Summer is short so don’t waste a minute of it. Already the days are a little shorter and the nights are a little cooler. (Great for sleeping!) Spend as much time outside as you can, including mealtime. Whether it’s coffee on the back porch or dinner on the beach, food tastes better when you enjoy it outside.
Need some help with a summer cookout menu? How about:
Local tomatoes are fantastic right now. Serve them with a sprinkle of salt or try my Grilled Tomato Crostini. They are amazing. Or how about a pickle … pickled beans. Give my Curried Green Bean Pickles a try. Make a big batch. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for a couple of months.
When you are ready for dinner, grill up some chicken. Try my Barbecue Chicken. It’s a summer classic. Or how about my Spicy Grilled Chicken. With the nights a little cooler, serve the chicken with a big pot of Caribbean Black Beans and a batch of Double Corn Cheddar Muffins. For a bit of crunch, add some delicious slaw … either my Crunchy Slaw with Cilantro, Mint & Peanuts or Jicama Slaw would be a good choice.
Here’s a tip for keeping those beans hot if you’re bringing your cookout to a beach or park. Remove the bubbling hot beans from oven. Wrap the pot in an old beach towel or a couple of old bath towels. Slide everything into a cooler. I use an ancient Dansk five-quart pot. My cooler is almost as old and its interior measures 14x15x8.5 inches. The towel keeps the pot snug in the cooler and keeps the hot pot from melting the plastic. The combination of towel and cooler keeps the beans nice and hot for at least an hour.
And for dessert … keep it simple and easy to transport! Brownies are everyone’s year round treat. Have a little fun with them and take it up a notch with my Sweet Dream Bars, Peanut Butter Brownies or Triple Threat Brownies.
Have a wonderful weekend! Bon appétit!
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© Susan W. Nye, 2014