Summer Kick Off Series

School is out and summer is FINALLY here. (I don’t know about you but I have been toast since Spring Break…) While the kids are at home times are busier than ever so I have put together some of my favorite quick recipes to make during the summer. I have a summer salad, smoothies (with the option of an adult version for when it’s 5 o’clock somewhere), and quick bites that are easy enough for even the most amateur of chefs. Tomorrow, I will share a fun list of activities to keep you and your kids busy throughout the hot summer months, courtesy of my dear friend and calligrapher extraordinaire, Catherine Cartie.

Fruit Salad

{with Honey Lime Dressing}

This fruit salad is a favorite of mine that my kids also LOVE! Chopping it all up at once makes it an easy go-to snack that they can help themselves to from the fridge. It also helps them beat the heat. Using the freshest, organic ingredients is the best way to make this salad really come alive.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped

  • 1 lb chopped fresh pineapple

  • 12 oz fresh blueberries

  • 12 oz red grapes, sliced into halves

  • 4 kiwis, peeled and chopped

  • 3 mandarin oranges

  • 2 bananas, sliced (optional - these don’t keep as well as the other fruits)

Honey Lime Dressing

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tsp lime zest (zest of 2 medium limes)

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Directions

  • Add all fruit to a large mixing bowl.

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, lime zest and lime juice.

  • Pour over fruit and toss to evenly coat, serve immediately

Kid Approved Strawberry + Banana Smoothies

My kids love to help out in the kitchen as much as possible, and this is a great recipe to let them run with. It is almost impossible to mess up a smoothie! You can sub your own preferred juices in, add in nut butter or sub that in for the yogurt, greens, chia seeds, maca or matcha powder. The possibilities are endless!

  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice

  • 1 1/2 bananas

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

  • 3/4 cup yogurt (cow, sheep, goat, cashew, coconut based…go wild)

  • fresh fruit and mint sprigs for garnish if you are feeling fancy

Directions

  1. Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Pour into glasses and serve.

  3. Wipe down cabinets if kids forgot to put blender top on.

Mom Approved Strawberry-Kiwi Mojito Smoothies

I will not judge you if you consume directly from the blender.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries (roughly chopped)

  • 1 1/2 cups kiwi (frozen, roughly chopped)

  • 8 fresh mint leaves

  • 2 ounces rum (or vodka, optional)

  • 2 cups crushed ice

Directions

  1. Blend

  2. Enjoy.

  3. Repeat.

Ham Sandwiches with Apricot Mustard

These homemade biscuits from Country Living are to die for and one of my favorite summer snacks. They always hit the spot!

Ingredients

Sandwiches

  • 3 1/2 C. All-purpose Flour (or a Gluten Free substitute), Spooned And Leveled, Plus More For Work Surface

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Powder

  • 3/4 Tsp. Baking Soda

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar

  • 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 C. (1 Stick) Cold Unsalted Butter (or Vegan substitute), Cut Into Pieces, Plus 2 Teaspoons Melted

  • 1 3/4 C. Cold Buttermilk

  • Sliced Ham

  • Apricot Mustard (Below), Sliced Extra-sharp Cheddar, And Lettuce Leaves, For Serving

  • Apricot Mustard

  • 1/2 C. Apricot Jam

  • 2 Tbsp. Whole-grain Mustard

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Directions

Sandwiches:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until coarse crumbs form.

  2. Make the biscuits: Stir buttermilk into flour mixture until just combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into 9 squares and transfer to a baking sheet, placing close together but not touching. Brush with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

  3. Halve biscuits and top with ham. Serve with Apricot Mustard, Cheddar, and lettuce alongside.

Make the Apricot Mustard:

  1. Whisk together apricot jam, whole-grain mustard, and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Makes 2/3 cup.

Hot Spinach Dip

This dip from Martha Stewart is my favorite for parties and is always a huge hit! ONLY make it if you have guests coming over or you WILL eat all of it. Not speaking from experience.

Ingredients

  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil, Plus More For Baking Dish

  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

  • 2 Pounds Spinach, Cleaned, Trimmed, And Coarsely Chopped

  • 1/2 Cup Milk - anything but skim

  • 6 Ounces Reduced-fat Bar Cream Cheese

  • 3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce

  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

  • Coarse Salt And Ground Pepper

  • Baguette Slices, Breadsticks, Or Crackers, For Serving

    Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
    Add spinach in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next; cook until completely wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander; drain, pressing to release all excess liquid.

  2. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 cup mozzarella; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.

  3. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments, as desired.

What are your go-to summer recipes? I am sure I am missing some great ones!