Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Your Summer Shopping List

Summer is here and and with it an entirely different way to shop. A trip to the local grocery or farmer's mart should reflect not only the weather but the ease of cooking during heat waves. The best part is there's more fresh produce right now which lends to creative cooking and baking.

Produce is big and will be during these next three months. Take advantage of what your local groceries and farmer's markets have right now. This is the perfect time to buy corn and remember it's versatile. Yes, its good grilled and slathered in butter and herbs but it can also be used in homemade chowders  and salads. Try it in a fresh corn salad where the niblets can be mixed with fresh tomatoes and peppers. As for those last two, they're all over. Tomatoes should be high up there on your summer shopping list. (as tomato plants because nothing beats the taste of fresh picked tomatoes from your yard). They're versatile and can be used to make fresh sauce or salsa cruda, a raw sauce that cooks when cooked pasta is poured over it. Forget about canned or jarred sauces then. Use them when the weather gets cool again. Peppers are another must have. They are good cut into strips and grilled or stuffed with chopped mushrooms  and rice. Fruits are another must buy. Cherries, plums and peaches are in season and these make great snacks. They can also be pureed into mash for ices and popsicles too. Take advantage of  berry season too. Strawberries should also be on the top of the list because they can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner..

Should you buy a lot of microwave foods during the summer? Maybe  just popcorn and that's about it. instead of processed meals salads should be in the top five on your shopping list . A head of lettuce can be turned into a variety of delicious salads., from Nicoise to a chef's.  Have extras such as croutons and almonds slices to make it fun and crunchy. Olive oil is another must. It'll be used a lot  in salads but also for grilling and for marinades. Get the bigger bottle and you won't have any worries about it running out. Garlic cloves go faster in the summer than in the winter. Always have a nice fat one because you'll use the cloves for rubbing meats , as well as for dressing and marinating. This also applies to lemons that are are also well used during the season, although you can also buy a bottle of lemon juice. These also can be used for homemade lemonade and barbecue cocktails. Many home chefs buy cold cuts because it's easy to serve them for a meal or pack them on a picnic. Go for fresh sliced ones at your deli counter or good Italian cold cuts from Citta brand. They have the best tasting salame and  prosciutto , perfect for sandwiches and even bruschetta.

Summer shopping should easy and reflect the season's bounty. Take advantage of the produce and use it in every meal  Buy foods that are simple to use and simple to eat too. It'll make for a quick trip to the supermarket.

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