4 Smart-Kitchen Essentials for Summer Cooking

Preparing dinner for family and friends doesn’t have to mean sacrificing time in the great outdoors. Bonus: Two delicious recipes.

Summer is fast approaching here in the Centennial state. For many of us Coloradans, warm weather means more sunlight to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family.

But if you’re the resident chef in your home—or if you love to entertain and host dinner parties—toiling in the kitchen might equate to spending less time lounging by the pool with the kids or trekking the foothills with your hiking buddies. Thankfully, we live in the age of leading-edge technology, which can extend the time you spend enjoying the summer with loved ones without sacrificing the joy of a delicious, home-cooked meal.

These four smart-kitchen appliances will have you planning your summer meals (and block parties) in no time. And just in case you need a head start, we’ve included delicious recipes for Bourbon Bacon Bread and Chicago Style Mussels.

1. Not your average pizza oven

Make homemade pizza in just two minutes with an indoor, fully electric pizza oven. While the appliance generates up to 1,300 degrees of dough-bubbling heat, it won’t raise the temperature of your kitchen, so you can cook the kids’ personal pies while they’re all gathered around the table or kitchen island. Another benefit of having a pizza oven indoors: You can enjoy fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza year-round. Win-win.

2. Forget the water dispenser

A good party host always knows when food and drink needs replenishing, and in the Colorado heat, a steady source of water is key. Auto-fill pitchers are now being built into refrigerator columns, allowing you to dock the pitcher on the shelf while a censor refills it to the 90 percent mark. This way you can quickly make the rounds to top off your guests’ water glasses, instead of bringing each glass to the dispenser—a real time-saver and super convenient.

3. An oven you can connect with

Wi-Fi technology now enables you to spend more time outside by controlling your oven temperatures and times from the app on your phone. On a walk and end up stopping for a chat with the neighbors? No worries. Just preheat your oven remotely from the app so it’s ready for that casserole when you walk through the door.

4. Same precision, faster results

If you adore a home-cooked meal but don’t necessarily love spending hours in the kitchen, a speed-cooking oven might just be your new best friend. The speed-oven has a halogen lamp which creates that crisping, roasting and browning of a typical oven that we all love, but in less than half the amount of time. Mind-blowing but true! Now you can spend way more time savoring your meal—and your summer—with the people who matter most.

Get cooking!



  • 5 slices thick cut bacon, rough chopped
  • 4 scallions, rough chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 4 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 2 ¾ cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon smoked sea salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon smoked garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoon egg wash


  1. Cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crunchy, then set aside.
  2. Add the yeast to your stand mixer bowl and pour in the water.  Gently stir with a spoon to incorporate.
  3. On low speed, using a dough hook, slowly add the bacon fat, flour and spices.
  4. Continue to mix on low for another 4 minutes.
  5. Add the cheese and bacon into the dough then mix until combined.
  6. Divide the dough into two loaf pans and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Proof dough for about 2 hours and then brush the top with egg wash.
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.



  • 1 pound mussels
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 6 ounces local Chicago wheat ale
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig oregano, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 1/8 cup hot gardinera relish
  • 1/8 cup tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. To the pan, add bacon fat, gardinera, and garlic, then cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the fresh herbs, ale, and tomato puree.
  4. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking for another 1 minute.
  5. Add the mussels and cook just until they open.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Bon appétit!

Elise Raydo Kersh is Designer Engagement Leader with Monogram, an appliance company that creates premium products with high style, superior craftsmanship and award-winning technology, raising the bar on what’s possible in the kitchen. View their profile or contact Elise at 469-585-8835.

Content for this article provided by Monogram Appliances.

Categories: Entertaining