Beat the Texas Heat With These Cool Refreshing Meals!

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Calfornia Realty

Brenda has some great summer recipes to help you cool off. She is in TX where it's VERY HOT right now. Hope you are all staying cool today.

Original content by Brenda Mancil


Summer Color


Written by Caroline Ford

Photography By Brenda Crow


Summer is here, meaning it’s time for dining alfresco, plunging into cool pools, playing in parks, and cooking with the vibrant colors of the season. A wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables abounds in the fields and the markets, and I can’t wait to return to my kitchen with a heavy basket of produce at its peak. With a painter’s palette of food at your fingertips, creating dishes around color is a fun approach to cooking up a summertime feast for your friends and family.


The possibilities are endless, but I narrowed it down to a few of my favorite flavors and dishes that, together, would create a beautiful spread on your table. To start, a bright orange Curry Carrot Soup and a rainbow of greens in an Iceberg Salad with Herbed Buttermilk Dressing. To drink, a sweet and sunny frozen Peach Margarita. To balance an array of vivid color, a white and yellow White Chicken Pizza with a crispy, chewy crust.


And for dessert, dark ruby and purple reign supreme in a Chocolate Berry Tart.




Curry Carrot Soup with Croutons


In the heat of summer, I don’t like spending all evening in front of the hot stove, but I still have cravings for something warm and satisfying. This soup fits the bill. It’s a cinch to make and wonderfully creamy without a spot of dairy. Just a warning, these curry croutons are entirely addictive and nice to have on hand for a little crunch on a salad.

Serves 4


1 small loaf focaccia, cut into
small cubes, about 2 cups total

¼ teaspoon curry powder

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pounds carrots, chopped into
rough chunks, about 4 cups

1 cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped celery

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

4–5 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 lime

kosher salt

1 radish, cut into slivers (optional)

freshly ground black pepper 




Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, curry powder, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crunchy and golden brown.


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add the onions and celery, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and curry powder, and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock to deglaze the bottom of the pot, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook for 30 minutes or until carrots are very tender when pierced with a fork. Carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth, working in batches as necessary. Season to taste with a squeeze of lime juice and a few pinches of salt. Add additional broth for a thinner soup.

Divide soup among four bowls. Garnish each with a few pinches of radish slivers, curry croutons, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.






Iceberg Salad with Herbed Buttermilk Dressing


I love the vibrant colors of this salad, and the crunchy, fresh snap of vegetables and tangy dressing are just right on a summer afternoon. This salad could easily be adapted with your other favorite veggies from the market—thin pieces of raw zucchini, asparagus, or even sweet peas.

Serves 4

1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves torn

2 ounces sugar snap peas, stemmed
and cut into very thin slivers 

Herbed Buttermilk Dressing:

½ cup buttermilk

¼ cup sour cream

2 packed tablespoons roughly
chopped parsley

1 packed tablespoon roughly
chopped chives

1 packed tablespoon roughly
chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 clove garlic, smashed

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper 



Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment or in a blender. Pulse until ingredients are well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 


Salad: Place torn iceberg leaves, cucumber, and snap peas in a large bowl. Toss with about ¼ cup of the dressing. Stack the greens on individual plates, layering with fresh dill leaves. Drizzle additional dressing over salad, as desired, or serve alongside salads at the table.





White Chicken Pizza


This pizza is a refreshing alternative to classic pizza when a rich tomato sauce sounds too heavy for a warm evening on the patio. Don’t hesitate to throw in additional fresh herbs from your summer garden. If your crowd is into spice, add a few pinches of red pepper flakes to the caramelized onion mixture.

Serves 4 to 6 

1 package refrigerated pizza dough

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large sweet onion, peeled, trimmed,
and very thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fresh sweet corn (about
1 ear shucked)

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 tablespoon chopped basil

2 cups sliced grilled chicken or
chopped rotisserie chicken

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 


Allow the dough to rest at room temperature and heat oven according to package directions. Alternately, heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and cook on low for 20 to 30 minutes, or until onions are very soft and deeply caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan if the onions are getting too dry. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add corn and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until just warmed through. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. 

Roll out the pizza dough and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the chopped basil over the crust. Cover with the onion mixture. Spread the chicken evenly over the pizza and top with cheese. Bake according to package instructions, or for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.





Chocolate Berry Tart


This tart is incredibly simple to throw together, but it really shows off the striking deep purple and lush red colors of the juicy berries and cherries in season. The sweet fruit is complemented by a tart, creamy filling and crumbly chocolate crust. 


Serves 8 to 10 



8 ounces chocolate graham crackers
or chocolate wafer cookies

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted 



1 pound fruit, any combination
of blackberries, blueberries,
and dark cherries

8 ounces cream cheese, at room

½ cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

¼ teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup heavy whipping cream 



Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, process the graham crackers and sugar to a fine crumb. Place the mixture in a medium bowl and combine with the melted butter; the mixture should hold together when you squeeze it in your hand. Add another tablespoon or two of butter if the mixture is too dry. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 10- or 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is firm. Let cool completely on a wire rack. 



Toss the fruit with 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. 

With an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running, slowly add the heavy whipping cream, beating another 3 to 5 minutes or until soft peaks begin to form. Spread the mixture into the cooled crust. Top with the fruit mixture and serve. Keep any leftover tart covered and stored in the refrigerator.





Peach Margarita


This frozen cocktail can still be enjoyed with frozen peaches when they aren’t in season, but for the best results, pull out your blender when peaches are fresh and overflowing at the farmers’ market. The sweeter and riper your peaches, the better this drink gets. 


Serves 4 

8 ounces peach puree

8 ounces peach sorbet

6 ounces tequila

2 ounces orange liqueur

1 ounce fresh lime juice


Place all ingredients in a blender. Fill the blender with ice and puree until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.



RE/MAX Premier

214-679-1772 Cell

972-403-2070 Office  972-403-2015 Fax

2100 Dallas Parkway, Suite 102 . Plano, TX 75093




Brenda Mancil
Brenda Mancil, Realtor® | 214-679-1772 |

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