Summer Favorites

Mint Julep

Can you believe it is mid-July?  August will be here – next week.  Where has the summer gone?  When summer began I had a long list of things that I wanted to make sure I accomplished before summer’s end.  I’m afraid that I have my work cut out for me.

I actually haven’t done as much cooking as I would like this summer.  Moving into a new home has taken up much of my energy  and today I found myself  thinking about all the things I wanted to make before summer’s end.  Instead of a traditional blog post, I thought I would serve up some culinary inspiration with a list of my “summer must-makes” from past blog posts.  Happy cooking!

Fried Okra

For a summer appetizer that people won’t be able to stop eating, try my recipe for fried okra.  I recently catered a seated dinner and as folks sipped watermelon margaritas, I fried up batch…after batch…after batch of cornmeal-dredged okra.   They ate it all.  Served hot and seasoned well with salt, it’s irresistible.

Deviled Eggs with Shrimp

Don’t want to be attached to the stove when your guests are around?  Deviled eggs with shrimp and shrimp ceviche are two great d0-ahead recipes that are sure to generate rave reviews.

Shrimp Ceviche 018

I’m still hoping to get up to the mountains for a day of hiking this summer.  I know Lady, our dog, would enjoy cooling off in the mountain streams and I certainly could use an excuse to make these Chewy Gooey Granola Bars.

Lady in mountains

Chewy Gooey Granola Bars

A day of hiking would also mean that I could self-medicate my sore muscles without guilt.  I’d love to sit down with a strawberry mojito. Or maybe a mint julep (see picture above).  Heck, depending on the hike, I might deserve both.

Strawberry Mojito

Hot summer days tend to make me lazy especially when it comes to  entertaining. I  want to see folks, but don’t want to have to do much.   While I typically make this slow-cooker pulled pork in the fall, I should be making it during the summer. It doesn’t require you to turn on the oven and feeds a crowd with minimal effort.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Keeping it simple and fresh, I’d pair it with this Summer Corn Salad that has been attracting tons of attention on Pinterest.  I’d love to know how many people prepared it over the 4th of July.   It’s been my top post for weeks now.

Summer Corn Salad

I am still planning on canning pickles, tomato sauces, and jams this year.  However, if I run out of time, I’ll get my pickle fix with these sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles.  Requiring far less work than traditional canning I think the result is just as good.

Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

And since even just thinking about the end of summer is bittersweet, I’ll end with my favorite summer dessert.  It doesn’t require turning on the oven and must be made in advance.  Add panna cotta with summer berries to your list of summer must-haves.

Panna Cotta with Summer Berries

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