Tag Archives: summer

Use your Grill in Summer

It is nearly summer. This means it is time to begin preparing meals without heating the house whenever possible. If you haven’t considered the value of cooking on the grill in the past, perhaps now is a great time to adjust your way of thinking.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to keep the heat of cooking outside your home as well as to bring the family together for the entire cooking process. Moms read: this is a great way to get dad to help out with meal preparation. While this is said somewhat in jest, there is some truth to the fact that men are much more inclined to slave away over a hot grill than a hot stove. More importantly, most of the mess of cooking on the grill remains outside your kitchen. I don’t know about you, but that is a huge bonus for me, when it comes to cooking.

Cooking on the grill is also a great way to get the kids involved in the meal preparation and clean up process. We like to use disposable plates when grill cooking and keep the dining al fresco. If you are hoping for instant family unity over the picnic table you might want to think again but there isn’t anything quite like it when it comes to not worrying about spills or dropped food as you can rest fairly certain that the animals will take care of anything that gets left behind.

Even small children can help when cooking on the grill by bringing utensils to the grill, holding plates, and ‘setting’ the picnic table for your dining experience. If you intend to do a good deal of cooking on the grill you may want to invest in some portable and ‘kid friendly’ containers for things such as condiments, napkins, plastic ware, and tablecloth holders. Be sure to find containers that can handle a decent gust of wind without flying off too. These may be a little heavier for your little ones to hold but they won’t be nearly as difficult to chase when blowing across the lawn.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to enjoy nature after a long day of work. Be careful that you do not reserve this as a weekend event as you will find you miss out on some of the relaxing qualities it can bring to your midweek slump. One thing that can definitely be said about grill cooking is that the selections are almost as limitless as they are when cooking on the stove. You must use your imagination for maximum effect though very few meats and vegetables are truly off limits when it comes to cooking on the grill.

In addition to cooking meats on the grill, it is important to keep in mind that you can also cook all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables on the grill as well. You should also keep in mind the awesome side dishes that go great with grilled foods such as baked beans, potato salad, and nice cool deserts and pies.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to bring family and friends together. The next time you plan to have a get together why not make it a night of cooking on the grill? You can have the best of all worlds with no muss, no fuss clean up and great food with good friends. Cooking on the grill is certainly a great way to get the neighbors out and about. There’s nothing on earth that can quite compare to the aroma of meat, fruit, and vegetables grilling over hot charcoal. If you don’t remember and your mouth isn’t watering just reading about, it’s been far too long since your last barbecue experience.

The most important thing to remember about cooking on the grill is that it should be an experience rather than a chore. Most of us truly enjoy the thought of having a good dinner under the sun or stars (whichever applies in your case). If you forgot about using the grill for fresh tasting food get it out and rediscover the flavors of grill cooking.

Hold on to Summer With These Five Cocktails

It’s not that we don’t like fall. We love fall for a lot of reasons: chunky sweaters, gorgeous foliage, and autumnal-flavored lattes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make one last-ditch effort to extend summer, what with its warm city strolls and lazy afternoons on the beach, on blankets in the park, and across balmy rooftops everywhere. While we can’t do anything about the impending change of the season, we can cue up your taste buds with a few CÎROC VS French Brandy cocktails to embrace the end of summer. They may not turn back time, but they can make every moment worth savoring last a little longer.


Perfect For: A Picnic in the Park

Swing by the farmer’s market and then set up shop in the park with a mini shaker and some ice. (Or make a big batch ahead of time and bring it with you!) This ultra-fine brandy complemented with refreshing cucumber and mint just may keep you there all day.

French Shade


Perfect For: A Pool Party

Your end-of-summer motto? Dive in. Embrace your final moments in the sun with this electrifying potion packed with a tropical fresh-fruit fusion and citrus flavors, the perfect assist for poolside lounging.

Passion No 9


Perfect For: A Rooftop Party

Few things beat a good view paired with a classic cocktail. Whether it’s a breezy afternoon affair or dramatic nighttime fete, your rooftop event takes a decadent turn when you elevate this classic Parisian cocktail with CÎROC VS French Brandy.



Perfect For: A Beach Day

What’s better than an ice-cold drink on a hot day? Nothing! There’s no better way to pay homage to summer than by blending color, fresh fruit flavors, and crushed ice with a day at the beach. This pre-prohibition–inspired elixir does it all.

VS Cobbler


Perfect For: Saturday Brunch

Everyone knows that brunch is for ordering all of the beverages. Few things pair better with eggs Benny than a fresh, hot coffee and a chilled French 75 crafted with the refined richness of CÎROC VS French Brandy. Take it outside for brunch al fresco, sit back, relax, and sip to your heart’s desire.

VS French 75

A Brothy Seafood Chowder Recipe That Eases the Way from Summer to Fall

July 1st is my tipping point. That’s when the daily temperature of the high desert exceeds 100 degrees and the only respite is pool-hopping and a cold drink at the Joshua Tree saloon. For me, it’s not summer until I’m in the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the briny, bracingly cold waters of coastal Maine. So around the 4th of July, I get one last desert cannonball in for the summer and say goodbye to friends, pack up the car with a few audio books on cue, and starting heading east to the furthest point on the map.

These annual cross-country drives have become a tradition for the three of us—myself, my husband Jay, and our pup Lefty. We pick two or three points on a map to pause for a minute. For this trip, the stops are to check in at our newly renovated hotel, El Rey Court in Santa Fe, and visit family in Oberlin and Philadelphia. In between, we drive like hell, pausing at the Whole Foods and good small-town health food stores, or for a quick, delicious bite in cities like St. Louis or Nashville.

healthyish carrollmaine 2

Photo by Jay Carroll

Alison Carroll manning the grill in late summer.

Once we’re east of the Mississippi, it’s big big bottleneck until we pop out across the border into Maine and see that wonderful sign welcoming us to Vacationland, “the way life should be.” We spend the first 24 hours eating our way through Andrew Knowlton’s list of Portland spots, then we head up the coast toward the Blue Hill peninsula. We stop at the Brunswick Farmers Market for homemade miso and onigiri, beet and fennel probiotic shots, and a dulse seaweed laced kraut to go with the nasturtium and rosé sausages. I live in California, and still nothing comes close to the produce of Maine farmers markets during summertime for me. The Maine ground is weather-beaten and frozen for the lion’s share of the year, but for these glorious, brief summer months, the loamy soil thaws and earns its bounty of husk cherries, wild blueberries, mushrooms, and supremely perfect tomatoes. The only other things I need to eat well are a corkscrew, a sharp knife, a box of Morton salt, Wonder Valley olive oil, and some chile peppers from New Mexico. We load up a case of wine at the Blue Hill wine shop and settle into our downeast life for the next month or so.

I grew up on the East Coast and there’s an urgency to summer here that I don’t feel out west, to make every moment count because it’s so fleeting. My summertime youth was spent recklessly sun tanning, eating ice cream every day, and feeling true anguish over a rained-out weekend. I feel that summer hourglass here in Maine, pushing me to jump off rocks and swim every day and spend each night tending the open fire of a grill to eat my weight in lobster and not miss a moment. There is an abundance of extremely fresh, inexpensive seafood here, an embarrassment of riches coming from our landlocked desert home. I split lobsters in half and grill them with a herb brown butter spooned in the cavity of the tails, I make a big paella over the beach with local mussels and clams and garlic scape aioli, and, as the end of summer draws in with nights getting colder, I make a huge pot of fennel and fish stew. I squeeze every drop out of summer before we head back home, an easy 50 hours of driving away.

Make this and dream of July:


The homemade stock makes all the difference in this flavorful, savory, perfectly smooth chowder. Look for a trusted seafood monger who filets and debones the fish themselves. They usually will have plenty of fishbones left over.


Beat The High Summer Heat With A Crock Pot

When the climate outdoors warms up, the kitchen could be a horrible place to be. There are various issues you are able to do nonetheless, in relation to cooking a pleasant handmade meal that does not require conventional range prime or oven cooking. Study to make the most of a few of the lesser warmth producing tools in your kitchen, such because the crock pot, with a view to actually beat the summer time warmth and maintain your cool whereas making ready a pleasant scorching meal for family and friends.

So, how does crock pot cooking actually assist beat the warmth? Merely put, the crock pot in and of itself places off far much less warmth when cooking than an oven or range prime. That is the primary and probably the most effective purpose to make the most of the crock pot in your summer time meal planning. You also needs to take into account the truth that by not heating the home by utilizing your range prime or oven you’re additionally stopping your air con (or different cooling strategies) from working extra time with a view to compensate for the extra warmth that different cooking strategies introduce.

This makes crock pot cooking a win-win scenario as the prices concerned in working a crock pot are far lower than the prices concerned in working a range or oven usually. Whether or not electrical or gasoline, your range and oven are sometimes critical power hogs. Add to that the actual fact that you’re not elevating the temperature in your house by conventional technique of cooking and you’re utilizing even much less electrical energy.

Sadly for many, the overall consensus has been that crock pots had been meant for consolation meals and hearty winter meals. The reality is that the crock pot needs to be one in all your finest liked and most frequently utilized cooking strategies if you happen to can handle it. With regards to cooking with a crock pot, the choices are virtually limitless. Nearly something that may be baked could be made within the crock pot and lots of, many extra great and engaging meals and treats as nicely.

Advantages of Crock Pot Cooking

Along with the price advantages talked about above in relation to crock pot cooking there are numerous different advantages which are nicely price mentioning. Initially, the majority of the work concerned in crock pot cooking takes place early within the day if you find yourself refreshed moderately than on the finish of a busy work or play day. Because of this you’re much less prone to overlook an ingredient or make different errors that always happen as we hurriedly put together a dinner after we are exhausted from the actions of our day.

Second, many nice crock pot recipes embody the greens that insure we’re getting the vitamins we want. So typically, when making ready a meal on the final minute, greens and different aspect dishes are disregarded in favor of expedience. Crock pot cooking in lots of cases is a meal in a single dish.

One other nice purpose to make use of a crock pot to your summertime cooking is the benefit of fresh up. Not like pots and pans, most crock pot meals are made in a single dish. Because of this there won’t be mountains of dishes to be both hand washed or loaded into the dishwasher (or in case you are like me-both) afterwards. You’ll be able to spend much less time cleansing simply as you spent much less time slaving over a scorching range. Oh wait! Make that no time slaving over a scorching range. As soon as clear up is full you may get again to having fun with the solar set, chasing the lightening bugs together with your little ones, or ready for the primary star.

Whereas there’ll by no means be a one dimension suits all finest cooking technique, crock pot cooking comes very shut. You probably have a crock pot amassing mud someplace at the back of your pantry it’s time to get it out, mud if off, and dig up some nice summertime crock pot cooking recipes.