Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Ultimate Summer Menu Planner

Hi, friends!  Long time no post.  I took a bit of an unplanned break from the blog over the past few weeks to spend more time with the family, wind down summer vacation, try (and failed) to get my house organized, and get Caroline ready to start the first grade (how is the possible).  I missed posting, but I have to admit - it was a nice respite for me, and it gave me the much-needed time to clear my head, then immediately fill it back up with ideas for future posts, recipes, and all things Pink Parsley!  So in the next few weeks, I have a lot to share:  a quick recap of a weekend trip we took to the mountains, the rebirth of my "Feeding my Family" series with a post all about school lunches, and several great recipes that you will definitely want to make before summer's end.

So speaking of summer's end, I've been thinking of all the things I still want to make before it's too late. And that got me thinking about all the delicious meals I've made over the course of the past few years.  And THAT led me to putting together this post for you all.  I'm featuring five menus that you should definitely make before Labor Day.  I'm including drinks, apps, and desserts within each menu, but if you're just looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, feel free to tone it down a bit (or not!).


The Summer Meal of 2014

The Ultimate Summer Meal

I have made this exact menu three different times this summer for entertaining.  In fact, my mother-in-law even requested it for her Bible Study group this weekend.  This summer salad has become a classic with me and several of my friends and blog readers, and I beg you to at the very least, make the salad for dinner one night this week!  And the ice cream…. I haven't blogged it, but that's purely because I can't keep it it around long enough to photograph it.  It is the best ice cream I've ever made, and one that I will be making every year for the rest of my life.  If you don't have an ice cream maker, this ice cream is the perfect reason to buy one.  Just simply amazing.

Fresh Peach Wine Coolers
Cheesy Baked Vidalia Onion Dip (Bakin' and Eggs)
Grilled Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad
Tomato-Basil Bruschetta
Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry Ice Cream (Annie's Eats)

Low Country Love

Low Country Summer Menu

This is another meal that I've made several times.  When we go to the beach with our friends, each family is in charge of dinner one night out of the week, and this has become our go-to dinner.  Now I make it semi-frequently at home as well, and it's another great meal for entertaining.

Strawberry Rosé Sangria
Low-Country Grill
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (add one cup of cheddar and a few cloves of minced garlic to my buttermilk drop biscuits)
Sliced Watermelon
Peach Cobbler

Summer Fiesta

Summer Fiesta Menu

You know I couldn't make a menu compilation without including Mexican food, right?  I'm pushing my spicy citrus-grilled shrimp tacos, but feel free to use your favorite taco here instead if you want something else (chicken, ground beef, beer-battered fish, etc).  

Summer Margaritas
Bacon-Chipotle Guacamole
Spicy Citrus Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Mexican Grilled-Corn Salad
Blackberry Pie Bars

The Ultimate Southern Summer Dinner

Southern Summer Menu

You are also probably unsurprised that I'm including a southern menu, right?  This southern feast will leave everyone full and happy!  It's reminiscent of the "Sunday dinners" that we used to have after church, but with updated recipes (and Bourbon!).

Blackberry Lemonade (spike with bourbon for an adult beverage!)
Pimento Cheese
BBQ Chicken Kabobs
Cornmeal-Crusted Okra
Summer Corn Pudding
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Peach Pie

Summer Classics, Reinvented

summer classic, reinvented menu

This menu takes summer classics, and turns them on their head for a fun new spin.  This is great for casual entertaining, or just a weeknight dinner with your family.  Who doesn't like pizza and rice krispie treats?

Summer Shandy (1/4 cup lemonade + 3/4 cup Hefeweizen beer, served chilled)
Black Eyed Pea Hummus
BLT Pizza
Watermelon-Cherry Tomato Salad
S'Mores Rice Krispie Treats

I hope you found something you are just dying to make this week.  I'll be back later this week with some more dinner ideas, plus an ice cream that you definitely don't want to miss out on!  Happy Monday!


Josie said...

I love this so much! You always come up with the best menus. Glad you made a post with all of these.

Josie said...

I figured you were spending time with your family which is always most important. Glad your back!!! I will definitely be trying these menus and am looking forward to you new posts as well :-)

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