Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Five favorite Summer recipes

Summer is here!  While we don't get extreme heat in Los Angeles, summer brings a sense of wanting to be outside and not inside cooking.

So as I link up with Hallie at Moxie Wife, I bring you five fun summer recipes that are a hit with my family.
(Mind you, I love to cook but now that I am a busy mom, simple and quick... and affordable are key!)

Also, anyone that knows me knows I don't follow recipes... so I searched for actual recipes but you'll see each one has some modification.

1.  Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

I modify this salad a bit... lose the vinegar, oil, and pepper.  Add a squeeze of lime.  It is the freshest summer flavor.  The little ones gobble it up.  This with a side of grilled chicken is perfect for an informal cookout.

2.  It's not summer without some homemade salsa.

My modifications here--- add honey instead of sugar (makes the flavor deeper).  Lose the extra jalapeno if it's for my family since it's too spicy for the girls.  Serve it on top of grilled chicken for dinner or chips for a snack.  It could last a few days in the fridge if we didn't devour it so quickly.

3.  Happy for hummus!

Hummus is a perfect summer food and it's so easy to make.  It's great  because I always have the ingredients and can make it in a flash.  We often have it as a side to a Greek salad so it becomes dinner.  Otherwise it's great as a snack with carrots and celery.  And of course my girls love dippin' and eating!

The changes I make to this recipe--- I add two tablespoons of sesame seeds since we have sesame seeds on hand in the cupboard and I never have tahini.  I also change it up by adding fresh basil or cilantro.  Both are yummy.

4.  Bring on the soup.  Gazpacho, that is!

Everyone in our family loves soup... so when summer hits, it's time for cold soup.  We enjoy a yummy gazpacho.  In this recipe, I will use fresh tomatoes if we have some getting older... or a can will work too.  I love that either is okay.  I serve it with toasted cheese bread because who doesn't like toasted cheese bread?? (My husband!... his is cheeseless.)

5.  Every good meal needs dessert!  Eclair Cake

This is one dated recipe!  My best friend's mom in grade school made this dessert and then I made it for a
4-H project (can I get a head, heart, hands and health!!).  

The Eclair Cake is my go-to summer cake.  I love to modify it... but the basic concept is soggy graham crackers are super yummy!  The recipe I am copying has homemade frosting.  I use to do that... but these days I often succumb to substandard tubs of frosting.  No shame..... it's easy.  

The reason I love this cake is it's good to make ahead and all the ingredients can be stored on your shelf.  
Some modifications I've made-- folded in berries and topped with cool whip and berries for July 4th and most recently I folded in pineapple, topped with cool whip and added shredded coconut for a tropical flavor.  

Stay cool and enjoy summer!!


1 comment:

  1. Holy smokes, Jill! These ALL look delicious! I'm so hungry right now;)

    My fave homemade salsa is from Pioneer Woman, and it is super easy and delicious.

    I have to go now, because that eclair cake is actually killing me. I'm going to bite my laptop screen.

    Thanks for linking up with me!!:)