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Bean dip, skirt steak, wedge salad: Hot weather entertaining made simple

Alex Guarnaschelli whips up bean dip, wedge salad and peppery steak for warm-weather entertaining.
/ Source: TODAY

Celebrity chef, cookbook author and restaurateur Alex Guarnaschelli joins TODAY Food to share a few of her favorite warm-weather entertaining recipes. She shows us how to make a garlic and curry white bean dip with pickled carrots, a cool iceberg wedge salad with creamy Russian dressing and peppery skirt steak with feta vinaigrette..

This is a dip that I love just as much served at room temperature as I do chilled from the fridge. I have been known to use this just as frequently as a cool spread for a roasted pork sandwich and even as a thickener for a vegetable soup. Pickling carrots is like giving them a fabulous spa treatment. Serve them with this creamy dip to give your guests something that feels special and different.

I really love ketchup and mayonnaise. Not only that, they are two condiments that I generally never make from scratch. Hellmann's mayonnaise and Heinz ketchup are classics and I haven't made a batch from scratch that has tasted as good to me. I like to amplify the flavors with really good pickles and fresh horseradish.

A simple peppery steak with a super tasty vinaigrette and some feta cheese? Sign me up! Serve the sliced steak and vinaigrette over any lettuce or some sliced tomatoes too.

Strawberry Jam Bars

Alex Guarnaschelli

My mother never made these kinds of desserts when I was growing up because lemons and limes were always reserved for pies and cakes. I was swimming in a sea of lemon curd at all times, it seemed. I make these when I want a dessert that can go with any meal and double as an indulgent breakfast treat. You would be surprised how well hot coffee and these fruit notes go together. Like a lemon peel with an espresso.

If you like those entertaining recipes, you should also try these:

Big Batch Green Tea, Vodka and Pear Punch
No-Bake Blueberry and Banana Icebox Cake