Ways to stay fed and entertain this summer, while keeping your cool and leaving the oven off as much as possible.
The time for turning on the stove has passed. The first day of summer is Tuesday, and warmer weather has already arrived.
So here are some ways to stay fed, and even entertain, while keeping your cool and leaving the oven off as much as possible.
During the week, whip up fresh and simple meals that celebrate the flavors of the season and leave time for fun.
Try the OXO Good Grips 3 Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer ($25 at oxo.com) to add fresh veggies to salads or create a light, bright substitute for pasta.
Take inspiration from the “An Avocado a Day” cookbook ($20 at booksellers), by Portland resident Lara Ferroni, to work the delicious superfood into your everyday dinner plan. Pick up the locally designed Chef’n Avoquado ($10 at surlatable.com) — which slices, cubes, pits and scoops — to make processing the fruit quick and easy.
If it’s too warm to turn on the stove but you’re having carb cravings, employ the locally designed Prep Solutions Microwave Rice and Pasta Cooker ($15 at amazon.com), which cooks up to 12 cups and comes with a strainer insert, serving paddle and measuring cup.
Serve up dinner alfresco on Crate & Barrel’s Divided White Melamine Plates ($7 each), a fun reference to paper plates, but without the waste. The melamine material is safe for outdoor use and is dishwasher safe.
Add to your basic grill setup and take your outdoor cooking game to the next level.
Start with an outdoor pizza kitchen, such as Kettlepizza’s Gas Pro Deluxe Set ($300 at crateandbarrel.com), which pairs a hood and pizza stone with your gas range to create an extra-hot cooking chamber that will wow the whole family. A pizza peel is also included.
Tired of fighting with skewers? Sur La Table’s Pro Ceramic Shrimp and Scallop Pan ($30 at surlatable.com) makes grilling crustaceans and bivalves much easier, and is attractive enough to use as a serving platter.
Keep everyone happy with Taylor’s Leave-in Meat Button Thermometers ($12 for four at target.com), which can be placed in each steak to get the preferred degree of doneness without having to do the cut-it-open-and-check test. The thermometers also include cheat sheets for safe internal temperatures for pork and poultry.
Whether you’re making homemade salsa or have kids in braces, you’ll make steady use of the Tovolo Corn Bowl ($13 at amazon.com), which holds the cob steady, catches the kernels as they’re cut off and acts as a serving bowl.
In the heat of the day or after a meal, serve up something cold and refreshing to eat or drink.
Provide a pick-me-up with the new Bialetti Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($30 at bialetti.com), from the venerable Italian coffee-maker company. It uses cold water to brew 24 ounces of coffee concentrate for a smooth taste you can adjust to your liking.
Host’s Tumbler Freeze Cooling Cups ($35 for two at truefabrications.com) will keep ice-cold lemonade ice cold longer, thanks to cooling gel inside the cups. The Seattle-based company also makes bowls that keep dips chilled and ice cream frozen.
If you love baking, put your skills to work with the locally designed Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker ($20 at mrscooks.com), which includes all you need to DIY your own delicious after-dinner treats — two silicone cake molds, a frame for shaping the ice cream and a tool to spread and scoop the ingredients evenly.
Welcome barbecue guests with summery accessories that can go from indoors to outdoors with style.
Keep your drinkware seasonal with the locally designed Rosanna Inc. Vacaciones Double Old Fashioned Set ($62 for four at rosannainc.com), which feature the names of exotic vacation destinations such as Cuba and Bermuda in gold with gold rims.
Revol’s High Ash Cake Stand ($90 at revol1768.com) will help you set a stunning table, indoors or out. The heavy wood stand won’t blow over in a breeze and the yellow base adds a big dose of sunshine to any tabletop.
If you want to keep all your cooking outside or need an extra burner for a big party, employ the GreenPan Induction Cooktop ($130 at greenpan.us). Accurate temperature controls and an LED screen make it easy to use, even outdoors.