I don’t know about where you live, but Illinois is HOT and HUMID right now. Which basically just means I never want to turn the oven on ever. So in the interest of saving us all from a cooking-induced heat wave, I’ve put together a handy little list of recipes that are PERFECT for beating the summertime heat. No ovens required here, folks! All of these recipes can be made on the grill, in a crock pot, or just by throwing a bunch of ingredients together in one big bowl!
I also wanted to let you all know that I’ve finally hopped on the ZipList Recipe Box train. (I know, finally, right?) For those who aren’t familiar with ZipList, it’s a super cool site that lets users “clip” recipes (For FREE!) from their favorite websites and add them to a central Recipe Box. You can use your personal Recipe Box to plan meals, create a shopping list, and even sort your saved recipes by variables like cook time, source, or ingredients required. It’s pretty awesome. And now, ALL of Life As A Strawberry’s recipes are ZipList ready! Instructions on how to use this new feature are at the bottom of this post. If you aren’t on ZipList yet, you can sign up here for FREE! If you’re not interested in ZipList, no worries – you’ll still be able to use this site in the exact same way as before, and now you have a cool print function as well! See the directions below for more info.
For now, though, here are some perfect-for-summer recipes that will fill you up without turning your house into a sauna! (Looking for a perfect potluck contribution? Check out my previous post on How to Rock a Potluck!) Recipes are organized by category for easy browsing. And now, you can add them all to your Ziplist Recipe Box! Wahoo!
One of my favorite things about summertime is the amazing produce that springs up. I love making a bunch of these dips and spreads to have in the fridge and making a meal out of some crostini and a variety of toppings. These are also great recipes to share with a crowd at barbecues, picnics, you name it! Though the crostini in the recipes are traditionally cooked in the oven, I recommend grilling slices of bread for a minute or two on each side. You could also nix the crostini altogether and substitute hearty vegetables or store-bought breadsticks to use with the different dips.
I love cold cocktails on hot summer days. These drinks are flavorful but not too sweet, and they’re easy to make ahead in large batches. I like to mix a big bowl of them and keep it in the fridge, then pour a bit at a time over ice, shake, and serve as needed.
My slow cooker is a huge blessing during the summer months. It’s great because it emits almost NO heat, so my kitchen doesn’t warm up, but I also love it because I can throw dinner in before we go adventuring in the sun for the day and come home to a meal that’s ready-to-go!
For the Grill:
Some of these recipes are written for the oven, but throw them on the grill instead for your next backyard bonanza! To grill pizza, simply spread the dough out in the shape you want, then grill one side WITHOUT TOPPINGS for a few minutes to get some nice char marks. Pull it off the grill and onto a plate, add your toppings to the cooked side, and return to the grill uncooked-side down until the cheese melts. Some of my favorite toppings are mozzarella & prosciutto, classic cheese, or a mix of fresh fruit with fontina and marscapone cheeses for a nifty dessert!
I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I’m a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries.
And as promised, here’s a quick tutorial on how to use my new Recipe Box ZipList feature! Let me know what you think – I hope this will make the site easier to use and help the recipes be more accessible on the go!
Instructions for Using the new ZipList feature:
At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a recipe box like this:
From there, you can hit the “Save” button to add the recipe to your Ziplist Recipe Box:
Which will bring up the Ziplist Box, prompting you to confirm your choice if you’re already logged in. If you aren’t logged in, this screen will prompt you for your login info and then save the recipe to your box, all without leaving this site!
There’s also a handy “Print” function now, which any Life As A Strawberry Reader can use (you don’t have to have Ziplist!):
Pressing the “Print” button will open up your default printer dialog box, and it will also open up a printer-friendly version of the recipe in a new tab on your browser:
I hope you all like the new ZipList feature, and enjoy these summery, oven-free recipes!