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August 01, 2016 7 min read

We're taking a little break from the rug & interior design insights to bring you some awesome summer recipes! This is a guest blog post from BillyOh

Summer’s allure brings joy to the whole family. It is a good time to relax and bond with one another. This is also the season to cook up fresh and refreshing recipes that will make every moment perfect. We have compiled some simple but yummy recipes you can try at home.


1. Grilled Honey Lime Cilantro Chicken

Nothing says summer than a barbecue in the backyard. The aroma of roasting meat over your reliable barbecue grill brings warmth to the soul and welcomes the season of warmth with a smile. It's important to be careful when cooking by fire. Avoid these grilling mistakes! If you’re all set, have a go at this Grilled Honey Lime Cilantro Chicken.

For ingredients, you will need the following:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or thighs

¼ cup lime juice

½ cup honey

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Put chicken in a zip-lock bag. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, honey, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and seal the bag and let marinade for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill each side of the chicken for about 3-4 minutes or until cooked throughout and no longer pink.

Get the full recipe here:


2. Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe with Mayo

Amira from Nile To Rockies Cuisine gave a Mediterranean twist to the mayo plus pasta salad and recommended that it would go well with grilled meat. So if you’re cooking the Grilled Honey Lime Cilantro Chicken, might as well go with this one, too. If not, then you can still make this one refreshing pasta that will surely brighten up your day.

For ingredients, you will need the following:

12 oz cooked pasta

1 cup arugula

3/4 cup Kalamata olives- I used them whole, but you can slice them of course

2-3 Tablespoons capers

1 cup grape tomato- cut in half

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

3 boiled eggs

For the dressing:

1/2 Cup mayonnaise.

2 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon Canola oil

2 Tablespoon corn syrup

4 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove, minced.

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon parsley, dried

1 Tablespoon lime juice


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the pasta ingredients.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender. Mix until well combined.
  3. Pour dressing over the top. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
  4. Enjoy!!

Get the full recipe here:


3. Beautiful Little Orzo and Rice Pilaf

If you’re not familiar with Orzo, these are also called risoni, which is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. This dish is an excellent and easy summer dish that has lots of veggies and plenty of chicken.

For the ingredients, you will need the following:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

2/3 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, cut into small slices

2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup white rice

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 small to medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat oil and butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute orzo, constantly stirring, until golden brown, about 1 minute.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice and saute, stirring, until coated with oil and butter.
  4. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 13 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and quickly stir in zucchini. Zucchini will steam whilst you're putting the rest of dinner on the table.
  6. Stir in parsley and serve immediately.

Get the full recipe here:


4. Mussels With Cheddar And Ale

If you are a seafood lover but don’t want the complexity of the many ingredient recipes, then this one is for you.

For ingredients, you will need the following:

1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

2 French shallots, chopped

1 bottle (341 mL) amber ale

2 1/4 lbs (1 Kg) mussels, scrubbed clean

1 1/4 cups (310 mL) Canadian Sharp Cheddar, shredded

1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch

3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh parsley, chopped

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat and saute shallots. Deglaze with beer and reduce by half.
  2. Add mussels, cover and let cook about 5 min, until mussels are all open (discard any that don’t open). Remove mussels from saucepan and reserve in a serving dish.
  3. Add shredded Cheddar and cornstarch to saucepan while stirring. When thickened, add fresh parsley and pepper. Pour sauce over mussels and serve immediately.

Get the full recipe here:


5. Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Everybody loves chicken, so everyone will love this simple baked garlic Parmesan chicken. 

For the ingredients, you will need the following:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
  3. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Get the full recipe here:


6. Honey, Vanilla and Orange Panna Cotta with Fresh Garden Strawberries

There's always a place on the table for desserts. This one will cast the summer spell on you and your family. Especially if you have a garden, you can pick fresh berries and add your twist.

For the ingredients, you will need the following:

½ envelope gelatin

½ cup half and half or whole milk

1/6 cup sugar (about 8 teaspoons)

6 teaspoons honey plus a bit more to drizzle on top

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean pod, and its seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Rind of one orange, shaved (I would recommend a navel orange-lots of rind to work with)

As many pretty little strawberries as you can find. Blueberries would be delicious too!


  1. Lightly grease 2 large ramekins or 4 small ramekins with cooking spray.
  2. Pour half and the half or whole milk into a medium size saucepan. Don’t turn the heat on yet. Sprinkle gelatin on top of milk and allow to bloom, aka rest there, for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low under the milk and slowly mix in the gelatin. Don’t let the milk boil! This process should take another 5 minutes.
  4. Once the gelatin is dissolved, add sugar and honey to warm milk and continue to occasionally slowly stir the mixture for another 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Remove milk from heat and add the cream, vanilla bean pod, its seeds, the vanilla extract, cream and orange rind.
  6. Allow mixture to cool as the flavors come together for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove vanilla bean pod from the mixture. At this point, you can choose to strain the mixture to remove the orange rind or leave it in as a textural element. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and chill, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  8. To remove panna cotta from the ramekins, place a small plate upside-down over the top of the ramekins and, holding the ramekin and plate, flip the entire ensemble over together.
  9. Top your beautiful panna cotta with drizzled honey and freshly sliced berries.

Get the full recipe here:


7. No Bake Very Berry Cheesecake

If you found the other dessert recipe to take too long to prepare, here’s an alternative you can make in just 10 minutes with no baking needed. You can still use the berries in your garden too!

For the ingredients, you will need:

2 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

½ cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup strawberries, chopped

½ cup blueberries

½ cup blackberries

1 premade graham cracker crust

Additional berries for topping


  1. In a medium sized bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in the fresh berries and speed evenly in premade graham cracker crust. Refrigerate at least an hour or until set.
  3. Top with fresh berries.Serve immediately.

Get the full recipe here:



Easy Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade

To top it off is this bubbly drink to wash down the food you’ve just enjoyed.

For the ingredients, you will need:

⅔ cup superfine white sugar

⅔ cup water

1 and ½ cups fresh blueberries

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup (~7 whole large lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups ice cubes

3 cups sparkling water or club soda


  1. Combine the sugar, water, blueberries, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sugar is melted and blueberries are starting to burst.
  3. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve. Let this blueberry syrup completely cool.
  4. Meanwhile, juice the lemons to get 1 cup lemon juice.
  5. In a large blender, add the blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and ice. Blend until smooth.
  6. Stir in the sparkling water or club soda.
  7. Enjoy immediately.

Get the full recipe here:

These recipes will surely make you enjoy and savor the flavors of summer at the comforts of your home. Try one on special occasions or even better, make an ordinary day special with these refreshing summer recipes.

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