The summer combination of heat and humidity has made me want to decommission my oven indefinitely. 

Without good recipes, though, that’s a pipe dream. I started the summer baking muffins after the sun went down and the nights cooled off a little bit, but then the nights suddenly stopped cooling down. Naturally, I spent some time stalking one of my favorite cooking gurus I knew I could count on: The Pioneer Woman

She didn’t disappoint. 

I’m excited to share some of my *new* summer favorites with you to round out the hot summer season! I hope you enjoy them as much as we have. 

Strawberry spinach salad

There’s no better time to buy strawberries than the summer, and this lemon poppyseed dressing is addicting. Even though the recipe calls for regular pecans, I prefer to add a little “extra” with some candied pecans!

Best air fryer chicken wings

The best part about using an air fryer in the summer is that you can plug it in outside where it doesn’t heat up your house! Plus, who doesn’t love chicken wings? Add a fun sauce and pair the dish with a salad — no need to turn on the oven or the grill!

Grilled chicken marinade

Level with me on this: The most important part of grilling is the marinade or seasoning. This marinade definitely makes your chicken extra juicy, even as leftovers. I usually throw my meat in the marinade when I get up in the morning so it has plenty of time to sit (and so I don’t forget!). 

Watermelon salad with feta and mint

I’m not kidding when I tell you this is my absolute favorite summer recipe. It’s the perfect “it’s 90 degrees outside and I don’t feel like cooking” summer side. Add some grilled chicken and you’ve got a whole meal for very little effort!

Blackberry icebox cake

I admit, I saved the best for last. This recipe requires you to make or buy pound cake ahead of time, but thankfully it’s usually a grocery store bakery staple or is fairly simple to make and freeze. While it takes a little more time than the other recipes, it’s not one to miss. One might even call it life changing — it’s THAT good. 

Chelsey Weaver
Chelsey is a "central Mass" girl who married her 7th-grade sweetheart. She attended both undergraduate and graduate school in Boston, then taught high school on the North Shore for seven years. After living in Winchester and Melrose for several years (and moving too many times), she and her husband finally settled in Groveland in 2015. She loves the North Shore and everything it has to offer, and she enjoys raising her daughter there. Chelsey is the community engagement coordinator for Boston Moms and is mostly a stay-at-home mom. She spends lots of time advocating for children with disabilities, arguing with insurance companies, and looking for disabled influencers, inclusive companies, and materials that celebrate neurodiversity. She avidly listens to audiobooks, hates everything about coffee, and, most importantly, loves being a mom.