Warm Weather Cookery Tricks

Some favorite warm weather tips, from my kitchen to yours:

'Tis the season for grilling, making S'Mores, slurping popsicles and dipping your toes in the pool. And soon it will be time for my favorite summer picnic treat -- corn on the cob. Which means it is time for me to remind you (as I do every summer) how to make the best corn on the cob without turning on your stove.

Easiest Corn on the Cob Ever
  • Place two un-husked ears of corn in the microwave for 6-8 minutes, depending on your microwave's power. You can make as many as you want, but only put two in the microwave at once for best results.
  • Carefully remove the corn from microwave and cut off the bottom part of each ear (about a 1/2 inch or so).
  • Take one of the ears and hold it at the top of its husk. Give it a little shake. The corn should slide out easily. Repeat with the next one.
  • Or you can cut about 1 inch off of both ends of each ear of the cooked corn and then peel off the husk.
  • Add butter and salt, a sprinkle of chili powder and enjoy!

Hot weather is also the perfect time for ice cream. There's nothing better than a drippy cone on a hot summer day. But how about a lower-fat, dairy-free version? That's easy. Go bananas.

Banana "Ice Cream"
  • Peel 4 or more ripe bananas and slice them into rounds. Then freeze overnight.
  • Blend/process the frozen banana pieces on high speed, until smooth. Have patience. It will be crumbly at first, but then suddenly, it will transform into creaminess. 
  • Drizzle in a bit of honey or your favorite ice cream extras and pulse in the blender until combined. (I like to add peanut butter cups.)
  • If you eat it right away, it will be like soft serve ice cream. If you wait, put it in a freezer-safe bowl with a lid and let it freeze for 30-60 minutes.
  • Scoop into bowls and drizzle with hot fudge, melted peanut butter, whipped cream or your favorite ice cream toppings.
  • Go bananas!

    It's important to hydrate when it's hot outside, especially if you're also having a summer cocktail or three. But sometimes a glass of water isn't the most popular of picnic treats. But, add some herbs and fruit to your water pitcher and watch how quickly everyone reaches for it. You can strain into glasses or serve as is, just don't forget the ice! Here are some add-in ideas to get you started.
    Water, Water Everywhere
    • Lavender or rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges
    • Fresh ginger and lime slices
    • Mint leaves and orange or cucumber slices
    • Tarragon leaves and diced peaches
    • Basil leaves with sliced grape tomatoes
    Happy Summer!