The ABCs of Summer Cooking

The ABCs of Summer Cooking

When it comes to cooking, the summer has several standards that have to do with grilling, baking fruit pies and throwing backyard parties. We’ve created a list of tips and recipes to help you this summer and give your cooking and entertaining skills a jump start!

All American Food – When people think of American recipes, these are the dishes that come to mind. They’re classic, delicious, and easy. How about this American Classic Potato Salad, All American Roast Beef and Yummy Apple Pie.

Burgers – No barbecue is complete without some grilled burgers. From beef to turkey to salmon to chicken or pork, you can make a burger out of any meat! Try Blue Ribbon Burgers or Bacon Stuffed Burgers.

Crock Pot – Don’t put your crockpot away this summer, utilize it in every way possible. Nothing is better than coming in after a fun day in the sun and finding your meal waiting for you. Try Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Crockpot Apple Pie.

Dad’s Day - Cooking up dad’s favorites or some of these delicious dishes that other dads have seriously enjoyed will show him how much he’s appreciated! Try Big Daddy BiscuitsHusband’s Delight and "Hubby's Favorite" Magic Cookie Bars.

Eggplant - Often overlooked, eggplant is one of our favorite summer vegetables. Some of the more popular eggplant dishes include Eggplant Parmesan or Easy Eggplant Lasagna but this summer vegetable's versatility lends itself to much more than that. Try Eggplant Mozzarella or Mini Eggplant Pizzettes.

Fruit Pies – Blueberry, strawberry and even rhubarb all all fresh and ready to be used in your next pie. These summer desserts will last long, but we bet they won’t! They’re that good. Try Blueberry Pie Supreme and Strawberry Pie.

Grilling – Without summer, we wouldn’t be able to spend time outdoors with the family, grilling our favorite foods. This summer, try Grilled Bourbon Chicken and Grilled Meatloaf. Make sure to check out these 100 Grilling Recipes! 

Holidays – Memorial Day begins the summer and Labor Day ends it. That means that you’ll have to throw parties for one of them. Why not go for an outdoor Memorial Day party or a Knockout Labor Day get-together.

Independence Day – This is the mother of all summer holidays. Celebrating the birth of our nation with fireworks, barbecue and friends and family. We have everything you need to celebrate, including Fourth of July Appetizers, Sides, and Desserts.

Jam and Jelly – Sticky foods like these don’t need to be saved for the winter. Especially when we have some delicious recipes for you, such as Easy Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Freezer Jam and Georgia Cucumber Jelly.

Kabobs – Another summer staple you can find throughout summer. Wooden bamboo skewers are inexpensive and easy to find, but they must be soaked at least 30 minutes in water preferably warm to the touch) prior to use. This keeps them from easily catching fire. If you get into the shish kebab habit, then you may wish to invest in stainless steel reusable skewers.

Lemonade and Other Drinks – Thirst-quenching drinks are there to cool you off during the warm months. Some contain alcohol, others are iced teas and of course, there are so many smoothies

Main Course Salads – Yes, they really can be a main course, you just need to make sure that you make enough and it’s filling. For example, try this Taco Salad or Spinach Salad. Even better is this Chicken Salad Wrap.

CorN on the Cob- Husks on or off, there's really no need to soak the ears or remove the silks (they'll come off with the husk). Place on hot grill. If husks are on, let them char a bit to impart a wonderfully smoky flavor to the corn and grill six to eight minutes. Or remove husks for beautiful color and taste (the heat caramelizes the sugar in the corn) and grill for 3 minutes.

Oils for Mayonnaise – When making a mayonnaise or mayonnaise-based dressing, it is best to use neutral flavored oil such as safflower or vegetable oil. If frying is your goal, then you should use oil with a high smoke point, such as lard or peanut oil.

Picnics – Celebrate picnic season with these 150 Picnic Recipes. You’ll never have a problem planning a picnic again! Just make sure to have some tasty Cole Slaw and you’re set!

Quick and Easy Desserts on the Grill – Like we said before, we want you to get as much as you can out of your grill. That means some grilled sweets too! Try Grilled Pears with Raspberry Sauce or Grilled Pineapple.

Road Trip – Vacations are one of the most fun parts of the summer, especially if it’s a huge family car trip. Instead of stopping at every diner, pack up a meal that you can enjoy at a road stop. Just think about all the memories you’ll make.

Soups – They’re cold, refreshing and a great fit on any summer menu. Try this Cold Melon Soup or the Savory Cold Mango Soup.

Tropical Fruit – Fit mango, pineapple and blackberries into your summer meals. Summer seems to be the best bearer of fruits which means it can be the best time to pack in those essential vitamins and nutrients that come from a healthy dose of fruit consumption. Besides being delicious, most summer fruits are also jam-packed with vitamin C, as you might already know

sUmmer Parties – We have a ton of summer party ideas for you. There’s the Summer Potluck Party, Tropical Party, Picnic Party or Pool Party.

Very Chilly Wine - Cabernet Sauvignon looks like it should be a full-bodied heavy wine, but depending on the varietal, it can be surprisingly light when paired with grilled steaks. From Argentina comes a wine that has a ripe flavor that would pair well with our Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese. 

Watermelon – We all know that watermelon is the best summer fruit. It’s huge, it’s pink and it’s so juicy. Check out our Top 10 Watermelon recipes, or just for this Shrimp and Watermelon Salsa Salad.

eXtra – Always make extra batches of food during the summer. You can always just freeze it, and have some the next day. You never know when fun plans will come up, leaving you with no time to cook. Freezing extra food is one of the best summer tips we have!

spicY - Summer means hot sun - and hot food! Did you know that eating spicy food causes endorphins to be released into the brain? It does! Try these great summer spicy foods, or just go for Spicy Grilled Shrimp.

Zucchini – Cram this summer veggie into your meals in some new and fun ways. You can go for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake, Zucchini Apple Pie or Zucchini Hash Browns.

Submit your favorite summer recipes here!

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