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Thirsty Thursday: Ouzo Lemon Spritzer


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too.

When summer heat means long, lazy days, we need to take a step back and enjoy simplicity. Effortless cocktails, like this Ouzo Lemon Spritzer, rely on just a few flavorful ingredients.

This spritzer uses ouzo, an anise-flavored Greek aperitif that is often served deeply chilled on its own. The taste of the ouzo remains pure and aromatic when enhanced by only a few fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and a touch of soda water. It’s refreshing and simple, not to mention a great accompaniment to easy summer appetizers.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Summer Soiree: 5 Sizzling Skewers

May might be National Barbecue Month, but come July, the sun is hot and the grill is hotter. Spice things up with chicken skewers and an array of rich, tangy sauces for instantly party-perfect, swiftly satisfying summer fare. Whether your tastes run tiki, with a pineapple-chicken classic, or buffalo-style, give May a run for its mustard.

1. Chicken and Pineapple Skewers: Toasted pineapple adds just the right kick and summertime flare to this soy-glazed chicken (pictured above).

 

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Shock Metal Band GWAR Set to Open a Hot Dog Joint

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When you think of musical acts least likely to open a hot dog joint, ironic metal weirdos GWAR would have to be at the top of your list. After all, the group is known for spraying fake blood on the entire audience (and that’s the least offensive thing they do.) Well, guess what? GWAR are opening a hot dog joint for discerning foodies.

Richmond, Virginia’s appropriately named GWARbar will serve house-made dogs, burgers and all manner of expertly prepared bar food. This is no downscale joint, either. The menu is being prepared by GWAR member ‘BalSac, the Jaws of Death’ who, in addition to liking scrotum-based puns, counts a few known chefs as his friends.

The food may not be disgusting, but the decor is sure to be. It’ll be made up of GWAR memorabilia, including costumes, suits of armor and, of course, original sculptures. Let’s hope they ixnay the fake blood.

Hump Day Snack: Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs

Sometimes on these hot, muggy summer days, even firing up the outdoor grill can seem impossible. Keep the grilling spirit alive in a remarkably cooler with this DIY Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs. Summer’s perfect fruit comes in many shapes and sizes, but for this crowd-pleaser, a round watermelon about the size of a small soccer ball is ideal. Use a melon-baller to hollow it out, saving the sweet spheres for pretty, petite fruit kabobs. Wooden skewers pushed through the halved melon create the grill’s grates, while blackberries or other dark-hued berries play the role of the charcoal underneath. Use stalks of celery or carrots to fashion a base, so the grill stands upright, and chop chunks of your favorite fruits (like pineapples, strawberries or peaches) to complete the fruit kabobs on top. It’s a sure-fire way to heat things up for summer – no open flames, smokers or grilling tools required.

For more ways to celebrate summer without firing up the barbeque, check out some of Cooking Channel’s fruity favorites:

The Joy of Pickling

If you haven’t started pickling yet, it’s time to hop on the hipster bandwagon and get out the mason jars. Sure, it involves turning on the stove during the summer, but the payoff — both in flavor and health benefits — is worth it.

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This Cooler Brings 21st Century Amenities to Camping

The only problem with the great outdoors is the distinct lack of the kinds of stuff you can do in the great indoors. What if you want to enjoy a freshly made smoothie as you and a bear watch the sunrise together? What then? Well, thankfully, here’s a cooler that lets you do that and more.

The Coolest (actual name) is a tech-friendly cooler that’ll bring a little taste of civilization to your camping experience. Not only is it a working cooler, which is perfect for storing beer and soda, it’s also a blender, cutting board, USB charger, Bluetooth speaker and, of course,  bottle opener. It also has storage areas for plates and utensils, if you are into that whole eating thing.

Now the bad news. This modern marvel isn’t out on store shelves. You’ll have to pre-order a unit from its Kickstarter site, which has already raised over 80 times the funding estimate. The Coolest will set you back $185.

Dinner Rush! Tagliatelle with Four-Herb Pesto

Here’s a simple bit of arithmetic: What do you get when you combine a day that is 110 percent full with zero time to make dinner and an average air temperature of 89 degrees plus 75 percent humidity? If we’re both doing our math correctly, near effortless pasta with a four-herb pesto sounds like a pretty solid answer.

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G. Garvin’s Big Island, Hawaii Travel Tips

The Sheraton Kona's Luau

The Big Island, or Hawaii Island, is a must-see when visiting Hawaii. Its small population and breathtaking scenery make it a quiet getaway. Restaurants source local ingredients and infuse them with culture. Do not miss The Big Island, including Kona, when you hop on a plane and visit, and make sure you get a tour of the black-sand beaches.

Big Jake’s Island BBQ
Sam Choy knows I love good barbecue, so I’m glad he took me here. Big Jake set down his smoker in 1997, and customers have flocked to it ever since. This modest but mighty spot is known for its Southern smoked meats and Hawaiian keawe mesquite. You’ll enjoy eating outdoors while dining on brisket, ribs and chicken.

Umeke’s
If you haven’t tried poke yet, you definitely need to at Umeke’s. Nakoa Pabre’s flavor combinations will amaze you and make you think of tuna in a different way. He uses fresh ingredients like avocado, fern salad and fruit to create unbelievable dishes.

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Sifted: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge, Pop Rocks Truffles + More

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

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• If you need a better way to eat cookie dough than just off the spoon, it’s time for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Studded Fudge. UK-based Twigg Studios mixed morsels of eggless cookie dough into buttery fudge for an unbeatable two-in-one treat.

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Watch the Premiere of Bite This with Nadia G Online

Nadia G rocked your kitchen; now it’s time to rock your city! Taking her epic passion for food on the road, Bite This follows the adventures of the Bitchin’ Crew as they travel to America’s hottest culinary meccas.

In last night’s season premiere, Nadia tracked down some of the best grub Los Angeles has to offer, from outrageous Indian-fusion Poutine with Chicken Tikka to the best burger in the world. Stream the full episode now:

Tune in to new episodes of Bite This every Monday at 10pm ET to get a taste of a new city through the eyes, ambitions and appetite of Nadia G.

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