The dog days of summer are here, which means even the most avid cooks aren’t too excited about being chained to a hot kitchen for any length of time.
The luckiest of us might even be on vacation right now, where you want to spend even less time in the kitchen – and if you are reading this in a vacation rental house, then I’m guessing your kitchen might be on the austere side.
I have lovely memories of various vacations on Cape Cod in August, in rented houses with kitchens that had about two pans and a few knives barely sharp enough to cut a tomato.
And it didn’t matter one bit, because I was really ready to get to the beach with my family, and there wasn't going to be a ton of fine mincing anyway.
If you are heading on vacation, here’s a piece of advice from years of renting – bring a selection of the things you use a lot, but don't want to buy there because you will never use them up. Some examples are dried herbs, mustard, vinegar – bring those half bottles, or put a few tablespoons of spices in small zipper-top plastic bags, and then you wont have to buy those staples new at the market, and lug them home.
Enjoy these last weeks of summer, and if you’re getting ready for Back to School, I hear you – more on that soon!
Honey Mint Glazed Grilled Chicken
You can never have too many ways to make simple grilled chicken that has some oomph and flavor. This one has a fresh mint and honey glaze. You can use whole chicken parts, as directed in the recipe, but you could easily use boneless, skinless breasts or thighs if you prefer; just reduce the cooking time. Serve this meal with Quinoa Pilaf.
Pasta with Tomato, Spinach, Basil, and Brie
If you have a garden, or easy access to a farmers’ market, then right now you are wondering what to do with all the tomatoes that will inevitably find their way onto your kitchen counter. The basil might also be threatening to bolt. This quick and easy pasta will help put all of that produce to excellent use, bound together with bits of melty brie and a handful of Parmesan.
Santa Maria Style Tri Tip
Tri-tip is a great cut of meat -- it’s a triangle-shaped bottom sirloin cu. But it's not always that easy to find in certain parts of the country; if you can't find it, a thick London broil or sirloin steak will also be great with this peppery, salty, garlicky crust.
Shrimp with Olives, Tomatoes, and Orzo
A one-dish weeknight dinner has a lot going on in the flavor department thanks to the combo of the tiny pasta, shrimp, olives, tomatoes, mint, and arugula, with just enough garlic and capers to give it some serious zing. This would be great at room temperature, so make enough for leftovers later in the week. If you wanted to pair it up with a salad, this Summer Squash Salad would be very nice.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas
I am a huge fan of Southwestern and Tex Mex flavors, and anything that comes serves on a crisp tostada is bound to be a success in my house. I was pretty excited with this creation, a pile of dressed colorful vegetables, shredded chicken, and well-seasoned beans all drizzled with a creamy sauce. An all-in one meal.