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What’s for Dinner This Summer

I’m in another mealtime rut. Summer has been great, we’ve been doing tons of stuff and having a great time with friends and family. Even my garden is producing edible goodies I can get to the plate.  My issue is I’m bored and I don’t want to cook. It’s too hot inside with the oven and it’s too hot next to the grill and my kids typically don’t like salad or sandwiches or soup. I’ve been on the hunt for new recipes and ideas that will at least give me some motivation to cook for my family.

I’ve found a couple of new recipes that I’m really interested in trying. I’m sharing them with you and maybe if they sound appetizing you can test them out for yourself and tell me your experience.

Penne with Spinach, Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil
12 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 large plum tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
6 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Ladle 1 cup pasta cooking liquid into small bowl and reserve. Drain pasta. Return pasta to pot; cover to keep hot.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and garlic to skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, 4 tablespoons basil, lemon juice and lemon peel and sauté until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Add spinach leaves to hot pasta; toss until spinach wilts. Add shrimp mixture and toss to blend. Add enough of reserved pasta cooking liquid to moisten. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.

Annie’s Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugarFruit Salsa for Dinner, Summer Recipes

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Italian Chicken Salad
1 (8-ounce) bottle Italian dressing
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (optional)
8 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mixed salad greens
Cherry tomatoes

Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium-size bowl and whisk them to blend. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture for basting the chicken on the grill.
Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-size zip-lock bag and pour in the remaining marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal it. Turn the bag to thoroughly coat the chicken, then place it in a bowl and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, turning it occasionally. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling.
Prepare a charcoal fire or set a gas grill to medium-high, close the lid, and heat until hot — about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill it uncovered, basting with the reserved marinade. Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink inside, about 2 minutes per side on a gas grill. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and let them rest about 5 minutes before thinly slicing them crosswise. Serve the chicken over salad greens and cherry tomatoes. Serves 6 to 8.


fruit image courtesy of Deeluscious via Flickr