July 1, 2009

Best Summer Recipes

The theme for this Works-For-Me-Wednesday is "Best Summer Recipes." Which is convenient because last week Nannette at Life Be In It asked me about some of my favorite healthy recipes, so I am going to throw a few of those in here.


This is great because it uses fresh tomatoes which are usually in abundance and cheap this time of year. But if you don't have a garden or know someone who does, you can use canned just as easily without compromising taste. If you don't want to peel the tomatoes, use them with the skins, no one will notice.

Or you can use my super easy peeling tomato trick. Put them in the freezer until firm. Then drop them in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two. The skin slides right off. Much easier than the boiling water method. I use this when canning tomatoes, too. I just pop them in the freezer from the garden and when I have enough for a batch to fill the caner I peel, can and process them all at once instead of heating up the kitchen to process one or two jars at a time.

The recipe also calls for fresh sage. I use whatever fresh herbs I have in my garden at the time, basil is a favorite as well as sage. Or during cold months I use whichever dried herbs strikes my fancy.

This is delicious served over whole wheat pasta or a nice piece of white fish.

And did I mention it is so easy. 15 or 20 minutes from start to table. Even someone who has never made sauce from scratch before can feel confident whipping this up.

One more note: for my gang I double this for 1 pound of pasta. For you with hungry teenagers or larger families you will want to increase.

2 pounds plum tomatoes (plums are my favorite but use what you have-it'll be good)
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. butter or olive oil
1 T. sage

1. Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes

2. In 10 inch skillet over medium heat, cook onion in 1 T. olive oil until golden brown. Add salt, tomatoes. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir once in a while mashing tomatoes with spoon. Stir in butter (or olive oil) and sage (or whatever herb you choose.)

That's it. I told you it was fast and easy!

Minted Romaine Salad
4 cups romaine lettuce torn and tossed with 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped and 1 cup sliced peaches (canned are fine). Drizzle with dressing made from 1 T. lemon juice, 2 tsp. olive oil and 1/8 tsp. salt. Serves 4. I make this in about 4 batches at a time because my family loves it so much.

Deviled Eggs

I know there are a million deviled egg recipes but this one I got a few years ago from the Kraft Food and Family magazine is the best by far.

12 eggs
4 ounces cream cheese
3 T. mayo
2 tsp. grey poupon mustard
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar

Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and turn off immediately. Cover and let sit 20 minutes. Immediately plunge in cold water. This will give you easy to peel eggs with tender yokes without any of that gray around the outside.

Peel eggs and pop yoke out into a mixing bowl. I use kitchen aid to get it nice and light. Add remaining ingredients except paprika. Beat until well mixed and light and fluffy. Spoon into eggs or use a pastry bag if you are handy. (I am not). Sprinkle with paprika.

Now here is the fun part. To make your eggs look gourmet top with sliced green or black olives, capers, rolled anchovies, sliced sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh herbs, mini salad shrimp...use your imagination.

And no, these are not necessarily healthy but you could do worse and no summer picnic or BBQ is complete without deviled eggs in our family.

Fourth of July Beans

My mom is FAMOUS for these baked beans. She said she got the recipe out of the very first Taste of Home. I don't know if she means the first one she read or the first issue but either way they are good. My hubby says's my sister is not allowed to come to a family dinner without her mac and cheese and my mom is not allowed entrance without these beans. No matter what affair she brings them to, I always end up with multiple requests for the best beans the guest asking has ever had. Mom always raves about how easy they are, too. She does them up in the crock pot so she doesn't need to heat the kitchen on summer days.

1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (28 oz) pork and beans
1 can (14 oz) limas, rinsed/drained
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder

Cook beef, bacon and onion. Drain. Add to greased 2 1/2 qt. baking dish. Add all beans and mix. combine remaining ingredients. Stir. Cover and bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer. 12 servings. Somehow no matter how many guests we have this always seems to be exactly the right amount.

For more Summer recipes check out Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.


  1. Great sounding recipes. I just totally copied them all to my computer. :)

  2. Girl, I will be over in 20 minutes...Deviled Eggs...YUMMY!!! ;)

    Your house sounds interesting with engineers! My house does not have any engineers minds but we do some strange things...including that cell phone trick....LOL


  3. These look yummy! I love deviled eggs, nummy.

    I also loved how you worded your comment and said something about your kids going in and out, but you also said something like when your kids "use the pool for bathroom purposes." Remind me never to swim at your house, hehehe!

  4. OOH! I LOVE deviled eggs, and your recipe is very unique!!! I can't wait to try it this weekend!

  5. I will be writing these recipes down. I have a similar bean recipe minus the ground beef and it is sooo good.