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Monday, June 2, 2014

Along with the beauty and freedom of long summer days, comes sweltering heat that can seem nearly inescapable. As we gather around the picnic table and pool with our friends and family, it often seams like there is always sweat dripping down the sides of our faces. Keeping cool as temperatures climb and air conditioners go into overdrive is no easy feat, but these simple recipes will bring back the fun in the sun with their fresh flavors and cooling sensations.

1. Brown Sugar Peaches with Ice Cream 

What you need:
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 lemon (juiced)
4 peaches


Start off by washing, peeling, halving and pitting the four peaches. Cut them into slices. Pour the lemon juice over the peaches in a separate bowl. Get a fry pan and melt the half a stick of unsalted butter. Once it has melted you can add the peaches and lemon juice and then the brown sugar. Sauté until everything looks caramelized and golden. Serve over a heaping scoop of ice cream!

2. Frozen Bananas
You can make these a multitude of ways, it all depends on what you like. They are what they sound like, merely frozen bananas. They taste superb frozen and are similar to ice cream pops (or at least I think so). The fun part is how creative you can get with them.
What you need:
Peanut Butter
Chopped nuts
Tin Foil
Peel the bananas, wrap them individually in tin foil, and stick them in the freezer for an hour. After an hour, take them out and dip them in your favorite toppings. Then, wrap them back up and return them to the freezer for another hour or two. Once the toppings and bananas are completely frozen, go ahead an unwrap these tasty snacks and enjoy!

3. Watermelon Gazpacho 

This is not only a fun time for your taste buds, but also fun to look at. It is lovely and is perfect for any party setting.
What you need:
5 cups roughly chopped seedless watermelon
1 cup of diced seedless watermelong
1/2 cup of cranberry juice
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut up
1/4 cup fresh parsley, cut up
1 lime (juiced)
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
Put the roughly chopped watermelon and cranberry juice into a blender. Once it is a even mixture, pour through a strainer to remove pulp. Add all the other ingredients to the mixture and stir. Finally, cover it up and put it in the fridge until it is cold enough to thwart the summer heat!

4. Chilled Green Fruit Salad

This is for those of us who are trying to be healthy, but also trying to keep things fresh and unique. Most people do not usually combine these fruits together in a fruit salad! Go green!
What you need:
Frozen grapes
1 Green apple
3 Kiwis
5 cups of cubed honeydew
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup lemon thyme
Take the water and sugar to a simmer together and stir the entire time. Take off the burner once the sugar has dissolved. Add the thyme and then let it cool down and let out all of its heat. Pour this through something to get all of the pulp out.
Cut up the apple how you see fit and divide all of the fruit out evenly. Ladle the syrup over the bowls of fruit you divided. Serve to guests! It’ll be sure to cool them off, especially with the frozen grapes.

5. Caprese Salad

Almost everyone knows how to make this, but people forget how adored it is. Serve it right out of the fridge and it is a healthy, filling, delicious cold dish to serve as an appetizer.
What you need:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Mozzarella cheese (fresh)
Salt and Pepper
Cut up the tomatoes into slices as well as the mozzarella cheese. Lay the slices out on a plate however you want, maybe with the mozzarella cheese on the bottom and tomato slices directly on top. Pluck the basil leaves off the stem they come on and spread them out throughout the slices of tomato and mozzarella.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the entire plate and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the amount that you desire. So stress-free and virtually no cooking time needed!


Hopefully all of these recipes help relieve you from the summer heat whether your indoors or outdoors. Have fun with these dishes and dazzle your family and friends with something scrumptious and cold. Good luck with the heat and relax—it’s summer!
Featured images:
This article was brought to you by Rebecca Borchers. After years of living in the Florida sunshine, Rebecca has become an expert at staying cool. Between the pool, beach and sweet, sweet air conditioning, she barely breaks a sweat. She is also a professional writer for Bob Heinmiller AC. To learn more about Rebecca, be sure to check out her Google+.


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