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SUMMER RECIPES

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Summer is a time for fun, swimming, hiking, camping and spending time with friends and family.  No one likes to be in the kitchen for hours in the summer so I've put together a collection of summer recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare from start to finish.

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RECIPES

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Summer Fruit Salad

Cool off quick this summer with a delicious fruit salad! Fresh bananas, oranges, strawberries and grapes combine with creamy dressing for one cool, refreshing treat.

3 medium bananas, sliced

4 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 cup strawberry, cut in half

1 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half

Sour Cream-Honey Dressing (See Below)

1. Toss bananas, oranges, strawberries and grapes.

2. Make Sour Cream-Honey Dressing; pour over fruit. Toss until fruit is well coated.

Sour Cream-Honey Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon orange juice

Mix all ingredients until smooth.

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Summer Creamy Pasta Salad

If you're a fan of potato salad but need a new twist, try this delicious pasta salad! It's great served at backyard barbecues with grilled burgers, chicken or ribs.

1 package Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® ranch & bacon pasta salad mix

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 medium chopped green onions (1/4 cup)

1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

3 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped

1. Fill large saucepan 2/3 full of water. Heat to boiling. Stir in contents of Pasta-Vegetable pouch. Gently boil uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

2. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.

3. Stir together Seasoning mix, mayonnaise, mustard, onions and celery in large bowl. Stir in pasta and eggs until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

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Summer Garden Chicken Stir-Fry

You can measure and organize all the ingredients for this dish the night before serving. When you get home, toss this tempting stir-fry when the family is together.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped gingerroot

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

1 cup baby-cut carrot, cut lengthwise in half

1 cup chicken broth3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups broccoli flowerets

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 ounces)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup hot cooked Chinese plain noodles

1. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and gingerroot; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is brown.

2. Add onion, carrots, 3/4 cup of the broth, the soy sauce and sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring twice.

3. Add broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-tender.

4. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup broth; stir into chicken mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. Serve over noodles.

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Summer canadian Bacon and Gouda Salad

Just peachy! A honey-Dijon dressing, baby spinach and fresh sliced peaches make this a sweet-and-savory salad treat.

1 bag (10 ounces) ready-to-eat baby spinach

12 ounces sliced canadian-style bacon, cut in half

8 ounces Gouda cheese, sliced

2 medium fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup honey Dijon dressing

Arrange spinach on 4 plates.

Top with bacon, cheese and peaches. Drizzle with dressing.

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Cornucopia of Summer Fruits (Crowd Size)

For the prettiest presentation, use a variety of seasonal fruits to fill this scalloped watermelon shell.

1 medium watermelon

12 cups assorted sliced fresh fruit or berries

Fresh mint leaf

1. Cut off one-fourth of 1 end of watermelon at an angle, using sharp knife, so remaining watermelon is shaped like a cornucopia. Cover and refrigerate end portion to use as desired.

2. Cut thin slice from bottom of watermelon to keep it from tipping. Scoop out watermelon, leaving 1/2- to 1-inch shell; reserve watermelon chunks. Drain shell. Cut edge of open end of watermelon shell in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate watermelon shell up to 24 hours.

3. Fill watermelon shell with watermelon chunks (cut into bite-size pieces) and other fresh fruit just before serving, allowing fruit to cascade out end of shell. Garnish with mint leaves.

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Strawberry Shortcakes

Shortcakes are the sweet sister to biscuits, and they make an awesome dessert when topped and filled with strawberries and whipped cream.

2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick® mix

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Sweetened sliced strawberries

Whipped topping or whipped cream

1. Heat oven to 425ºF.

2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, sugar and butter until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped topping. (Sweeten strawberries before making shortcakes so sugar has time to dissolve; for each quart of sliced strawberries, stir in 1/2 cup sugar.)

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Lemon-Pepper Vegetables

Eating fresh, healthy foods doesn’t have to be difficult. Using lemon pepper seasoning is an easy way to add flavor to quick sautéed or stir-fried vegetables.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 small celery stalk, cut diagonally into slices

3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

6 ounces fresh snow (Chinese) pea pods

1. Heat 10-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil; rotate skillet to coat side.

2. Add squash, bell pepper, celery and onions; stir-fry about 2 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender. Stir in lemon juice, lemon pepper and pea pods; cook and stir about 1 minute or until pea pods are crisp-tender.

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Italian Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

Fire up the grill, and make use of those fresh vegetables from your garden or a favorite farmers’ market to create an easy, one-of-a-kind pasta salad.

1 small zucchini or yellow summer squash , cut into 1-inch slices

8 cherry tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into eighths

1 package (8 ounces) fresh mushroom

1/2 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing

1 package Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® classic pasta salad mix

1/3 cup cold water

1. Toss zucchini, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and dressing in large bowl until well coated.

2. Brush grill rack lightly with vegetable oil, or spray with cooking spray. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Place vegetables on grill, using slotted spoon. Grill uncovered 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, turning once and brushing with remaining dressing in bowl, until crisp-tender. Refrigerate vegetables uncovered in single layer while making pasta.

3. Empty Pasta mix into large pan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Using same bowl with any remaining dressing, stir together Seasoning mix and cold water; set aside. Drain pasta; rinse with cool water. Shake to drain well. Cut grilled vegetables in half if desired; stir vegetables and pasta into seasoning mixture. Just before serving, toss with Topping. Serve immediately, or refrigerate.

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Couscous-Vegetable Salad

Zesty pesto and balsamic vinegar pair to flavor this pasta toss of colorful sautéed, crisp-tender vegetables.

1 cup uncooked couscous

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 container (7 ounces) refrigerated pesto with sun-dried tomatoes or Basil pesto

2 tablespoons balsamic or cider vinegar

1. Make couscous as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion in oil about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender.

3. Toss couscous, vegetable mixture, pesto and vinegar in large bowl. Serve warm or cool.

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Caribbean Chicken and Black Bean Salad

Fresh, colorful veggies join spiced-up chicken and canned black beans in this flavor-packed salad.

Spicy Lime Dressing (See Below)

2 cups cut-up cooked chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1 medium avocado, peeled and chopped

1 small yellow summer squash, chopped

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drainedLeaf lettuce

1. Make Spicy Lime Dressing.

2. Toss remaining ingredients except lettuce in large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss. Serve on lettuce.

Spicy Lime Dressing

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 drops red pepper sauce

Shake all ingredients in tightly covered container.

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Southwestern Chicken Stir-Fry

A spicy marinade gives this veggie-packed stir-fry the flavors of the Southwest.

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 small zucchini

1 small yellow summer squash

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup medium Old El Paso® Pi cante Sauce sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Mix lime juice and chili powder in medium glass or plastic bowl; stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. Cut zucchini and yellow squash into thin slices.

2. Heat 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil; rotate skillet to coat side.

3. Add chicken and marinade; stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; rotate skillet to coat side. Add zucchini and yellow squash; stir-fry about 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add chicken, pi cante sauce and cilantro; cook and stir until hot.

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Spicy Beef Stir-Fry (Cooking for 2)

Take a tasty tour of China at today’s dinner table! Western China boasts robust, spicy dishes like this beefy stir-fry.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Chinese chili sauce with garlic

2 teaspoons sesame or vegetable oil

1/2 pound beef flank steak, cut across grain into 1/8-inch strips

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup beef broth

1/3 pound snow (Chinese) pea pods, cut diagonally into pieces (1 cup)

2 cups hot cooked rice or soba noodles

1. Mix cornstarch, soy sauce and chili sauce; set aside. Heat wok or 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil; rotate wok to coat bottom and side. Add beef; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until beef is brown. Remove beef from wok.

2. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to wok; rotate wok. Add squash; stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook about 3 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture, pea pods and beef. Stir-fry over high heat about 2 minutes or until pea pods are crisp-tender. Serve over rice

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Chicken Club Sandwiches

Summer’s delight, this sandwich is stacked high with chicken, bacon and fresh garden goodness!

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

18 slices bread, toasted

12 lettuce leaves

6 slices (3 ounces each) cooked chicken

18 slices tomato (3 medium)

12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and drained

Salt and pepper, if desired

1. Spread mayonnaise over 1 side of each slice of toast. Place 1 lettuce leaf and 1 chicken slice on each of 6 toast slices.

2. Cover with second toast slice, mayonnaise side up. Top with lettuce leaf, 3 slices tomato and 2 slices bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Cover with third toast slice, mayonnaise side down; secure with wooden picks. To serve, cut diagonally into triangles

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Creamy Caramel-Peach Parfaits

It’s a peach of a dessert with only 4 ingredients! No baking or cooking makes it a winner for a hot summer day.

2/3 cup caramel topping

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

5 soft molasses cookies, broken up

1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches, drained and cut into pieces

Additional soft molasses cookies, crumbled, if desired

1. Fold caramel topping into whipped topping in small bowl.

2. Layer broken cookies, topping mixture and peaches in 6 parfait or other tall glasses. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

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Pesto Vegetables

The flavors of summer can be yours year-round with this flavor-packed side dish.

1 bag (1 pound) Green Giant Select® frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower

1/3 cup basil pesto2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook and drain vegetables as directed on package.

2. Toss vegetables and pesto. Sprinkle with cheese.

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Zesty Deviled Eggs

What's summer without deviled eggs? Horseradish and ground mustard put zip into this easy make-ahead recipe.

6 hard-cooked eggs

1/2 cup finely shredded cheese (2 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons mayonnaise, salad dressing or half-and-half

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Tiny cooked shrimp, sliced olives or sliced pimiento, if desired

1. Peel eggs; cut lengthwise in half. Slip out yolks and mash with fork. Mix yolks and remaining ingredients except shrimp.

2. Fill egg whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly. Garnish with shrimp

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Lemon Cookies

Refreshing! A great lemon cookie treat made easy with cake mix and frosting. They're great with lemonade on a hot summer day.

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® lemon cake mix

1/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 tub Betty Crocker® Whipped or Rich & Creamy lemon ready-to-spread frosting

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir about half of the cake mix (dry), the shortening, butter and egg in medium bowl until well mixed. Stir in remaining cake mix.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. 3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet; cool completely. Frost with frosting. Rolled Cookies: Divide dough into 4 equal parts; roll each part 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface with cloth covered rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown around edges.

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