Fun, easy recipes for busy families on a budget

It’s that time of the year again. The days are long, the pools are open, the sun is hot, and children are home.
Here in the South, there are a few rules for summer dining and entertaining. First, keep it simple. With all the children out of school for the summer, friends over to play and summer sports keeping us busy, very few of us have the time or energy to prepare complicated meals. Second, keep it cool. When temperatures climb into the high 90s and head toward the dreaded triple digits, staying cool and hydrated is more important than ever. Icy drinks and fruit salads are an easy and delicious way to stay cool. Finally, keep it fun! Summer is the season of cookouts and pool parties, and the best way to celebrate is to have fun with your food and your family.
Here are four recipes that will save you time, keep you refreshed and provide fun for the whole family. In fact, these four recipes could easily be the menu for your next summer party.
Sparkling Honey Limeade
Sweet tea is a Southern staple, but every once in a while, you have a craving for something different. Whether your taste buds are calling for sweet or sour, this fizzy punch should hit the spot. Made with fresh lime juice and local honey, the sweet-and-sour flavors perfectly balance each other out. Whip up this punch before your next cookout and add some lime wedges and fresh mint leaves for a beautiful and delicious crowd-pleaser. The best part is, it looks like it should take much longer to prepare than the 10 minutes it really takes.
Yields: 1 gallon
Total time: 10 minutes
1 liter club soda or sparkling water, chilled
1 cup fresh lime juice
½ cup cold water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup honey (preferably light-colored)
Fresh mint (optional)
In a pitcher, whisk together the half cup of water and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Pour in honey and mix until well blended. Stir in lime juice. Pour in club soda or sparkling water and stir once. Add in ice and mint.
Copyright 2018 Cooking Classy
Mimosa Fruit Salad
The amount of fruit consumed in my family is directly proportional to the temperature outside. The hotter the summer, the more fruit we eat. With the Madison Farmers’ Market in full swing, summer is the best time to find fresh, local fruit. This recipe calls for several different kinds of fruit but can be adapted for any set of taste buds and your farmers’ market finds. Depending on the crowd you’re preparing this for, you can make this Mimosa Fruit Salad kid- or adult-friendly. Simply replace the Prosecco with your favorite non-alcoholic bubbly drink and follow the rest of the instructions.
Yields: 8 servings
Total time: 10 minutes
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup pineapple, cut into small pieces
1 cup Prosecco, chilled (or 1 cup sparkling grape juice, ginger ale or your favorite fizzy addition for a kid-friendly dish)
½ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. honey
½ cup fresh mint
In a large bowl, combine all fruit.
Pour Prosecco, orange juice and honey over fruit and toss carefully to combine. Garnish with mint and serve.
Copyright 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc.
Island Glazed Pork Tenderloin
This delicious pork tenderloin is impressive enough to serve at a party but simple enough for a Tuesday night meal. In other words, this is the perfect main dish for summer. Anything served in a cast iron skillet is an instant party-pleaser with built-in eye candy for your table. With a spice rub and brown sugar glaze, this mildly spicy pork tenderloin is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds. Bonus: Most kitchens should have these ingredients on hand already.
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1.5-2 pounds pork tenderloin (two small or one medium-large tenderloin)
2 tbsp, olive oil
For rub:
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. pepper
For glaze:
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. sriracha or other hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle an oven-safe pan or skillet* (such as a cast-iron skillet) with olive oil and preheat on the stove over medium-high heat until the oil is hot.
Whisk together all rub ingredients. Sprinkle the rub mixture all over the tenderloin and use your fingers to massage into the meat.
Place tenderloin in skillet and allow to brown for three or four minutes, turning the meat throughout to sear on all sides.
Mix the glaze ingredients together and spread the mixture over the tenderloin. Transfer to pre-heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through.
Cut tenderloin into 1-inch thick slices. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze from the pan all over the tenderloin just before serving.
*If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can sear the tenderloin in a regular skillet then transfer it to a greased, rimmed baking pan or casserole dish for the baking portion.
Recipe by Creme De La Crumb
S’mores Bars
Summer is the season of campfires and family fun. S’mores and Rice Krispie treats were a summer staple for us growing up. Both are fun and easy to make. There aren’t many things more exciting to a 5-year-old than making parent-sanctioned messes filled with sugar. Well, S’mores Bars combine these two kid classics into a delicious treat appropriate for little hands and adult hands alike.
Yields: 20 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
3 tbsp. butter
1 package mini marshmallows
7 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3 Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, broken into pieces
Extra butter to grease pan
Grease a 9×13-inch pan with butter. In a large pot over medium-low heat, heat 3 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add all but one cup of mini marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth.
Turn the heat off and quickly stir in Golden Grahams until evenly coated. Press into 9×13-inch pan and top with chocolate pieces and remaining cup of mini marshmallows.
Heat broiler and cook for two minutes. Let set at least 30 minutes, then slice and serve.
Copyright 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc.