Summer recipes that are quick and easy to make

Published 8:05 am Friday, June 16, 2023

Summer travel season is upon us. This means hosting family and friends for visits which involve searching out recipes for everyone to enjoy. It also means wedding celebrations, Father’s Day family dinners, and Fourth of July festivities.

Linda: Summer recipes need to be easy recipes. With sunshine and warm weather, there are outdoor activities to enjoy and not a lot of time for cooking. But when guests arrive we want to offer some special meals for everyone to enjoy.

Lucy: I recently read about a delicious breakfast offering and decided to try it. There are not very many ingredients and it’s fast to make. It calls for thawed shredded hash browns. I took the hash browns out of the freezer the day before to thaw. I shared it with my neighbors who all asked for the recipe.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Linda: When you have overnight company, it’s helpful to have an easy casserole to share. If some guests sleep later, keep warm until serving. I’m thinking of an unusual dish for Father’s Day. I know the saying is “ that real men don’t eat quiche,” but I’ve found the opposite to be true. Perhaps a light lunch could be served after attending church on Sunday. A quiche can be made ahead and warmed up just before serving.

Lucy: I know just the recipe. It’s not the usual and is called Mexican Southwest Quiche. I found it in a cookbook called Bakery Lane Soup Bowl. It was a popular restaurant in Vermont. They published their cookbook which is filled with soup recipes and other restaurant favorites. I wondered about a Mexican recipe in a Vermont cookbook, but it is delicious. 

Linda: I remember that cookbook. I always wanted to go to that restaurant and was disappointed to learn that it was no longer there. I know we included this quiche in our own new cookbook that will be available soon. I think the Marie Callendar frozen pie shell is excellent and is available at Ingles. Recently I discovered an interesting corn muffin recipe that’s perfect for summer. It uses fresh strawberries which are sweet and juicy this time of year. Again it’s easy to make because you use a corn muffin mix like Jiffy. Be sure to add more of the strawberry mixture when filling the muffins. 

Lucy: These are all easy, tasty recipes. They don’t require much preparation in the kitchen and in the summer we like more outdoor time. But we still want to enjoy the food we prepare. And if visitors are at our door, we want mealtimes to offer some new creations.


Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6-8


1 30 oz bag shredded hash brown potatoes — THAWED

2 cups sharp shredded cheddar

1 cup sour cream

1/2 lb diced ham or 8 slices of cooked crumbled bacon

salt and pepper



Mix potatoes, sour cream and 1 cup of cheese together. Add ham or bacon and salt and pepper. Put into a  9×13 casserole, sprayed with baking spray. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. The thing to remember is to have the potatoes thawed so you can make it fast.


Mexican Southwest Quiche                                                                         

8 servings


10-inch unbaked pie shell

5 eggs

2 Tbs melted butter

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

8 oz cream cheese, diced

Dash of pepper

2 cans (4 oz ea) chopped green chilis, drained

1 cup shredded Swiss, cheddar, or jack cheese



Brush pie shell with butter and arrange cream cheese over the bottom. Chill until butter is set. Meanwhile spread chilies on paper towels to drain thoroughly. Combine eggs, cream, seasonings; beat until blended. Sprinkle chilies over cream cheese in pie shell and top with shredded cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over all. Bake in 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve.



Strawberry Corn Muffins

6 muffins


1 8.5-ounce package of corn muffin mix plus ingredients on the box to make the mix

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped strawberries

2 tablespoons strawberry preserves



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place foil baking cups in 6-cup muffin pan. Prepare the corn muffin batter as the label directs, then stir in the flour, lemon zest and vanilla. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until the edges are set and the centers are soft but not wet, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the strawberries and strawberry preserves in a bowl and set aside. Remove the corn cakes from the oven. Gently press the back of a teaspoon into the center of each to make an indentation about one-third to one-half of the way into the cake. Spoon about 2-3 teaspoons of the strawberry mixture into each indentation, pressing to tightly fill. (Reserve the remaining berry mixture for topping.) Return the cakes to the oven and continue baking until just golden, about 5-8 more minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a rack, for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool 10 more minutes. Top the cakes with the remaining berry mixture and serve.