Picture this: it's a warm night in the middle of summer and you've invited people to your place for a casual, relaxing dinner party. The patio furniture is set up, the place settings are ready, you've lit candles for a perfect mid-summer ambiance, and the subtle background music is the perfect balance of soft jazz and 90's love ballads. Congrats! You have all the makings for a perfect -- wait. The food. You forgot the food. What do you do? Order pizzas. Cancel. Panic. Read this post. We found 10 recipes that are guaranteed to please your guests and make you the go-to for future party planning tips.
7 oz. of baby arugula
3 peaches, cut into wedges
3 oz. dried cranberries
5 oz. sharp white cheddar, cubed
5 oz. glazed pecans
Simple Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
A dash of salt and pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine all
5 ingredients. (Val recommends dressing the
salad separately so it doesn't get soggy
before being served.)
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar,
honey, dijon, and olive oil. Season with salt
and pepper. (Val recommends doubling
6 cups fresh baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 avocado, diced (can be doubled)
4 oz. crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 a small red onion
1/2 cup avocado oil (or any oil)
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs honey
1 tbs poppy seeds
A pinch of ground dry mustard (optional)
Salt and pepper
Toss all ingredients together with desired
amount of dressing until combined.
Whisk all ingredients together
3 large red bliss potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 stick of butter
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 cup parmiggiano reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp Italian parsley, fine mince
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
Cut potatoes into wedges, first by cutting
down the middle, length-wise, then cutting into
long pieces about an inch thick.
Toss in the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Place in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 45 min. to an hour until just done.
Make the sauce by melting the butter over medium/low heat.
Add in the garlic until just fragrant (about 1 min.).
Do NOT burn the garlic If it starts to turn a brown at all,
take the pan off of the heat- it's done.
Add in the cheese and let it melt down. Set aside.
Get the grill heated over high heat and oil the grates.
Place wedges carefully on the grill over the medium heat.
Flip them over after about 5 minutes or untll
grill marks start to form.
Baste with the garlic sauce (watch out for flare ups)
When the potatoes have nice grill marks on
all sides, they are done.
Take them of the grill carefully (they'll be fragile) and
place them in a bowl.
Drizzle the reset of the garlic sauce over
them and add the parsley.
Toss until coated.
Serve and enjoy!
1 baguette, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided (2 tbs/2 tbs)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar, packed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place baguette slices onto prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil.
Place into oven and bake for 8-10 minutes,
or until golden brown.
To make the balsamic reduction, add balsamic vinegar
and brown sugar to small saucepan
over medium heat.
Bring to a slight boil and reduce by half,
about 6-8 minutes.
Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado,
remaining 2 tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper,
Top each baguette slice with tomato mixture,
garnished with basil.
drizzled with balsamic reduction.
Creamy Pasta Salad
8 oz. salad macaroni
1 cup tiny broccoli florets
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp white wine (or plain) vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt, adjust to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Cook the pasta according to the directions on
the package, adding a generous tablespoon or
so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks.
Just before the noodles are done cooking,
add the broccoli to the pot.
Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds
then drain in a large colander.
Rinse well with cold water
Add the pasta and broccoli to the dressing
(directions below) and stir well to coat.
Add the cucumber, pepper, and onions
and stir again.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!
Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt,
pepper, and sugar in a large
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 lbs. skinless wild salmon filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 lemons, very thinly sliced rounds
Olive oil cooking spray
1 tsp kosher salt
16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
Heat the grill on medium heat
and spray the grates with oil.
Mix oregano, sesame seeds, cumin,
and the red pepper flakes in a small
bowl to combine.
Set spice mixture aside.
Beginning and ending with salmon, thread
salmon and folded lemon slices onto 8 pairs
of parallel skewers to make 8
Spray the fish lightly with oil and
season with kosher salt and the
reserved spice mixture.
Grill the fish, turning occasionally, until
fish is opaque throughout, about 8-10
Three Cheese Peach Prosciutto Pizza
1 (16 oz.) pizza dough, homemade or store bought
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. prosciutto
4 oz. ricotta cheese (1/2 cup)
5 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced into small cubes
2 oz. asiago cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 medium fresh peaches, sliced (thicker than 1/4 inch)
Flour, for dusting
Basil and Honey Balsamic Reduction
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup slightly packed fresh basil leaves
Place pizza stone in oven and preheat
to 450 degrees (F).
Let pizza stone preheat with oven
and rest for 30 minutes (assemble pizza
during last 10 minutes or so)
After preparing the reduction (below), lightly dust a with
sheet of parchment paper (about 14 inches)
Stretch and shape the dough into a 12.5 inch round.
In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic.
Brush mixture evenly on top of crust, working
to evenly distribute garlic.
Season crust lightly with salt and pepper.
Layer prosciutto over crust into and
even layer, aligning pieces
side by side (if they overlap slightly, that's fine).
Dollop small portions of the ricotta over pizza,
then sprinkle with mozzarella cubes
and asiago cheese.
Layer peaches evenly over pizza.
Using a pizza peel, transfer pizza from the parchment paper
to the pizza stone in the oven.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly golden.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh basil,
and drizzle with honey balsamic reduction
(store leftover reduction in fridge).
Cut into slices and serve warm.
Pour balsamic vinegar and honey
into a large and deep skillet.
Set skillet over medium heat, allow
mixture to cook and simmer until reduced to slightly
under 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
(cookingclassy recommends using a silicone
spatula to stir, so you can scrape the bottom and
side of the pan while stirring.)
Stir mixture occasionally during first 5 minutes,
then stir constantly during the last 10 minutes.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
5-6 tbs cold water
3/4 to 1 lb. fresh blueberries
3/4 to 1 lb. fresh peaches, sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how rip your fruit is)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs cornstarch
1 egg (for egg wash)
Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
Sift flour into a mixing bowl.
Cut in shortening, using a pastry blender
or knife until mixture is the size of small peas.
Sprinkle water a little at a time over mixture,
stirring lightly with fork until dough is just
moist enough to hold together.
Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at
least an hour.
Pie dough can be made and
refrigerated 2 days in advance.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and
then parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, lightly mix together fruit, sugar,
lemon juice, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon.
Roll our pie dough on a well-floured surface
(approx. 13 inches round, 1/8 inches thick).
Transfer to your baking sheet and arrange
fruit mixture in center, leaving a 2 inch border.
Fold over border, leaving the center open.
Brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle
with sanding sugar.
Bake until golden brown, about 50-60 minutes.
Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes,
then slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Blueberry Lemon Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or non-thawed frozen
1 tbs all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-2 tbs heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Grease and lightly flour 3 9X2 inch cake pans with
nonstick spray. Set aside.
Using a hand held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment,
beat the butter on high until creamy- about 1 minute.
Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high
speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed until everything is
combined, about 2 full minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl
as needed. Set aside.
In a large-sized bowl, toss together the flour,
baking powder, and salt.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk,
lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Remove from the mixer and stir lightly
until everything is just combined.
Toss the blueberries in 1 tbs of flour and fold into the batter.
Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point.
Overmixing will lend a tough, dense-textured crumb.
Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans.
If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer.
Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely
Using a hand held or stand mixer
with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese
and butter together on medium speed until no lumps
remain, about 3 full minutes.
Add confectioners' sugar, 1 tbs cream,
vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low.
Increase to high speed and beat for
3 minutes. Add one more tbs of cream to thin out, if desired.
One 5-oz. can evaporated milk
1 2/3 cups granulate white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12 large marshmallows (halved)
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 cup grated lime zest (about 5 limes)
2 tbs key lime juice (5-7 limes, juiced)
line an 8X8 square pan with aluminum foil;
grease the foil with butter.
It's not a good recipe for a 9-inch square
pan as the fuge will be too thin.
Combine the milk, sugar, and salt in a large
heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir and bring to a boil; boil for 8 minutes,
stirring constantly at a boil.
Remove the pain from heat.
Add marshmallows, chocolate, zest, and juice,
and stir until the marshmallows and chocolate are
melted and the mixture is smooth.
Scrape the fudge into the prepared pan.
Tip the pan to make sure the fudge
covers the bottom evenly.
Cool completely, then cut into 1-inch squares.
We hope these recipes help you throw an amazing summer dinner party! For more recipes, check out our Pinterest board and don't forget to follow us.