The mercury is supposed to rise to 104 today. Welcome to the Texas summer. I for one cringe at the thought of cooking, yet that tub of spring mix keeps glaring back at me from the fridge in a challenge. "What are you gonna do with me, huh? Tomatoes again?!" So, a quick peruse of the recipes from our friends at Sur la Table got me inspired with some fresh summer salads, pizzas you can bake on the grill and refreshing summer bevvies to keep you cool and relaxed. OH, and might want to dust off the slow cooker, you'll never believe what we're gonna use it for!
If your garden overfloweth, or you just go a bit nuts at the farmer's market, these salads are just the remedy you were looking for. The Summer Salad with Apricots and Burrata combine that tub of spring greens mix with arugula, prosciutto and all kinds of other goodies from the garden in a taste explosion that rivals the best fireworks. The Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Tomato Salad will use up all those other fresh finds in a unique grilled salad. Serve them up on the gorgeous Positano melamine dinnerware and wait for the oohs and aahs.
The idea of pizzas cooked on the grill seems like a no brainer. Who really wants to heat their oven up to 500 degrees in the middle of summer? This outdoor pizza stone is the trick to creating amazing gourmet pizzas in a flash. While I love a good ol traditional sausage and mushroom pizza, it's also fun to try a mashup of different ingredients. The Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza adds leeks for a subtle onion flavor. And to be honest, everything is better with goat cheese. For a bit more spice, try the Leek, Chorizo and Manchego Pizza.
That deep orangy-red drink you see on cafe tables around 5:00 all over Italy and France is an Aperol Spritz. Technically an aperitif, it's slight bitter taste is supposed to increase your appetite for dinner, it has become one of my favorite summer cocktails. Switch out the lemonade at your next pool party for this Grapefruit Faux-jito served in a glass beverage jar. We won't tell if you decide to spike it a bit.
Oh So Sweet!
Have you been waiting for us to get back to the slow cooker? Wait for it. It's brownies. No, I haven't tried them so let me know if you take the plunge. Again, who wants to turn on the oven these days? The other cool as a cucumber treat is just that, Cucumber Mint Pops made in this handy dandy pop mold. These are a grown-up version, but you can easily leave out the tequila. (Said no one, ever).
Ok, when do we eat?