Tag: summer

Buy These Fruits Now and Preserve Them for Later

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2015

As summer winds down, the thought of no longer seeing local strawberries and stone fruits is already making me yearn for another month of warm weather and seasonal produce. But not all is lost! You can buy fresh fruit now and preserve the produce with recipes for easy jams and preserves. Don’t be afraid to do it yourself: Canning jam is easy enough and means you can be eating summer fruit long past their market-fresh appearances.

Easy Strawberry Jam (pictured above)
Ina Garten loves to use big pieces of hulled, fresh strawberries in her jam, so she cuts the berries only in half. She adds superfine sugar (which melts really quickly), but if you can’t find it, you can blend your own in the food processor. Orange-flavored liqueur will bring out the sweetness of the strawberries, and a chopped green apple will help thicken the jam; a few blueberries will add depth of flavor and create a great deep-red color. The mixture will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks. But if you want to store it for longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Beat the Heat with Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks

by in Books, Drinks, August 8th, 2015

Punch Bowls and Pitcher DrinksAs the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).

Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:

  • The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
  • Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
  • Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
  • Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.

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10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, August 6th, 2015

Heirloom Tomato PieTomatoes aren’t like other types of in-season produce that we lose our minds over when they reach their peak (we’re lookin’ at you, peaches). We eat tomatoes year-round — no matter the season — and we rely upon shelf-stable staples like canned plum tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes and more to get us through. Right now, however, tomatoes are juicier and sweeter than ever, and with great bounty comes great responsibility. A true tomato whisperer and lover of all things tomato — a champion of tomato cookin’ — holds these 10 peak-season values true all season long.

1. Makes a Different Kind of Pie

Countless times, you’ve beckoned the delivery dude or even made your own pizza pie from scratch. But now that tomatoes are in their prime, slathering a pie in from-the-jar marinara would be a travesty. Do as Food Network Magazine does and make a picturesque Heirloom Tomato Pie (pictured above) that would never dare show up in a cardboard pizza box. With a buttery cornmeal crust, fresh herbs, Manchego cheese and mozzarella, this elegant beauty is crowned with a gorgeous sunset-spectrum of mixed heirloom tomatoes.

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Food Network Staffers’ Favorite Vacation Eats

by in Recipes, Restaurants, August 4th, 2015

If you’re a food obsessive like us, good eats are at the epicenter of your summer travel plans. Here are the summer vacation tastes we FoodNetwork.com staffers fantasize about for the rest of the year — and the recipes that help us re-create those lazy beach days (or Parisian adventures!) back home. Read more

6 Kid-Tested Cold Dinners for Hot Summer Nights

by in Family, Recipes, August 1st, 2015

Capellini with Tomatoes and BasilThe idea of cooking a hot dinner in the summertime reminds me of asking my kids to clean up their rooms, because the answer to both is the same: “I’m too tired!” That’s why I love this list of cook-ahead or no-cook ideas for easy summer dinners. Each one is kid-tested by my own four rascals but delicious enough for every adult at the table to enjoy as well.

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil (pictured above): Just another 5-star recipe from Ina Garten, this one has tender noodles soaked in sweet tomato juices. These noodles practically beg to be slurped, so have those napkins ready.

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9 (Mostly) No-Bake Icebox Cakes

by in Recipes, July 31st, 2015

Mocha Chocolate Icebox CakeWhen summer decides to crank up the heat, it’s almost impossible to think about turning on the oven. Blueberry cobbler and cherry pie may be your favorite seasonal treats, but baking isn’t fun when the temperature rises past the 90s (as it did in much of the country this week). Don’t discount, however, the possibility of a showstopping cake. On the hottest of days, icebox cake is your secret weapon.

Traditionally, icebox cake is composed of layers of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. Left to chill in the fridge overnight, the wafers soften and take on the texture of cake but keep the taste of cookie. While the classic formula is perfect in itself, there’s a lot of room for creativity using the same technique. Take Ina Garten’s 5-star recipe, for example, which sandwiches spiked mocha mascarpone cream between crispy chocolate chip cookies. The result is known to “make grown men weep,” according to Ina, and she herself has declared it as being not only the easiest cake she’s ever made but also her favorite. That said, her recipe is a good place to start. But don’t fret if you’re not a coffee lover — there’s an icebox cake for everyone.

Get the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe here, and scroll down below for more amazing icebox-cake recipes to satisfy every type of sweet tooth.

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A Complete Menu of No-Cook Recipes for the Whole Day — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, July 30th, 2015

Papaya-Banana SmoothieWhen your clothes are sticking to your skin and you refuse to be outside for more than 30 seconds, the last thing that makes sense is turning on the oven or stove. But here’s the thing: You still gotta eat, even on a hot day. When it’s too hot to turn on the heat, go for crazy-good No-Cook Summer Recipes that make it possible for you to still eat homemade breakfasts, salads, soups and more.

Start off your day of beating the heat by blending up Bobby Flay’s 5-minute Papaya-Banana Smoothie. With Greek yogurt, real fruit and ice cubes on board, this ice-cold healthy breakfast makes hot mornings a whole lot easier to deal with.

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No-Bake Frozen S’mores Cheesecake

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2015

No-Bake Frozen S'mores CheesecakeI am all about easy and fun this summer. We strive to spend as much time outside as possible, but when I am inside, in front of a hot oven is the last place I want to be. That’s why this recipe is a great one: It has a really fun and eye-catching design, and it is NO-BAKE!

This dessert was made with special care to honor the traditional s’more as much as possible. It has a thick graham cracker crust, and a rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake center topped with an ooey-gooey layer of melted marshmallows.

Get the recipe

Summer Cooking Projects for Kids  

by in Family, July 27th, 2015

Now that school’s been out for several weeks, the initial excitement has worn off and you may find yourself searching for creative ways to keep the kids occupied. Why not let them try their hand in the kitchen? Cooking projects are a great way to bond with your little ones while letting them explore new flavors and discover new favorites. Here are some ideas to let your kids take the reins in your kitchen and get them away from that pesky TV screen. Read more

Here’s the Scoop on Homemade Frozen Treats: DIY Ice Cream, Sorbet and Sherbet

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2015

Just remember back to when you were a kid in an ice cream store — was there really a better feeling than getting to have your own scoop of a frozen treat on a hot summer day? Whether they come in a cone or cup, topped with hot fudge or decked out with sprinkles, chilly treats are tough to resist. And while heading to your local creamery makes for a fun outing, making a homemade variety of ice cream, sherbet and sorbet has a deliciously sweet payoff. And here’s the good news: You don’t always need to have special equipment to make it. Try Sunny Anderson’s Buttermilk-Pecan Ice Cream recipe, which comes together in less than 30 minutes with freezer bags, salt and ice — just give the ingredients a good shake and you’ll have a creamy dessert in a hurry. Keep reading below for more sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes.

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