Tag: summer

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

by in News, June 30th, 2015

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What's the Difference?Gelato, that Italian dessert staple, is gaining U.S. fans, with sales hitting an estimated $214 million in 2014, an $11 million increase from 2009, and driving growth in the frozen dairy dessert market. But did you ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato — or if it’s just a matter of semantics and a higher price point?

In fact, gelato is really quite distinct from ice cream, NPR’s The Salt blog notes. Citing gelato expert and author Morgan Morano, writer Linda Poon sketches out a few key differences:

Creaminess: Gelato is creamier, smoother and silkier, as well as denser and more elastic and fluid, than American ice cream.

Ingredients: While both gelato and ice cream contain cream, milk and sugar, authentic gelato uses more milk and less cream than ice cream and generally doesn’t use egg yolks, which are a common ingredient in ice cream. Read more

6 Kid-Tested Zucchini Dishes for Summer

by in Family, Recipes, June 30th, 2015

Zucchini Ribbon PastaIf you’re a gardener, or you’ve been to the grocery store and seen it on sale, you know the zucchini has officially arrived. We have a ton of the stuff popping up in our small garden beds every day, which means we’re eating a ton of the stuff every day. These are my favorite kid-tested zucchini recipes, offering enough variety to keep everyone eating the good stuff all summer long.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta: Long tendrils of zucchini combined with tender fettuccine noodles are the base of Ellie Krieger’s lightened-up Italian meal (pictured above). But it’s the garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top that make it truly mouthwatering.

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Debunking Myths: How to Grill the Ungrillable

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2015

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetable Spaghetti Foil PackIf you think of your grill as basically a big oven with a lid, you can cook just about anything on it — providing you have the right vessel. In the spirit of the hungry camper craving a fresh-baked brownie in the middle of the forest, here are nine “ungrillable” items that are great prepared over hot coals. (For the secret to the brownies, see below.)

Spaghetti with Sauce: Skip the unwieldy pot of boiling water and seal up fresh tomatoes, eggplant, dry pasta and some water in a packet of heavy-duty foil, place on the grill and voila! A hearty sauced spaghetti with a deep simmered taste. Get the recipe here.

French Toast: Buttered nonstick foil is the secret here. Use it to wrap 2 slices of eggy soaked bread, arranging the pieces side by side (not stacked). Grill over medium-high heat with the top down, flipping once after 5 minutes. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand for drizzling. Get the full recipe here.

Brownies: Fill a metal (not glass, please) pan with batter, place over an unlit burner on a grill prepared for medium-high heat, cover and bake; check for doneness often.

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How to Make Dairy-Free Ice Cream with a Creamy Coconut Base

by in Recipes, June 27th, 2015

Cool and creamy, light yet rich, ice cream has the ability to satisfy your cravings without filling you up. It’s these qualities that make frozen treats the perfect ending to just about any meal.

Making dairy-free versions of traditional desserts often involves a few extra steps, from making a nut-based milk or cream to replacing an egg by mixing ground flax seeds with water. These additional steps can put home cooks off, as they take extra time and ingredients, and create more dirty dishes, too. This recipe for vegan ice cream is the exception — it’s actually easier and faster than ones with traditional dairy and egg ice cream bases. It can easily be done by beginners and experienced ice cream churners alike. There’s no extended time spent over the stove awaiting the moment the custard thickens and no reason to worry that you’ll scramble the eggs if your mixture cooks too long. All you need to do for this ice cream is warm coconut milk and thicken it with a little dissolved arrowroot powder before cooling and churning — it’s that easy! Infusing the milk with vanilla bean adds great flavor but can be skipped in a pinch. This ice cream is the perfect base for a variety of mix-ins, and some of my favorites are included below.

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The Top Picnic Mistakes to Avoid, and How to Fix Them If They Happen, Plus Boozy Bubbles to Pack in the Basket

by in Books, In Season, June 26th, 2015

The PicnicWhen it comes to summer picnics, you’ll be hard pressed to find better resources for tips, tricks and menus than Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson of the Portland Picnic Society. They’ve assembled the only picnic guide you’ll ever need in their new book, The Picnic. The Picnic has everything from the rules for common lawn games and 99 uses for Mason jars to delicious recipes and menu ideas. The book is perfect for the novice picnicgoer, with guides for packing your basket and how big a blanket to get, and a list of essential tools everyone always forgets.

One of the most-useful parts of The Picnic is the crisis-aversion section of the book, where 10 common picnic disasters are triaged proactively for you. Planning a picnic before you can snag your own copy of the book? Keep the following details in mind.

1. Bathroom Break: Nothing ruins a picnic like having to go, with no relief in sight. Scout the state of your picnic site’s restrooms upon arrival. If they’re locked or loathsome, search for the nearest coffeehouse and inform your friends of its location.

2. Beat the Heat: If it’s a real sizzler of a day, surprise your fellow guests with a Mediterranean-scented cooldown: Add a few drops of rose, citrus or lavender oil to chilled miniature spray bottles of water and distribute them to the crowd. (Paper fans work, too.)

3. Battle of the Bugs: Summer bugs are a picnic plague. Bring an arsenal of citronella votives and bug spray. To keep unwelcome sweet-tea swimmers at bay, try this easy trick for transforming a Mason jar: Remove the lid and set it aside. Take a square of decorative paper, punch a hole in it, lay it over the lip of your jar, replace the ring and poke a straw through the hole. Drink elsewhere, bugs.

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7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, June 25th, 2015

Mesa Grill's Southwestern Potato SaladWhen you’re cooking a spread in the name of summer, you better bet a side of potato salad will make the cut. For your next cookout or backyard bash, load up on our favorite takes on this American great. Each of these summery recipes comes with an edge that separates it from the rest.

1. Make it spicy.

Potato salad is even better when you counter its creamy vibes with the heat of chipotle pepper puree and cayenne. Bobby Flay shares Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad (pictured above), which strikes a perfect balance of cool creaminess and Southwestern spice.

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Chill Out with Hand-Held Frozen Treats

by in Recipes, June 25th, 2015

Attempting to eat with a fork while balancing a drink in one hand and a plate in another is a universal party buzzkill. At summer cookouts, we tend to avoid silverware and go hand-held — think burgers, hot dogs, grilled wings and corn on the cob. So why not keep your party sweets utensil-free too? The ice cream cone is the quintessential hand-held frozen treat, but that involves scooping to order. Here are five cool desserts that you can make ahead, then freeze and forget. Just grab ‘em straight from the freezer for the finale of your 4th of July bash or any weekend gathering. Read more

Pucker Up: 9 Lemonades to Cool Off with This Summer

by in Drinks, June 24th, 2015

We’ve all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Before you cue the eye rolls, let me clarify: I’m not preaching a life motto. I’m preaching the splendor of lemonade — sweet-tart, thirst-quenching lemonade. Chilled with ice and freshly squeezed, it completes every summer picnic, barbecue or block party. Escape the summer heat with the refreshing beverage in its many forms — classic, fruit filled, slushy and more — with these simple recipes.

Classic
Since we’re on a roll with the cliches, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Equal parts sweet and tart, Ree Drummond’s Perfect Homemade Lemonade (pictured at top) is your go-to lemonade for picnics, cookouts and more. The tried-and-true combination of sugar, water and freshly squeezed lemon juice is simple yet timeless — and guaranteed to please any crowd.

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6 Ways to Fill Up on Watermelon

by in Recipes, June 21st, 2015

Watermelon Breakfast PopsNothing says summer like biting into a ripe, juicy slice of watermelon, particularly when it’s fresh off the rind. Though the purists may say there’s no better way to eat watermelon, we’d argue that it’s time to get your fill of this in-season fruit by incorporating it into all of your meals. Consider this your personal watermelon bucket list: six recipes for anytime of day.

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6 Slab Pies to Save Your Cookout Quandaries

by in Recipes, June 20th, 2015

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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