SUMMER COOKING GUIDE

This is the Bacon Wrapped Filet from Aldi. Keep scrolling to get my roasted potatoes with fresh herbs recipe!

This is the Bacon Wrapped Filet from Aldi. Keep scrolling to get my roasted potatoes with fresh herbs recipe!

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is COOK! Yes—although I love my dinner boxes during the winter months (it just makes life so much easier), I love experimenting in the kitchen when I have more down time and delicious fresh food (some from my backyard) at my disposal.

As I’ve been sharing my meals on Instagram and Instastories, I’ve had so many comments and questions about my food, I decided to create a post on all my favorite recipes I have tried via Pinterest and Google searches, as well as my favorite grocery picks of the year! I have a few special food blog posts in the wings, but this allows me to easily share all my favorite and recent dinners and recipes with you throughout the season as I cook and share on Instagram and Instastories.

GROCERY PICKS

I recently have tried out some new items from the grocery store, and they have recently become my favorites and go-tos! You definitely need to check these Items out!

ALDI

  1. I’m absolutely loving their Bacon-Wrapped Chuck Filets! At my local Aldi, they are $4.79 for two! What a great date night at a bargain! Grill these up along with a baked potato or oven roasted potatoes and a fresh veggies, like the walnut goat cheese green beans I made this weekend (keep scrolling to get the recipe!).

  2. Frozen Fish—They have so many great frozen fish options! Some are already marinated or flavored, so all you have to do is pop them on the grill. Others requires a tad more work, but you get to be creative and whip up something semi-fast when needed.

  3. Cheeses—There is nothing like Cheese and Wine on the patio in the summer! I love Aldi Goat Cheese logs and Goat Cheese Crumbles, as well as their mozzarella slices and marinated mozzarella (so good with a glass of wine!)

  4. Guacamole and Salsa—Tacos are an easy summer meal, and you NEED guac and salsa as an appetizer! Pick up Aldi guac, salsa, and chips for a tasty Mexican side dish.

  5. Their $3.99 olive oil is a great one on rotation and perfect for regular cooking.

  6. Filled Belgian Waffles in the Frozen Food Section—Need I say more? These are hard to come by and were already sold out the second grocery trip I made to Aldi in July. You have either chocolate or cherry filling options. Top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you are set.

GIANT EAGLE (AND SOME OTHER MAJOR GROCERY CHAINS IF YOU ARE NOT FROM CLEVELAND)

  1. Stay tuned for a Summer Salads blog post, but you definitely need to check out the BITTEN salad dressing line. Their packaging is so cute, the salad dressings are unique, and are also super tasty for a summer salad!

  2. Dr. Oetker Frozen Thin Crust Pizzas—These are so tasty and awesome! I’ve talked about these before, but my favorite is baking these in the oven and topping with garden fresh basil and oregano. You also drizzle with my favorite Williams-Sonoma Balsamic Vinegar, and you are set to go!

  3. Talenti Gelato Layers—Gelato is the perfect cold summer delicacy. It fulfills your ice cream cravings but is a tad more refined. They added the Gelato Layers with cookies, sprinkles, crumbles, and mousse. I’ve tried the Black Raspberry but cannot wait to try the Cake Batter.

  4. I picked up a quick salmon patty from their seafood and meats counter, as I knew I needed to cook that night but had no time to prepare something huge. I quickly put this on the grill, microwaved my sweet potato, and chopped a fresh salad. In 20 minutes, I was done. Scroll down to see a photo. The patty I got was the red pepper and mozzarella patty. I paired it with a chipotle mayo made for seafood (a little different than the simple homemade ones I’ve made), and it was soooooo good.

HEINEN’S

  1. If you are lucky to live in the CLE or an area that has a Heinen’s, go check out their prepared Bruschetta. It is delicious and almost as good (if not better) than if I was to make it homemade. Brush some crostini with olive oil, toast in the oven, and top with bruschetta, sliced parmesan (I’ve linked up my gadgets below—keep scrolling), fresh homegrown basil, and my Williams-Sonoma Balsalmic Vinegar! Pair with some wine, and you have a wonderful evening ahead of you.

  2. The Heinen’s Prepared Cheese Dips and Cheese Spreads are also great for a quick wine and cheese night. Sometimes I prefer these spreads over a cheese board, because they can be more filling and easier to eat with different flavors!

WILLIAMS-SONOMA

As I mentioned above, you absolutely NEED to pick up some high quality balsamic vinegar! This is a must during the summer, and I always try to have a bottle on hand, even during the winter months. I realize it is a little pricy, but it’s SO worth it if you want tasty food, and a bottle will last me the entire summer. I can realistically get by an entire year with two bottles, so it’s really not that bad of an investment.

I’m currently not using their high quality olive oil, but it’s also definitely something to consider too! I have used it many times and am a true fan. I still have the bottle of the one on my counter (linking up below!).

I’ve linked up my exact balsamic vinegar as well as some other picks!

PLATING AND SERVING

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is entertain. To truly host, you need to plate and serve your food well. Throughout the summer, I’ll be including some of my favorite pieces to serve your guests. Currently, I’m just linking up my favorite plate sets from Wal-Mart (the perfect square plates super cheap!) and my go to Acacia Wood Platter from Target (only $16!).

COOKING GADGETS

I have learned from my mom that the right kitchen gadgets are a game changer. They can make food prep seamless and professional. I always learn from her which are the right ones, and I’ve linked them up below. I may have missed some, so if I remember or discover a new one, I will definitely link up all the new ones!

I’ve also linked up my 11 cup Cusinart Food Processor that I use to make salsa, pesto, and hummus in the summer, as well as the wok I used to make my Thai summer dishes.

BRUNCH

RECIPES COMING SOON!!!

APPETIZERS

Continue to check back for more recipes throughout the summer! Scroll through below to see my own appetizers, as well as some I have tried from Pinterest!

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Strawberry bruschetta with goat cheese and balsalmic vinegar

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Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Dip

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Quick pickles: dill and bread & butter

DINNER RECIPES

As I have been sharing my summer dinners on Instastories, I’ve had so many comments and questions on the recipes I’ve been using, which was inspired me to create the Summer Cooking Guide in the first place! As I continue to discover new recipes throughout the summer, I will share them here. If I create a new blog post, never fear—I’ll link it up here as well, so it is all in one place!

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Roasted Tomatoes Topped with Parmesan and Mozzarella

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Pan roasted summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes with broiled mozzarella and parmesan

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Naan Pizzas

Use Fresh, Homegrown Basil and my Williams Sonoma Balsamic Vinegar

Here are the links to my recent summer recipes!