We have finally reached the most relaxing part of our summer! We're done with sports for awhile, the Hubs and I both have a week off, and we're about to head out of town for a week long vacation with my whole family. While I'm not looking forward to the 4-5 hour long road trip, I'm absolutely giddy over having the time away together. Some quality time with my parents, siblings, and their families is definitely in order, and I have no doubts the boys are going to love the cousin time too!
I love to bake and cook. But during the hot summer months, it can be nice to switch it up a bit with some no-bake recipes or grilling recipes so I can keep my kitchen (and the rest of the house) nice and cool while still enjoying some delicious food.
S'mores are a quintessential summer treat. I love to incorporate the flavors of some classic favorites in fun new ways, and this S'mores Icebox Cake does that perfectly! By making it a day in advance and letting it set up in the refrigerator, the cookie/graham cracker layers get nice and soft to create a cake-like texture.
What could be better in the heat of the summer than some fresh, bright, sweet summer berries turned into a delicious berry cobbler? Well, if said cobbler were semi-homemade, using just a few ingredients, plus baked and served in a rustic cast iron skillet, it might just be the perfect dessert for your summer BBQ or dinner party.
Our summer meals primarily consist of either tossing something on the grill, or throwing something together quickly before heading off to games, practices, the pool, etc. When we can find a few free evenings to enjoy a slower paced meal, I try to mix it up a bit and try new things, but still try to do our cooking outdoors as much as possible. I can't stand heating up the house by using the oven or stove when it's already a scorcher!
One of our family favorites is a good, old fashioned seafood boil. We've gone all out with crab legs before, which can get a little pricey, especially if you're trying to feed a crowd. Every now and then though, we like to enjoy the food without all the fuss. I've done shrimp boil packets many times as well, but this kabob version is super simple and easy to prep ahead. While a full blown seafood boil is great, this shrimp only version cuts the cost a bit and there's no need to stand over a huge pot of boiling water to enjoy the same flavors.
In the past I was never really a big fan of banana bread, probably because it traditionally contains walnuts (which I strongly dislike). My boys used to eat bananas like they were going out of style. However, they usually decide at some point that they're banana'd out and just stop eating them. Annnd, it's almost always just after I've bought a bunch for the week. I typically try and wait them out for a few days to see if they'll change their minds, but when they start to get over-ripe, I just toss them in the freezer to use later on.
I've used our frozen, ripe banana stash for all kinds of recipes from cinnamon rolls to no-churn ice cream ("nice" cream, I suppose). I am not sure exactly at what point I realized that banana bread doesn't have to contain walnuts. But praise the Lord I did because now I love banana bread! If you are like me and just want to savor the warm, cinnamon-y, enveloping aroma and flavor of banana bread, this recipe is for you!
(Note: I've edited this recipe from its original version to remove the eggs and added peanut butter. You could totally omit the PB if you prefer. Both ways are equally delicious.)