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Posts Tagged ‘summer entertaining’

Dean and Tori Know How to Throw a Summer Party

There are few better ways to celebrate the height of watermelon season and those perfectly ripe peaches at the market than by highlighting real farm-to-table eating. Dean McDermott’s advice for planning a delicious menu is, “Buy vegetables with dirt on them, because that tells you how fresh they are.” For a lesson in hosting a beautiful backyard dinner party, tune in Friday, August 23, at 8pm ET for the Cooking Channel special, Dean and Tori’s Backyard Bash.

When Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling go with their four children to Underwood Family Farms, they are inspired by the pick-your-own strawberries they gather in the field and the colorful produce that lines the market shelves.  From blush-hued peaches to plump watermelon, Dean grabs what inspires him and begins creating a menu.

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Summer Entertaining Week on Cooking Channel

Late summer is a great time for entertaining guests, and nothing brings people together better than good food. When produce is this good, and when the weather is perfect for grilling, there’s really no better time for summer entertaining.

Start tonight, August 18, at 8pm ET with a special episode of Unwrapped as Marc Summers takes you on an exploration of America’s favorite summertime treats. Then start thinking outside the grill, so to speak, on Tuesday, August 20, as Chef Roger Mooking teams up with grilling expert, Chef Elizabeth Karmel to create a smoky, fire-kissed menu featuring Grilled Duck with Spicy Watermelon Glaze (pictured above), Buffalo Burgers, Baked Bean Bruschetta, Grilled Garden Greens and much more. On Wednesday, August 21, Kelsey Nixon turns to the slow cooker for an easy summer menu that won’t leave you tied up in the kitchen while trying to entertain guests.

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Kelsey’s Top 3 Summer Entertaining Tips

Summer entertaining is my favorite kind of entertaining — it’s relaxed, laid-back and easy-breezy. I recently hosted a summer soiree to celebrate my son Oliver’s first birthday (in real life, not on Kelsey’s Essentials!). It was one of the first parties I threw this summer, and we all had a blast. No party is ever perfect, but I feel that this one was a success because I followed a few essential summer entertaining tips.

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6 Dutch Oven and Slow Cooker Meals for Summer

Though your slow cooker and Dutch oven are surely packed away in a dark corner of your kitchen cabinet, it’s time to take them out and dust them off. It may seem foolish to break out these heavy-duty pots that normally turn out hearty, cold-weather meals, but there really is no better time to put these pots to use for an easy-to-prep, summery spread.

With the right recipes and some seasonal ingredients, a summer cookout can come together in a cinch, so you can have Drip Beef or Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches waiting and ready as soon as your guests show up with bowls of coleslaw and potato salad. Your pots will do all the work of cooking and braising, so you can pull off a simple and delicious summer meal.

Here are 6 summer-inspired recipes that will keep your pots busy:

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Thirsty Thursday: A Summery Sangria

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. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

When it comes to summer entertaining, there’s one crucial component to success: sangria.

Okay, maybe that’s just my opinion, but nothing quite says “good host” like a pitcher of chilled red wine bursting with textured, alcohol-infused fruit. It’s a laid-back bevvy that’s easy to drink and even easier to make for a crowd.

The three main components to this playful patio beverage are wine, fruit and a spirit. In this version, a Spanish Rioja is mixed with either orange liqueur or brandy and is chock-full of plump, black cherries, orange and lemon slices, and fresh peaches. Top with chilled soda water to taste, and serve over ice. Since summer means that all sorts of fruits and berries are at their sweetest and juiciest, feel free to adjust the recipe according to what’s in season at your market. This sangria will benefit from just about any ripe summer fruit you have on hand.

Bottoms up, folks.

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Sifted: Homemade Funfetti, Boozy Foods and Summertime Treats

The Baker Chick's Funfetti Layer Cake

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Boxed mix funfetti is irresistible, but homemade is even better! The Baker Chick made the colorful layer cake from Momofuku Milk Bar and we’re stunned by the results.
  2. Salad for breakfast? If by that you mean a poached egg atop avocado and prosciutto, we’re in! – The Kitchn
  3. Chocolate covered pretzels might not be the best match for the sun. But Tikkido’s royal icing covered pretzels are a sweet and salty snack that can stand up to the heat.
  4. It’s pool party season. These yogurt and chocolate stuffed strawberries from ChefMom are a healthy and delicious snack your kids will love.
  5. Boozy foods: Tartlet Sweets takes banana nut bread to a whole new level with bourbon.

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A Cocktail: Your Crucial Ingredient to Summer Entertaining

You really can’t beat entertaining in the summertime.  It’s not fussy or complicated like having people over for the holidays or Thanksgiving — everyone just piles into the back yard, breaks open a beer and snacks on yummy side dishes while you get your grill on.

A missed opportunity is often in the cocktail arena. Never underestimate how easy it is to impress your guests by handing them a frosty, alcoholic beverage the moment they arrive with the potato salad. Make up a batch of something delicious ahead of time — like Chuck’s Tequila Lemonade (above) — and all you have to do is pour and garnish.

Here are my picks for the hottest cocktails this summer:

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Get to Know: Local Butchers

Your local butcher can be your guide to custom-ground burgers.

Meat-eaters of America, grilling season starts with burgers. And great burgers start with great meat, freshly ground. Which is why this grilling season is the perfect time to start a relationship — with your butcher.

Find yourself a good full-service butcher — someone who grinds daily, and grinds to order. Just as importantly, find someone you can talk to. That someone holds the key to carnivore happiness.

The following list is intended to help you in your search. Call it grill season matchmaking. All the places below grind beef fresh daily. Some even make their own proprietary burger blend. But at these establishments you needn’t feel limited by what’s already in the meat case. Any good butcher will be happy to grind whole cuts for you. Chuck roast, which has great flavor and a fat-to-lean ratio well-suited to burgers, is always a good burger choice on its own. But try mixing in some brisket or adding some short rib and top round to the mix and see what a difference it makes. Better yet, solicit some ideas from the guy behind the counter. Get to know him!

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