11 summer food essentials
One of the best things about the summer is dining al fresco, enjoying your favourite seasonal fare. With fresh, flavourful ingredients in abundance, seasonal cooking is usually pretty simple, but innovative new tools can make it even more so! They won't cramp your creativity, but they will speed things up so you can cut down on time spent inside and make the most of the outdoors!
Zuko duo quick pop maker
Not only will these creative customized popsicles have children squealing with delight, they're bound to put a smile on adult faces, too! Make two pops at a time in under 10 minutes and six in total before refreezing is needed. Reusable sticks and drip guards will make this a pop-ular household item all summer long. Williams-Sonoma, $36.95.
Kenmore gas grill
Barbecues are synonymous with summer. Some people love to cook over an open fire pit, but if you don't have the space (or can't adhere to proper fire regulations), you can't go wrong with a good gas grill. This one even has a side burner for keeping things warm or cooking less grill-friendly items. sears.ca, $249.94.
Margaritaville frozen concoction maker
Winter and island getaways may be faint memories this time of year, but the margarita is still on the mind! It doesn't juggle bottles, but this ice shaving machine blends your frozen beverages as well as any bartender down south! walmart.com, $167.54 US.
Petite Maison goat cheese baker
While you and your guests are waiting for the main eats to come off the BBQ, nibble on some warm goat cheese with crackers and fruit chutneys. Baking and serving is a cinch with this ceramic dish! bowring.com, $19.99.
Cedar grilling plank
Want more or different flavours off the grill? Then give these natural cedar planks a whirl. They infuse everything from fish to poultry to steaks with a delicious smoky flavour without drying them out. You'll feel like you're in the wild eating restaurant-quality meals! Williams-Sonoma, $14.95 US (set of 4).
Hamilton Beach ice cream maker
Tired of waiting in long line ups at your favourite ice cream shop? Hamllton Beach ice cream makers eliminate the aggravation. From ice cream to frozen yogurt, sherbet or gelato - these machines do it all. hamiltonbeach.com, $24.99-$34.99.
FireWire flexible grilling skewers
We love these innovative skewers! String your shish kebabs together, then bend and twist them as needed into bowls or bags of marinade. They fit twice as much food as a regular skewer, but are easier to fit with all the other good eats on your grill. And the tips stay cool so you don't burn your hand when turning or removing them. cuisinart.com, $9.99 US.
Quench your thirst on a hot day with a wide variety of iced teas or infused waters. Whether you like a strong brew or cucumber water, this pitcher lets you have it your way. A perforated filter keeps tea leaves or fruit slices on one side while infusing the water on the other side. CB2, $36.95.
Finally! A clean, clever way to butter that summer cob! Fill this little gadget with butter, press down on the pusher and glide the butter on to your heart's content. When you're finished, put the cap on and place the butter back in the fridge. Crate and Barrel, $9.95.
OXO V-Blade mandoline
Whether as sides, salads or shish kebabs, chances are you'll be spending a lot of time slicing vegetables this summer. Make life easier with a mandoline. No matter the thickness you're going for they'll come out uniform and in a fraction of the time it would take to slice with a knife. Williams-Sonoma, $39.95 US.
IKEA ice trays
Add a playful touch to cool summer drinks with ice cubes in fun shapes. The trays can also be used for Jell-O and other frozen treats. ikea.ca, $1.99 each.