“Best Ever” Recipes for a Hassle-Free Summer

Summer is all about relaxing and staying cool, so who has the time or the patience to turn on their oven and prepare complex dinners and deal with the overwhelming heat? My guess: nobody. That’s why some of the books from the “Best Ever” series are here to help. You can make delicious dinners without the heat and hassle of an oven. So don’t sweat it…literally! Here’s how you can use two of these books to create a delicious dinner (with dessert, of course) in no time at all!

1. Best Grill Recipes Ever

best grill recipes

This book boasts simple and grill-only recipes, like succulent chicken wings, burgers, and skewers! There are also sauces, rubs and marinades included to go along with your tasty main dishes.

Sausage and Veggie Skewers 

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Grilling Time: 12 minutes


  • 1.5 pounds sausage (bratwurst or kielbasa works best)
  • 2 red bell peppers, trimmed, seeded, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into rounds
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the grill for direct cooking by preheating to medium-high heat. Cut the sausage into 1.5-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the sausage, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; season to taste with salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and additional olive oil. Thread the sausages and vegetables onto the presoaked skewers, alternating between sliced sausage and vegetables. Grill, turning frequently, until the sausage is browned and cooked through and the vegetables are crisp tender, 10 to 12 minutes, brushing with the remaining olive oil from time to time. Divide the skewers among plates and serve.



BBQ Shrimp with Garlic Mayonnaise 

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 30 minutes
  • Grilling Time: 4 minutes



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup Clamato juice, or a 1:1 mixture clam juice and tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1.5 pounds extra-large shrimp, shell and tail intact
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
  • Your favorite crusty bread, for serving



Combine the mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, Clamato juice or equivalent, and lemon juice. Set aside. Using scissors, cut each shrimp shell and devein the shrimp. leaving the shell on. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and pour the marinade over the shrimp. Gently toss to coat. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer) prior to grilling. While the shrimp is marinating, prepare the grill for direct grilling. Pre-heat to medium-high heat. Place the shrimp on a fish grate. Grill for about two minutes on each side, or until the shells are hot pink and the shrimp is opaque. Transfer to individual plates. Serve with lemon slices, the Garlic Mayonnaise, and your favorite crusty bread.

shrimp .jpg

2. Lazy Cake, Cookies, and More 

lazy cakes

The keyword of this cookbook is “shortcut.” Author Jennifer Palmer provides delicious and easy recipes that all have 5 ingredients or less. And you don’t need to actually bake them in the oven! #SoCool

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie 

  • Makes one 9-inch pie


  • 1 (13-ounce) jar chocolate hazelnut spread, divided
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1/4 cup crushed hazelnuts, optional


Spread 1/4 cup of the hazelnut spread over the graham cracker crust. Beat remaining hazelnut spread and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth. Fold Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture. Spread evenly over the pie crust. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, if using. Refrigerate at least four hours and serve.

chocolate hazelnut pie .jpeg

Coffee Cookie Balls 

  • Makes one dozen balls


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) package vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
  • 1 (7-ounce) container dipping chocolate

Mix together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon instant coffee, and cookie crumbs. Refrigerate in bowl at least 1 hour. Melt the dipping chocolate in the microwave according to directions. Stir in remaining instant coffee. Scoop out a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, form into a ball with your fingers, and dip into chocolate. Let balls harden.

chocolate balls .jpg



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