Friday, June 9, 2023

Delicious summer recipes to impress your guests!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

To start, I came across this incredible sauce recipe while enjoying an evening with my parents. I would easily pair it with spaghetti and meatballs or I would take a swing and pair it with stuffed shells, ravioli, or stuffed manicotti recipe.

  • 2 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in puree, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
Delicious summer recipes to impress your guests!
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the first 6 ingredients in a roasting pan; toss with oil, garlic, and seasonings. Roast until tender, 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  2. Transfer half of the vegetables to a food processor; add 1 can of tomatoes. Process until smooth; remove to a 6-qt. stockpot. Repeat with remaining roasted vegetables and tomatoes.
  3. Add wine to sauce; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
  4. Freeze option: Freeze cooked sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes

This second recipe is both unique and delicious. It takes a comfort food classic and turns it into a portion-sized dish that is easy to serve! However, be prepared for a huge laundry list of ingredients to have on hand. This may be one of the best interpretations of this popular dish that I have ever found!

Shepherd's pie twice baked potatoes
  • 6 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives


  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
Delicious summer recipes to impress your guests!
  1. Scrub and pierce potatoes; rub with oil. Bake at 375° until tender, about 1 hour.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, peppers, and garlic over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain. Add the mixed vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, steak seasoning, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon paprika. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
  3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice off the top of each and discard. Scoop out the pulp, leaving thin shells.
  4. In a large bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Add the whipping cream, sour cream, cheeses, and chives. Mash potatoes until combined. Spoon 1 cup meat mixture into each potato shell; top with 1/2 cup potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining paprika.
  5. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake until melted, about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with chives and paprika.
  6. Freeze option: Wrap unbaked potatoes in plastic wrap and freeze. To use, partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed adding the additional time until heated through.

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