It's time to cut loose and play with your food. Turn a cocktail into a kebab, a potato salad into portable "poppers." Add fun drinks to keep the kids happy and the parents totally chill.
Piña Colada on a Stick
How’s this for a fun twist on the classic sipper? Cubes of coconut gelée (with two beautifully distinct layers) nestle against rum-soaked pineapple for an unforgettable pick-up dessert or party sampler. It’s easy to adapt for kids—just set aside some of the pineapple that you don’t soak in rum.
Popular in Germany and other European countries, this beer-based mixed drink offers a subtle sour flavor. Premixed and homemade versions of shandy usually include carbonated lemonade but sometimes features different ingredients based on the location. This summertime variation blends fresh lemon and orange juice, honey, and vodka with the beer to create a refreshing seasonal drink.
Berry Pie Pops
Your own individual pie: That's fun enough. Put it on a stick and smiles grow even wider. You can make the filling ahead and refrigerate it for up to five days; bring it to room temperature before using.
Tropical Fruit Nachos
Who says nachos are solely meant for salty chips and oniony salsa? This sweet reinvention replaces tortilla chips with crispy cinnamon wontons, salsa with chopped tropical fruit, and the cheesy drizzle with silky coconut sauce. You can bake the chips ahead, cool, and place in an airtight container; store in a cool, dry place for up to three days.
Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites
Turn “jacket potatoes” into irresistible potato salad bites. Capers offer a twist on traditional relish; they’re actually pickled flower buds and add bright, briny flavor to this appetizer.
Quinoa-Arugula Layered Salad
We made over tabbouleh, turning it into an individually packed picnic dish. This salad holds beautifully, so you can pack it up a day ahead. For the easiest eating, choose wide-mouthed pint jars.
View Recipe: Quinoa-Arugula Layered Salad
Poached Pear Bread
Impress friends over coffee, or perhaps received a standing ovation at the breakfast table, with this stunning loaf. It offers a clue to its interior surprise when it comes out of the oven, but when you cut into it, the real magic happens. It’s remarkably easy to make, too.
We created sugars with zippy flavors and bright colors. Freeze-dried fruit makes gorgeous strawberry and blueberry sugar. We even perfected a quick microwave trick for drying herbs and citrus peel while preserving their bright, vibrant colors—and thus were born orange, basil-lime, and lemon mint sugars. Sprinkle over muffin batter, spoon over Greek yogurt, or rim cocktail glasses for extra-festive drinks.
Our individual baked eggs nestled in crispy hash brown cups are pickup food at its best. It’s a great way to serve a crowd; just cook up what you need in muffin pans. Good news: We got the best results with refrigerated shredded hash browns, which were far preferable to shredded fresh potatoes and save time and effort.
Grilled Ice-Cream Sandwich
Made with cinnamon swirl bread and apple butter, our Grilled Ice-Cream Sandwich riffs on the flavors of America’s most patriotic dessert (apple pie!), right down to the classic bite of cheddar cheese. Meanwhile, it gives new jazz to the joys of the ice-cream sandwich: Warm, crunchy bread snuggles up to cold, creamy ice cream.
Turn regular pancakes into something way more fun: Flip them inside out so they become a portable, handheld breakfast on the go with hot, gooey interior. Here we place a filling of brown sugar, toasted pine nuts, and cinnamon inside regular whole-wheat pancake batter. The results are irresistible: The brown sugar melts to a yummy molten syrup as the cakes cook.
Toppings Bar for Roasted Marshmallows
Campfire-roasted marshmallows are a summer classic, but there’s a fun way to step up your marshmallow game. Have a party and set out a toppings bar so folks can creatively embellish their toasty treats. Whether you prefer yours slow-cooked and creamy throughout or charred outside and firm within, our ideas make those marshmallows even more lip-smackingly good.
Grown-Up Jellied Desserts
If you’re looking to impress at your next dinner party but bristle at the idea of jumping through difficult culinary hoops, this idea is perfect. Our layered desserts are beautiful—and the fact that they’re made with goodies from the liquor cabinet gives them a decidedly grown-up edge and rather sophisticated flavor profiles. The contrast of creamy, rich pudding against light, bright gelatin is a delicious pairing of opposites. Our favorites pair silky vanilla pudding with Aperol, tangy citrus pudding with tequila, rich butterscotch pudding with aged rum, and bittersweet chocolate pudding with red wine.
We have discovered a lovely way to spruce up your bread basket. With our herb lamination technique, you can turn your favorite biscuits into botanical works of art that are infused with the flavors of sage, parsley, rosemary, or thyme. They're great alongside soup or roast chicken at dinner or with a breakfast or brunch spread.
View Recipe: Herb-Laminated Biscuits
It’s hard to believe there’s anything you can do to make a creamy French cheese any better than it already is, but we found a new way to take it to a new level. As the summer beats on, you can still keep this party starter on the roster—just exchange the cherries for the most seasonal fruit: nectarines, plums, peaches, and blueberries all make a delicious pairings.
While tomato season is at bay, turn to strawberries to make this refreshing version of the classic Spanish chilled vegetable soup.
Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls
Guess what? This is a whole-grain dessert. To keep the stickiness at bay, wear latex gloves coated with cooking spray as you shape the popcorn balls.