Cap off a day of play with dinner outdoors
(Family Features) Enjoying the great outdoors is a perfect way to create fun memories with family or friends. All that fresh air is sure to work up your appetite, so be sure to plan a delicious meal to top off all the merriment.
Get those taste buds fired up for a delicious meal with a flavorful starter like this zesty panzanella. Take family favorites outdoors with this savory take on a flatbread pizza. Then close down an evening of open-air entertainment on a sweet note with a scrumptious dessert.
Explore more family-friendly recipes to enjoy outdoors this summer at culinary.net.
Smart Starters and Sides
There’s plenty to learn from the Mediterranean diet, and this recipe is proof. A variety of colorful cancer-fighting veggies, flavorful herbs and spices, and a bit of healthy fat make for a perfect starter or accompaniment to a grilled protein for a well-rounded meal. Find more recipes to help you eat well at AICR.org.
Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 15 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded, washed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons green olives, pitted and chopped (capers may be substituted)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
- 1/2 large red onion, cut in half and then into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 small loaf crusty whole-grain French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch slices and halved
- Heat grill.
- In mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; set aside.
In large bowl, gently combine basil, cucumber, tomatoes and olives.
- Brush bell peppers and onion slices on one side with oil mixture. Place oil-side down on hot grill and cook 3-4 minutes. Brush other side with oil mixture, turn over and cook additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from grill. On cutting board, cut peppers into 1/2-inch slices and separate onion rings. Add peppers and onions to vegetable mix. Add remaining oil mixture and toss to coat.
- Toast both sides of bread until browned. On serving platter, layer bread and top with vegetables and basil mixture.
Create Family Moments and Memories this Summer
Take advantage of slower summer schedules by rounding up the family and heading to the backyard for fun, food and family time.
The opportunities for family time during the warmer months are nearly endless, especially with a little creativity, like these fun summer ideas from Borden Cheese.
Let your inner kid run free
Whether it’s kick the can, ghost in the graveyard, capture the flag or hide and seek, backyard games are a great way to get the whole family to unplug and enjoy summer together.
Fire up your appetite
Ditch the kitchen and get the whole family engaged by recreating everyone’s favorite pizza on the grill. This deliciously easy Cheesy Flatbread Pizza recipe can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Keep it simple for kids with Borden Cheese’s Mild Cheddar Shreds or dress it up with some fresh veggies straight from your garden or local farmer’s market.
Rethink family movie night
Take your family movie outside. All you need is a sheet, a projector and some comfy pillows to turn your backyard into an open-air movie theater. Watch new releases, old favorites or even home movies right in your own backyard.
Find more family-friendly recipes for summer at BordenCheese.com.
Cheesy Flatbread Pizza
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 piece (12 inches) cracker bread or flatbread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing
- 1 package (8 ounces) Borden Cheese Mild Cheddar Shreds, divided
- 8 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp and broken into 1-inch pieces
- 4 whole garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, cut in strips
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Brush bread with small amount of olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups cheese evenly around bread. Top evenly with bacon pieces.
- In small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot. Add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Sprinkle onto pizza. Arrange sliced tomatoes and red onions on pizza.
- Add parsley to remaining cheese and spread over ingredients.
- Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cut into squares and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.
Tip: For a different flavor profile, try grilling pizza rather than baking. Brush raw side of dough with olive oil and grill until bottom of crust is golden brown.
Sweeten the Deal
For the perfect ending to a perfect day, look to some of nature’s best ingredients, like fresh apples and honey. This fruity crisp is packed with flavor from tart, juicy apples and a delicate sweetness from honey that coats the fruit and lends a unique character to the crumbly topping. Find more sweet dishes for summer at honey.com.
Apple Honey Crisp
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 2 pounds (1 1/2 quarts) apples, quartered and sliced
- 3/4 cup honey, divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- warm cream or ice cream
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In bowl, toss apples with 1/2 cup honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn into 2-quart baking dish.
To make topping, beat flour with butter and remaining honey until crumbly; sprinkle over apples.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is golden. Serve with warm cream or ice cream.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Grilled Panzanella and Apple Honey Crisp)
(Family Features) There’s not much that tastes better during the summer than a meal hot off the grill. If you’re in the mood for a delicious backyard dish, try adding versatility to your grilling game with a few simple tips.
Try a new cooking method. If your usual preparation involves a basic flame, you may be surprised by all the different flavors you can evoke just by changing the method. Whether you’re using gas or charcoal, switch from standard grilling to smoking over indirect heat. You can also use seasoned wood chips with most grilling methods to build a completely different flavor profile.
Look for non-traditional ways to use your favorite proteins. Instead of the traditional steak or chicken on a kabob, you can create a whole new flavor experience using smoked sausage. For example, Eckrich offers a variety of smoked sausage flavors in traditional ropes and bun-length links, all with just the right blend of seasonings for a rich, savory taste.
Explore new condiments and toppings. Ketchup, mustard and relish may be staples at the condiment station, but there’s no reason you can’t add a little something extra. Grilled onions, mushrooms and peppers are all simple and delicious ways to add flavor. Or try something entirely new, like this sweet, tangy marmalade made with bacon and onions.
Find more summer grilling ideas at Eckrich.com.
Smoked Sausage Links with Bacon and Onion Marmalade
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 2-3 strips bacon
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 6 onions) Vidalia onions, diced
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cane syrup
- 1 package Eckrich Smoked Sausage Links (bun-length)
- 6 hot dog buns
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay strips of bacon flat. Cook until crispy, about 20-25 minutes. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.
- In dry pot over medium heat, toast mustard seeds until slightly browned.
- Add bacon, vinegar, onions, brown sugar and cane syrup to pot. Cover, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Cook about 20 minutes at medium-high heat. Remove pot cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook until liquid is reduced and onions are dark in color, about 50 minutes.
- Oil grill and bring to medium heat. Grill sausage 12 minutes, or until heated through.
- Place smoked sausage in hot dog bun and cover evenly with marmalade.
Note: Marmalade can be made in advance for easier dinner preparation and can be kept up to 2 weeks in a refrigerator or 3 months in a freezer.
Grilled Kabobs with Smoked Sausage and Veggies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
- 6 wooden skewers
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 package Eckrich Original Smoked Sausage (rope)
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 2 large yellow bell peppers
- 1 large red onion
- Soak skewers in water 1 hour. Spray grill and heat to medium.
- Cut smoked sausage diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Slice zucchini, bell peppers and onion into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Thread smoked sausage, peppers, zucchini and onion onto skewers.
- Grill kabobs until smoked sausage is hot and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
Easy Meals That Go Anywhere
(Family Features) Once again, you’re in a rush to pick up one child from soccer practice and take the other one to dance class — you have to feed them something, but there’s no time to eat at home. What do you do? Forget fast food. Everything you need for something quick, delicious and portable could be in your kitchen already.
In just minutes, you can wrap up an easy meal for your dashboard dining experience using tortillas. They’re versatile, with recipes that go beyond traditional Mexican fare. They’re so handy, in fact, that they’re outsold in the U.S. only by fresh breads, and they outsell bagels two to one. Most tortillas are made from either corn or flour, but they come in a variety of flavors and sizes, as well as fat free, heart healthy, low carb, whole wheat and multi-grain versions. And moms will appreciate that corn tortillas are naturally low fat and a good source of fiber.
Wrapping up favorite ingredients inside a tortilla is a simple way to make breakfast, lunch or dinner a moveable feast the whole family can enjoy anywhere.
To help busy moms, Mission Foods, the makers of Mission Tortillas, has tips and recipes for healthy, easy-to-travel meals.
On-the-Go Meal Ideas
- Breakfast — Breakfast burritos with eggs, ham, cheese & salsa start the day off right.
- Lunch — Turkey, Red Delicious apple and cottage cheese wraps make lunch at the office a real treat.
- Dinner — Kids love quesadillas. Dress up the basic chicken quesadilla with avocado and mushrooms.
For more easy-to-make, easy-to-take recipes, visit www.missionmenus.com.
Low Carb Stromboli Wraps
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 12 minutes
- 4 Mission Carb Balance 8-inch Soft Taco Size Flour Tortillas
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces salami, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces ham thinly, sliced
- 1/2 cup (4-ounce jar) roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and cut into strips
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Marinara or pizza sauce, heated
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Lightly spread one side of each tortilla with softened butter; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Arrange one fourth each of provolone, salami, ham and roasted peppers over center of tortillas, leaving border around edges. Sprinkle with one fourth of the mozzarella.
- Fold up “wrap fashion.” Place seam side down on nonstick baking sheet. Brush with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Slice each stromboli in half on the diagonal. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce, if desired.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
- 4 Mission Sundried Tomato Basil Wraps
- 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup thinly sliced pepperoni rounds (approximately 72 slices)
- Evenly spread 3 tablespoons marinara on each wrap.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over marinara sauce on each wrap.
- Layer 1/4 cup (about 18 slices) pepperoni over shredded cheese on each wrap.
- Fold each wrap in half, forming a half moon.
- Heat 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
- Place two pizzadillas in skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Remove and reserve hot. Repeat for other pizzadillas.
- Cut each pizzadilla into quarters and serve one full sliced portion to each person.
Cheeseburger Soft Tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 4 Mission 6-inch Fajita Flour Tortillas
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or 4 ounces sliced
- 1 red tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices (4 total slices)
- 2 small green leaf lettuce leaves
- 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, then pulled into rings
- 12 dill pickle slices
- Separate ground beef into 4 equal parts (4 ounces each); form each part into 4 thin half moon shape patties. Try to shape each patty to fill half of a tortilla.
- Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet (or use a square, deep walled non-stick electric skillet) over medium high heat.
- Season each hamburger patty with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes a side or to desired temperature.
- Near the end of desired cooking time, evenly sprinkle each patty with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and allow the cheese to melt. Remove cheeseburgers and reserve hot.
- Warm tortillas in microwave for 10 seconds.
- For 1 serving: place a hot cheeseburger on one half of a warmed tortilla and top with 1 tomato slice, 1 lettuce leaf, onion rings and 3 pickle slices. Fold the tortilla in half and serve.
Source: Mission Foods
- 4 medium red, green or yellow bell peppers
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice, cooled
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Cut tops off bell peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in 8-inch square baking dish, cutting thin slice off bottoms of peppers to stabilize, if necessary.
- Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon parsley in large bowl. Remove and reserve 1 cup tomato mixture. Combine ground beef, onion, rice, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and black pepper with remaining tomato mixture in bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
- Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Top with reserved tomato mixture. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Uncover baking dish; continue baking 35 to 40 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time
Calories: 328 | Total Fat: 15g
Cholesterol: 77mg | Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 25g | Sodium: 824mg
Notes, Tips & Suggestions:
Cook's Tip: Due to the natural nitrate content of certain ingredients such as onions, celery and bell peppers, ground beef may remain pink even when a 160°F internal temperature has been reached. Always verify the internal temperature with a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to be certain it reaches 160°F.