The days are lengthening and the weather is warming up, which means it’s time to make space in the fridge for watermelons and chilled rosé. But before you start designing summer playlists or planning a wine party, here are a few quick projects to help you start the season fresh.
Don’t worry — there are no big pantry overhauls or oven cleanings on this list. All five projects are simple, one-hour-or-less ways to invite new energy in and get ready for laid-back living.
Even for someone who’s a fan of vegetables, I find that trying to eat enough feels more like a chore than it should. More often than not, I end up sticking with the same old green salad or roasted vegetable routine every day at lunch and dinner, which can get pretty boring.
So I reached out to a few food bloggers and writers who spend their days eating mostly vegetables for some tips on how to not only eat more vegetables, but also make it even more enjoyable to do so.
Last week, because we are edgy, rebellious and pretty much the dictionary definition of renegades, we broke the law. We decided we’d had enough of having an outdoor space and no fire-breathing apparatus to exercise our American-given right to burn food on in the summer months and brought home the tiniest, safest and most docile grill ever manufactured, basically the fluffy kitten of the barbecue landscape. As I figure we’re going to be asked to remove it any moment now, all of my previous summer goals have be redirected to the following: enjoying every second of it while it lasts. We are going to grill everything. I am halfway to fulfilling my fantasy of setting all my food on fire.
We started with chicken, however, because in real life I am not exactly Francis Mallmann (I’m sorry to disappoint). We had a small crowd for dinner last Thursday (in advance of this guy’s guitar recital) and because we are officially at a point when I find cooking anything extra, no matter how wiped out I am, still more appealing than finding a restaurant that can accommodate 6 grown-ups, a 6-year old and a 10.5 month old fireball. I bet the restaurants thank us, too.
If you’re looking for a memorable restaurant meal in New York, JJ Johnson has what you need. Johnson is the executive chef of the The Cecil, a critically acclaimed restaurant in Harlem that specializes in Afro-Asian cooking. The dishes coming out of that kitchen are among the most innovative I’ve had in some time, so naturally I needed to get his favorite pint of ice cream.
This is Chef JJ Johnson’s favorite pint of ice cream and how he transforms the classic flavor into something special.
Nothing says Boston in Summer like a Red Sox game, and to make it even more wicked, they are playing the Yankees (eek)! Now is the time: enter to win the ultimate Boston getaway complete with a stay at the breathtaking Royal Sonesta. So enjoy the game, catch a concert, ride that famous duck and get your behind on over to Beantown!
You may be under the impression that we spend all of our free time toiling away in the kitchen, cooking each and every meal from scratch — but that’s far from the truth. We’re just as busy as the rest of the world, which means we too rely on shortcuts to make getting dinner on the table a little less chaotic.
I cook with a cast iron pan almost every day. I have one on my stove at all times so it’s within easy reach. All cooks have their “thing” — trusted measuring cups, a special knife, or a beloved wooden spoon — cast iron is mine. I could say that I use it because my mama or my grandma did, because that’s true. I have a cherished collection that spans almost 100 years, ranging from my maternal great-great-grandmother Lawson’s and my paternal grandma’s everyday pans, to a couple 15-inch Lodge skillets bought at Target and a modern, octagonal-shaped pan sent by friends in Portland. Their presence in my kitchen certainly is heartfelt and handy. To me, though, cast iron is so much more. Everything I know about cooking is connected to a cast iron pan. I value and trust that implicitly.
Summer just wouldn’t be complete without firing up the grill. Not only does grilling help us beat the heat in the kitchen, but it also gives food a smoky aroma and taste that’s downright satisfying. Whether you’re stepping in front of a grill for the first time or you’re a seasoned pro, these tips will get you set for a summer of better grilling.