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Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Food Tips

Spring has Sprung - the hot temperatures are here in the desert. Time to prepare for Summer Fare. Some tips to make your summer cooking a little easier and enjoyable.

1. Simple Syrup - basically this just water and sugar in equal amounts heated to dissolve the sugar and then cooled.  This will sweeten iced tea, iced coffee or lemonade easier than using plain sugar. Makes life a lot easier when you want a cold drink on a hot day.

2.Cucumbers - these are used in salads and cold soups and sauces.  If you can't find an English Cucumber use a regular one but take the seeds out.  They can become bitter.  If you are using a cucumber in salad you may want to peal it or not depending on your taste.  I usually peal part of it leaving it in "stripes" to add a little decoration when sliced.  I also will take a fork and score the outside so when sliced the slices have an added decoration.

3. Salads - I do not recommend dressing your salad until you are ready to serve unless it is a Chopped Salad. The dressing will wilt the greens.  Try adding a cold protein such as chicken or ham to the salad and you have a complete no cook meal.  You can also use rice in cold salads for something different instead of greens.

4. Salad Dressings - it so easy to make your own fresh dressings.  I recommend using non-fat Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise to cut down on the fat. If you want to use regular yogurt drain it in a colander lined with cheesecloth overnight to remove the excess water. If you use mayo - use a good quality one and keep it cold!

These are just a few ideas that will help. I will have more later on in the season.