On these long and hot days of summer it can be difficult to find the motivation to get food on the table. After a long day at the pool, or when your house already feels so hot, the last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove or prepare a multi-step dinner for everyone. But you still need to find a way to feed everyone at home, and sometimes bring a dish or two to a barbecue. We have a few ideas here to keep you from melting down under the pressure.
3 Quick & Easy Summer Recipes
Fruity Lemonade Punch
This drink is a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike. It will work well for family dinner, or a reunion barbecue. It’s totally customizable, too, so if you have picky kids you can mix and match to create a drink they’ll love.
Start with lemonade – make your own if you’re fancy, but we like to use a powder mix or from frozen concentrate. Then, in a bowl or pitcher, add whatever fruit tickles your fancy. A frozen bag of raspberries is easy, delicious, and pretty. Cut up watermelon & cucumber is a fresh option. Peaches and mint give a flirty Southern taste. In just 5 minutes you can have a delicious beverage to please anyone and everyone.
Lemon Orzo Salad
When you need a side dish look no further. Green salads wilt in the heat, and mayo-based salads begin to look dangerous. This light pasta salad is healthy, easy to make, and keeps well at any temperature.
Boil 12 oz of orzo pasta to al dente, meanwhile cutting one bunch of asparagus into 1 inch pieces. In a second pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes and then drain and immediately submerge in ice cold water, to stop the cooking process (it keeps them green and fresh). Put the cooked orzo and asparagus in a large bowl with a pint of halved cherry tomatoes. In a small bowl, juice one lemon and then add the zest. Add 4 tbsp of olive oil, one clove of minced garlic, 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, and a dash of salt and pepper. Pour and mix into the orzo & vegetables. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste. Can be served warm, cold, or room temperature! Enjoy!
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Crock pot meals are great in the summer when you spend all day outside and come home ready to eat. They also help to keep your home cooler than when you use your oven for making meals. A pulled pork sandwich is a summer staple, and very easy to mix up.
Start with a boneless pork shoulder (2-4 lb is best), and add a dry rub of spices if you like. Slice up 2 medium green apples and a large onion and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Place your pork on the bed of sliced apples & onions. Slather the pork in a barbecue sauce of your liking – any kind will do. Top with a can of beer or cola and cook on low for 8 hours (best) or high for 4 hours (it’ll work). Remove from the crock pot and shred, removing gristle and fat. Place shredded meat back in the crock pot and mix with juices, apples, & onion. Serve on soft rolls, hoagies, or even over rice.