Happy unofficial first day of summer! Although the calendar states that the first official day isn’t until June 20th, I think most of us see Memorial Day weekend as the kick-off to summer. That red beauty you see above is the very first ripe strawberry on my very first strawberry plant. I picked it yesterday morning and cut it in half to share with my Chief Culinary Consultant. We couldn’t believe how intensely red the inside was – none of that dull white-ish color like store-bought berries. Then we ate it… and wow! It was sugary sweet and melted in my mouth. By far, the best strawberry I’ve ever had. I hope the plant does well and I can enjoy many more hand-picked strawberries throughout the summer!

To kick off the season, I’m sharing a plethora of my favorite summer recipes from the site. Summer typically means grilling, picnics, cook-outs, and fresh fruit. As a result, I always find appetizers, finger-foods, side dishes, and light and fresh desserts are high on everyone’s wish list. You’ll find a lot of those in the list below, as well as some other summer favorites of mine. Enjoy!

What are your favorite summer recipes?

Appetizers & Snacks

Artichoke Spinach Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Cheddar Ale Spread
Chicken Spread
Chile con Queso
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Conch Fritters
Cream Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños
Cucumber-Tomato Bruschetta in Phyllo Cups
Fontina-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Fruit Dip
Homemade Cracker Jack (Caramel Peanut Popcorn)
Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa
Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Parmesan & Thyme Crackers
Pimento Cheese Ball
Polenta Pizza Appetizer
Seven Layer Dip
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
Taco Dip
Traditional Hummus
White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip
Zucchini Squares


Classic Lemonade
Ginger-Tea Lemonade
Green Smoothie
Malted Vanilla Milkshake
White Sangria

Bar Desserts & Brownies

Baked Brownie
Blackberry Pie Bars
Chewy, Chunky Blondies
Chocolate Chip and Pretzel Cookie Bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Chubby Hubby Rice Krispies Treats
Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Congo Bars
Date Bars
Fig Cookie Bars
Goody Goody Bars
Homemade Snickers Bars
Lemon Bars
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars
Oatmeal Carmelita Bars
Peach Crumb Bars
Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie Bars
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Raspberry Streusel Bars
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Salted Caramel Popcorn, Pretzel & Peanut Bars
S’more Nut Bars
Stained Glass Jello (perfect for the 4th of July!)
Strawberry Pretzel Squares
Sweet and Salty Brownies


Banana Nut Bread
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Zucchini Bread
Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Breakfast & Brunch

Banana Muffins
Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones
Blueberry Muffins
Buttermilk Biscuits
Cinnamon-Almond French Toast
Cinnamon-Sugar Scones
Coffeecake Muffins
Danish Braid
Fruit & Almond Granola
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Orange Berry Muffins


Angel Food Cake
Blueberry Boy Bait
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Fig and Almond Cheesecake
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
Homemade Rum Cake
Honey-Vanilla Sour Cream Pound Cake
Honey Cake
Icebox Cake
New York-Style Crumb Cake
No-Bake Banana Split Cake Dessert
Perfect Party Cake
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Root Beer Float Cake
Strawberries and Cream Angel Food Cake Roll
Strawberry Mirror Cake
Tres Leches Cake


Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels
Mimosa Truffles
Salted Mexican Chocolate-Chile Caramels
Sea Salt Caramels with Vanilla Bean


Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Chocolate Malted Whopper Cookies
Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
Colossal Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Granola Cookies
Lemon Burst Cookies
No-Bake Cookies
Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze
Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies
Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
S’mores Whoopie Pies
Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies (base for all of my decorated cut-out cookies)
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Hummingbird Cupcakes
Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes
Margarita Cupcakes
Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
S’mores Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Zucchini-Pineapple Cupcakes with Orange Sour Cream Frosting

Ice Cream

Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Date, Rum & Pecan Ice Cream
Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Homemade Fudge Pops
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Tin Roof Ice Cream
Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Main Dishes

Basic Pizza Dough (to customize for endless pizza nights!)
Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut (slow cooker – perfect for cookouts!)
Chipped Ham BBQ Sandwiches
Garden Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Spicy Apple Glaze
Grilled Fish Tacos
Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich
Portobello Pesto Pizza
Roasted Shrimp and Orzo
Veggie Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Pies & Tarts

Blueberry Pie
Classic Apple Pie
Dutch Apple Pie
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
Key Lime Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Orange Cream Tart
Peach Pie
Rhubarb Pie-Tartlets
Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Tart

Side Dishes & Salads

Antipasto Salad
Barbecued Beans
Best Ever Potato Salad
Broccoli Salad
Chicken Salad
Cobb Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Creamy, Lighter Macaroni Salad
Egg Salad
Grilled Corn
Italian Pasta Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw
Potato Salad with Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Signature Salad
Waldorf Salad