Some of my favorite things about summer are grilling and ice cream. And I have found some new products that I am absolutely obsessed with and have become summer staples for me.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca – fresh cantaloupe water made with just cantaloupe, water, lime juice, and a dash of sugar. The perfect refreshing summer drink!
We get a produce box every week from a local farm (Farmbox if you’re in DFW) and the last 2 boxes have both had cantaloupes. Like, ginormous cantaloupes that are so ripe you can smell them just walking past the kitchen. They’re incredible but we can’t eat that much cantaloupe.
I had multiple containers full of cubed cantaloupe at one point and had no idea what to do with it. And since it’s a million degrees in Texas right now, a refreshing drink sounded like the perfect thing to make.
This Cantaloupe Agua Fresca is so light and fresh and refreshing. Plus, it’s really simple, only 4 ingredients, and just requires you to blend everything together!
This post is sponsored by WellPet but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pupcakes – homemade dog cupcakes made with peanut butter and pumpkin. How cute are these for a dog birthday party?!
If this is your first time here, I’m kind of a crazy dog lady.
I have 3 dogs – you can see them in their Halloween costumes here. They are my constant companions, my co-workers, my hiking buddies, and the greatest source of comfort during hard times.
I’m definitely the dog lady that makes homemade treats (I have an entire category of homemade dog treats), I buy matching holiday sweaters for the dogs, and they all have birthday celebrations every year.
I made these Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pupcakes to celebrate Clementine’s (the little white poodle mix) adoptiversary a couple weeks ago and topped them with some Old Mother Hubbard mini size biscuits and how cute are they?!
Frozen Lemonade Pie – only 4 ingredients and no bake! Graham cracker crust with a sweet creamy lemonade filling. The perfect summer dessert!
Originally published August 10, 2011. Updated June 26, 2020.
I love a no bake pie in the summer. You know, the ones with only 3 or 4 ingredients and you just mix everything together and spread it out in a store-bought graham cracker crust. Those are my favorite.
This pie and my peanut butter pie are a couple recipes I make every single summer without fail. This one is especially good for the really hot days because it’s served right out of the freezer. It’s cold and creamy and delicious.
And it’s only 4 ingredients (including the graham cracker crust!) so it can’t be any easier.
This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #mycurrycuisine #blueelephant
When everything first started shutting down a few months ago and we were all trying to support our local businesses by ordering takeout, I fell in love with Thai curry. I’m not going to tell you how many times I ordered it from my favorite Thai place by my house.
Then we moved and I had to try all the Thai places near the new house to see who had the best curry.
And now I’ve moved on to making it at home! I was always a little intimidated by making it from scratch but I found Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine Yellow Curry Sauce which gives me restaurant quality curry without the work. It’s curry in a hurry!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – buttery mashed potatoes with roasted garlic. An easy side dish that goes with any meal!
I love mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes of all kinds. I even love those little cups of mashed potato flakes that you add water to and microwave. Are those even real potatoes? Who knows.
These Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes are my favorite though. (Okay, these or my Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. I can’t choose between them.)
They are easy enough to do on a weeknight but fancy enough for a dinner party or a holiday meal.
I have every single ingredient in my pantry or fridge at all times and I’m sure you do too! It’s just potatoes, garlic, butter, and milk! But they’re so flavorful and just perfect.
Spicy Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts – fresh brussels sprouts tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce and roasted until crispy and delicious.
I am happy to report that my children ate brussels sprouts (and liked them!) for the first time ever.
Roasted brussels sprouts are just the best. They get a little crispy on the outside but stay tender on the inside. And for these Spicy Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts, they’re tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce before being roasted so they are super flavorful.
These roasted brussels sprouts are easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for a dinner party or holiday meal!
Watermelon Mojitos – fresh mint, watermelon, and limes muddled together and topped with rum and sparking water. One of my favorite summer drinks!
This past weekend was my birthday weekend and I kicked it off by making Watermelon Mojitos!
A few weeks after we moved into our new house, a ton of mint started popping up in the corner of our backyard. That means mojitos all summer! Or my Watermelon Mint Margaritas!
This mojito recipe is so easy! I love a drink recipe that doesn’t call for squeezing juice from anything or blending anything and this requires none of that. Just smash everything together in the glass and top it with rum!
It’s also delicious! I’ve had the best luck with watermelons this year – they’ve all been so sweet and just perfect for drink recipes.
Cheesy Taco Chex Mix – Chex cereal, Goldfish crackers, pretzels, and peanuts tossed in a delicious taco seasoning and baked until crunchy and delicious!
I’m obsessed with homemade Chex Mix right now. Which you probably know because I just posted that Dill Pickle Chex Mix a few weeks ago. (I made it again yesterday because we’re all obsessed with it.)
I just think Chex Mix is the perfect snack for summer. I throw it in a big plastic container (or a ziploc bag) and we take it to the pool or to the lake. And because it has so much going on, there’s something everyone loves.
I love the Wheat Chex, my littlest loves the peanuts, and everyone else just grabs handfuls every time they walk past.
It’s also really easy and you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand!
Butterscotch Pudding Cookies – delicious and soft butterscotch cookies with butterscotch chips. A quick and easy cookie recipe!
Pudding cookies will forever be my favorite kind of cookie. And if you love a soft cookie like I do, pudding cookies are going to be your favorite cookie, too.
They’re made with instant pudding mix which is how they stay soft for several days after baking. Plus, you can use any flavor pudding mix to get whatever kind of cookie you want.
Slow Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – like from your favorite taco truck! Pork carnitas cooked in the crockpot and piled on corn tortillas with diced onion and cilantro.
I grew up in Alabama and I don’t know if you know this, but we’re not exactly known for our tacos.
So naturally, I moved to Texas and became obsessed with street tacos. My usual order is the pastor and yes, onion and lots of cilantro, please.
We had this truck by our old house (I moved 2 months ago and I’m acting like it’s been years) that did plates of 5 incredible tacos for $6 and it happened to be on the way home from the soccer fields my kids played on and I’m not going to admit to how many times I just happened to have cash out for the taco truck after soccer practice.
(It’s Los Compadres in Belton if you’re ever driving through central Texas.)
Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken Farfalle – slow cooker chicken shredded and tossed with pasta, bacon, cream, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
Originally published January 28, 2014. Updated June 15, 2020.
This is one of the first recipes I ever found on the internet after I became a stay-at-home mom. So I’ve been making it for years and years and years. And no, I won’t tell you how many years ago that was.
The chicken cooks all day in the slow cooker in a tasty marinade until it’s practically falling apart. Then you shred that and add it to cooked pasta, crispy bacon, lots of black pepper, and a creamy Parmesan sauce.
My kids love it and it makes a ton so we always have plenty for dinner and leftovers for the next day.
Homemade Watermelon Sherbet – easy 4 ingredient watermelon sherbet with fresh watermelon puree and mini chocolate chips.
I have always claimed that I don’t like sherbet (I’m just not a fruit dessert person) until I started making my own. My Homemade Orange Sherbet made me love sherbet. I loved it so much that I started making Strawberry Sherbet, too.
This Watermelon Sherbet is my first sherbet of the summer and I’m in love. I got the sweetest, juiciest mini watermelon at Trader Joe’s the other day and it made the most perfect sherbet.
It’s made with only a few simple ingredients that you probably (almost definitely) already have on hands, plus mini chocolate chips to look like watermelon seeds.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels – ranch cream cheese, deli chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions are wrapped in a flour tortilla. Slice them up for a delicious kid-friendly lunch!
Originally published September 22, 2017. Updated June 13, 2020.
I am always looking for new things to put in my kids’ lunchboxes. Yes, I am that person that wants to make something different just so I have something fun to take a picture of for my Instagram story.
But I’m also not the mom that’s going to make hearts out of sliced carrots and all the cutesy stuff. My kids wouldn’t allow it. Also, I have zero artistic skills for things like that.
So I like to do things like these Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels. They’re a change from the usual PB&J but they’re still quick and easy and my kids love them. Plus, I can make them the night before and just toss them into their lunchbox containers in the morning before school.
Broccoli Salad – my favorite summer side dish! Fresh broccoli, red onion, raisins, bacon, and sunflower seeds in a sweet and tangy dressing.
Originally posted April 4, 2010. Updated June 12, 2020.
Broccoli salad is my alltime favorite summer side dish. I love the classic version I’m sharing today and I love my lightened up Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad.
Even the broccoli haters in my life love this salad. There are so many different textures and flavors and it all gets tossed with a cole slaw-ish dressing. It’s the perfect side for all your summer burgers and hot dogs and barbecue everything.