Take Your Booze Outdoors with a Simple Summer Spritz

Summer drinking is the most fun type of drinking, and the spritz may be the most summery drink. They’re light, bright, extremely drinkable, and infinitely riffable. They’re also super easy to make, which is helpful if you’ve had a couple.

Source: Take Your Booze Outdoors with a Simple Summer Spritz

Never say no to a white wine spritzer.. spritzer.. spritzer.

Four Frozen Protein Smoothies That Make Perfect Post-Workout Popsicles

The days of hot, sweaty workouts are upon us. It’s time to upgrade your after-exercise snack from a boring protein bar and a swig of lukewarm water to one of these refreshing protein popsicles. The formula is simple: blend, freeze, enjoy.

Source: Four Frozen Protein Smoothies That Make Perfect Post-Workout Popsicles

Hell yeah I’m making them…

Use an Onion to Make Assembling Skewers and Kebabs Easier (and Safer)

Skewers and kebabs are easy to make, and assembling them isn’t hard, but anyone who’s poked themselves on a skewer knows it can still suck. Luckily, all you need to speed up the process (and make it safer) is an onion—one you may be using anyway.

Source: Use an Onion to Make Assembling Skewers and Kebabs Easier (and Safer)

I’ve been using Alton Brown’s method – the episode of Good Eats is on Netflix.

Hold the veggie/meat with one hand on a surface (like a cutting board), then push the skewer in with your other hand parallel to the surface. Also, instead of having alternating items on each skewer, which looks pretty, I made my skewers of each ingredient, which came in very handy to move whole skewers around my grill on and off heat as they needed. Much less over cooked X and underdone Y.

Make an Egg-Free Caesar Dressing Out of Cashews

In the realm of big salads with even bigger dressings, the Caesar—with it’s sharp garlic, salty anchovy, and sour lemon juice—is emperor of them all.

For most people, it’s addictive. But there’s a contingent that avoids Caesar salad because it requires a raw egg or two. (We’re not all Rocky Balboa, after all.)

While cooking through the entire January issue of Bon Appétit, I found the Caesar dressing even the most squeamish eater can indulge in. It swaps out the raw egg in favor of a different ingredient: cashews.

Source: How to Make an Eggless Caesar Dressing

I hope I’m not in too late with this but I can confirm cashews make some awesome creamy stuff— once I was fed a vegan “cheesecake” that was creamy-thick and delicious. (I just wish people would come up with original names for this delicious stuff though, shit’s ridiculous.)

Soak Lime Rinds in Sugar First for More Flavorful Limeade

I’m a sucker for kids’ lemonade stands by the side of the road, which I’m physically incapable of passing up. As a result, I spend most of my summer politely choking down some of the worst lemonade on the planet in support of my littlest neighbors (it’s their childlike entrepreneurship that I find so refreshing).

Source: How to Make the Most Flavorful Limeade, Summer’s Best Drink

I usually zest my citrus onto a plate and sprinkle a little bit of it into a cup of Sodastream/etc sparkling water. I find that a pinch of zest has more flavor (less tart too) than the actual juice.

Make This One Batch of Pimento Cheese and Use it in Everything

Growing up in Mississippi, I ate a lot of pimento cheese, mainly on crackers or in sandwiches with white bread. If these were the only two ways I ever consumed this wondrous spread, I would be happy, but pimento cheese can be so much more. Below you will find a multitude of tasty uses for “the caviar of the South.”

Source: Make This One Batch of Pimento Cheese and Use it in Everything

Try using Crystal [hot sauce] instead of Louisiana. It has less salt (so you can put more) and more/deeper cayenne flavour— note that I say flavour, not heat, because the label claims this uses “aged” peppers.

Use Tahini Instead of Mayo for Creamier, Delicious Pasta Salad

When it comes to pasta salad, I’m firmly in the no-mayonnaise camp. In an effort to avoid the whole mayo-laden dish sitting out in the hot sun conundrum, I usually dress my pasta salad in a light vinaigrette before serving it at a barbecue.

But what if you want something a little creamier? That’s where tahini comes in.

Source: Why You Should Be Putting Tahini in Your Pasta Salad

Tahini is such a better nutrition choice than mayonnaise.

Use Overripe Strawberries to Make Strange Springy Risotto

Although I never see strawberry risotto on Roman menus anymore, it was all the rage in the 80s. Its fifteen minutes of fame has long since expired, but I still love it.

Source: The Most Wonderfully Unusual Strawberry Risotto

The cookbook “Almost Vegetarian” by Diana Shaw (out of print and used copies are available for cheap on Amazon) has a recipe for a sweet strawberry risotto that I’ve made a few times, that uses fresh strawberries and strawberry yogurt as a flavor base. It’s delicious, a strawberry rice pudding, basically.

I’ve seen lemon risotto, apple risotto, etc. I’m told grape risotto is actually a traditional Tuscan dish and not some nouvelle cuisine abomination. I may try it sometime.

Add Semolina Flour to Pasta Water for an Extra Creamy Sauce

The days of drowning a plate of naked pasta in endless ladles of sauce should, in theory, be long gone. You’re probably already tossing your freshly drained pasta in a pot with just enough of your sauce to lightly coat the noodles. You might even be tossing the pasta and sauce in a warm skillet with a few spoonfuls of pasta water to help make the sauce extra clingy and silky. But why stop there?

After all, since it’s the pasta water’s starch that helps make the sauce so silky, why not increase the starchiness of that pasta water even more? Tossing a heaping handful of semolina flour (the same flour that dried pasta is made from) into the pot before dropping in your pasta will make your pasta water way starchier than it would be otherwise. Add a few spoonfuls of this super-charged pasta water to your pan of pasta and sauce, and restaurant-caliber silkiness will be yours.

Source: The Trick That Makes Every Plate of Pasta More Luscious

At first read, I thought it was “salmonella”…