Summertime, and the living should be easy, right? Unfortunately there’s that small matter of providing nourishing food for kids and life-sustaining drinks for grownups. Here is a small collection of ideas designed to make your food and beverage preparation a little easier during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

  1. Make an herb basting brush by tying multiple sprigs of herbs (thyme and rosemary are particularly nice) to the handle of a wooden spoon (or even around an existing basting brush). They’ll release flavour into whatever meat you’re grilling every time you baste it with your favourite marinade (mine happens to be beer).

  2. It’s ice cream season. How many flavours does your family love? Keep all those cartons as fresh as the day you opened them by pressing down a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface of the ice cream before you replace the lid. No more tasteless ice crystals on top!

  3. Sangria emergency? Keep cubes of orange juice and berries in a ziplock bag in the freezer all summer long. Add a few handfuls to a jug along with a bottle of red wine, two cups of ginger ale and a quarter cup of Triple Sec or Cointreau; let the cubes melt for ten minutes and you’ve got a super-speedy batch of chilled sangria ready anytime the craving strikes.

  4. Save the guacamole! There’s nothing sadder (in my kitchen, at least) than leftover guacamole left to go brown and look unappealing. My solution? Smooth out the surface of the guacamole then pour a thin layer of milk over the top, just enough to cover. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and when you go to eat the remaining guacamole the next day, just drain off the milk, give it a little stir and no one will know it’s not freshly-made.

  5. Chop up some of your favourite seasonings that don’t store as well in the summer months and freeze them in small ziplock bags so you always have them on hand. I typically do this with garlic, onions and gingerroot, so they’re ready to grab by the tablespoon at a moment’s notice.

  6. Simplify your grilling prep by packing small portions of meat in your favourite marinade in ziplock bags, then freezing. The meat will start to tenderize as it freezes, completing the process as it thaws in just few hours – perfect for spontaneous barbeque entertaining!

  7. Make your own frozen fruit drink concentrates. Bring 1.5 cups of sugar plus 1 cup of water to a boil. When sugar has dissolved, let the mixture cool then add 1.5 cups of freshly-squeezed fruit juice (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit or a combination). Freeze in 1/2 cup portions. To reconstitute, blend 1/2 cup concentrate with 1/2 cup water, sparkling water, cranberry juice or chilled tea. Spike with your favourite spirits if the spirit moves you!

  8. Did you know there’s a Facebook group called “Freeze Pops cut my mouth but I keep eating them?” Yup – those plastic edges can be razor sharp, especially for sensitive little mouths. Simple trick – cut the top in a rounded (half-moon) shape rather than straight across. No more sharp sides to shred your lips!

  9. Bonus hack: Keep a container of grapes (red or green) in your freezer at all times. They’re the ultimate chiller for white wine – so much better than ice cubes and they won’t dilute your vino!! 

Visit the Yummy Mummy Club webpage for more info!