SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER!
Summer is FINALLY ACTUALLY HERE... and I am jumping for so much joy!
I mean lets be honest here, who really doesn't love Summer?!
If you are the outdoorsy kind of girl, then Summer means hiking,camping, lake days and beach vacations!
Seriously, the options are endless.
And I will tell you one of my absolute favorite things to do in the Summer:
On a clear night, go somewhere where there are no lights (which I know can be hard if you live in the city), but drive out to the country with friends or a significant other. Bring a blanket or a truck bed, and lay in the darkness and look up at the stars!
I truly believe there is something different about the stars in the Summer!
I grew up doing this with my best friend and now it is like therapy for me!
Bring some wine and make it a date night.
I promise you won't be disappointed!
But Summer is also about spending time with those who mean the most to you.
It is a time for gathering, socializing and enjoying.
And one way to do that is a very popular Summer activity...
Cookouts are a great way for everyone to get together, eat a lot of food, drink some beverages and enjoy each other's company!
And it is a way to break out your cooking skills and show off to your friends!
I love to cook appetizers or side dishes -- I leave the meat cooking up to the people who are best at the grill!
So if you are in a rut, or just want to try some new recipes... I am here to help!
I want to share just a few of my favorite Summer dishes!
Because food is the way to people's heart -- or at least mine (:
WARNING: THESE RECIPES ARE NOT FOR THOSE MAINTAINING THEIR SUMMER BODY!
My first recipe is one I kind of made up myself... I made it during the Super Bowl actually and it was amazing! But it would also be perfect for the Summer as well!
HOT CHEESY CORN DIP
- 1 can of corn kernals
- 1 can of creamed corn
- 1 8 oz pack of cream cheese
- 1 bag of cheddar cheese
- 1 bag of REAL bacon bits
- Italian seasonings
- Preheat oven to 350
- mix together all of the ingredients in an oven safe casserole dish (as much as you want to taste)
- sprinkle a little extra cheese on top
- bake in oven for 30-40 minutes
-- Have corn chips on hand to dig in when it comes out --
Seriously this dish is so easy and it is like crack -- you won't want to stop eating it!
The PERFECT appetizer!
(Sorry I don't have a picture for this one!)
Next is another one of my favorite, simple carb-loaded side dishes!
TWICE BAKED POTATOES
- - 4 large unpeeled Idaho or russet baking potatoes (8 to 10 oz each)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
- -1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
-1/4 teaspoon salt
- - Dash pepper
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- Heat oven to 375°F. Gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork to allow steam to escape while potatoes bake.
- Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced in center with a fork.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut lengthwise in half; scoop out inside, leaving a thin shell. In medium bowl, mash potatoes with potato masher or electric mixer on low speed until no lumps remain. Add milk in small amounts, beating after each addition with potato masher or electric mixer on low speed (amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used)
- Add butter, salt and pepper; beat vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy. Stir in cheese and chives. Fill potato shells with mashed potato mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Bake about 20 minutes or until hot.
So easy, and oh so good!
Your friends will be SO impressed by this dish!
And last, but definitely NOT least, I can't leave you guys without something sweet!
Sweets are my WEAKNESS!
And this isn't much of a recipe, but this will DEFINITELY be a crowd favorite.
You have truly not lived your life to the fullest until you've had...
DEEP FRIED OREOS!
Y'all, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
All you have to do is breakout this deep fryer, mix up some pancake mix and buy a bag of oreos!
Batter up the Oero's drop them in the fryer and eat.
Seriously it is like heaven in your mouth!
It is like a carnival in your backyard!
And honestly you can deep fry basically anything, bananas are a good one as well!
So, I hope these help you for your next cookout or just when you are in the mood for some good food!
Enjoy the Summer and take it all in!