Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kid-Friendly Summer Recipes + Link Your Recipes

Welcome to the third time of our Fun in the Summer Sun event!

Each Monday until September 7th
Mama to 4 Blessings along with Harvest Moon By Hand,
Adventures of Mommydom, Sweet Diva, and Sweet Phenomena
will be hosting Fun in the Summer Fun link up events.
Here's the line up:
1st Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer activities"
2nd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer crafts"
3rd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer recipes"
4th Monday of each month: link up your "How to stay cool in the summer heat"


The girls and I enjoy cooking and baking; trying new recipes; and making up our own recipes.  During June, we've been making food using herbs and fruit from the garden. 

Homemade Pizza Using Fresh Herbs from the Garden

One of our favorite dinners during the summer is homemade pizza.  Each person gets some dough to make their own individual pizza using their preferred toppings. 

The pizza dough recipe came from the June 2006 issue of Better Homes and Gardens and is the easiest one I've found.  There are extra steps in the original recipe (like letting the dough rest), but I skip them just to save some time.

Pizza Dough

2 3/4- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (120-130 degrees F)
2 tablespoons oil or olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt.  Add warm water and oil.  Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.  Beat on high for 3 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface.  Knead in remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes total).  Divide dough into 8 pieces.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Makes 8 mini-pizzas. 

(Note: I mix everything by hand; and do not cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.)

The girls pressing out the dough.

Add whatever topping you prefer.  On this night, we had onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs from the garden (rosemary, oregano, and basil) as well as cheese (regular and dairy-free).

Some other ideas from Better Homes and Gardens
- Meats: precooked ground beef or Italian sausage, sliced pepperoni, chopped or shredded chicken, sliced or chopped ham
- Vegetables: fresh tomatoes, sweet peppers, olives
- Cheeses:  mozzarella cheese (shredded or fresh), shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese
- Garlic:  minced or coarsely chopped

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.

The recipe makes a lot of pizza -
enough for dinner with leftovers for another meal.

One of these nights, I'm going to try making the pizza on the grill and see what that tastes like. Perhaps the next time we make the pizza we'll do this...along with adding vegetables that are ripe from our garden (like tomatoes, peppers, and onions).


Strawberry Patch Float

The girls adding sprinkles to the top of their floats.

This recipe comes from the Taste of Home June/July 2011 issue. 


2 tablespoons strawberry jam (we used homemade jam we made last year)
1 teaspoon water
Strawberry ice cream (we used both strawberry and vanilla ice cream)
Sliced strawberries (we used frozen strawberries that we picked last year since local ones aren't quite ready to be harvested yet)
1/4 cup cream (we didn't include this)
Strawberry or raspberry sparkling water
Whipped cream


Spoon the jam mixed with water into a tall glass.  Top with ice cream, strawberries, cream, sparkling water, whipped cream, and sprinkles.  Enjoy! 

They enjoyed their floats and
wanted to know if they could have another one tomorrow.


Pretty Herbal and Fruit Ice Cubes

In an issue of Better Homes & Gardens, there was an idea for making pretty ice cubes.  Simply place cleaned whole mint leaves or lemon rind curls (or both) inside each compartment of your ice cub tray.  Fill with water, then freeze until solid (about two hours). 

Olivia Making Mint Ice Cubes
Olivia placing part of a mint leaf
in each ice cube compartment.

To use, drop a few of the flavored cubes into a beverage of your choice (e.g., lemonade, iced tea).  As the cubes melt, the drink gets a bit more flavor from the herbs or citrus fruits.



Fresh Orange-ade

Oranges and lemons don't grow in Minnesota, so this doesn't quite fit with making food from our garden.  However, this is a recipe Sophia and I created based on the one that my grandma use to make when I visited her as a child. I remember her hand-squeezing the lemons and oranges, and sitting on her porch relaxing while the breeze came through the windows. 

This is what Sophia and I made, and it is as close to my grandma's recipe as I remember:

3 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of cold water
1 cup of sugar (start at 1/2 cup and continue adding sugar until you like the taste)

Squeeze the juice out of the oranges and lemons (we used about six each, and had enough leftover juice to make another batch of orange-ade).

Sophia Juicing Lemons
Sophia getting the juice out of a lemon.

Measure the juices and then pour them into a pitcher.

Measuring Orange Juice
Measuring the freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Add the water to the pitcher.  Gradually add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.  Refrigerate and serve chilled...or use the pretty ice cubes you made (see recipe above) to add a hint of mint to the orange-ade. 

Now it's your turn!
What are some of your favorite recipes for summer?


Mama to 4 said...

all yummy receipes & ideas! Love the orange ade idea! Have a great week! :)

Jill @ Sweet diva said...

Love all the recipes! I posted a pizza recipe this week, too! ;)
Happy "Fun in the Sun" monday! =)

Ticia said...

You make homemade jam? I'm supremely impressed!

Mmmmmm homemade pizza, I need to do that again.

Shirley @ The Gardening LIfe said...

These are great ideas to involve kids in the kitchen! I like the idea of the homemade pizza with fresh herbs. I've been making pizza for years but never tried it with sundried tomatoes and fresh herbs. I'll try it next time! Thanks.

debbie said...

love your recipes!