Shortcuts for Summer: Part 1

summer shortcuts

It’s Summer time!
Now that the heat has overtaken us, my guess is you’re not wanting to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, right? There are pools to swim in, beaches to walk on, boats to sail on, and weddings to plan. Okay, maybe that last one doesn’t apply to you, but it does to me – I’m getting married next month! Because of that, I’ve taken some shortcuts here and there, since I don’t have a lot of free time these days.

So, for those of you who just need more hours in the day, because you don’t have a magical clock that will indeed stop time (where can I buy one of those?!), I give you my Summer Shortcuts. I’m calling it “Part 1” because I’m pretty sure there will be a part 2. šŸ™‚

The first shortcut came about when my parents came to stay for a couple of days recently to help around Kenny’s house. It was pretty warm, so I didn’t want to turn the oven on. I grabbed a few ingredients at the store and started throwing them together. It was super quick, super easy, and one you could do in no time. Hooray to that!
So, here’s your first shortcut of the day…. Cucumber Pico. You’ll notice the tomatoes are all halved. Don’t worry… there’s an fast way to do this! Remember the little trick I told you about in last week’s blog for cutting grapes? Well it works equally as well on tomatoes!

Cucumber Pico
Cucumber Pico

Cucumber Pico (paleo)

1 carton organic sugar plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 organic English cucumbers, peeled & cubed
3-4 green onions, sliced
Ā½ jar Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Tamed JalapeƱos, chopped
Liquid from jalapeƱos

Cut tomatoes in half.
In a bowl, mix tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and jalapeƱos.
Add 2 Tbsp. of the liquid from the jalapeƱo jar and mix well.
Refrigerate 30 minutes and stir again. Add more liquid if needed.

I served the Cucumber Pico along with some chicken breasts that I had sliced thin, and sauteed in Mateo’s Salsa (my favorite) and black pepper till it was cooked through. I also added some organic corn slider tortillas that I’d flash fried in olive oil, and placed it all on some crisp romaine lettuce. We made wraps that were delicious!
I’d say the whole lunch took maybe 30 minutes to make, start to finish.

yes, I'm actually recommending a cake mix. First time!
Yes, I’m actually recommending a cake mix. First time! Click the photo to go to the site and see the ingredient listing.

The next shortcut came out of me wanting to serve something tasty to Cody for dessert. I’d recently found a cake mix………..whoa – wait… the Sockmonkey uses a …. MIX?! Okay, before you start freaking out, I found it at Sprouts, it’s gluten free, and the short list of ingredients are something I can actually recommend. Anyway, as I was saying… this cake mix is a much healthier choice to make, and it tastes wonderful! It’s firm enough to slice without it crumbling all over the place, and it’s moist enough to want more šŸ˜‰ I made the cake as per the box instructions, but added 1 Tablespoon of vanilla to it.
I cut a few squares of the cake after it had cooled, and sliced them in half, horizontally. Then I took a box of Breyers Ice cream, and cut slices from it, and made cake sandwiches. I topped it with my Stonefruit Topping. Talk about a simple shortcut to a DELICIOUS dessert!

Vanilla cake with ice cream and Stonefruit Topping
Vanilla cake with ice cream and Stonefruit Topping

Stonefruit Topping

2 organic peaches
2 organic nectarines
3 Tablespoons organic butter
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
Ā½ teaspoon salt

Cut fruit in half, and remove pits. Slice each half to desired size.
In a small pot, melt butter on low heat. Add fruit. Once fruit has warmed through, turn up heat to low-medium and add brown sugar. Cook for another minute, stirring carefully and add arrowroot powder. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
Add salt, stir well, and turn heat to low. Cook 1 minute. Spoon fruit and glaze over cake.

Here’s what Cody did to make his special... nice, huh?!

Cody added fresh organic raspberries to his dessert. Great idea!
Cody added fresh organic raspberries to his dessert. Great idea!

Hopefully I’ve given you an idea or two toĀ  help speed up your time in the kitchen this summer, and make sure to check back to see what other shortcuts I’ve got for you soon! Plus, when you make theseĀ  shortcuts, you’ll have time to go to the beach so you won’t be like Calvin….

If you have any great summer shortcuts, I’d love to hear about them! So, please tell me your ideas in the comment section below. Thanks!

Anything after this logo is nothing but advertising!
(Everything after this yellow logo is nothing but advertising)




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