Party RecipesFourth of July is the biggest summer holiday when we are most likely to be cooking for a crowd. While you're serving up cocktails, be sure to save some beer and tequila to whip up some truly different recipes. Edible flowers and simple garnishes give not only a pretty, but tasty touch to recipes and are sure to wow your guests. Just be sure you are familiar with which flowers are edible and which are poisonous. For the sports enthusiast, get tips and hints on throwing a tailgate party or just a picnic in the park.
Outdoor FoodsMost of us enjoy hauling out our barbecues to keep the heat out of the kitchen. Try some great marinades for flavor as you toss the shish kebabs, Jamaican jerk, homemade sausage, or seafood on the grill. Of course, the kids will want hot dogs with ketchup and mustard, while the adults will most likely prefer more mature seasonings such as Worcestershire sauce, exotic spice blends, or just some simple herbs and spices. You'll want some cool desserts to go with those recipes. It's hard to turn down ice cream, and gelatin is good not only as a sweet treat, but also for cool salads.
Cool Cooking with AppliancesIf you have to use your kitchen, a pressure cooker can dramatically reduce cooking times on top of the stove, and the clay cooker can handle an entire meal in about an hour in the oven. And remember, many of your oven recipes can be converted to the crockpot. A fondue party can get everyone involved in the cooking while keeping the heat out of the kitchen.
Summer Harvest FoodsWhen you're not entertaining, chances are you are looking for a way to can or preserve those great fruits and vegetables from your garden. Summer fruit favorites include blueberries, kiwifruit, mangoes, plums, strawberries, huckleberries, rose hips, and of course watermelon. Sweet onions and garlic are in their prime in summer, as well as mushrooms, rhubarb, and tomatoes. Get some low-calorie snack ideas while you're at it. Even canned goods from the market can be a timesaver while still producing nutritious yet tasty meals. They also come in handy in the case of those power outages during summer storms.
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