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Iced Tea– A classic summer drink, nothing is more refreshing than a fruity-flavored iced tea. I usually make a standard black iced tea, but for those with a sweet tooth, Raspberry Hibiscus from Tazo is another great option.
Smoothies– A great way to mix fresh fruits that are in season, smoothies can also be superfood-ified — add wheat germ, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc. — to take a summer staple to a whole new level. “Super Smoothies” is a great cookbook I have, and it’s chock full of smoothies to increase energy, boost immune system or de-stress. I love filling my smoothies with a frozen three-berry mix (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) and topping it off with fresh strawberries and bananas and some wheat germ.
Lemonade– Personally, I like my lemonade so tart my lips pucker, but other need scoops and scoops of sugar. But whether you like it sweet or tart, lemonade is an all-around favorite. Try adding raspberries or strawberries to incorporate even more summer.
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
5 1/2 cups water
Mix lemon juice, sugar and water in pitcher. Add ice as necessary and enjoy!
Sandwiches and Snacks
Chicken Caesar Wrap– With crisp lettuce, fresh ingredients and perfectly seasoned chicken, a wrap is the perfect on-the-go salad, ready for a picnic.
Pretzels– It’s Royals season, and nothing screams baseball like a soft pretzel to remind you of the ballpark. While they are a little bit more labor intensive than most treats, biting into soft, sweet and salty dough will leave no regrets.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon and 1/2 cup, separated, sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
5 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Make a well in the center, and add oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough (if the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water). Knead the dough until smooth, about seven to eight minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough into the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 12 equal pieces. 5. 5. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
6. Bake in preheated oven for eight minutes, or until browned. If you want, you can dip in melted butter, then toppings of your choice (i.e. chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar, etc.). Enjoy!
**If you don’t have time to make the dough yourself, use pizza dough instead.
PB&J Bars– Take your soggy, mundane peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and turn it into a peanut butter and jelly bar. A salty peanut butter bar with sweet jelly on top, it’s just like summer — dry and hot yet refreshing and relaxing at the same time. This recipe uses a box mix for the base, so it will don’t worry about time.
1 box Krusteaz Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup of your favorite jelly
1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and stir together cookie mix, oil, egg and water until dough forms.
2. Press dough into lightly greased pan.
3. Spread jelly over dough, and top with peanuts.
4. Bake for 22-26 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cookies– With millions of recipes out in the world for chocolate chip cookies, it’s impossible not to find one you love. To this day I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love this type of cookie, so bring it to your picnic and it will be a hit.