This summer, before school begins again, treat your family to an afternoon of lakeside relaxation. Pack a beautiful basket full of goodies, grab your favorite comfy blanket and find a quiet spot under a tree to while away a few hours with some quality family time.
Smoky Chicken Flatbread with Crispy Bacon, Avocado, and Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo
A smoky chicken flatbread is not only utterly delicious for the tastebuds, but it’s utterly good for the body, as well. It’s like getting a little something extra, something “above and beyond” what you expected, which is truly a welcomed thing these days.
Yield: Makes 4 flatbreads
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut through the center lengthwise to create 4 thinner cutlets
- Olive oil
- 1 tsp. granulated onion
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke seasoning (typically found in the spices/seasoning section of your market)
- 4 flatbreads, warm
- Sun-dried Tomato Mayo (recipe below)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced avocado
- 8 strips crispy-cooked bacon, cut in half to make 16 smaller strips
Sun-dried Tomato Mayo Ingredients and Preparation:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (not oil-packed, preferably; however, you can dry the off the oil with paper towels if those are the only ones you can find)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Place all ingredients into a small bowl, and carefully whisk together (or use a fork) just until well-combined; use immediately, or keep in a covered container in the fridge.
Place the four chicken cutlets into a bowl, and add in about 1–2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the rest of the ingredients up to and including the liquid smoke, and toss to combine; allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight if doing ahead.
When ready to grill, place a grill pan over medium-high heat, add in a tiny drizzle of oil, and grill the cutlets for about 2–3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden-brown; set aside, and once cool enough to handle, slice into strips on the bias; keep warm.
To make the sandwiches, spread a generous amount of the Sun-dried Tomato Mayo on the flatbread, and onto half of it, add a few slices of the tomato, followed by some of the grilled chicken strips, then some of the avocado slices, then about 4 of the smaller strips of bacon; fold the other half over to create a flatbread sandwich, and enjoy.
Mini Blueberry Shortcakes
These blueberry shortcakes are the perfect light dessert for summer. Layers of vanilla cake, whipped cream, fresh blueberries, garnished with strawberries and mint.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 mini cakes
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour muffin pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2–3 minutes).
Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk), fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
Fold fresh juicy blueberries into batter.
Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
Place muffin pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely.
Using a hand mixer, whip together 1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream and 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar until soft peaks form.
Cut muffins horizontally and place one layer of cake onto a serving dish. Top with the whipped cream. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and garnish with strawberries and mint. Repeat for the remaining layer. Serve immediately or place in the fridge. Serve the same day.
Avocado and Tomato Salad
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 avocados, cubed
- 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber, sliced into half moons
- 1/3 cup corn
- 1 jalepeño, minced (optional)
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, and cumin. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
In a large serving bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, jalapeño, and cilantro. Gently toss with dressing and serve immediately.
Don’t confuse this simple recipe; there’s way more depth of flavor than you think, which makes it one of our favorite picnic sides of all time. But the real beauty? You’re totally welcome to eat it with chips. (Just know it tastes amazing without ’em.)
If you have extra veggies in the fridge that need to be used, you can completely switch up this salad. Replace the cucumber with some sautéed zucchini or add in some chopped grilled asparagus. Replace the jalapeño with bell peppers for a milder, sweeter crunch, or give it more of a Mediterranean vibe with oregano instead of cumin and some feta!
Strawberry Watermelon Mint Infused Water
This is the perfect idea for a refreshing drink for warm, sunny days, and it’s also packed with many amazing nutrients. I’ll say a perfect glass full of health, and the best part is that it is as tasty as it is easy to prepare!
- 10 large strawberries
- 1/2 cup of sliced watermelon
- 1/4 cup of mint leaves
- 6 cups of water
Fill the bottom of a pitcher with the ice cubes and top it with strawberries, watermelon and mint leaves.
Fill the rest of the way with filtered water and let it cool.