Last year we did a lot of work to our backyard. We are planning on putting in a putting green as soon as it stops raining for more than a day. We are looking forward to the Summer months and hosting many outdoor parties/barbecues. The only problem I have is that I want to wow my guests, but I am not a master chef and I don't have a lot of time on my hands.
I have a few go to recipes, but they are not "show stoppers". They run more on the boring side of things. I have been on the hunt for a good Summer cookbook. I am kind of picky about my cookbooks. My cookbooks have to meet the following criteria:
- First of all I HAVE to have a picture for each of the recipes. I don't know what it is, but I have to have it. I am a visual person and I have to see what I am making before I will commit to making it.
- Second, I have a picky family; I don't want to buy a cookbook for only a handful of recipes. So my cookbooks have to have food that picky eaters will eat.
- Last, like I said in the beginning of this post the recipes have to be relatively easy and quick. I am not saying under 5 minutes and beginner recipes across the board. (I have been cooking in the kitchen for 10+ years now and I do enjoy cooking so I do like to spend SOME time in the kitchen.)
This year I found the PERFECT cookbook to fit all my cookbook requirements and I couldn't be more pleased. So today I am sharing that cookbook with you! My friend, Allison Miller, who blogs at Cupcake Diaries just released a cookbook, "Sun and Sizzle: Grills to Greens and Everything In Between."
I want to share with you 7 things I learned from this cookbook. That's right you can learn something other than just recipes from cookbooks. Many of these things Allison mentioned in the section of her cookbook titled Tips, but some are things I learned from the recipes.
7 things I learned:
- When cooking hamburgers, make an indention in the center of the patty with your thumb. As the meat rises in the center, the patty will stay even and level and won't dome up in the middle. (How have I never known this! This is a pet peeve of mine. This tip actually made me giddy!)
- Meat is meant to be flipped just once. After placing it on the grill, allow it to cook for a few minutes and then try pulling it away from the grill. If it sticks, it needs to cook a little longer before flipping. (I can't even begin to count how many times I flip my meat. This was news to me)
- Brush sauces on at the end of cooking so that it doesn't burn, as sauce contains sugar and sugar burns easily. (Once again, I am guilty of brushing on the sauce throughout the whole cooking time.)
- After marinating meat, pat it dry so it will sear on the grill and not steam. (I can honestly say I have NEVER done this.)
- Once meat is off the grill, allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into it so the juices don't spill out. (Once again, I slice into that meat immediately after taking it off. I do tend to be a bit impatient.)
- I learned all about steak temperatures and what they mean.
- I learned that you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I have made ice cream in a bag with my daughter, but I have never made yummy "set up" ice cream without an ice cream maker. There are 3 ice cream recipes in this book!
Recipes I've tried and loved
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad: This is so yummy and will feed a large crowd. I brought it to my sister's baby shower and everyone loved it. I might be sheltered in the food department, but I have never had greens mixed with pasta and was skeptical, but I couldn't get enough of it.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Sandwiches: This was so simple too. I had it for lunch one day and it made my lunch so much better than my typical turkey sandwich and it didn't take that much longer!
Recipes that I am going to try next
Blackberry Peach Lemonade: We love lemonade around here and this looks so delicious.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: I HAVE to make this for my grandma. This is her favorite flavor of ice cream.
Zucchini Pancakes: I LOVE breakfast. I also LOVE zucchini bread. I think combining the two sounds amazing!
Like I said in the beginning, this book will not disappoint you. It is the PERFECT Summer cookbook. I'm so happy I have added it to my cookbook collection.
Check out what other bloggers have to say about this cookbook from the Sun and Sizzle blog tour!