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Houston's Best Summer Foods

Houston's best summer foods: These underrated delights stave off the food coma

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Creamsicle popcicle
Oh, and about those Creamsicles? If you crave that taste of childhood summers as an adult, there are plenty of cocktail recipes that will bring back the memory while quenching your thirst. 2young.vn
Urban Harvest tomatoes Tomato Fest May 2013 farmers market
There’s nothing that says summer more to me than an early morning trip to the farmers market to score tomatoes and cucumbers to make salads and sandwiches with. Urban Harvest/Facebook
The Barrel and Brew club sandwich french fries and Saint Arnolds beer
 Keep some cold Saint Arnold’s beer close by to stay hydrated. Photo courtesy of The Barrel and Brew
Mexican street corn
I recommend grilled Mexican corn. WIkimedia Commons/Photo by ProtoplasmaKid
watermelon margarita
And for that summertime cocktail party? How about watermelon margaritas? Pinterest.com
Creamsicle popcicle
Urban Harvest tomatoes Tomato Fest May 2013 farmers market
The Barrel and Brew club sandwich french fries and Saint Arnolds beer
Mexican street corn
watermelon margarita
News_Marene Gustin_columnist_mug_head shot

When I was little the taste of summer was mostly about ice-cold watermelon slices, Mom’s yellow mustard potato salad with cold fried chicken and Creamsicles.

Now it’s about fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing that says summer more to me than an early morning trip to the farmers market to score heritage tomatoes and cucumbers to make salads and sandwiches with. I love to rough cut the fresh veggies into a bowl with a little homemade mayonnaise. Makes a great lunch with a nice glass of rosé. I recently had a little rosé tasting at Giacomo’s cibo e vino and bought a bottle of Domaine Lafond – Roc Epine 2013 Tavel.

 I’m not really into vegetarian foods but this is a delicious and filling sandwich that won’t send you into a food coma on a hot Houston day. 

It’s a French wine, oddly enough, bought at an Italian place. But the Italians I sampled weren’t quite as fruity and full as the Tavel. It really is summer in a bottle.

As for the sandwiches, use some chewy sourdough bread, with mayonnaise on both sides, add thick slices of tomato — sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt — and cucumber slices. I’m not really into vegetarian foods but this is a delicious and filling sandwich that won’t send you into a food coma on a hot Houston day.

Pair with a Duchman Family Winery Vermentino and add a few frozen green grapes in the glass to keep it chilled. A much better idea than using ice cubes that will just melt and water down your wine.

Oh, and hamburgers and hot dogs are great summer fare. Best when you grill your own in the backyard, even in the summer heat. Just keep some cold Saint Arnold’s beer close by to stay hydrated.

And if you’re also in the kitchen cooking up some hand-cut French fries to go with those burgers and dogs, I applaud you: I’ve never been good around hot oil.

Instead, I would recommend grilled Mexican corn. When I actually had a backyard with a barbecue I used to wrap corn on the cob in foil and toss them on the coals to cook but this is a way tastier version. Put the shucked ears directly on the grill until slightly blackened, no more than 10 minutes. When they come off the grill, brush them with mayonnaise (again with summer mayonnaise, something I rarely eat in the fall), sprinkle with chili powder, squeeze a little lime juice over them and some grated Parmesan cheese.

A truly delicious summer treat.

Summer Drinks

And for that summertime cocktail party? How about a pitcher of watermelon margaritas?

Puree chunks of watermelon in a blender, strain the remains into a pitcher, add a little lime juice, tequila (I’m currently partial to the KAH Tequila, mainly because it comes in a really cool Day of the Dead skull bottle) and Triple Sec. Coat the rims of the glasses with kosher salt and chili powder and you’ve got a refreshing beverage.

 If you crave that taste of childhood summers as an adult, there are plenty of cocktail recipes that will bring back the memory. 

Oh, and about those Creamsicles?

If you crave that taste of childhood summers as an adult, there are plenty of cocktail recipes that will bring back the memory while quenching your thirst.

Drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream (preferably Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla) into a glass, add one ounce of vanilla flavored vodka, a half ounce of Triple Sec and fill the rest of the glass with fresh orange juice.

Boom, that’s how to make an adult Creamsicle.

So drink up and eat well this summer. It’s going to be long and hot and you deserve some tasty treats.

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