Summertime is prime zucchini season. Whether you are growing it in your backyard garden or buying an armload from your local grocery store, now is the best time to enjoy this seasonal squash.
Whether you are using your electric spiralizer to make zoodles for a low-carb dinner or experimenting with different zucchini boat recipes, there are plenty of ways to incorporate zucchini into your daily routine this summer.
One of the most obvious ways is to make zucchini bread. While we are big fans of the classic recipe, this chocolate zucchini bread is next level. Because everything is better with chocolate, right?
In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Then, using your Hamilton Beach® food processor fitted with the shredding disc (running) add zucchini to the food chute. Your food processor shreds the zucchini in seconds, it’s such a time saver.
In another bowl, use your Hamilton Beach® hand mixer to beat sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla extract until well blended. Reduce the mixer to a low and slowly add the flour mixture. Then stir in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Go ahead, throw in a few extra chocolate chips while you’re at it.
Transfer the mixture to a 9×5-inch pan and bake for an hour at 350 degrees.
This chocolate zucchini bread is truly irresistible. Serve it for a sweet breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or a (secretly) veggie-packed dessert. This delicious bread will undoubtedly trick the kids into eating their vegetables this summer.
When the temperature rises we have to find ways to beat the heat. While you’ve probably stuck your head into the freezer a time or two (who hasn’t?), there are plenty of other ways to get the job done. Sweltering temps are a great excuse to enjoy some of summer’s best frozen treats – ice cream cones, frozen cocktails, and popsicles. Or better yet – poptails.
Poptails are popsicle cocktail combos – and trust me, you want them to be apart of your summer cool-down strategy.
To make these strawberry margarita popsicles you’ll need a few supplies – 3 oz. plastic or paper cups, craft sticks (or popsicle sticks), and plenty of limes.
Mix ingredients for strawberry margaritas – strawberries, sugar, lime juice, your favourite tequila, and triple sec) – together in a blender, and then portion the mixture out into the 3 oz cups. Cut limes into slices and push the craft or popsicle sticks through the center, leaving enough stick to hold onto when the popsicles are frozen. Top the cups with the limes and freeze.
The Test Kitchen thought to use a muffin tin to transfer the popsicles to and from the freezer. The cups fit perfectly, you can transfer more than a few at a time, and it minimizes spilling (you don’t want to waste any of those delicious margaritas, now do you?!). Brilliant.
Once the popsicles are frozen, grab a cup and enjoy (you’ll want to twist the popsicles a little bit to loosen the popsicles from the cup).
Not only do these popsicles taste exactly like strawberry margaritas, they are sure to cool you off during the dog days of summer. Put the margarita glasses and straws away and make these poptails a staple of your summer happy hour.
During the summer I consume my fair share of pasta salad. Whether I’m making one for a quick, no-hassle lunch or serving it alongside grilled chicken and corn on the cob for dinner on the patio, pasta salad seems to make it’s way to my table over and over again throughout the season.
Pasta salad is an easily customizable dish that works well served alongside just about anything. The hard part isn’t deciding to make it, but rather which version. Are you in the mood for a classic recipe covered in a mayo-based dressing? What about a crowd pleasing buffalo chicken pasta salad? Maybe the family wants to incorporate some Mexican flavors like black beans, salsa, and lots of fresh cilantro. Pasta is a blank canvas and the flavour combinations are truly endless.
This tortellini pasta salad is one of my favourites and it’s full of Italian flavours. Mix cheesy tortellini (the only thing better than pasta is pasta filled with cheese) with artichokes, olives, tomatoes, salami (like Genoa), and red onion then dress with a simple homemade Italian dressing. You can whip one up in no time using your Hamilton Beach® Single-Serve Blender. Chill for a few hours (or even overnight) in the refrigerator and let all of those Italian flavours marry before serving.
Top this hearty pasta salad with a little extra parmesan and some fresh-from-the-garden basil for a tasty summer side. And the best part about pasta salad? If you’re lucky enough to have some leftover, it’s even better the next day. Put leftovers in the kid’s lunches or munch on it at work for an Italian lunch that isn’t pizza (for once).
Do you like ice cream sandwiches? What about milkshakes? We put two these two summer favourites together to make an Ice Cream Sandwich Milkshake.
Three scoops of your favourite vanilla ice cream, ½ cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of Nutella or hot fudge sauce (or both. Why not?) and one ice cream sandwich broken into small pieces goes into the drink mixer to make this over-the-top milkshake.
This shake tastes exactly like an ice cream sandwich. And to make it that much better, we garnished it with a mini ice cream sandwich (we just cut an extra ice cream sandwich into squares with a sharp knife). There’s no wait for the ice cream truck when you can make this in your drink mixer now.
There are a few dishes that automatically come to mind when I’m meal planning in the summertime – burgers, kebabs, thick, juicy steaks. You know, the foods that – in my mind – should definitely have grill marks.
There really is nothing better than a hot burger that drops straight from the grill spatula onto your bun, but don’t forget about fruits and vegetables during grilling season. Grilled fruits like pineapple slices and peaches (maybe topped with a scoop of your favorite ice cream) make simple, seasonal desserts, while grilling a variety of vegetables like corn and lettuce can upgrade your summer side dish recipes instantly.
This grilled romaine caesar is a prime example of why veggies should absolutely go on the grill. We grilled sliced heads of romaine lettuce on the Hamilton Beach® Searing Grill to make a summer salad that doesn’t start with potato or macaroni.
Preheat the grill to medium-high and slice the romaine lengthwise through the root end. Leaving the root end in tact will help keep the leaves together as it grills. Brush the romaine halves lightly with olive oil and grill for about 2 to 4 minutes until the lettuce is charred and slightly wilted.
We drizzled our grilled romaine with homemade Caesar dressing that we whipped up in no time in the Hamilton Beach® single serve blender. We finished the salad with crumbled bacon (you will never – and should never – eat a Caesar without bacon again) and cracked black pepper. A squeeze of lemon, shaved parmesan, or even a sprinkle of your favorite croutons would also pair wonderfully with these grilled greens.
If you’re already grilling burgers, throw romaine alongside for an easy side salad or serve this grilled salad alone for a light summer lunch – no salad spinner or tossers necessary.