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.
Rich and buttery, chocolate cake is perhaps the ultimate guilty pleasure, and Ina Garten is giving us every opportunity to indulge in her top-rated recipe, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Follow Ina’s lead and add a cup of freshly brewed coffee to the batter and instant coffee powder to the buttercream; both will enhance chocolatey flavors without adding the taste of coffee itself.
For more sweet-tooth-satisfying desserts, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
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.
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
When those sweltering nights of midsummer hit, relaxing with a refreshing indulgence can offer much-needed respite from the humidity. As such, chefs and bartenders are on the frontlines when it comes to battling those blistering seasonal temperatures. We’ve got the scoop on the cooling treats they’re concocting (and consuming) at establishments across the country.
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.
Beachside selfies, trips to the farmers market, rooftop lounging — there are seemingly countless ways to celebrate summer, but perhaps chief among them is outdoor dining. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast shared their top best recipes, tips and entertaining know-how to help you host the ultimate Summer Cookout. After his fellow co-hosts showed off how-tos for nautical napkin holders and seashell salt and pepper bowls, Jeff Mauro introduced Edible Sand Castles, made not with sand from the shore but with brightly colored gelatin instead. And the results were nothing short of impressive.
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’s probably happened to everyone: You’re trying out a new recipe, and you get to the step that instructs you to add salt, but you realize you don’t have kosher salt on hand, only regular table salt — or maybe vice versa. So you figure: “What’s the difference, anyway? Salt is salt, right?”
Well, yes and no. And if you substitute one for the other, you may end up with something that is either way too salty or bland as can be. Why?
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.