In many homes, jarred salsas are a must-have refrigerator staple — they’re convenient, tasty and an easy pre-dinner party snack. But they’re also expensive and laden with sodium and preservatives. This week, instead of reaching for grocery-store salsa, prepare a batch of the homemade variety instead. From-scratch salsas are more flavorful and just as easy to make, plus they boast the best of summer’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Check out Food Network’s top five homemade salsa recipes below and serve them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, atop simply grilled chicken or seafood, or with authentic Mexican tacos , burritos and more.
5. Grilled Corn Salsa – To prepare this five-star salsa (pictured above), grill in-season corn and tomatoes until tender and cooked, then finish with onions, a drizzle of vinegar and fresh basil.
4. Salsa Fresca – Before serving, Tyler lets his cilantro-laced salsa stand for 15 minutes, so that its light, bright flavors can marry.
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Summer centerpieces are a great way to add simple elegance to your table. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just sitting down with your family for a meal, the perfect centerpiece can do a lot to enhance the whole experience. Plus, finding table decorations doesn’t necessarily require breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways to create amazing centerpieces using items you can probably find around the house. Here are a few of Food Network’s favorite ideas for tasteful and effortless summer decor.
If you live near the beach, search for different-shaped shells (this is a great activity to do with the kids) and place them in a nautical-themed pot in the center of your table. If you are far from a beach and no one in your family is a shell collector, shells are inexpensive to buy at craft or design stores. For an added touch, try gluing individual shells on each of your napkin holders.
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With summer’s heat, we drink more to keep cool and stay hydrated. From a freshly brewed batch of sun tea to a fruit-infused pitcher of sangria, summer is the season to celebrate all the varied ways to drink up flavor. However, all those yummy drinks can sometimes spill on clothing and table linens, leaving sticky stains. No matter what you spill, we’ve got you covered with advice for how to tackle many common summer beverage stains.
In her book Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, Cheryl Mendelson offers the following advice for most beverage stains: Soak the stain in cool water, then treat it with a prewash stain treatment product. Follow by laundering with a bleach safe for the fabric. For specific advice for particular spills, read on:
Iced Tea or Coffee (without milk)
Since these beverages are acidic, you’ll want to pretreat them with an acidic remedy, like lemon juice or white vinegar. Next, follow Cheryl’s advice for treating beverage stains (above).
Stain solutions for soft-drinks, sangria and more
Now that we’re in the thick of summer, the July Fourth party is a mere Facebook album and the days just keep getting hotter and hotter. All the while, summertime barbecue season remains in full swing. Grills are still fired up each weekend, drinks are still being poured and guests are still flowing on in. In the spirit of keeping things fresh this summer, a fleet of appetizers is going completely silverware-free, leaving the fork, spoon and knife behind.
Why go without utensils, you ask? Is it our snack-time nostalgia? Our back-to-nature sensibilities? Our last, desperate push at preventing a sink full of dishes? Well, sure, but there’s more to it than that. Fork-free appetizers are both inventive and practical, bearing the power to impress guests from the get-go with their quirky looks and hand-held feel. In the same way that you and your pals opt for the pretty bottle of hand soap at the store (it’s just so sleek), it’s all about packaging when it comes to social summertime dining. When they reach for Crab Cocktail Americana, the only thing swaddling the crustacean will be a delicate “bowl” made of Bibb lettuce. When they move on in for their chicken fix, they’ll grab it by the stick with the char-grilled Asian Chicken Skewers.
Looking for more silverware-free apps? Shimmy on over to Food Network’s Summer Entertaining Guide for more party-ready appetizers and easy summer party recipes.
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2012, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today, we’re exploring cucumbers.
Farmers’ markets are bursting with water-filled, crunchy cucumbers, a refreshing relief amidst the rising summer heat. With numerous no-cook cucumber recipes, there’s every reason to stock up on the green-skinned fruit for salads, soups, dips and more. These simple and refreshing recipes will get you through the hottest days of summer — no grilling required.
Before you get chopping, be sure to choose firm cucumbers, avoiding soft or shriveled spots. Once you’re home, store them in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Salads are an easy and effortless way to let cucumbers shine. For a delightful mix of sweet and savory, try this Watermelon-Cucumber Salad (pictured above), which is topped with creamy crumbled goat cheese. Or try Ellie Krieger’s Cucumber Salad, a mix of cucumbers, red onion and dill.
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The beginning of summer means a few things, but maybe the most important is that it’s the beginning of backyard barbecues and potluck parties.
I’m sure quite a few of you are hosting parties this summer and even more of you are planning to attend some fun soirees like graduation parties, birthday parties and classic Sunday suppers. I don’t know about you, but I love showing up to a party with something delicious in hand. And that something delicious has to also be something that can handle a trip in the car to a friend’s house in the summer heat.
One of my go-to potluck style dishes is this Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Ellie Krieger. The original recipe calls for almonds, but I like to give it a nice salty kick and replace the almonds with feta. It gives the dip a smooth and creamy consistency, which makes it perfect for some serious pita chip dipping. Not to mention it’s easy to bring to a friend’s house, and I can promise that your friends will become addicted to this dip as I am — they’ll be begging you for the recipe.
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Quick: Name the messiest summer foods you can imagine. Did barbecue come to mind? Between their savory sauces and their often hand-held nature (drumsticks, ribs), grilled goodies can really do a number of your clothing. When it comes to barbecue stains, “Prevention is half the battle,” says Tre Mitchell Wright, expert at Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science, who reminds us that even if you’re at a backyard barbecue, your pants are not a napkin. If you do end up with residual marks from either cooking or consuming barbecue, we’ve got you covered:
If you get charcoal dust on your clothing, always get rid of the charcoal residue while the stain is still dry. Do this by brushing it off or, in a situation where a whole bag of charcoal has exploded on you, you might even try using a vacuum. Tre says the next line of defense is to make a paste with a powder detergent and a little bit of water and apply it to the stain (a powder detergent is always a better bet for a particulate stain, which is a stain made up of tiny particles like charcoal). Work the paste into the stain and then launder the garment using the warmest water the garment can handle according to the care label. Check to make sure the stain has disappeared before drying.
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When I was 7 years old, my parents’ best friends opened a frozen yogurt business. Their store took plain yogurt and swirled in different fruits, bits of candy and sauces to make your ideal frozen treat. To a kid, having this kind of access to dessert was magical, and my sister and I would regularly beg to be taken to the shop on weekends and summer evenings (where they’d give us extra toppings and overflowing cups of yogurt).
Sadly, the flow of frozen yogurt soon ended when my family moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore. Not only did we leave our friends’ shop behind, the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest wasn’t nearly as welcoming to frozen yogurt as Southern California; frozen yogurt suddenly became quite hard to come by.
Still, thanks to that early conditioning, I’ve had a lifelong affinity for frozen yogurt. I’ve enjoyed the recent resurgence of shops selling the stuff in six or eight flavors, but I always wonder exactly what they’re putting in there to make it taste just like white chocolate or strawberries and cream.
Recently, with these concerns about what I was eating, I decided to try my hand at making my own frozen yogurt. I dug around for a recipe that used simple ingredients and found this one for Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from the Neelys. It features Greek yogurt, blueberries, lemon juice and just enough sugar to cut the tartness. It’s so tasty, it takes me right back to the frozen yogurt of my childhood and is perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start blending your berries, read these tips
Growing up as I did in a house filled with junk food, I had many options. Cookies lined the shelves, each vying for my attention, screaming “Pick me!”
Passing over crunchy chocolate chip, I would quickly made my way to the sandwich cookies. Nutter Butters were my all-time favorites. So much so that my homemade variety appears on the cover of my upcoming cookbook.
I waited all year for Girl Scout cookie season, particularly for the Do-Si-Dos. I’m not sure if it’s the cookies or the filling that I love more. If I had to choose, I would say it’s those soft, peanut-buttery middles.
Baking cookies from scratch allows you to think outside the cookie box for filling ideas. Of course, there is the classic cream filling (think the “stuff” of Oreos), which you can make at home by creaming three simple ingredients: butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. I love adding citrus zest, espresso powder, cocoa nibs or even peanut butter for a twist. Heck, you can even fold in Cap’n Crunch cereal. The beauty of a filled cookie is there are endless possibilities.
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Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
We can’t get enough corn in the summer. Whether you try these recipes this Fourth of July or keep them in your back pocket for upcoming barbecues, we came up with these variations so you could eat corn every day and not get bored.
First, start with the classic version