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Posts Tagged ‘summer recipes’

Better Burgers for Your July 4th Party

Cripsy Tuna Cake Sliders

These Crispy Tuna Cake Sliders are a great lighter alternative to the classic burger.

When it comes to grilling, Burger is King. It always seems that when people gather, stomachs and minds in grilling mode, they can’t help but salivate over that delicious patty they’re about to layer on a bun with their favorite toppings, slather in sauces and sink their teeth into. These days, though, everyone seems to be on one special diet or another, or eager to venture beyond their burger-comfort zone. How do you please an entire crowd when one person is watching their cholesterol, another is vegetarian and half of your guests are bored with beef burgers?

We feel your pain and are here to help. Check out some of these alternatives to the classic burger. Use them as recipes and inspiration to please your crowd of hungry friends:

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Retro Red, White & Boozy Jell-O Dessert

There’s something about Jell-O — chilled, jiggly gelatin in an array of fruity flavors and colors — that screams summertime. The easy, from-a-box dessert is perfect for hot summer days, transforming from spoonable treat to cool liquid once it hits the tongue. Set the gelatin in some shapely molds, mix in a few surprising ingredients and — voila! You’ve got yourself a perfect warm-weather party dessert with a wow factor.

To kick off my series of posts for Cooking Channel, and to celebrate July 4th, I’ve created a Jell-O mold with an elegant, adult twist (think: Jell-O shot meets dinner party dessert). Strawberries and blueberries are suspended in boozy, effervescent, ginger ale-laced gelatin, and topped with whipped cream for that full red, white and blue effect.

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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.

Craving more?

Happy Father’s Day!

Best Recipes for Father’s Day

Grilled Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Grilled Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe

I inherited my banana bread recipe from my future mother-in-law; it’s the only recipe my fiancé claims is worth making. I’ve made a few changes of my own to the recipe over the past few years, and now it’s the only recipe I claim is worth making. My secrets? I roast the bananas to bring out their natural sweetness (no need to let them rot on your counter). Both butter and a splash of oil keep the bread moist for days, and vanilla bean paste adds a certain something extra you can’t quite put your finger on.

Banana bread — especially this banana bread — is delicious all year round, but how ’bout a little summertime makeover? Think grilled banana bread ice cream sandwiches, a fun twist on an old classic! The best part? These are so simple you almost don’t need a recipe. I threw the bread on the grill to add a nice toasty flavor and to help it stand up in the freezer. When it came to choosing ice cream flavors, I got a little crazy. Vanilla made for a classic ice cream sandwich, but my favorite pairing was rich and creamy coconut gelato — such an amazing flavor combination. If you get really adventurous, try using your own homemade ice cream. (I went with banana. Oh my word.) Then the possibilities are truly endless!

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Party With a Purpose: Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival


Sweetlife Festival 2012 Cooking Channel

Cooking Channel takes you behind the scenes at the 2012 Sweetlife Festival.

This past Saturday, Cooking Channel went behind the scenes of the East Coast’s most eco-friendly music and food event of the season: Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival.

Sweetgreen, a DC-based salad restaurant known for locally-sourced ingredients and sustainable practices, is expanding fast and bringing its unique salads and eco-friendly philosophy of “living the sweetlife” with it. While jamming to indie-pop, alt-rock, electronic and hip-hop, fans chowed down on eco-friendly fare from all-natural chicken sliders to organic kettle corn, all washed down with earth-conscious cocktails.

Check out the best bites paired with the best music from the festival, plus get Sweetgreen’s best salad recipe to try at home:

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Friday Food Fight: Corn-Tomato Salad

Mark Bittman and Kelsey Nixon

Who makes a better summer corn-and-tomato salad — Mark or Kelsey?

Welcome to Friday Food Fight, where we pit two similar recipes against each other and leave it to you, Cooking Channel fans, to tell us which you like better — or why your own take on the dish beats them both!

This week, we’ve got two takes on an August favorite: the corn-and-tomato salad. Both are at their peak right now, so we turned to foolproof recipes from Mark Bittman and Kelsey Nixon to take full advantage of the summer produce bounty before it’s too late.

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The Best 3-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce Finished

I’m what you’d call a tomato purist. Yep, you know the type: picking tomatoes off salads three quarters of the year, throwing expletives when restaurants dare use mealy, tomatoes in the summer, then eating my weight in caprese salads and tomato tarts and roasted tomatoes and BLTs (heavy on the Ts) all August long.

And of course, there’s tomato sauce — lots of it. If the stuff is made with summer tomatoes, it’s pretty hard for it to be bad. But the best way to highlight summer tomatoes is with three simple ingredients: tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.

I know, not exactly revolutionary. Throw these guys in a pot together haphazardly and you’re likely to get something pretty delicious. But with a little extra care — slivering the garlic, softening it in olive oil, chopping and seeding the tomatoes — it turns into something spectacular, and spectacularly addictive. Here’s how you make it.

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Fan Favorite Recipes for Fresh Summer Produce

Giada's Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

This time of year, there’s tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to put to use. Whether it’s blueberries, heirlooms, corn, squash or eggplants you crave, we’ve got recipes galore to get you going. From Bal Anerson’s Zucchini Paneer to Kelsey’s Cucumber, Meyer Lemon and Lavender Granita, we couldn’t help but notice how Cooking Channel Fans have been keeping up to date with the summer’s freshest bounty. With all the great reviews, twists and tweaks piling up, we’re back for another call out to the ones that caught our attention.

Light and summery, Giada’s Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad (above) comes to life with fresh basil and mint, and crunch pine nuts.

“YUM… a super easy/fast recipe with intense flavor. I used an herb-garlic goat cheese — it’s what we had in the fridge. My wife loved it. I loved it. I’d make this for guests. Thanks Giada!!!” — digrst in Southern California

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To Farmers Markets We Go

Shop at your local market during National Farmers Market Week.

For many, summer weekends mean days of briny sunning and swimming, lounging by pools and picnicking in parks. But here at Cooking Channel, one of our favorite summer pastimes is visiting local farmers markets and choosing amongst their bounty of fresh produce like kids in a candy store. Every trip offers the possibility of happening across a new vegetable variety or getting lost in conversation with passionate growers about their choices for cooking and consumption. (It’s kind of like a food lover’s summer camp.) 

Whether you’re a weekly regular or have yet to explore what your neighboring markets have to offer, August is the perfect time for strolling amongst aisles of produce-filled bins. For a too-short period of time, beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini are at their finest.

To celebrate this cornucopia of the summer harvest, the USDA has declared this week National Farmers Market Week, encouraging the 6,000-plus nationwide markets to host events and offer specials. (Not sure where to find the closest markets? This handy search engine enables you to locate them by zip code.) Check individual market websites to see what specials might be offered through this Thursday.

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