Posts tagged under Summer. Show all posts.
Ever since we were inspired to eat a little more like the French, I’ve been looking for snacks that aren’t so heavy to offer to the kids when they come home from school. I’m convinced that my children often confuse hunger for thirst (with boys not drinking much from their water bottles during the day?), and I’ve been trying to offer thirst quenchers in lieu of food when it comes to their after-school snacks.
Our neighbourhood coffee shops offer frozen hot chocolates this time of the year, and while tasty and refreshing, they are also extremely pricey at almost five dollars a pop. This makes them more of a luxury treat than an afternoon snack, but like most things we enjoy eating out, I’ve taken to making my own version at home.
The kids are happy with their sweet after-school refreshment, and I’m thrilled to be saving money while simultaneously keeping their drinks as healthy as possible.
What are you making for after-school snacks these days?
Find the full printable recipe here: Simple Frozen Chocolate Milk
This one is for the moms (and dads!) out there.
Last week, I shared a recipe for Frozen Hot Chocolate, which is the perfect after-school snack for upcoming hot and humid days. But what about us moms? I don’t know about you, but I’m usually desperate for a cup of caffeine around 3 pm every day. Only now, here in Toronto, it’s far too hot to indulge in a steaming cup of something, so I’ve switched out for my favourite teas in favour of some cold-pressed beverages.
Why cold-pressed? Experts state that while you could easily make a pot of coffee (or tea) and cool it over a glass of ice, the cold-brewed version (steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 hours) has lower acidity and less bitterness than warm-brewed coffee. Plus, it takes no special equipment to do it this way, making the process incredibly simple.
Oh, and last weekend when I hit up my local coffee shop for a large iced coffee and medium iced tea and I paid a whopping $7 for the two. The at-home version is pennies per glass and can be customized with your favourite flavours.
What are you drinking to stay cool these days?
Find the full printable recipe here: Cold-Pressed Iced Coffee
I’m having a little love affair with frozen treats this season. I’ve been making popsicles of all varieties for my kids, and it seems that I have amassed quite the collection of wooden sticks, paper cups and funky holders. Part of the charm of the traditional ice-lolly is not only how it tastes, but also how it looks.
The following frozen treats popped up in my inbox early last month and I knew immediately that they would be perfect for mid-June. Now that school is winding down, we seem to have a lot of kids continuously coming in and out our door these days, and keeping a steady supply of these on hand is an easy way to feed them all.
Are you a fan of frozen treats? What are you currently whipping up?
Find the full printable recipe here: Berry Swirl Ice Pops
Last year I made a s’mores kit for Jackson’s teacher. It was her very first year teaching, and while she received one large class gift that all the kids contributed to, he wanted to put together a little something just from him. Since then, we have made this gift box several more times; it’s been a summer party favour, part of a birthday present, and even a thank you gift.
To make the kit, I picked up a small (approx. 5” x 7”) wooden box at my local dollar store, and painted it with a light acrylic green paint. We filled the box with a package of homemade marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate squares. Because we weren’t sure of the teacher’s summer plans, we included the directions for making s’mores in the microwave, oven and over a fire so she would be able to assemble them wherever she would be. I downloaded a cute campfire font and used that for the recipe card, as well as the front cover of the gift box.
Any plans to visit friends at their cottage this year? I would definitely take up a few of these boxes to leave behind as a thank you for hosting you and your noisy kids!
DIY S’mores Gift Box
How to Make:
My go-to dinner this summer is taco salad.
Not only is it completely family-friendly, and makes for an excellent week night dinner, it’s also a total winner when it comes to entertaining, feeding a crowd, or hosting a dinner party. The flavours pair perfectly with the warm weather, and many of the items required are in season making it an economical choice as well.
I like to serve my taco salad family-style, allowing my kids or my guests to help themselves to the items they like best. The platter in the photograph above typically feeds six people—and if you’re entertaining, I’d suggest making a few of them and scattering them over a buffet table accompanied by bowls of grated Monterey Jack cheese, creamy guacamole, flavoured sour cream (think chipotle, lime and cilantro), crispy tortilla chips, sliced limes, chopped jalapenos and fresh salsa.
Feel free to swap the seasoned ground beef for grilled chicken or fish, or keep the meal completely vegetarian by offering a few different kinds of beans for the protein portion of the meal.
Does your family like taco salad? What are some of your favourite toppings?
Find the full printable recipe here: DIY Taco Salad
A couple of months ago I shared a recipe for frozen banana bites: sliced banana pieces dipped in melted chocolate and drizzled with sprinkles, nuts, etc. This time I’ve elevated them just a little thanks to my friend, Julie, who recently wrote about serving Frozen Elvis’ at a party.
I loved the idea of adding chopped bacon and peanuts to my otherwise simple frozen treat. The salty flavours combine with the sweet fruit to make a perfect pairing, and seeing that bacon appears to be one of the must-eat foods this summer, the timing couldn’t be better.
You can make a platter of these for your own family, or serve a tray of them when you’re hosting a barbecue or summer gathering. I think your guests will thank you.
How do you feel about the use of bacon in many sweet treats these days?
Find the full printable recipe here: Frozen Elvis Bites
If you’re anything like me, this summer you’ve been lugging a large watermelon home from the grocery store or farmers’ market only to wonder how you’re going to go about storing the massive gourd.
A few weeks ago, I decided I would use a portion of each one and turn it into a cool and refreshing drink. It helps me with the storage issue and gives the kids something different to quench their thirst with.
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and K and anti-inflammatory properties, watermelon is not only sweet and juicy but also really good for you. I’ve managed to pare the sugar down to just half a cup and I’m thinking it might even be easily replaced with honey, although I’ve yet to try that.
What are you drinking to keep cool these days?
Find the full printable recipe here: Watermelon Lemonade
There is no doubt that it’s peach season around most of our country, and luckily for us, it’s also pie season. If you combine the two, one of summer’s most delectable desserts can be found around tables everywhere in the coming months.
I like to make pies just about as much as the next person, but I don’t always love the labour involved in putting one together—especially on a hot summer afternoon. I spotted these individual peach pies over on The Kitchn and I thought they were pure genius, so I’ve recreated my own version for you.
Using either store-bought or homemade pie dough, there is no peeling, chopping, rolling and crimping involved here. Essentially, the peach is sliced in half in order to remove the pit, the insides are sprinkled with a modest amount of sugar and healthy dose of ginger before being put back together and then wrapped in a layer of pastry. Baked until golden, these individual pies are perfect for the kids, to pack for a picnic, or even when served at an adults-only dinner party. I liked mine garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, but you can serve them plain or with ice cream if you like.
What is your favourite flavour of summer pie?
Find the full printable recipe here: Easy Peach Pie
As soon as the weather turns warmer, what I’m drinking becomes nearly as important as what I plan on eating. Gone are the mugs of tea, and occasional hot chocolate, and in their place are homemade strawberry rhubarb sodas, iced coffee, and simple sangria, designed for weeknight dinners.
Cool and refreshing, this diluted beverage is perfect for sipping alongside barbecued anything, and can be made in single serving sizes or plump pitchers for sharing. Feel free to great creative with the fruit additions; I keep it simple by only using citrus when it’s just my husband and I having a glass with dinner, but berries and other mixed fruits would be a charming addition as well.
If time permits chill the wine/lemonade mixture before serving in order to prevent the ice from melting too quickly and thinning out the flavour of the punch. Also, although red wine is what’s traditionally used when making sangria, white wine works nicely as well.
And if you’re entertaining mom this Mother’s Day, this drink will go nicely with brunch, lunch or dinner—whatever you’re serving.
What are some of your favourite warm-weather drinks?
Find the full printable recipe here: Weeknight Sangria
This one creation can be used on so many of your summer meats:
I’ve been stocking this chimichurri spice concoction in my cupboard for years, and next to my charcoal chimney, it’s the most-used element in summer grilling. All of the above suggestions have been tried, plus a few more, and each one is just a little more delicious than the last.
This concoction is flavourful and versatile, two of my favourite culinary adjectives. It’s also adaptable. If you like more heat, increase the quantity of the crushed red pepper, and if you’re concerned about your salt intake, reduce it just a tad. Just be sure to use fresh dried herbs and not the ground variety, but most importantly, enjoy.
Find the full printable recipe here: Dry Chimichurri Rub
Last week, over on my personal blog, I wrote a post about my secrets for simple summer entertaining. One of the tips I gave was to always keep your freezer stocked with cookie dough balls and ice cream, so homemade ice cream sandwiches are only ever a few minutes away.
I suggested keeping dough, and not pre-baked cookies, on hand because there’s really nothing quite like cold ice cream smothered between fresh baked cookies. In fact, it’s one of the ways guaranteed to ensure perfect ice cream sandwiches every time.
Another tip? Make sure your ice cream is very cold. Nobody wants to have a sloppy sandwich in hand before they’ve had the chance to take their first bite. Also, don’t plop a large ball of ice cream on top of your cookie, but rather, shave the ice cream in a line and rest it in layers that can be pressed together. Otherwise, the cookie will crumble when pressed on if it envelops a large mound.
Another benefit to keeping a freezer full of dough balls on hand is that you’ll only make the number of cookies required for the sandwiches you’re making, avoiding the temptation to eat more than one (and trust me, you will be tempted). Oh, and under bake the cookies slightly for a perfect soft centre, yet slightly sturdier exterior.
Some of my favourite ice cream sandwich combinations include:
How about you? Do you make ice cream sandwiches and, if so, what’s your favourite flavour combination?
Looking for more frozen treat inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board for lots of cool ideas.