I can’t believe it’s already Labor Day weekend! Even though it’s still 90 degrees outside and we’re loving hanging out in the pool, this holiday weekend marks the unofficial end to summer. I’m not ready to say good-bye to summer, but I am ready to say hello to all of my old neighbors who will be making their annual trip to our house for our yearly pool party! And what’s a party without some good food? Besides tasty food and drink and amazing company, the most important thing you can do when hosting a party is to make sure you practice food safety – keep hot foods hot (over 140F) and cold foods cold (under 40F) , avoid cross-contamination (keep raw and cooked foods separate), and make sure to have clean hands when handling the food. This week’s Fabulous Finds will ensure you have a great party!
Digital thermometer: Now that you know the importance of keeping food at the proper temperature, make sure you use a thermometer on your meat, chicken, pork, and fish, to ensure that it cooks to a safe temperature. Poultry (whole and ground) should reach 165F; fish is safe after 140F; shellfish should turn opaque; pork should reach 160F; and beef will range (145F for medium-rare to 170F for well-done), depending on the level of doneness your guests desire. www.cooking.com (prices vary)
Hot Sauce: One of my favorite TV chefs is Bobby Flay. I love his personality and his style of cooking. One of the best things about Southwest cooking is the sauces used. Well, Bobby has his own line of seasonings and hot sauces – Traditional, Jalapeno, and Habanero Mango. Big, bold flavors to make your food sing! www.cooking.com ($24.95)
Outset Nonstick Grill Basket: I love to grill fish, but I hate it when it sticks to the grill. The solution – put the fish in a grill basket. Makes it easy to flip and get the beautiful grill marks you’re looking for. www.cooking.com ($21)
Nonstick Jalapeno Roaster: For a super-fun appetizer that’s sure to spice up your party, how about making some stuffed jalapenos? This handy device holds 16 jalapenos and roasts them over the fire (or in your oven) to sweet and spicy perfection. www.cooking.com ($12.95)