Summer Dishes to Satisfy the Season

Do you remember the homemade ice cream your grandmother churned every summer? What about her famous cookies she had just pulled from the oven, knowing you were about to arrive?

Food is so much more than sustenance for our bodies. Food is memories. Food is gathering. Food is tradition. Food is legacy passed on to tomorrow’s generations.  

While we usually think of the holidays as the time for remembered recipes, the summer season has dishes of its own.

Here are 6 recipes you want to put in your meal plan before the late evening sunsets slip into Back to School bedtime and crockpot dinner dreams.


1.  Frozen Oreo Dessert Pizza

18 Oreo cookies, finely chopped

3 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 ½ c. cold milk

2 pkg. Jell-O Oreo Flavor instant pudding (4 serving size)

8 oz. whipped topping, thawed, divided

2 c. strawberries, sliced

Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press firmly into 12-inch pizza pan. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust; cover with remaining whipped topping. Freeze 3 hours, or until firm. Arrange strawberries on top of pizza. Cut into 12 slices. Store leftover dessert in freezer.


2.  Corn and Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

½ purple onion, chopped

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1-2 tomatoes, chopped

1 fresh jalapeno, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

½ lime, juiced

Cumin, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with chips, crackers, or alone. Great on top of grilled chicken too. This is easy to prepare and healthy!


3.  German Potato Salad

½ lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

⅓ c. bacon drippings

1 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. celery salt

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

½ c. chicken broth

½ c. white vinegar

6 c. hot, red potatoes, peeled and sliced

½ c. green onions with white part, thinly sliced

Parsley, minced

Drain the bacon on paper towels, reserving ⅓ cup bacon drippings. Heat drippings in a large heavy skillet and blend in flour, sugar, celery salt, and pepper. Add broth and vinegar. Cook until slightly thickened. Pour sauce over potatoes, onions, and half of the bacon bits. Toss gently. Add a little plain salt to taste. Turn into a serving dish and garnish with remaining bacon and parsley. Makes 6 servings.


4.  Chicago Style Brisket

3-5 lb. beef brisket

1 bottle chili sauce

1 c. cola, not diet

1 env. Onion soup mix

Heat oven to 325. Score meat on the fat side with a knife. Place brisket fat side up in a baking dish and pour chili sauce and cola over it. Top with onion soup mix. Cover with foil and cook 30 minutes per pound. Remove foil during last 30 minutes. Cut against the grain for the most tender and moist meat.


5.  Lemon Pie

1 large graham cracker crust

8 oz. cream cheese

1 c. sugar

Extra large tub whipped topping

2 small boxes instant lemon pudding

3 c. milk

1 tsp. lemon juice

Soften cream cheese and mix with sugar and half of the whipped topping. Put in bottom of pie shell. Mix pudding and 3 cups milk for filling. Let it get thick and spoon it on the bottom layer, then top with remaining whipped topping.


6.  Kool-Aid Dough

3 c. flour

1 ½ c. salt

3 c. water

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. cream of tartar

1 pkg. unsweetened Kool-Aid

Mix all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat, until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan and the spoon is difficult to move. Remove from heat. Cool until it can be handled. Place on wax paper. Knead 3-4 times. Store in airtight container.

Make your ingredient list and head to the store. I know my kids will be playing with some new dough this weekend while they munch on Oreo pizza! Yum!


All these recipes, and more, are found in the Rhea Lana’s Friends and Family Cookbook