Hazy, Hot and … Smoky

Trouble-free grilling ingredients and tools, plus a refreshing cocktail recipe, for your entertaining pleasure.

Grilling for Dummies: Seasonings and rubs by Gena Knox for easy entertaining.After surviving last week’s heat wave, I was thrilled to find the below mojito recipe on nytimes.com. The fragrant combination of mint and lavender is intoxicating on its own, but the addition of light, slightly sugary white rum, cut with lime and seltzer, makes this drink simultaneously soothing and refreshing. No doubt, a modest helping will put a little spring in your step, even if you feel like your face is melting.

It also seems to be a great cocktail to serve with any type of smoky, charred, Southern-spirited fish, pork or chicken dish, all excellent finales to the summer entertaining season. Which reminds me, the fabulous founder of Fire & Flavor (fireandflavor.com), Gena Knox, who I met at the Fancy Food Show, is starting to show up around the Main Line. Well, not her, of course, but her savory seasoning and brine mixes, plus cedar grilling planks and papers—many of which can now be procured at Hill’s Seafood in Newtown Square and Whole Foods in Devon and Wynnewood.

More must-have grilling items from Gena Knox's Fire & Flavor line, including cedar-based planks and papers.I haven’t tried the cedar papers yet, but they’re pretty much Knox’s answer to “Grilling for Dummies.” All you have to do is wrap your grilling item of choice—veggies, too—with these 100-percent-all-natural western red cedar papers, cook on a hot grill pan (inside) or grill grates (outside), and wait out the cooking process. Because the paper seals in a good portion of the heat, you get a nice combination of grilling and steaming—and a deliciously smoky, cedar-infused main course. Knox’s Skewer & Spice Packs are even simpler to use: Just toss or rub kabob-sized chunks of meat, seafood or vegetables, thread with a cedar skewer, and grill.

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Looks like you’ve run out of excuses not to throw an end-of-summer shindig!

Lavender Mojito

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 1 drink

• 6-10 mint leaves
• 1 1/2 oz. lavender syrup
• 1 1/2 oz. white rum
• Juice of 1 lime
• Seltzer
• 1 lime wedge, for garnish

• In a pint glass, muddle mint leaves with lavender syrup. Add rum and lime juice; stir. Fill glass with ice, and top with seltzer. Garnish with lime wedge.

Adapted from The Girl & the Fig, Sonoma, Calif.; (707) 938-3634, thegirlandthefig.com

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