There are many, many things to love about summer: long days, warm sunshine, baseball games blue skies, beach vacations, road trips, dinner on the patio, Popsicles…we could just go on and on.  There is just something about the relaxed feel of this season that makes us all want to slow down and savor the days. 

When you spend days poolside with your family, or come home from a day at the office and just want to unwind, you may not feel like making dinner or spending time in the kitchen. 

We understand the feeling! That’s why it’s great to have some easy recipes for meals and snacks, and simple things to have prepped and ready to make the days and nights easier for family meals, entertaining friends, or hanging out with the neighbors. 

We thought it would be fun to share some easy does it! ideas to carry that chill summer vibe through everyday life for as long as we can stretch this season. 

Easy Summer Dinner

Farmers Market BLTs
An easy summer staple for the whole family, you can elevate a BLT sandwich by using local, fresh ingredients. Toast freshly baked bread from Ashley’s, spread with mayonnaise, and simply top freshly cooked bacon with the plump tomatoes and leafy green lettuce. Slice the sandwiches into triangles before serving. 

  • Fresh, plump tomatoes
  • Leafy green lettuce
  • Locally sourced bacon
  • Fresh baked bread from Ashley’s
  • Mayonnaise


Charcuterie Dinner Board
Dinner doesn’t be a meat and potatoes meal. In fact, sometimes in the summer, the last thing anyone wants is a heavy meal. If you’re entertaining friends or neighbors, and no one feels like firing up the grill, prepare a large charcuterie board and everyone can build their own favorite snacking combination. 

There are endless options of what you can add to your board, too. You can include cheese and crackers, meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, pickles, olives – the really, anything goes! Pick what you and your family enjoy eating and we promise, it’ll be a crowd favorite! 

  • A variety of cheeses such as brie, smoked Gouda, cheddar, provolone, Colby, goat cheese
  • Cured meats, such as salami, pastrami, ham, sausage
  • Assorted crackers
  • Vegetables
  • Seasonal fruits
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Jams and/or jellys
  • Hummus and/or dip
  • Nuts 
  • Honey


Simple Summer Sides

Tomato & Cucumber Salad
This is a healthy, colorful simple salad that is the perfect complement to a grilled meal, but also works on its own. It’s light and flavorful, and is even kid-approved!  Mix together the ingredients listed below and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Lemon juice

Grilled Corn on the Cob
This is an easy way to get a vegetable into a meal with minimal effort. Pick up fresh ears of corn at the farmers market or grocery store, soak for a bit in a bucket of water, and throw on the grill for a classic summer treat. You can add flavored butter, special spices or keep it simple with salt and pepper. This doesn’t even require dishes if you don’t want to dirty a plate. 

  • Corn, still in husk
  • Butter
  • Salt, pepper
  • Favorite herbs, spices or seasonings


Easy Endings

Strawberry Dessert
This dessert is light, delicious and oh-so-easy! You can make ahead of time or whip it together just before you serve it up. You just need angel food cake, fresh strawberries, cool whip and whipped cream. Dice up the angel food cake and layer in a trifle dish or large bowl, top with a layer of cool whip, then a layer of strawberries. Repeat the layers until you’re out of ingredients.  Top with whipped cream before serving. 

  • Angel food cake
  • Strawberries (we suggest 2 pounds, cleaned and sliced)
  • Cool whip
  • Whipped cream


More Easy Does It Ideas

  • Keep a utensil caddy stocked with plastic or reusable silverware and napkins to easily grab for outside dining and entertaining.
  • If you eat outside often, invest in melamine plastic plates that you can use over and over again. 
  • Keep a variety of fresh juices (lemonade, sweet iced tea, grapefruit juice) in the fridge that can be served to kids or turned into easy cocktails for adults.
  • Always have a box of Popsicles in the freezer. These can be an instant dessert after a meal, or you can share with others if friends and family swing by for an impromptu visit.
  • Make sure you have citronella candles ready to keep mosquitoes and other pesky bugs at bay when you’re outside.
  • String patio lights and put potted plants or flower pots on your porch to add welcoming touches to your outside space. 

Remember, easy does it so you can sit back and enjoy the fun of friends and family this summer.