Seasonal Sundays (Week 23) Summer Tips & Ideas, No Cooking Required

Seven food-related ideas to turn summer into something extra special, no cooking required, heavens, no assembly required. I hope you'll find one or two ideas destined as "keepers" in your own summer idle idyll.

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Ooops. I missed a week. I could say I'm sorry, but really? I'm not. After 1200 miles of driving to-from my husband's oldest grandson's graduation (in three years!) week before last, we just needed a b-r-e-a-k.

We finished planting annuals, hung out on the summer porch listening to old jazz for a summer playlist, whizzed up gallons of lemonade, dipped our toes in the still-too-cold pool. Twas amazing.

Pair all that laziness with a fridge that's been out of commission for almost two weeks and well, there was no cooking around here.

And isn't it cool that summer not only allows but invites no cooking? Seriously, who else could live on sandwiches allllll summer long?!

Anyway, that's what inspired this week's featured ideas, ones which will just might make your summer a tiny bit better, fridge or no fridge, cooking or no cooking. I hope you love them!

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It means the world to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. And if you like this week's recipes, perhaps you'll share them with a friend or social circle?

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: ... there's no growing poppies in Missouri but oh! even the silky ones make me smile, all pretty and perky in a corner of the living room. And yes, I'm totally leaning into orange for the last couple of years ... you should see our summer porch, even the warm colors across the garden. ZERO PINK.

But! Take a quick look at the poppy graphic. It's from my own photo, put through the Constellation filter on my long-time favorite photo app, Prisma. But! Then I use a new feature on iOS to cut and paste distinct images within photos, maybe faces, maybe dogs, maybe a flower, etc. Just open the photo on your phone, turn off Live if it's on, press the photo with one finger and if iOS identifies something distinct, a moving white line will identify the outline of what it sees. A dropdown box should have appeared too, so select "copy" then open another app, like Messages, Notes, and press paste. Cool, eh?

In Praise Of ...

  • ... the resident wren, she of the flowery nest featured two weeks back, now a steadfast mama, head down, tail up, as she incubates her egg? eggs?
  • ... refrigeration, especially ice, something I haven't properly appreciated until our fridge went out, leaving me with the odd sensation that we not only lacked a fridge but running water, a working stove, an onsite dishwasher and thus, naturally, no cooking. While it's been kinda fun to explore some takeout options but oh! call me ready for an abundance of vegetables.
  • ... such a long, lovely spring and while it's a gift to get "another summer," I sure wasn't prepared for 90F+++ temps on my appointed first day of summer, June 1
  • ... good spellers, but really Scripps, psammophile???

Made Me Think ...

I popped into Walmart without a list the other day, always dumb. But wow, I was so struck how the items I was hunting, were ALL on the very bottom shelf, hardly visible, requiring a deep squat to reach. Plain cornmeal. Plain Old Spice. Plain shaving cream. Plain stain remover. Plain flour. Plain kosher salt. At eye level were branded products 4x to 8x the price. $12 deodorant??? It made me crazy!

As my own years begin to pile on, it does feel like everyday tasks are stacked against us. Roads with washed-out striping. Some pill containers. Giant bags of dog food and soft water salt.

And pity the poor old guy who walked up to a teenager working the service desk at Target. "Would you please tell me where to find an adding machine?" he politely asked. And you could tell, her brain was whirring, trying to figure out what he might mean. After a moment, he just gave up and walked out to the parking lot shaking his head. I suspect it wasn't the particular instance, just "one damn thing too many".

Help Me Out?

Next week, I'd like to write about Juneteenth, the long-time June 19th Freedom Day commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and since 2021, a federal holiday and a state holiday in 24 states beginning in 2020 (except Texas, since 1980).

And really, doesn't Juneteenth just "make" summer feel balanced? It means a holiday in May, now in June, in July and in September! (The only months without federal holidays? March and April!)

Black readers, might you help guide my thinking about how allies might mark the day without appropriating it? or turning it into something Hallmark-card-ish? If this inspires you, please do reach out via email, you'll find my current address in the FAQs.

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Seven Summer Tips, No Cooking Required

Cold-Brewed Coffee ♥, for smooth, low-acidity coffee, just brew coffee grounds in water overnight. It's a summer saver!

How to Sweeten Lemonade with Fruit Not Sugar, summer experiments with ♥ using pineapple, watermelon and more.

The Miracle of Squash Blossoms ♥

How to Shop at a Farmers Market ♥ Thoughts & Tips from a Veteran Shopper.

Ten Tips for Better Burgers ♥ Simple tips for juicy burgers from the grill.

For sharp, clean tomato slices (and so many other kitchen cutting tasks), pick up a tomato knife, a short serrated knife. Another Quick Tip ♥

DIY Homemade Foot Lotion ♥, take care of your feet, just three easy-to-find and inexpensive ingredients.

Easy Summer Recipes ♥, a collection of easy-to-remember and memorable recipes especially for summer. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!


Light Red Cabbage & Carrot Slaw, another bright, healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free. Winter Color!
  • SHE LIKES IT! "Yesterday I made your shredded carrot/cabbage salad. I had a small head of red cabbage to use up without going for traditional slaw or lots-of-fat dressing. So good!" ~ Christy
  • THE RECIPE Light Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad Winter Color! And Crunch!

Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro ♥, an unusual fruit salad (grapes, mango, apples, etc), savory and sweet at the same time.
  • SHE LIKES IT! "Yesterday I made your grape/cilantro salad, so good!"" ~ Christy (yep, same person!)
  • THE RECIPE Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro An unusual fruit salad, savory and sweet at the same time. (PIN This)

Looking Ahead ...

A collection of recipes and ideas especially for Father's Day ♥
  • THE COLLECTION Father's Day Recipes Hand-picked recipes destined to put smiles on dad's faces everywhere!
  • SO MANY HOLIDAYS TO CELEBRATE! Recipes by Holiday All organized for easy browsing and exploration.

A collection of recipes especially for Juneteenth ♥
  • THE COLLECTION Juneteenth Explore food traditions for America's new national holiday on June 19th.
  • SO MANY CELEBRATIONS! Recipes by Holiday All organized for easy browsing and exploration.

A collection of recipes for Midsummer celebrations ♥
  • THE COLLECTION Midsummer An especially personal collection of recipes, many from the time I lived in Finland.
  • SO MANY HOLIDAYS TO CELEBRATE! Recipes by Holiday All organized for easy browsing and exploration.

Looking Back ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week two weeks ago, not including the oatmeal, salad dressing and sautéed greens on repeat this time of year.

Magical Breakfast Cream ♥, just yogurt and a few stir-ins, from the French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook.
  • TWO WEEKS BACK Every year, I come back to this summer breakfast! It's 90% meal prep, very filling and such a simple morning pleasure.
  • THE RECIPE Magical Breakfast Cream Lose 10 pounds over the summer, from "French Women Don't Get Fat". (PIN This)

Easy-Easy Artichoke & Tomato Salad, another quick, versatile & healthy salad ♥
  • TWO WEEKS BACK I threw in a whole can of pinto beans and whoah, that many beans really changed the character of the salad from a "vegetable salad" to a "bean salad with vegetables". Fewer beans would have helped but I just might love this salad's fresh character as is, no beans.
  • THE RECIPE Easy-Easy Artichoke & Tomato Salad Make it quick, make it your own. (PIN This)

Just Updated!

Green Mayonnaise ♥, a whole new way to think of mayonnaise, blended with spinach and fresh herbs.

Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Something to Read

Finally! A book I loved and am happy to recommend! I just can't tell you how many books I've started – and re-started, giving it a second or third chance to impel me. When I fall into this reading trap, I know that the solution is to either lighten up or turn to some dark plot-driven mystery.

This is a great beach book, easy to follow, likeable characters, an actual plot and ... Marcellus, an elderly giant Pacific octopus long in captivity.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.