It’s that time of year again. Spring is on its way out, and summer is fast approaching. While spring is the time for rejuvenation and renewal, summer is the season for all things fun. Whether it be lying on a beach, visiting a water park, or simply inviting some friends over for a barbeque, summer is the season of all things outdoors. Whether you’re on vacation or staying at home, you’ll want to make sure to enjoy the best that the season has to offer.
Of course, summer can also present a number of dangers. Particularly for the very young and old, heat can cause damage to the health if you’re not staying properly hydrated. So no matter where you are, always remember to carry around a bottle of water with you. This is especially true if your line of work involves a lot of outdoor physical activity, such as construction. And no matter what your boss says, remember to take lots of breaks. Working in the summer sun can cost a lot of energy, so make sure to catch your breath every now and then.
Hydration doesn’t only have to involve water, though. There are a lot of great summer recipes for smoothies, cocktails, milkshakes, and other refreshing drinks that’ll keep you going on a hot summer day. Combined with some chilled fruits and light dishes, summer can truly be a great season for all things culinary. So break out the margaritas, and enjoy that summer spirit!
The king of cocktails
Ah, the salt-rimmed margarita—a drink that has become extremely popular on both sides of the US-Mexican border. This tequila-based cocktail can be found at any reputable bar, but one thing’s for sure—after a while, you’ll probably get a bit tired of the same old recipe. So it’s time to stop relying on others to mix margaritas for you. Yes, it’s time to re-invent the margarita.
In this case, cucumber is going to be your best friend. With this fresh vegetable in hand, you’re well on your way to concocting some fresh cucumber margaritas. As with any margarita, all the normal ingredients—with the addition of sliced cucumber—are combined in a blender at high speed until thin and smooth. For an extra kick, add a shot of Grand Mariner liqueur into every glass of margarita you serve. Salt your rims, and distribute these fine cocktails to the attendees of your party. People will be begging for refills within minutes.
Keeping cool with Limoncello
Have you ever made your own sorbet? This classic dish isn’t only easy to make—it’s very cheap, and loads of fun. And perhaps best of all, it tastes phenomenal. While many American sorbets combine all sorts of different fruits into multi-flavored concoctions, it’s sometimes better to follow a simpler approach for maximum effectiveness.
If you’re more in the mood for the simpler side of things, try making a traditional Italian lemon sorbet. This classic dessert only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and the ingredients list is relatively short. Aside from freshly squeezed lemon juice, you’ll need some egg whites, sugar, and Limoncello, a traditional Italian liqueur. After you’ve placed your sorbet in the freezer to set, be careful not to drink too much of that delicious Limoncello. Its sweet taste might hide its alcohol content, but this ancient Italian drink is sure to get you tipsy if you’re not careful.
Summer appetizers for all to enjoy
Sometimes, the simplest of dishes are the most effective. The Italians know this very well—less is more when it comes to pizza and pasta toppings. This philosophy often extends to Italian appetizers as well, including some simple but effective caprese skewers with tomato and mozzarella. The ingredients for this dish are mostly in the name. They also happen to be the colors of the Italian flag, but this is probably a coincidence—basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella are the components behind this classic recipe. After marinating your tomatoes and mozzarella in a garlic-lemon sauce for half an hour, simply place on skewers and serve.
While caprese is the perfect appetizer to serve for a summer lunch, it can get a bit cold during those summer nights. So for the perfect summer evening appetizer, opt instead for some sweet peppers stuffed with tomato and olive sauce. These majestic peppers are filled to the brim with rice, parmesan, anchovies, and a wonderful olive sauce. Make sure to only use the best olive oil for this recipe, as the sauce for this dish is served cold. You really want to bring out that olive flavor, so extra-virgin is the way to go when choosing your oil.
Fun in the sun for everyone
If you’re hosting a summer barbeque but one of your friends has decided to adopt a raw vegan diet, you might be in a bit of trouble. But have no fear—this beautifully layered zucchini raw vegan lasagna is here to save the day. Not only is this beautiful concoction of basil pesto, tomato cream, and macadamia-nut sauce going to satisfy your raw vegan friends—it’s likely the meat eaters at your party will enjoy this colorful lasagna too.