Summertime Recipes to Beat the Heat

DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

June has arrived, and we are all ready to enjoy summer activities. The perfect way to soak up the sun and relax means finding easy recipes to beat the heat.

Here are a few tasty dishes that you and your family might find yummy. We do these at the Mills’ household!


Lemonade Pie

1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed or Limeade
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


In a large bowl, mix together concentrate and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in whipped topping. Pour filling into crust, and chill in freezer before serving. *I have sometimes substituted limeade for the lemonade concentrate.


Crab-Stuffed Avocados

1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
Cooking spray
2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted


Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl; gently fold in crab.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place avocado halves, cut sides down, in pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Place avocado halves, cut sides down, on a cutting board; cut a very small (1/16-inch) slice from the bottom of each half so that it will stand flat. Turn over; spoon about 1/2 cup crab mixture into each avocado half.

Marinated Ranch Broiled Chicken

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Combine the dressing mix, oil and vinegar in a large, resealable plastic bag and mix together. Add chicken to bag, seal and shake to coat; work the mixture into the meat.

Refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.

Preheat oven to Broil or grill outside.

Remove chicken from bag, discarding any remaining marinade, and broil for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink inside.

DiAnn’s Pasta Salad

This recipe takes a little more effort, but so worth it.

Kosher salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, peeled, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch long diagonal pieces
1 pound dried pasta like fusilli, penne, rotini or farfalle (bow tie)
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup sliced mixed olives
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese or hard cheese
1 cup (6 ounces) fresh mozzarella balls, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley

1/3 cup red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Roast the chopped walnuts at 375 degrees for 12 minutes and let cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water.

Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice water. Once cooled, drain and pat dry and add to a medium bowl.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes (check the dried pasta package for recommended cook time). Drain and rinse well under cold water.

While the pasta cooks, in the bottom of a large bowl, make the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, pepperoncini juice (if using), and olive oil until blended. Add the drained and rinsed pasta to the dressing and mix well.

Stir in the bell pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, olives, parmesan, mozzarella, walnuts, and the herbs (if using). Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve or for the best results, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days.

Do you have an easy or favorite summertime recipe to share?