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Grilled Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

This summer we invite you to relax. No need to bake pies from scratch—unless you’re inspired—no need to churn fresh strawberries into ice cream (or please do, just promise to call us). Instead, or in addition, we encourage you to take it easy when it comes to dessert. Say you brought home some donuts as a weekend breakfast treat but didn’t quite make it through the dozen. Here’s an idea: split the donuts in half, toss them on the grill after the burgers and dogs are snugly in their buns, and grill until lightly toasted. Smear a half with slightly softened ice cream (pick your favorite flavor) and sandwich with another half. These are best eaten outdoors or, at the very least, over the sink.

Grilled Cornbread and Peaches

Come summer, we’re extra fond of toasted pound cake with berries and cream. But every once in awhile we like to change it up. Day old cornbread makes for a sturdy, toothsome canvas for grilled summer peaches. Spread with butter and honey, the cornbread gets lightly caramelized over the hot grates. No grill? No problem. You can make this same winning dessert under the broiler (just think of it as an upside down grill). Toasted almonds add crunch and basil leaves add color and quintessential backyard flavor. If you can, slice the cornbread and let it dry out slightly before grilling—it’ll be easier to grill if a little bit dry.

Squash Steaks With Miso Dressing  

Summer squash is fairly mild on its own, but basted with miso, a fermented soybean paste, it takes on all sorts of rich, savory flavor. The miso mixture is a simple combination of white miso, mayonnaise, black pepper and water—and once you taste it, you’ll want to put it on everything. Make extra, then use it to dress up chicken and veggies throughout the week. Look for miso in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Chickpea miso, which is slightly milder, would work well too. Don’t skimp on the mayo: it adds flavor, and also keeps the squash from sticking to the grill.

Make It Yourself: Nut Butter

Whizzing up a batch of peanut, almond, or (nut-free) sunflower butter at home takes all of four ingredients, a food processor, and five minutes. And you skip the excess sugar and salt, added fats, and high price tag that can come with even the natural supermarket versions. Our recipe has a touch of agave nectar for balance and coconut oil to keep it spreadable. You can even add a splash of vanilla if that’s your jam. Got deep convictions on chunky versus creamy? Pulse sparingly or keep the machine running for silky smooth.

Grapefruit Negroni Pops

The Negroni has experienced somewhat of a resurgence lately. And it’s no wonder: a refreshing combination of herbal gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, the Negroni is a perfect way to start an evening. We occasionally mix ours up with a splash of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, which both enhances and mellows the bitter Campari notes. Last summer we made slushies out of the same ingredients. This summer we’re freezing it solid and serving the pops as frozen apertifs. Slide a couple of very thin grapefruit slices into the molds and sandwich the pop sticks in between them for extra stability.

Open-Face Tuna Niçoise Pitas

This meal is great for warm summer nights when the last thing you want is to stand over the stove. Because tuna is the star here, we recommend buying the highest quality can or jar your grocer carries. As far as the vessel, that’s up to you: serve atop a flatbread or round of naan, stuff the filling into a pita pocket, or go pita-less and serve on a bigger bed of greens, or even tossed with blanched green beans. We suggest doubling the recipe, which will make enough for dinner and a few tasty lunches. Serve with potato chips and briny cornichons—you won’t regret it.

Cookie Dough Cones

When making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, it’s almost impossible not to lick the beaters. But, as you’ve been reminded time and time again, raw cookie dough isn’t safe to eat—until now. We took out the eggs and toasted the flour, which eliminates any possibility of bacteria. And to ensure the dough was perfectly creamy and fluffy, we whipped cream cheese into the butter and brown sugar. We like folding in chopped chocolate, but any of your favorite mix-ins will do. Try sprinkles for a cake batter dough, or cinnamon for a snickerdoodle approach. Then, eat it by the spoonful or serve it on an ice cream cone, which makes for a pretty adorable treat.

Grilled Chicken With Tomato-Cucumber Salad  

We love the pairing of sweet and smoky barbecued chicken against cool, crisp cucumber and tomato salad. Plus, there’s no need to hover over the grill as the chicken cooks. Our brilliant technique (cooking the meat over indirect heat) means you can walk away for 45 minutes, giving you time to whip up the salad or play outdoors with the kids. When you return, you’ll have a perfectly-cooked bird with gorgeous grill marks. We like finishing the dish with fresh summer herbs like mint, basil, or chives. If possible, buy local tomatoes. You’ll be rewarded with rich, complex flavor that barely needs dressing.

Cheesy Olive and Herb Flower Pot Monkey Bread

Thanks to dried herbs (such as oregano), chopped green olives, and cheese, this savory monkey bread tastes just like pizza. We love the spicy kick from red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil as it comes out of the oven makes it utterly addictive. Rolling each dough ball in garlic butter and then the cheesy, herby, olive-y mixture ensures that every bite—even at the bottom of the pot—is just as flavorful as the one beside it. To prevent the dough from over-proofing (and puffing up too much in the oven), take it out of the refrigerator while you prep the other ingredients, but no sooner—about 15 minutes before you begin to work with it.