buffalo chicken skewers

Photo: Alexandra Grablewski

These skewers from Jennifer Segal, author of Once Upon a Chef, the Cookbook, will please appetites big and small.

Get the recipe: The Best Summer Skewers
black bean corn salad

Photo: Alexandra Grablewski

Perhaps the best compliment this salad ever received was from one of my readers, who confessed to me, "I'm having an affair with this salad . . . please don't tell anyone." Another reader told me that she made this salad for a party, and later found one of her guests in her study, printing out copies of the recipe to hand out. It's just one of those crowd-pleasing, make-ahead recipes that everyone loves. Whether I serve it as a salad with grilled chicken or as a dip with tortilla chips (highly recommend!), the bowl is always empty and the plates are always full.

Get the recipe: Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
beef satay

Photo: Alexandra Grablewski

This is one of my favorite recipes in this book. And even though it's in the appetizer chapter, I often serve it for dinner. The whole family loves it, and the payoff in flavor is totally disproportionate to the effort involved. The hardest part—and, believe me, it's not hard—is slicing the beef. After that, you simply whirl the marinade in a blender, slather it on the beef, and grill. The sauce comes together in a flash, too.

There's no need to wait for grilling weather to make these. I've cooked them under the broiler and in a stovetop grill pan (many times without the skewers, if I'm feeling lazy), always with success. Metal or wooden skewers may be used. You'll need about 24 short skewers or 12 long ones.

Get the recipe: Grilled Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce