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5 favorite delicious, fresh and easy to make summer recipes

Have I ever mentioned that our cottage does not have air conditioning?

Our cottage was built in 1940 back when air conditioning wasn't a 'thing'.
Some people think it is crazy that we don't have it even now, but most of the time in summer- 
we are totally fine without air conditioning- the house stays pretty cool.
You see, we have a secret weapon. 

A basement.
 Yes, I know- a lot of people have basements- so they aren't really a secret weapon but this one is.
 Our basement is literally built into the ground enough that it stays cold all year long and keeps the house nice and cool even when it is hot, hot, hot outside. 

98% of the time.

The other 2%? 
 Well, that would be right about now.

It has been 100 degrees every day for the past 4 days here. 
And the low at night? 
Last night it was supposed to get down to a nice balmy 79.
Oy vey... 
Even the usually freezing basement can't compete with that.
Normally we have nice fresh crisp evenings... but not when we are in the midst of a heat wave.

So, when the house already hot at 5 AM like it is now
 no one wants to even start to think about
 'cooking' anything that day and heating it up even more.

So we turn to simple easy summer recipes like make your own sandwiches, fresh salads and fresh nibbles that don't require a lot of cooking.
It is either that or take out. 
 And we are not huge fans of dining out - so, easy meals it is. 

So for todays Friday Favorites- in case you are 'enjoying' a heat wave as well right now-
 I am sharing a round up of a few no cook or little cook recipes
that are perfect for summer entertaining- and quick dinners.
And you might notice a theme...

Anything with fresh fruit and veggies like summer squash, spinach and cucumbers is like
 a hearts in your eyes summer romance in my book.

And if you add soft garlic Naan bread? 
Well, we are talking marriage.

Which brings me to number one.

#1.  Summer Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich

This is definitely a summer favorite and it is on repeat over here- especially when it is hot. 
Matter of fact... I enjoyed this last night for dinner.

Easy to customize for your taste- simply veggies in abundance. 
You can keep all the veggies crisp and fresh for even less work and cooking 
if you would like as well. 
Find the recipe here: Summer Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich 

#2. Spinach and Berry Salad 

Another super easy to make, requires no cooking and heating up the house- 
this summer spinach and berry salad. 

I know.
 It sounds simple enough- spinach, berries, nuts and feta or blue cheese... 
but it is beyond delicious. 
And it is a go-to salad for a burst of vitamins and fresh fruit.
Find the recipe here: Spinach & Berry Salad

#3. Salsa Fresca 

A perfect topping for  crusty slices of bread, delicious fresh burritos 
or just nibbling on with chips? 
Salsa of course. 
My husband says it is perfect on eggs too- a little tip he learned while in the military. 
I am not in love with that idea- but how ever you like to enjoy your salsa- you cannot beach a fresh sliced and diced salsa for amazing amounts of yummy.

This recipe uses a little garlic as well- because- we are garlic freaks over here and pretty much feel like it belongs in everything. 
But you can definitely omit it if you are not trying to ward off Dracula - and it will be just as good. 
Find the recipe here: Salsa Fresca

#4. Avocado and Cucumber salad

Another on the fresh cut salad menu? 
A recipe I shared earlier this year that is absolutely perfect and refreshing for summer.  
As obsessed as I am with fresh garlic- avocado take the cake on my must.have. food. I am pretty sure I could eat an avocado a day  
(and have many times)

I shared this recipe earlier this year- but it is a favorite and it requires no cooking which means no heating up the house.
 Find the recipe here: Avocado Cucumber Salad 

And one more quick and easy simple to make
 getinmybelly recipe for the road.

#5. Fresh Tomato Basil Bread

As easy to make as it sounds- and even more delicious.
Pair it with that avocado salad- 
and be prepared to not have any leftovers.

Fresh rustic french bread -sliced in half
drizzled with olive oil
topped with tomato slices
fresh basil leaves
sprinkled with balsamic vinegar
fresh grated parmesan or feta
and pepper.

Enjoy as is - or warm it up for about 5 minutes in the toaster oven.

I will be sharing a few new fresh summer favorites in the next week or so as well.
Something with watermelon and another avocado recipe.
Because... obsessed.
Both are simple and easy to make-
 they won't heat your house up
and they are perfect for enjoying outdoors 
when the weather (hopefully) cools down a bit in the evenings.

Happy weekend everyone

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  1. Santa Barbara is usually pretty mild - but not recently. It is a problem when it doesn't cool down in the evenings. Ugh. I am off to the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning and I will be picking up some of the lovely fresh ingredients for your no-cook recipes. Thanks for the tips!
    Best & Bisous,
    Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

    1. I hear you!! California is always hot in the summer- but when it doesn't cool at night- we are all thrown for a loop haha! Hope your weather starts cooling off soon- I hear sometime next week we will be just in the upper 80's and 90's which will be much better. :)

  2. A/C is rare in the south of France. Our basement--"cave" is wonderfully cool. Luckily, our nights are very fresh, and with the windows open, the house cools down a lot. And we use the shutters to naturally keep the temperatures steady.
    Also: if you don't have A/C and you get out and move in the heat, you adjust and eventually it isn't so bad. I lived in Africa for a few years and really learned that lesson--I would bundle up when the temps dropped below 75.

    1. Great tip- and you know, another one I have heard of is to take a hot shower- which seems like it would be not the thing to do- but they say it opens your pores up and cools you off afterwards. And I definitely need those shutters- so pretty even when you don't need to use them. :)

  3. Everything looks so delicious. I am trying to be careful what I cook. It is so hot here, even with the ac on. Hubby likes cooking out on the grill, but the heat outside is just too much for that too.

  4. Great dinner tips , will be saving them also for summer dinners. Thank you.

  5. Courtney, I tend to forget that everyone doesn't have AC, like we do here in the Deep South. We would be miserable down here without it. I can imagine how hot it is everywhere this summer. I envy you your normally cool temps. The recipes all look so appetizing.

  6. Hi. Im curious where do you live? You're house fascinates me. And you're basement dug into the ground. I'm a Cali girl. Nothing that exciting here. The only thing I think we have is a string of beach homes that are historical landmark by the beach. They were built in the early to late 30-40s. They are pretty cool. Hey Thanks for sharing. Stay cool.

    1. I'm a Cali girl too! :) Are you southern or northern? Yeah, basements are not common here in Califirnia at all - but we lucked out having one. Our house was built in 1940 and was never lived in full time but built well- which made it a perfect restoration project. The beach cottages near you sound amazing- I bet they are super charming!

  7. Oh I hope it cools down for you!....and love cucumber/avocado salad...we actually have that at least twice a it...stay cool and have a great weekend...maybe it may be a great one to head to a great hotel or a quaint B&B....:)

  8. Great idea for those hot summer nights. The last thing I want to do is cook over a stove. We have been eating tons of salads which makes you feel lighter and no alcohol. I enjoy a glass of wine at dinner but it makes me so hot!

  9. No air! Can't do that here for sure. We were without for 11 days when ours died and it was 98 out! These recipes look wonderful!