Tag: summer

Heading Off on Vacation? Don’t Forget to Pack These Food-Focused Books

by in Books, July 8th, 2015

The World on a PlateWhen summer heats up, there’s only one thing to do: pack your cooler, grab a good book and hit the beach. Even when we step out of the kitchen, our minds never wander far from delicious dishes, and we like our literature the way we like our pantry: overflowing with mouthwatering food. These are the books you’ll find in our beach bags this summer.

The World on a Plate by Mina Holland
If you’re looking for a book to double as an imaginary culinary vacation, The World on a Plate is the book for your beach bag. It won Best Culinary Travel Book in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and it’s easy to see why. Holland’s writing is open and engaging, and she teases your appetite, one country’s specialty dishes at a time. The food dances to life through history and cultural context. Once you read it, you’ll never again be able to peruse your pantry without seeing the storied histories and secret lives of some of your favorite ingredients — right down to the cinnamon and sugar in your favorite cookies. It’s a culinary and historical tour of world cuisine that includes everything from the most-prevalent flavor profiles and pantry staples to each cuisine’s signature recipes. The World on a Plate is the perfect summer read for the soul that has a serious (and seriously hungry) case of wanderlust. Order your copy here.

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How to Indulge on Vacation Without Losing Sight of Healthy Habits: Melissa’s Bare-Minimum Plan

by in Food Network Chef, July 5th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianI love summer vacation, don’t you?

But you know what I don’t love? Getting out of my routine, especially my healthy routines, such as eating well and working out. At home, I know exactly when I will go to the gym, who I will see there (my workout buddies — hi, Heather and Julie!) and what I will eat when I get home. I don’t have to think about it or waste any energy figuring out how to make that all happen; that’s one of the great benefits of setting up solid routines to support our life goals.

So what happens when I go on vacation? When I am out of my normal routine, and faced with an unfamiliar environment and a list of to-do’s (albeit fun ones!) that involve not just me but my family, too, I can easily find myself going days or even a couple of weeks without following my normal healthy-eating and workout routines. Sometimes, I actually am quite happy to embrace the indulgence and enjoy a little “time off.” Who wants to go to New York City and not enjoy its amazing restaurants?

For these times, I have created a “bare minimum” plan — things that I can do pretty much no matter where, no matter what — that will keep me at least a little on track while still allowing me to let go of the workout guilt and enjoy time off from the routine. Because vacation should be fun and guilt-free, right?

You ready? This is what I do when I am letting loose, and it’s totally doable:

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We’re Bringing Mac Back This Summer: 5 Best Macaroni Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, July 4th, 2015

Old-Fashioned Macaroni SaladMemorable because of the creamy mayonnaise-based dressing and mix-ins like hard-boiled eggs, smoky ham and crunchy celery, macaroni salad is a popular summer potluck pick, and many recipes can be made with just a few pantry staples and served in under 30 minutes. Browse below for twists on the traditional recipes, like the Neelys’, which adds pimento peppers, and one that uses mild cheddar cheese. Bring one of these macaroni salads to your next backyard get-together and you might notice that it’s finished before the meat even comes off the grill.

 Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad — For a true “down-home” side dish, try the Neelys’ take on macaroni salad (pictured above). They combine the classic ingredients, like freshly hard-boiled eggs, ham steak and mayonnaise, with pimento peppers for a Southern kick and pickle relish for a bit of unexpected sweetness. You’ll have to be patient to dig into this creamy salad, because the Neelys suggest refrigerating it for two hours, which allows the flavors to fully meld.

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Your Ultimate Summer Party Menu, Delivered

by in Recipes, Shows, July 4th, 2015

Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni SaladThe key to enjoyable summer entertaining is to keep the party simple, from the ingredients you shop for to the dishes and drinks you serve. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast came together to create the ultimate, one-stop guide for seasonal bashes, featuring recipes for crowd-pleasing dips, a bold chicken dinner and, because “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” of course, a fruity cocktail from Geoffrey Zakarian.

Since most summer soirees take place outside, perhaps around the pool or picnic table, keep the appetizer spread easily accessible with a trio of dips. Jeff Mauro’s Strawberry and Mango Guacamole comes together with just a handful of ingredients, letting the fresh fruit complement the spicy jalapeno add-in. For a classic mayonnaise-based option, stick with Geoffrey’s 20-minute Bacon and Egg Dip, a play on classic deviled eggs. In her Roasted Garlic and Frozen Veggie Dip, Sunny Anderson adds the warm flavor of roasted garlic to a cream cheese-laced mixture of processed vegetables for rich results.

When it comes to the main course, chicken is a perennial people-pleaser, and Katie Lee’s all-in-one recipe for Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni Salad (pictured above) is a must-try pick. To guarantee bold flavor in the meat, she seasons the chicken with a mixture of chili powder and garlic powder before grilling it until juicy and slathering it in barbecue sauce. The macaroni salad celebrates the traditional flavors of the beloved dish, which includes a tangy, sweet dressing spiked with yellow mustard and a pinch of sugar.

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6 Corn Recipes Begging for a Place at Your Summer Table

by in Recipes, July 3rd, 2015

Grilled Corn on the CobThe heavyweight champion of cookout season, sweet summer corn knows how to dance with every main dish at the table and often comes out swinging against even the pickiest eaters. From simply grilled corn on the cob to a fun spin on salsa and a shortcut way to revamp a classic dessert, get ready to find out why corn deserves the title of “Best Add-On” at your summer table.

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7 Recipes More Patriotic Than Red, White and Blue

by in Holidays, Recipes, July 2nd, 2015

Sweet Cola RibsWe can bet that a star-spangled Flag Cake, a berries-and-cream trifle and other red, white and blue treats will make a proud appearance at your 4th of July festivities. But painting your spread with the colors of our flag isn’t the only way to celebrate our nation’s independence. Get in the spirit by stocking your cookout menu with all-American cookout classics that scream “America” without bothering to be red, white and blue.

Not only are ribs on their own American treasures, but the Neelys’ Sweet Cola Ribs (pictured above) come with a glug of a national favorite — soda — in the sauce, which gives it a punch of unexpected sweetness. Smoking the ribs on indirect heat makes them the most-tender, delicious barbecue to serve on the 4th. Just make sure you provide napkins.

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How to Master Meat: Chef Tim Love’s Tips and Advice for a Scorching July 4th Cookout

by in In Season, Recipes, July 2nd, 2015

Tim LoveWhen it comes to manning the grill, Tim Love, a longtime chef and restaurateur, is all business. This born-and-bred Texan is known for his expert preparation of meat, fusing together classic Western flavors with modern ingredients and flavors. On the all-new summertime tournament Chopped Grill Masters (premiering July 14 at 10|9c), Love will takes his place among the roster of esteemed Chopped judges as a master of meat as he oversee the 16 grilling professionals who are trying to wow the panel with worthy barbecue fare.

Just in time for this weekend’s 4th of July party, FN Dish caught up with Tim, who’s also teamed up with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, which is celebrating a brand-new squeeze bottle, for his take on how to win the holiday cookout scene. From make-ahead favorites to his all-time favorite meat to grill, read on below to hear from Tim in an exclusive interview.

Come grilling season, which dish are you most looking forward to making every year? What do you crave most?
Tim Love: Nothing says summer like kebabs on the grill. There is just something about cubes of beef and veggies stuck on a stick over a flaming grill that makes me giddy. My go-to is Rosemary Steak Kebabs, because you can use the rosemary branches for skewers so it adds to the flavor.

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Portable Picks to Make and Take on July 4th — Summer Soiree

by in Holidays, Recipes, July 2nd, 2015

Red and White Double Dippers with Blue Corn ChipsFestivities for the 4th of July are coming up fast. No matter where you’re celebrating, whether at home, at a friend’s or in the great outdoors, making dishes that are easy to take on the go can be a game changer for your celebrations. Classic American dishes like burgers and hot dogs don’t generally transport well on the fly, but luckily we have a few make-and-take dishes up our sleeve that will make potlucking and picnicking on Independence Day go off without a hitch.

Bring an extra-easy, patriotic appetizer that doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to make from start to finish. Make quick red pepper salsa and creamy garlic-lime dip at home for Red and White Double Dippers with Blue Corn Chips. The dips are easy to pack up and bring, while the chips require just a trip to the store.

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Summer Cooking (and Eating), Alex Guarnaschelli Style

by in Food Network Chef, In Season, July 1st, 2015

Alex GuarnaschelliThe beauty of summertime eats and drinks is that it all comes down to simple, fresh fare, which just so happens to pair well with long days outside and the warm temperatures of the season. Recently FN Dish caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli at one such alfresco feast, where she was celebrating the launch of her partnership with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi to create a line of cookout-ready wine-infused barbecue sauces (you can buy them here). From her picks for seasonal entertaining to the secret to make-ahead appetizers, she shared her top ideas for summertime cooking, plus dished on what she piles on top of her ultimate burger. Read on below to hear what she had to say in an exclusive interview.

What’s your favorite way to entertain during the summer?
Alex Guarnaschelli: For a barbecue or a cookout — from Memorial Day through Labor Day and maybe even into October — I’m really big into the outdoor stuff. Because chefs are always locked indoors, we really appreciate those spring and summer months. I like to go nuts, and I think the best way to do that is to prepare a lot of stuff in advance. I definitely load my fridge door with a few salad dressings, vinaigrettes, sauces, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce. I might take that Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce and take it in a direction — I’ll add a big dose of fresh ginger, put it on shrimp. I’ll take that barbecue sauce and I’ll add a huge hit of chili powder and I’ll put it on a pork shoulder. You know, I might just take the personality of it and pull it. Because it’s got that wine flavor, those tannins. It’s almost like a dry barbecue sauce, like in the good sense, like a dry wine. I think that having all that stuff done in advance, for me, is huge. So when you talk about how charming it is, the butterflies and the unicorns and the rainbows, for me, it’s great when I have company over and I’m outdoors and I’ve lit the little tiki lamps and the food is out and people are drinking and we’re laughing and I’m not going back in the kitchen.

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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

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