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Summer Must Have Recipes

recipes Aug 01, 2023

We hope your summer has been sweet and packed with memory making moments! Here are some delicious additions to any summer menu.


Sun Sweet Tea

Even before we lived in the South, a country sun-tea was a delicious family staple. There are many ways to make Southern Sweet Tea but this recipe is a tried and true favorite! Add almond extract for an extra special twist your neighbors will be asking about.

  • Black tea bags (8-10 tea bags)
  • One gallon of spring water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Almond extract (optional)

Pour sugar into water gallon and add tea bags. Replace top. Set in sun for 1-2 hours. Serve over ice, with lemon or mint.


Pickled Okra

For those of us wanting an early taste of okra, pickled is the answer! We can enjoy it on our charcuterie boards, for barbeques or in a Bloody Mary beverage. (I order mine virgin with a ‘whole salad’ inside.)

  • 13-16 okra pods
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for salting okra
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons water

Trim the stems. Strain pods and sprinkle them with salt. Set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the vinegar mixture cool. Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse and pack the okra pods into a large, clean mason jar.

Carefully pour the brine over the okra pods until the jar is full. Tightly screw on the lid. Refrigerate for 48 hours before enjoying.


Cabin Pancakes

The perfect way to feed a hungry crowd fast! I call this recipe Cabin Pancakes because I lived one summer on a campground in Mount Desert Island, Maine. We picked fresh blueberries (or blackberries when we were in Florida at the beach other summers) and my dad would grill up a whole slew of these flapjacks on the griddle to feed the masses.

  • box pancake mix (our favorite is Pioneer Brand)
  • water/oil according to instructions
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg (optional, if refrigeration is handy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, set aside for griddle
  • berry toppings (fresh or compote) 


Pepper Jelly

Let’s not forget the perfect way to elevate your appetizers… pepper jellies! Just layer some over a delicious soft cheese or cream cheese and serve with crackers or bread.

  • 1 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 package pectin powder
  • 5 cups sugar

Place ingredients (except sugar) in a pot on stove at high heat. Stir continuously until it is at a rolling boil. Remove pot and add sugar until mixed in. Return to high heat until mixture reaches a rolling boil. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and ladle jelly into sterile jars leaving 1/4 space on top. Place jars into a canner and cover with water. Heat to a boil and process 5 minutes. Refrigerate if seal is not secure.


Lavender Lemonade

Kids these days seem to have a more refined palette than those of yesteryear. I recently stopped at a farm-to-table café because my son was interested in their Lavender Lemonade. Here is a frozen take on the sophisticated concoction.

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemonade
  • 4 sprigs mint
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. dried culinary lavender

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pour into ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Serve cubes in iced tea or lemonade. Adapted


Frozen Bananas

This summer my son and I had the privilege of traveling to a world class zoo. The amenities for the people and the animals were first class. There was even a water park in the zoo for people! To cool off we also ate our weight in frozen bananas. So we decided to recreate the scrumptious snack at home.

  • 2 ripe but firm bananas
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • chopped pecans and walnuts, or sprinkles (optional)

Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

Cut the bananas in half and insert a Popsicle stick into each half, as shown. Place them on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the oil in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. (check it every 30 seconds) or in a half-full pan of simmering water (about 2 minutes). Stir until smooth.

Roll each banana half in the chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with your topping (if using).

Freeze until the chocolate sets, 30 minutes. Serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to a week.


Homemade Raspberry Fro-Yo

Our family loves this simple quick homemade frozen yogurt treat. We prefer raspberries but any fruit will work. Pineapple is another favorite. If you can believe it, we added edible glitter to the top layer this summer with candy pearls for a beachy twist!

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 bag frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • sugar (sweetener) to taste

Blend ingredients in blender and scoop into plastic ware. Place in freezer until firm (at least half an hour). Serve with chocolate syrup and granola or toppings of your choice.


Fruit Infused Water

This is a must on the countertop all summer long.  Stay hydrated in style with a beautiful fruit infused water.

  •  1 gallon of distilled or purified water
  •  ice cubes, personal preference
  • 1 bag frozen strawberries
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • honey to taste
  • mint to garnish

Add all ingredients to large pitcher or drink dispenser and serve.  Make this really fun by jazzing up your ice cubes with edible flowers or frozen fruit.


Let’s keep cool & garden on with these recipes. And don’t miss the Summer issue of In Season Magazine: An Intentional Guide For Seasonal Living (available now) for more recipes and all things refreshing!


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