8 Recipes to Take Summer Gatherings to the Next Level
(Family Features) The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.
Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.
Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish – Boost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – This light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.
Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear Slaw – Skewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.
Grilled Pear and Apple Pork Tenderloin – Combining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Summer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.
Freezie Fruit Pops – Mix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.
Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice Cubes – When looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.
SanGrita – A refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking.
Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mom
(Family Features) Mothers are incredible people. This year, make sure you properly thank her for all she has done for you by celebrating her with a day she'll cherish forever.
Here are a few ideas to make this Mother's Day her most memorable yet:
- Plant a Garden Together
Before you shell out big bucks on chocolates and jewelry, consider a greener gift that mom can treasure from her window. Visit your local garden center or nursery and pick some vibrant beauties you know she'll swoon over. Supply the gloves, mom's favorite cocktails and snacks and make an event out of gardening with your favorite lady.
- Create Your Own Card
No matter how old you are, nothing says it better than construction paper, glitter and a little creativity. If she's a grandmother, involve the kids and make it a family craft project. Take a trip to your local hobby store to make sure you have all the goods for this tried-and-true ticket to mom's heart.
- Plan a Beautiful Brunch
Create a colorful, bountiful brunch for mom. Make a checklist of all the necessary ingredients, ensuring you serve all of her favorites! For a fresh twist on brunch, incorporate the sweet summertime goodness of watermelon and other fresh fruit. Impress her with Breakfast Six Layer Trifle, or make her smile with Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches. Design a homemade menu card, and throw in an arrangement of her favorite blooms for a finishing touch.
For additional recipes and brunch ideas, visit www.watermelon.org.
Watermelon's Many Benefits
Just like mom, watermelon is a sweet and wonderful thing. Mom always told you to finish your fruits and vegetables, but did you know that watermelon boasts immunity benefits? Here are some of the perks for eating this juicy treat:
Vitamin A - This vitamin is known to promote eye health, while boosting immunity through the enhancement of white blood cells.
Vitamin B6 - Boosts the immune system by maintaining normal nerve function and forming red blood cells.
Vitamin C - Protects immune system against infections, viruses and harmful free radicals that accelerate aging and other conditions.
Potassium - A two-cup serving of watermelon also contains potassium, an essential mineral that maintains water balance in every cell.
Mother's Day brunch wouldn't be complete without a fabulous serving of fresh fruit. These recipes include the summertime goodness of watermelon for a sweet addition sure to make mom smile.
Breakfast Six Layer Trifle
Serves: 8 to 12
- 3 cups organic fat free vanilla yogurt
- 2 cups low fat natural granola
- 4 cups watermelon, minced
- 3 cups organic fat free peach yogurt
- 2 cups organic crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- Spread the vanilla yogurt over bottom of deep glass casserole or trifle dish. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above in even layers over vanilla yogurt.
Chunky Watermelon Lemonade
Serves: 2 to 3
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup raw sugar (or to taste)
- 2 cups seedless watermelon puree
- 1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon flesh
- In half-gallon pitcher with lid, mix 1 cup of water with sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in rest of water, watermelon puree, sliced lemon, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well and chill thoroughly. Stir in 2 cups of chopped watermelon before serving.
Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 8 silver dollar size (3 to 4-inch) natural blueberry pancakes homemade or prepared, warm
- 4 slices seedless watermelon, same size as pancakes
- Spread syrup over one side of each pancake. Place slice of watermelon on the syrup brushed side of 4 of the pancakes. Top the watermelon with other 4 pancakes, syrup side down. Serve immediately.
Watermelon Waldorf Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
- 2 cups cubed watermelon (1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 cup seedless red grape halves
- Dash of salt
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- Stir together watermelon, celery, and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. (Add water to thin, if necessary.) Pour dressing over fruit; stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.
Easy Holiday Hosting and Toasting
(Family Features) If the very notion of holiday hosting has you feeling a bit overwhelmed, get organized with these simple ideas that can help you serve up a successful holiday celebration.
Entertainment: Ensure guests enjoy a good time by offering entertainment that is suitable for their personality types. If your guests are more drawn to energetic activities, choose light-hearted, competitive games like charades. For guests who are more laid back, organize classic board games. There are many popular games available in special holiday editions for extra-festive fun. You can also simply play holiday movies and music in the background for crowds that would rather just mingle.
Beverages: Stock up on refreshments all ages can enjoy. Keep a kid-friendly favorite like lemonade on hand, and tea is a traditionally well-received option for the grownups. Put a special holiday touch on your drink menu with a recipe like this Holiday Hot Tea featuring Milo's Famous Sweet Tea, which has been fresh brewed from custom-blended tea leaves with no added acids or preservatives for generations.
Favors: Send guests home with a sweet memory of the event, such as an ornament that connects to the party’s theme or a bag of seasonal treats like homemade cookies or candy to nibble on during the trip back home.
Simple Snacks: Building your menu around simple snacks and finger foods guests can nibble on while they mingle is perfectly acceptable for almost any type of holiday gathering. Include options that can satisfy all the taste buds. You can even combine sweet and sour with a seasonal crowd-pleaser like this Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread, which draws its flavor from a secret ingredient: Milo’s All Natural Lemonade.
Find more holiday hosting ideas and recipes at drinkmilos.com .
Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1 can cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup Milo’s All Natural Lemonade
- 1 orange, zest only
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large bowl, mash cranberry sauce into small pieces. Add lemonade, orange zest, vegetable oil and egg; mix until blended.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine wet and dry ingredients; mix until batter is formed.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Holiday Hot Tea
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 12 cups Milo's Famous Sweet Tea
- 2 cans (12 ounces each) frozen limeade juice concentrate
- 1 orange, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 12 whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup ginger ale
- raw sugar, for garnish (optional)
- In large slow-cooker, combine sweet tea, limeade concentrate, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cranberries and ginger ale; stir.
- Heat on high 30 minutes then reduce heat to low for 2 hours, or heat on low 2 hours then reduce setting to warm overnight.
- Invert moistened glass rims in sugar then fit orange slice over rim, if desired.
Note: For easier serving, place cloves in tea ball or double layer of coffee filters sealed with kitchen twine.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread)
Source: Milo’s Tea Company
Picnics With Panache
Swing into summer with a basketful of delicious picnic fare ready to share in minutes
(Family Features) Good friends, great food, and the best season for outdoor entertaining add up to one thing — a glorious picnic season. If you’re just warming up to the idea of planning a picnic at the park or a backyard potluck, it’s the prime time to prepare and make your plans.
First set the date with your best mates. Then grab the gingham tablecloth and break out the picnic basket. What to serve? Start simple with a menu that’s casual, delicious, and easy to make and take, especially if you’re off to the perfect picnic destination.
Choose light, flavorful pasta salads that combine summertime flavors, such as creamy ranch and Dijon mustard, or chicken with marinated artichoke hearts. Be prepared to pass the deviled eggs more than once. Bring along fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert. And, try a cool lemonade that combines two favorite summertime flavors — watermelon and kiwi. All that’s left is to savor every moment and every bite!
Picnic Season’s Top Tips
Consider these hints for summer gatherings:
- An “eggs-cellent” way to tote deviled eggs: sandwich two halves with filling sides together, wrap well with plastic wrap, and place in a chilled, insulated box.
- When the ants begin their march, reach for a natural deterrent — vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar to have at the ready.
- Cooking for a crowd? Streamline your menu by choosing convenience products, such as boxed salad mixes that only require a few on-hand ingredients. Reach for prewashed, precut veggies. And, sprinkle a bit of flavor onto grilled potatoes and salads by adding a tasty topper, such as Bac~Os (an easy option that is less messy than frying bacon).
- Got sunscreen? Make sure it’s in your pack.
For more great summertime recipes and tips, visit www.bettycrocker.com.
Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad
Makes: 6 servings
- 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad ranch and bacon pasta salad mix
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 medium green onions, chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
- 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced
- Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
- In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, mayonnaise, mustard, onions and celery. Add pasta and chopped eggs and stir until evenly coated. Garnish with egg slices and paprika.
- Store in refrigerator.
Chicken and Artichoke Pasta Salad
Makes: 6 servings
- 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta salad mix
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
- 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
- In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water, and oil. Stir in pasta, chicken, artichokes, olives, and cheese. Store in refrigerator.
Watermelon Lemonade With Kiwifruit Splash
Makes: 6 1-cup servings
- 2 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into fourths
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
- 1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
- 2 cups water
- Place kiwifruit and sugar in blender; cover and blend on medium just until smooth. Pour into another container; freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
- Place watermelon in blender; cover and blend on medium until smooth. Place frozen lemonade concentrate and water in large pitcher. Add watermelon mixture; mix well.
- Pour watermelon lemonade into glasses. Spoon a dollop of frozen kiwifruit mixture on top. Serve immediately.
Poppy Seed Salad
Makes: 6 servings
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 cup strawberries, halved
- 1 cup cubed pineapple
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup cubed watermelon
- In large bowl, mix honey, limeade concentrate, and poppy seeds.
- Carefully toss in fruits.
Devilishly Good Eggs
Makes: 6 servings
- 6 hard-cooked eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker Bac~Os bacon-flavored bits or chips
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Cut eggs lengthwise in half. In small bowl, slip out yolks and mash with fork.
- Stir in remaining ingredients except egg white halves.
- Fill egg white halves with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly.
Source: Suddenly Salad