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3 Very Simple Ways to File These Fresh & Delish Summer Recipes

Summer Recipes

Do you spend more time looking for a specific recipe than you do cooking it?

If your answer is “yes”, then chances are your recipe collection ranges from slightly chaotic to totally out of control.

It makes sense too since many of us have collected recipes from a range of different sources over many years.

You likely have recipes you tore out of magazines on your fridge, printed recipes in a file, digital recipes saved to Pinterest, random recipes folded and stored in cookbooks, and handwritten cards from recipes you’ve copied out of old cookbooks. 

No wonder you can’t find the recipe you’re looking for that would be perfect for dinner tonight.

So, if organizing your recipe collection has been on your to-do list, I’ve got you covered!

This post will guide you through some of the best ways to file and store your recipes plus share 13 of my all-time favorite summer recipes – which you’ll soon know how to store like a pro.

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links. Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way. I only promote brands I believe in and products that I use and love myself. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for you.

Categorize

Just like any other organizational system, you need to create categories. Whichever method you choose to store your recipes, can be categorized. For as long as I can remember when somebody would share a recipe, I would make a copy (so the ink wouldn’t mess or disappear) and then put it in a scrapbook that was divided into categories.

The categories I use for recipes are:

  • Appetizers
  • Salads
  • Meat
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Pasta
  • Vegetarian
  • Side Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Kids Meals
  • Holidays

Recipe Cards

Another way that I used to store my recipes was on recipe cards. It might be a bit old-fashioned now but sometimes I still review for the ideas. If you like to physically reach for your cookbooks, or tin of recipe cards while cooking instead of a digital medium, then this option is for you.

I would take a 3 x 5 index card file and divide it into categories. Write out the recipe on the front of the card. Then, on the back of the card, write the date that I made and served the recipe, the complete menu, comments, ingredients to add or avoid, what worked and what didn’t work, and rate how good it was. 

I also included if I had dinner guests and their names so I wouldn’t repeat the menu. Yes, it was quite detailed. I often go back to those cards today to review for new ideas when entertaining.
Although today, the same kind of information could be entered and saved online. I find that there’s something quite comforting about those cards. It amazes me just how much entertaining I did in my 20s and 30s and how detailed my notes were.

Go Digital

There are numerous ways to organize and store your recipes digitally. These methods are for you if you prefer to reach for your phone or iPad while cooking. 

The first option is to download a recipe organizer app such as Recipe Keeper. This makes saving and locating all the digital recipes you’ve collected much easier. You can import recipes from any website and scan recipes from cookbooks or magazines. Add categories to your app dashboard and then save them accordingly. You’ll never struggle to find the recipe you need ever again.

This is similar to my current method of storing recipes. At the moment, I have a digital file of recipes saved on a cloud drive. If I find a recipe I want to try, I scan it and then save it to the relevant category folder within my recipes file. 

I also have a digital shortcut. I’ll take screenshots of recipes I like online and save them to folders I created on my I phone.

Now that you have a handle on how to organize, file, and store your recipes, I want to share some of my most successful summer recipes with you! Write them on a recipe card or import them to your recipe organization app. Either way, you’ll want to save these for a culinary treat this summer.

Seeking Summer Recipes?

Simplicity is the key to a good summer recipe. Because let’s face it, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen when it’s hot outside? You’d rather spend that time out by the pool with a cool drink in your hand. Summer recipes should be simple, include plenty of fresh produce and help to cool you down. That means lots of tasty smoothies, scrumptious salads, and of course a delicious barbeque. Summer is the time to fully enjoy all the fresh and nutritious produce available. There are tons of amazing recipes that you can always customize if you want. Get creative in the kitchen this summer with these quick and easy recipes.

Summer Smoothies

The following four smoothie recipes from Good Housekeeping are the ultimate summer drinks. These nutritious yet delicious drinks are sure to help you beat the heat. Plus, the healthy ingredients will leave you with a gorgeous glow.

Mango Madness 

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup coconut yogurt

1 1/2 cups of frozen mango

1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

Strawberry Fields 

1/2 cup coconut water

1/2 cup coconut yogurt

1 cup of strawberries

1/2 cup of frozen peaches

Summer Recipes

Green Goddess 

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup honey yogurt

2 bananas, cut into pieces and frozen

3 cups of baby spinach

Razzle-Dazzle 

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

2 cups of frozen raspberries

2 bananas, peeled and cut into pieces

The directions for all four summer recipes are the same: puree all the ingredients in a blender until smooth – then pour and enjoy!

Appetizer & Salads

All types of salads are perfect for summer, so I have rounded up some of my favorites as a well as superb appetizer summer recipes to share with you:

Bruschetta Paysanne

½ each Holland Peppers (red, yellow, orange)

½ a green bell pepper

2 large ripe tomatoes

1 bunch scallions

½ a sweet onion

3 cloves garlic chopped fine

1 tablespoon capers nonpareil

⅓ cup of pitted calamata  olives

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil

2 ounces Balsamic vinegar

½ a tablespoon sugar

Ground black pepper

Feta Cheese- optional

Crostini or Pita roasted

Grabati bread or baguette

Dice all the vegetables and place them in a bowl. Slice and add the calamata olives, capers, and chopped garlic. Let it stand until you’re ready to serve. Then drain and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and ground pepper. Add the mixture to the bread at the end, don’t grill it!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Dried Cherries

1 pound of washed baby Argula

1 red onion, julienned

½ cup of dried cherries reconstituted

½ cup of goats cheese, crumbled

3 ounces of walnut oil

1½ ounce of Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sugar, to taste

Dry the arugula and place it in a bowl. Season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add onion and half the cherries and toss with a vinaigrette made up of walnut oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar for balance. Place on plates and top with goat cheese and croutons. This tasty dish serves 8 people.

Guacamole Salad from Food Network Kitchen

1-pint grape tomatoes halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and ½ inch diced

1 (15ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)

½ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)

¼ cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ a teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and ½ inch diced

  1. Place the tomatoes, yellow peppers, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.
  2. Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Tomato Caprese Salad from Barefoot Contessa

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed

Summer Recipes

¼ cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 ½ a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella

12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than ½ inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a serving platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature. 

Egg Salad Tartines from Barefoot Contessa

12 extra-large eggs

⅓ cup of good mayonnaise

¼ cup sweet relish

2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard.

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or chives, plus extra for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 slices toasted whole grain bread

Boil a large pot of water and carefully lower the eggs into the water to make sure the shells don’t crack. Lower the heat and simmer the water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, leaving the eggs in the pot, and refill the pot with cool tap water. Set aside until the eggs are cool enough to handle. To peel the eggs, tap both ends of the egg on a board, then roll the egg between your hand and the board to crackle the shell. Peel under tap water and allowed the eggs to cool to room temperature.

Place the eggs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the processor ten to twelve times to break up but not puree, the eggs. Transfer the chopped eggs to a bowl and add the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, dill, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine lightly with a fork and taste for seasonings.

Place the toasted bread on a serving board, spread the egg salad on thickly, and garnish with a sprig of dill or chopped chives. Sprinkle the salt and pepper.  Serve at room temperature either whole or cut in half.

New Potato Salad from Food Network Kitchen

3 pounds of small red potatoes

Kosher salt

1 cup good mayonnaise

¼ cup buttermilk milk or white wine

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

½ cup chopped fresh dill freshly ground black pepper

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are barely tender when poked with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then place the colander with the potatoes in an empty pot and cover with a clean dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut them into quarters or halves depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. (As the salad sits you may need to add more dressing.) Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Barbeque

Nothing says summer like a good barbeque. Make the most of the warm weather by cooking outdoors. The following summer recipes are sure to make your barbeques memorable:

Plum Goods Spareribs

This insanely delicious recipe uses baby or junior food plums as the base for this sweet and pungent sauce. Enjoy 6 to 8-pound pork spare ribs cracked and covered in a tasty sauce.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup chopped onions

4 jars (4½ oz. each) of strained plums with tapioca

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup lemon juice

¼ cup soya sauce

1/4 cup chili sauce

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 drop bottled red pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Place spare ribs in a large roasting pan; cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour. Remove ribs from pan; drain well. Or, place spareribs in a large saucepot and cover them with water. Cover and heat to boiling; simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain. (Maybe prepare in advance. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To heat replace spare ribs on a grill under a broiler. Cook 5 minutes for each side without the sauce.)

For Sauce: In medium saucepan melt butter or margarine. Add onions and sorted until tender, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

To barbeque: Prepare a grill for barbecuing. Place ribs on the grill about 6 inches from coal. Grill ribs, brushing with sauce and turning frequently about 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful to keep the sauce from burning.

To serve: Cut ribs into two or three portions.

Mini Corn on the Cob

Summer Recipes

This is my favorite corn recipe which is so easy to make and is an excellent side dish when having a barbeque.

Kosher salt to taste 

3 ears corn cobs, shucked and cut into thirds 

3 tablespoon unsalted butter 

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice 

1 tablespoon chili powder 

1 cup grated Parmesan

In a pot of salted boiling water and cook the corn covered for about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Return the pot to medium heat and melt the butter. Add the lime juice and chili powder and stir to combine. Return the cobs to the pot and stir until they covered with the mixture. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with parmesan, and serve.

Homemade Spice to Have on Hand

A fabulous blend of spices that I make ahead of time, keep handy and store and use to flavor many dishes.

2 ½ tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

The directions are easy – simply mix them all together!

Dessert

Summer is a time for fun which means we can’t leave out summer recipes for dessert. This yummy sweet treat is sure to impress. Ooh, la la!

Frozen Lemon Ice Cream Dessert

2 whole eggs 

4 yokes 

½ cup of sugar 

The rind of 2 lemons 

Juice of 2 lemons 

1 1/2 cup of heavy cream

Beat eggs, sugar together until light yellow. Then add lemon rind juice. Beat cream separately then fold into the egg mixture. Pour into a bowl (or whatever utensil you choose). Put in the freezer for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Summary

Your recipe collection no longer needs to drive you crazy. Use the ideas mentioned in this post to find an organization and storage technique that works for you.

Once you’re done storing your recipes, it will be easy to add other new ones. Each of these delicious meals is sure to make the summer months more fun for you and your family!

Which of these summer recipes do you want to try first?

PIN IT FOR LATER:

Comments 24

    1. Janet,
      I definitely have to check into Paprika! The bruschetta recipe is absolutely delicious. Let me know if you try it and your thoughts.

  1. I have a binder in which I keep my recipes. Some are printed from a cookbook, some are from magazines, and some are from friends. I store them in plastic sleeves and then categorize them similarly to you. I love the detailed notes that you have on your recipe cards. That information is so helpful! Thank you for these yummy summer recipes. I’m certainly go to try a few of them.

    1. Diane,

      I too find that the binder or card file method is so easy. Though I love taking a screenshot of a new recipe that I find, it’s a little more difficult to read as I’m preparing the dish.

      I also love looking at handwritten recipes from friends and family members. There are always notes on there that are fun to read.

  2. I tend to use Pinterest for digital recipes, and I still have a bunch of good, old-fashioned hand-written recipes. I think I would scan/photograph those if I ever went totally digital because I like looking at my Mom’s and Grandmother’s handwriting. I’ll be pinning this for all these yummy recipes. Bring on summer!

    1. Seana,
      I love looking at my old fashion handwritten recipes. I love all the details, I guess I had time to include back then. It’s just part of my history and I enjoy reflecting on those experiences.
      Please let me know if you try any of the recipes!

  3. I love how you’ve included various ways to organize recipes, from digital to cards to notebook formats. When it comes to using recipes, I like paper, cookbooks, or recipe cards. I don’t keep many recipes, so it’s easy to find what I need. My oldest daughter is totally comfortable with the digital method. I’ve cooked with her while she used her iPhone to access a recipe. My youngest daughter likes recipe cards and cookbooks. As you so beautifully described, the key is being able to easily find what you need when you need it.

    1. Linda,
      I love that you cook with your daughter. Cooking together is a wonderful activity and expression of love.
      I’m starting to cook with my 3-year – old grandson. We’ve gotten as far as cracking eggs, stirring, washing vegetables and tearing up lettuce. It’s fun!

  4. What yummy recipes! I have a combination of digital and paper recipes I pull from for inspiration. On my blog, I share my favorite quick weeknight recipes to help other families make a healthy meal quickly. Over the years, I referred to my own blog just to find a recipe. =) Even if no one else uses them, my kids may want them when they live independently.

    1. Sabrina,
      I think we all have our favorite recipes and then others that we go to when we want to try something new. I’d love to know your best tried and true recipes.I know you are a terrific cook!

  5. I love to cook so this post was right up my alley! I also like to touch my recipe cards. I put my cards in an album with sleeves for 2 index cards per page (4 back to back). Thanks for sharing these delicious recipes with some recipe organizing tips. I think I will have to try that tomato caprese salad!

    1. Jill,

      Cards and albums with sleeves is a popular way to store recipes. It’s simple and clean….without splattering food prints.

      The Caprese Salad is one of my favorites. Have you tried it?

  6. I use a combination of three ring binders and digital to store my recipes. I had so many paper recipes in plastic sleeves that it got to a point where it took me too long to find the recipe I wanted. The solution I came up with was to use a 1/2″ binder to house all the recipes I make with great regularity (dinners, my son’s allergy-friendly foods) and keep them all in there. It weighs much less than my other binders and it takes me seconds to find the recipe I need–a great time saver!

    I want to try that guacamole salad–my family and I love a good avocado!

    1. Stacey,

      I love the way you store your recipes, it’s so smart. The last thing you want to do is hunt for a recipe when everyone is hungry and you need to get going in the kitchen.
      So, did you try the guacamole recipe yet? How was it? Yeah yeah

  7. Oh man, these are great summer recipes! I am a reformed recipe pinner, hahaha. Eventually, I took many of those pinned recipes and put them in a binder (two binders actually.) I reference them frequently and cleaned out the rest of the randomness.

    1. Melanie,
      I am so excited to hear that you also love the binder concept. I’ve kept mine for so many years and I find it really easy I know where everything is, it’s categorized and I can see the recipe without food splattering on the original because the recipes are slipped into a vinyl sheet.
      I can’t imagine you have time for cooking now but you will again.

  8. This was awesome and some great recipes! I am totally a digital recipe person and also have my categories!

    1. Lisa, you must send me your favorite recipes. In full disclosure, I don’t eat meat or chicken. Anything else would be a joy.

  9. You had me at goat cheese. 😉 And those egg salad tartines!

    I don’t cook, but I love reading recipes in cookbooks and glossy cooking magazines, and I have a personalized filing system of recipes should anyone choose to cook for me. (90% of them are Greek delicacies; I guess they just photograph well.)

    I love your categories, but nothing for soups? (Or do you group them with the main ingredient?) Also, you should check out Eat Your Books, which has indexed something like 2 million recipes, so you don’t have to remember which of your cookbooks had that one perfect recipe for whatever.

    1. Julie,

      I love soups! From gazpacho to
      vegetable and cauliflower, purées (which, by the way, is why I purchased my immersion tool) cabbage soup, chicken soup and more! They do have a separate category in my files. I just didn’t include them here.

      I wish I had known about Eat Your Books years ago. There were many recipes I had read but couldn’t find again when I was preparing a meal.

  10. I’m such a fan of recipe cards. I love seeing the history of my scribbled notes as I tweaked them over the years, sometimes just for taste, other times to avoid an ingredient that had become problematic. It’s interesting to see how often I come back to the recipe as originally written!

    1. Lucy!

      I totally relate. I love my recipe card file. As I had mentioned in my piece, I can’t believe how detailed I was and hosted so many dinner parties. The information in my notes were really great. I love to go back and read them.

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