By now you’re beginning to understand how important food is in my life, right? I’ve posted a few different recipes, but summertime warrants an entirely different menu because it’s hot and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to eat heavy food. I’m a midwesterner through and through. I ate casseroles and fried baloney sandwiches for lunch, we ate chocolate cake desserts and all the cookies. But now, our world has become health conscious, we’re all drawn to the “gluten free”’s, the “no sugar added”’s, and the “low fat”.
I’m not even going to lie, when it comes to food, I don’t really watch what I eat. I know that you’re probably gasping right now and failing to understand what I mean, so let me explain and I can sum it up in an overused phrase, Life is too short. Boom. Feel me? Life is too dang short to not get that bagel, that amazingly blended coffee drink, or eat until you’re so full you want to vomit. I will NEVER not be this way. Food was created for us to enjoy and if we can’t enjoy it, what’s the point? Yes, there are healthy desserts, yes there are healthy dinners that are low carb, low fat, and gluten free, but will I always go back to my Midwestern roots and love casseroles, cakes, pies, German pancakes, and cookies? Heck yes, and I’m proud of it. I’ll just have to spend more time getting myself in better shape or I’ll have to work out a little extra on those days and I’m totally okay with that. I’ll never be a health nut because I love food too much, and I’m not afraid to admit it. ;)
I’d like to share some “lighter” summer treats that I make when we are lounging by the pool or sitting on the back patio, having thought provoking conversation. Keep in mind, when I say “lighter”, I don’t mean healthy, I mean just pop in your mouth, quick recipes that are great for those hot summer days.
Homemade Lemonade- You would be shocked at how many people love homemade lemonade that doesn’t come from a mix. It takes a little time, but it’s so worth it! Here’s the recipe I use:
HOMEMADE LEMONADE Ingredients
5 lbs lemons
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Cut lemons in half. Juice each lemon through a strainer into a large measuring cup. Keep juicing until you have 2 cups of lemon juice.
Pour water into a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in sugar. Continue cooking over heat until sugar is dissolved and liquid looks clear again.
Combine sugar solution with lemon juice. This is a lemonade concentrate. When ready to serve, add water to taste.
Fruit Dip- I don’t know about you, but I feel healthy when I eat fruit, and then I pair it with an awesome dipping sauce to make it just a bit more exciting! When I make this, people will eat it until it’s gone...
• 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese
• 1 15oz jar Marshmallow fluff
Blend with a hand mixer until smooth and enjoy with any fresh fruit or graham crackers
Veggie Pizza- I had this at a Memorial Day cookout and it went so fast I had to fight to get the last piece. I made some for a birthday party that I attended recently and I couldn’t stop eating it, so maybe it’s just that loves it so much...
VEGGIE PIZZA Ingredients
• 2 cans Crescent Rolls
• 8 oz softened cream cheese
• 16 oz sour cream
• 1 packet (1/3 cup) dry Ranch Dressing mix • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
• 1/3 cup cucumber slices
• 8 chopped cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup shredded carrots
Heat over to 375
Unroll both cans and press dough into bottom and sides of uncreased raised edge baking
sheet or jelly roll pan.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned
Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, and dressing until blended and smooth
Spread mixture over cooled crust
Decorate with vegetables
Refrigerate until ready to serve
*You can use any type of veggies you want. I don’t make mine with a complete science. I just start throwing things on there. I also press down the veggies to make them stick in the mixture.*
As you can see, these aren’t necessarily lighter in terms of calories, carbs, and sugars, but these crowdpleasers are a great addition to any day that is spent at a cookout, beach, or around a pool. They’re light, easy, and a nice refreshing snack. Enjoy!