A truly memorable summer menu


(Family Features) Summer days are often spent with family and friends, soaking in the sun's rays and enjoying outdoor living with warm-weather activities. Complement this year's summertime excitement with food that matches your enthusiasm for the season.

Your menu can start with a fruity dip and a salad before diving into steak for the main course and a kid-friendly treat to top it all off. These recipes make the most of what summer has to offer with fresh fruits and veggies, bright and refreshing greens, tender cuts of meat and frozen treats that celebrate those memorable moments together.

Find more summer recipe inspiration at Culinary.net.

Apple Guacamole

Recipe adapted from the Meredith Corporation

Servings: 8-10


3  ripe avocados, halved and pitted

1/2  cup finely chopped Vidalia onion

1/2  cup snipped fresh cilantro

1 lime, juice only

Bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

Kosher salt, to taste

Tortilla chips


In bowl, use fork to mash avocados, onion, cilantro, lime juice and hot pepper sauce to desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry Salad

Servings: 6


Blueberry Dressing:

2 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste


2 large apples

2 packages (6 ounces each) Lettuce Mix

1 pint strawberries, cut in half

1 pint blueberries

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

Blueberry dressing


To make blueberry dressing: In blender, process blueberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare salad: Cut apples into 1/4-inch thick slices. Using 1-1/2-inch diameter star-shaped cutter, cut apple slices into stars.

Place lettuce mix in large bowl; add apples, strawberries and blueberries. Sprinkle with pecans. Before serving, drizzle each salad with blueberry dressing.

Steak Banh Mi

Servings: 2


10 ounces beef flat iron steak

2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon, plus 1/2 cup, rice vinegar, divided

1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pinch salt

1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

2 Vietnamese baguettes or dinner rolls

1/4 cup mayonnaise

4 Batavia lettuce leaves

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 Persian cucumber, sliced


Remove steak from packaging and set aside 10 minutes. Once steak reaches room temperature, place steak in deep plate or storage container. In small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, fish sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and five-spice powder; pour over steak. Cover and marinate in fridge at least 2 hours, or overnight.

In small pot over medium heat, heat remaining rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool.

Place carrots in deep plate or storage container. Pour cooled pickling liquid over carrots. Set aside to marinate.

Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Reserve marinade.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat heavy-bottomed pan over high heat and add oil. Once oil begins to smoke, add steak. Sear both sides, about 1 minute per side. Lower heat to medium.

Add reserved marinade and water to pan. Cook, covered, 3 minutes, removing lid to flip meat occasionally. Remove lid and let sauce reduce 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.

Transfer steak and sauce to large plate and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Toast baguettes in oven 5 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes.

Slice baguettes along middle without cutting through.

Slice steak into thin pieces.

Spread mayonnaise on baguettes and add 1-2 lettuce leaves to each. Layer steak on lettuce leaves followed by cilantro, cucumbers and pickled carrots. Slice baguette into two sandwiches.

Watermelon Berry Frozen Pops

Servings: 8


6 cups watermelon

1 cup blueberries, divided

1 cup raspberries, divided

3 tablespoons honey


In blender, blend watermelon, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup raspberries and honey until smooth. Press through fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds.

Fill ice pop molds 3/4 full with liquid. Add remaining whole blueberries and raspberries to molds. Insert sticks and freeze at least 4 hours, or until completely frozen.

food, summer