I love those summer days when it’s hot, but not too hot and it’s perfect for sitting outside watching the kids play. It’s the kind of day that lends itself to a nice, cold glass of iced tea, conversation and a great lunch. Whether it’s your spouse, or a friend, or even just yourself, it’s nice to take a few summer days here and there (sprinkled in amongst the chaos of vacations, swim lessons, camp and playdates!) to just sit back and truly celebrate summer.
So what’s on my summer lunch menu?
#TEArrific Pairs Summer Lunch
*Strawberry-Basil Iced Tea
*Spinach & Feta Quinoa Salad
* Dressed Up Klondike Bars
*Gelato & Waffle Cookie Sundae
A good iced tea must start with a good tea bag and I love Lipton Iced Tea. These bags are specially formulated for brewing iced tea and deliver a great taste. I found them easily, while shopping for all the necessities for this lunch, at Walmart. You can find the Family Size, Lipton Iced Teabags in the same aisle as the coffee/tea/breakfast.
The sweet of the strawberry with the gentle punch of the basil makes this a great combination.
Strawberry Basil Iced Tea
2 Lipton Iced Tea Bag (Family Size)
8 cups of water + 1 cup for syrup
1/3 cup of sugar – or to taste
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
10 strawberries, hulled and quartered
Boil water, add tea bags and steep for 5-8 minutes. I tend to go for a lighter tea; adjust accordingly. Set aside to cool.
Separately, boil 1 cup of water and sugar – until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 the basil and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain (discard basil) and pour over strawberries. Keep a few strawberries aside for garnishing and adding directly to tea. Pour syrup mixture to tea. Allow to fully cool. Before serving, add ice, rest of fresh basil and strawberries. Stir and serve.
Spinach, Feta & Lemon Quinoa Salad
When it’s hot out, I like a light lunch – a cool or warm lunch. Nothing heavy or hot. This Spinach, Feta & Lemon Quinoa Salad is perfect. It’s easy to make-ahead the night before or to make a big batch.
- 1 tsp. EVOO
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove - finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken stock - low sodium
- ½ c. corn (canned is fine, or fresh from cob, cooked)
- ½ c. chopped fresh baby spinach
- ⅓ c. feta cheese
- ⅓ c. chopped scallion
- In a saucepan, add oil and heat on medium. Saute 3-4 minutes.
- Add Quinoa, keep stirring constantly. Add water and chicken stock.
- Simmer - covered - for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, let set.
- Fluff with fork
- Add in scallions, salt/pepper, corn, spinach, feta.
- Toss and refrigerate to cool
- Serve cold
My kids think this is a pasta dish, but they readily eat it and do like it! I like not having to make a separate lunch for the kids, leaving me more time to create a fun, kid-friendly dessert.
Dressed-Up Klondike Bars
I decided to dress up Klondike bars for a fun, easy dessert. It’s simple to do and you can customize the chocolate or sprinkle colors to match a party, theme or decor. How cute would this idea be in Red, White & Blue?
Directions: Be sure the Klondike bars are competely frozen, so you have time to work. Melt chocolate of choice – I chose white, but colored chocolate would be a great way to add color. Drizzle chocolate in any design or way you like and add sprinkles. Return to freezer on a paper lined tray to set. Serve right from freezer.
The kids got super excited about these. It’s so easy to make and serve and it’s a fun way to make an already great dessert more fun and colorful. You can find Klondike Bars in the frozen aisle with the ice cream/novelties.
For the adults, I also picked up Breyer’s Gelato at Walmart – and chose the Tiramisu flavor. Breyer’s Gelato comes as close to the real thing that I’ve had in Italy. I love the Gelato alone, but I thought it might be nice to use it to create a sundae!
Waffle Cookie Gelato Sundae
The cookies are from a local bakery that I had on hand, but I thought they would make the perfect base and topping for the gelato. You could use any kind of cookie you like.
Simply plate one of the cookies, add a scoop of gelato, top with another cookie. Add another small scoop of ice cream & garnish with a piece of cookie.
It’s easy to plan simple summer meals that will have you outside enjoying time with friends and family – without spending too much time in the kitchen.
What foods do you like to prepare or enjoy when the weather gets warm?