“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
There is nothing better than warm days, get-togethers, and fun to be had. The kids are finally out of school and trips are getting planned. Ahh . . . alas summer has arrived!
There is such beauty in gathering. Spending time with friends and family, filled with joy and laughter, and kids staying up way past their bedtime as memories are being made.
I’m a planning type of mom when it comes to meals, but summer has always been my time to let loose and enjoy those longer days with my little family.
Growing up, I spent my summers at Grandma’s in the mountains of Tennessee learning some of her favorites in the kitchen! It was from her and my momma’s recipes that I fell in love with the art of cooking and baking. I now enjoy doing the same with my own little one — and sharing for others to enjoy as well.
Here is a list of some of my summer favorites!
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!
Grab a snack, or two, or three.
No Bake Oatmeal Bites
⅔ cup finely chopped raw almonds
⅓ cup dried fruit of choice
1 ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup honey
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for one hour. Shape into bites for snacking! My kid loves them! And we do too!
Pimento Cheese Rollups
Pimento Cheese (bought or homemade)
Spread a thin layer of pimento cheese onto your flour tortilla and roll it up like a taco. Set in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to firm up. Then cut into bite-size snacks.
For the Sweet Tooth!
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c rolled oats
2 large bananas, mashed
1/2 c almond butter or any nut butter
1/4 c strawberries, chopped
1/4 c chocolate chips
Mix oats, bananas, and almond butter together. Then fold in your strawberries and chocolate chips. Scoop dough to make cookies onto a baking sheet and cook them at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool and EAT. Yum!
Strawberry Shortcake Bites
1 small Angel food cake or pound loaf (homemade or bought); cut into squares
1 c blueberries
1 c strawberries
Grab festive toothpicks and form your shortcake bites. These pair perfectly with Greek yogurt or fruit dip for dipping!
Premade tart shells (mini pie shells)
1 package white chocolate pudding
8 oz cool whip
Berries for garnish
Bake the mini pie shells from the package directions. While they bake, mix instant white chocolate pudding as instructed then let sit for 5-8 minutes and fold in the cool whip. Refrigerate until your shells are ready.
Once the shells are done, cool and scoop your custard base into the shells and add fresh berries or fruit. Keep tarts refrigerated until serving! Light, airy, and simply delicious.
Buffalo Chicken Dip (Slow Cooker)
4 c shredded cooked chicken (grab from the deli)
16 oz cream cheese (cut into cubes)
1 c buffalo hot sauce
1 c ranch dressing
2 c shredded cheddar
Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker and let cook 1-2 hours on high if you stir every half hour to keep the cheese from burning, or 3-4 hours on low stirring occasionally.
Pair with your favorite tortilla chips.
1 lb of grapes
8oz cream cheese
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 c sour cream
Sprinkled Brown Sugar (optional)
Chopped pecans (optional)
Mix sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and cream cheese to form the base. Throw in your grapes and mix with a spatula. Garnish with pecans and brown sugar. Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to three days. But in our house . . . it goes quickly!
Mango Chicken with Rice (Slow Cooker)
1.5-2 lbs boneless chicken tenderloins
1 whole mango cut in chunks
½ c sliced red onion
½ c cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 c lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons taco or fajita seasoning
Sour Cream (optional)
Lightly oil slow cooker with preferred oil to keep chicken from sticking. Place chicken in, then onions, and add 1 tablespoon of your seasoning. Add mangos, diced cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and lastly the second tablespoon of seasoning. Pour lime juice over everything. Cook on high for 3-4 hours dependent on the amount of chicken. Check halfway to make sure the chicken is tender and cooked through. Adjust your 3-4 hours accordingly.
Pair with your favorite rice and add an avocado or sour cream for garnish. The mango brings a refreshing bite.
I hope through my love of cooking you will get inspired also. Together we can gather and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Make memories, one recipe at a time.
I look forward to sharing more recipes with you seasonally and hopefully gaining a new recipe or two from your kitchen too!