The thought of turning on the oven in the summer time sends the sweat glands into overdrive. Keeping the house cool and making things simple is the goal of this sun dominating season. The only problem is that your family does need to eat. Many of us struggle with finding great options that are healthy, fulfilling and tasty during the months you only want to lay at the beach and cool yourself off with chilly drinks and frozen treats.
One of my favorite things about fall (besides getting to wear sweatshirts and the cooler temperatures) is all the pumpkin flavored (and scented) products that are available. It has gotten to the point where almost everything comes in pumpkin varieties! However, you don’t need to spend tons of money buying the premade products, you can make your own! Here are a few recipes for pumpkin spice flavored things to make yourself (or to give as gifts) for those of us that can’t wait until the pumpkin spice products come out!
I do not know about you but the summer months with long days spent outdoors in the heat often sapped my energy to make unique meals so my family’s dinners became a monotonous cycle of the same rotation of foods and combinations. Now with the cooler fall weather, I will still be spending considerable time outside, enjoying the beauty of the seasonal changes and the activities that come with them. This too will cut into my ability to be creative with food. To combat this, I have begun to take meal planning seriously. Something that once was a bit daunting has now become life-giving.
Okay, I like pumpkin pie as much as the next true blue, fall and Thanksgiving loving American. There is nothing like a flaky buttery crust (or graham cracker for those of you who enjoy that), thick creamy pumpkin filling, and that dollop of whipped cream (or Cool Whip for you non-dairy types). Or more than a dollop. Okay fine, I cover the entire pie slice with a triangle of whipped cream. Don’t judge me! But things have truly gotten out of hand.
Summer heat means that you may not want to spend a lot of time cooking indoors. Instead of spending all day by a hot stove, these quick summer snacks can help you eat well while staying cool.
Recently a host parent asked me if I’d heard of Hello Fresh. Coincidentally, I had just subscribed to it myself for a two week trial (got a GREAT deal on Living Social. There are also excellent deals on Groupon) but hadn’t received my first box just yet. She went on to tell me that she’d subscribed to it to assist her au pair in planning and preparing meals for her kids. I thought to myself, what a GREAT idea.