wheel. After all, she had a space to prep and she had a heat source within arm’s reach. “If this doesn’t move,” Antonia noted, “this isn’t that bad.” But of course it did move — and that was only part of what she’d have to endure.
A homemade birthday cake? You bet. There are few ways to better say “I think you are pretty special” than baking someone a cake from scratch. And the best news is that if you take your time and follow the directions carefully, you’ll be turning out picture-perfect cakes from the get-go. Don’t overmix, and don’t overbake. And check out these easy tips for assembling the cake. (Have you ever heard of a crumb coat? It will change your cake-baking life.) Get ready for open-mouthed gasps of joy and lots of celebrating!
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
That tender green commonly known as miner’s lettuce has a fascinating past that belies its delicate appearance. Though its scientific name is Claytonia perfoliata, the edible plant eventually earned its curious nickname because of its popularity among the Gold Rush miners who ate it to prevent scurvy. Today this North American native wild green has gone from functional to fashionable and is often found in salads or elegant garnishes. Since it’s not grown commercially, chefs rely on foragers to procure these pretty leaves, which come in a variety of shapes.
As a rule, we Americans don’t get enough sleep. In fact, one in three of us are consistently stinting ourselves on the seven or more hours our bodies need each night, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. We know who we are (though we may be too tired and cranky to admit it).
So how are we getting through the day, not to mention the five-day workweek? One word: caffeine.
Unfortunately, that cup of coffee or tea (or soda or whatever form of caffeine you generally enjoy) will get you only so far.
The first few weeks of summer break are really just back-to-school time in reverse; everyone’s learning a new routine and breaking in a new rhythm. With all the new comings, goings, camp dates, don’t-forget-your-water-bottle reminders and spray cans of SPF 1 million to keep track of, I’ll just admit it: Cooking elaborate meals is last on my list right now. That’s why I love these go-to quick dinners, perfect for this time of year. And it gets even easier. I recently learned a new tip for simplifying menu planning during the week: Pick a theme for each day (think sandwiches on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, etc.) and rotate recipes every week. Here are a few kid-approved ideas to get you started.