Monday, June 30, 2014

Summertime Favorites

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.

Now that it is full on summer, I am ready to stay out of the kitchen. Who needs to add heat to an already warm day by firing up the oven or stove? I don't know about your household, but at our house the menu takes a shift come summer driven both by the desire to not heat up the kitchen and the desire to enjoy the summer fresh flavor of the vegetables we grow in the garden.

I think the one characteristic that I could call out about many of the favorite summer time meals is the balance of hot and cold.

Think about a BLT, one of my favorite summertime meals (and super fast to prepare with Hormel Fully Cooked Bacon) - you have the warm crunchy toast, the cool mayonnaise, the crisp and cool lettuce, the cool juicy sweet tomato and warm salty bacon. There is something so appealing to me about the blend of hot and cold, not to mention all of the garden fresh flavor of vegetables.

Another favorite is soft tacos made with grilled chicken (no kitchen heat required) - we simply grill our chicken, slice it into thin strips and place it on our tortilla and top it with cool sour cream, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced hot peppers and diced onions and then add a bit of sauce or salsa. Again, a bite that provides the contrast of temperature and the summer fresh flavors of produce from the garden (or farmer's market - I haven't mastered lettuce, it always goes to seed).

We also use our grill to make hamburgers and cheeseburgers, grilled chicken served with baked potatoes and grilled fish served with fresh, cool homemade coleslaw.

Here is some information on summertime recipes that Hormel shared with me:
Crafting Your Summer Recipes
The kids are out of school and summer is on the horizon—ease into your new routine with fresh and simple meals to keep your family full and happy this season!
• Make a cold pasta to help you beat the summer heat—give your
pasta salad a distinct twist with a colorful addition of pesto and
tasty Hormel® bacon: Bacon and Pesto Pasta Salad with
HORMEL® Fully Cooked Bacon and Peloponnese® olives.
• Forget the fast food! For a quick and wholesome snack, pack this
tasty Cobb Salad Lettuce Wrap featuring HORMEL® Chunk
Chicken and HORMEL® Real Bacon Bits.
• Keep it light this summer with a Warm Chicken and Orange Salad. Take this dish—featuring HOUSE OF TSANG® Stir-fry Oil and HOUSE OF TSANG® SAIGON SIZZLE™—from your pantry to your table in just 15 minutes.

The recipes have all been submitted and in just a few weeks, you can check out the HORMEL® Chili Facebook page for the "Savor Your Summer Recipe Contest" winner announcement. Visit to see the winner.

What is your favorite summer-time snack or what recipes do you enjoy cooking with your family during the summer?

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post.