Fresh Seasonal Recipes

Summer Stone Fruit Crisp
Summer Stone Fruit Crisp

 

Put down that tempting box of mac and cheese.

And whip up something fresh instead.

 

Avocado:

Avocado toast and homemade guac is a good place to start, but let’s make a feast out of this whole avocado situation.

Quinoa with Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado

This fresh salad is packed with all the summer goods–crisp cucumber, sweet tomatoes and creamy avocado of course! You can enjoy this dish warm, room temp, or chilled so go ahead and make extra. A lot extra.

California Chicken, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad

Who said salads are boring? Dig into this bad boy when you’re craving a refreshing, yet substantial meal. We’re not opposed to adding more avocado…

 

Corn:

Grill it, boil it, bake it, saute it, eat it raw… just do yourself a favor and avoid the frozen or canned stuff this time of year.

Sweet Corn & Black Bean Tacos

Stuff your tacos with candy-sweet corn and hearty black beans. P.S. There’s avocado involved too.

Charred Corn & Rosemary Grilled Pizza

Grill your pizza and the toppings! ‘Tis the season, might as well go all out. (We won’t tell if you cheat a bit and whip out a pre-made crust.)

 

Canning:

Can your favorite summer produce so you can enjoy all of that flavor throughout the year. You can do it!

Blueberry-Lemon Jam

This blueberry jam has just the right amount of zest and sweetness. Enjoy a generous dollop on fluffy buttermilk pancakes, vanilla ice cream, or a simple slice of toast.

Cherry Jam

Exactly what your buttered biscuits are asking for. Sweet or sour cherries will work out here.

 

Looking for more fresh inspiration? Hope on over to our seasonal recipe collections.

 

Life’s a Picnic

Strawberry Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad
Strawberry Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

 

Make it delicious.

 

Mains:

Satisfy your hunger with hearty finger food.

Tuscan Tuna Sandwiches

Now that’s a sandwich. Packed with protein, veggies, fresh herbs, tangy feta, and creamy avocado, you’ll be good to go until dinner time. Serve with chilled white wine or sparkling rosé, of course.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This light main is definitely not lacking in the flavor department. Plus, butter lettuce leaves are extra refreshing. P.S. You’re going to need some napkins.

 

Snacks:

Lounge around in the grass and snack all day long.

Edamame Hummus

A little tired of plain ole hummus? Try blending up bright green edamame instead. Don’t forget some crunchy baby carrots and your favorite crackers for dunking!

Blackberry Cucumber Caprese Skewers

Step aside tomatoes, (although we love you) sweet blackberries and crisp cucumbers are in town. Instead of threading all of the ingredients onto skewers, you could give everything a gentle toss and serve it up salad style.

 

Sweets:

End your picnic with a couple treats. Pack more than you think you need!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies

One of the best flavor combos ever in semi-healthy dessert form! Might as well skip right over the savory stuff…

Fresh Cherry Hand Pies

Mouth-watering cherry pie minus all the mess. Who needs forks anyway? This recipe makes two servings but you can easily scale it up. 2 pies a person please!

 

Looking for more picnic recipes and then some? See all of our summer recipe collections.

 

Get Your Nosh on in the Great Outdoors

Campfire Breakfast Burger
Campfire Breakfast Burger

 

Whether you’re roughing it in the middle of nowhere or just lounging in your backyard with a cold one, we’ve got some flavorful camp recipes for you.

 

Savory:

Trail mix is good and all, but you deserve a real deal meal. Especially if you just spent the better half of the day hauling your gear into the woods and wrestling that tent into submission.

Grilled Shrimp Boil Packets

A gourmet dinner contained in individual packets! No need to dirty plates, or think of a side either. But you might want to think about dessert…

Campfire Curry Ramen

Jazz up that regular pack of ramen with chopped beef jerky, spicy curry powder, and a bit of onion. College hack much?

 

Snacks:

Growling stomachs are almost as bad as growling bears. (So let’s try to avoid both.)

Homemade Apple Pie Larabars

Pretty much dessert, but sooo much healthier. Simply blend up dried fruit, nuts and spices then you’re set! Make a double triple batch because these guys go fast.

Campfire Trail Mix

Deconstructed s’mores? We’re all in. Snack on this mix mid-hike, at midnight, or even in the movie theater. (Shh you didn’t hear it from us.)

 

Sweet:

We never forget about dessert in these parts.

Campfire Grilled S’more Calzones

Basically the best excuse to actually go camping… although you could just enjoy these ooey gooey treats from the comfort of your own deck.

Campfire Cones

Easier than putting together s’mores, so say goodbye to flaming marshmallows and prematurely melted chocolate bars.

 

Looking for more outdoorsy recipes? We’ve got you covered.

Chill Out & Treat Yourself

Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie
Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie

 

Dessert and cocktails are always necessary.

Especially when you’ve already taken 11 cold showers and it’s only 4:14 in the afternoon.

 

Ice Cream:

Ice ice baby. Except these luscious ice creams are anything but icy…

Nutella Ice Cream

The next best thing to inhaling Nutella straight from the jar. Top your creamy treat with chopped toasted hazelnuts before serving for an extra nutty crunch!

Coconut Ice Cream

Ohh so tropical. We won’t judge if you perch one of those colorful little cocktail umbrellas right in your bowl of deliciousness.

 

Pops:

Fruity and festive, try whipping up a batch of your own refreshing pops! All you need is a little patience while they chill out in the freezer.

Watermelon Popsicles

Almost too cute to eat. But it’s no fun just staring at dessert. Popsicle juice should be running down your chin and arms. (Just don’t get the sticky, sugary stuff all over that new white outfit of yours.)

2-Ingredient Strawberry Popsicles

That’s right, you’re only 2 ingredients away from cooling berry bliss. Bring on the brainfreezes.

 

Cool Beverages:

Too hot out to even function? You can probably manage to gulp down a couple of these.

Blackberry Bramble

Gin + fresh lemon juice + blackberry liqueur (plus a hit of simple syrup) make up one heck of a summery adult beverage. Serve over lots of crushed ice with zesty lemon wedges and plump blackberries.

Sparkling Pineapple Barracuda

Umm what is Galliano?? You might be thinking some Italian philosopher but no, it’s really a sweet herbal liqueur. Add some light rum, fresh lime juice, and pineapple juice to the mix and your mind (maybe your body, if you’re lucky) immediately goes to the tropics. A splash of bubbly tops this whole situation off quite nicely.

 

Sweet tooth still raging? Even more thirsty than before? Slip ‘n slide on over to our Frozen Treats and Cool Beverages recipe collections.

If you’re in need of something savory, skip the oven and stir up a No Cook recipe or two instead.

Don’t Sweat It

Raw Pad Thai
Raw Pad Thai

 

It’s okay to say “no” to cooking sometimes…

Especially when it’s hot as heck out.

So grab your jumbo jug of H2O and whip up a few no cook recipes.

Because ice cream is only an acceptable meal 3 times a week.

 

Light:

The heat might rob you of your appetite for family-sized personal pizzas, but these light bites will surely hit the spot.

Spicy Tuna & Cucumber Bites

These flavorful bites will help keep you hydrated and provide a protein boost. You need as much energy as you can get! Unless midday napping is an option…

Avocado & Chicken Tortilla Wraps

Throw leftover cooked chicken in a quick, nutritious wrap. We’re always down when creamy avocado is involved.

 

Refreshing:

Cocktail sipping is a tasty option to help you cool down. (You need a little substance though too!)

Antipasto Zoodle Salad

We know it’s hard to beat real deal pasta. But a big boiling pot of water doesn’t sound like a good time when it’s already boiling hot outside. Cool veggie “noodles” will work in a pinch!

Chilled Tomato Yogurt Soup

This simple soup is super chill… just blend everything together, refrigerate, then serve. Don’t forget some fresh bread for dunking.

 

Sweet:

Treat your sweet tooth to a cold and creamy homemade dessert.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate + peanut butter for life. Did we mention these mouth-watering bars are gluten-free and vegan? Helloooo breakfast! hehe

Mini Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Mocha Fudge and Coconut Tarts

These decadent tarts will make your heart sing with joy. Bonus: you’ll get a little caffeine kick too!

 

Looking for more cool ideas? See our No Cook Recipes collection.

Fourth of July Fun

Very Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pavlova Jars
Very Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pavlova Jars

 

Start and end your 4th with a bang.

Hint: we’re not talking fireworks.

 

Independence Day Main Dishes:

Bring ’em out, bring ’em out! Really just some substance to accompany your great-aunt’s “famous” potato salad. *wink wink*

Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp

You can’t go wrong with this simple crowd-pleaser. Serve over fluffy white rice (to sop up that sauce!) with juicy pineapple wedges.

BBQ Pork Ribs

The messier the merrier. Or something like that. Don’t forget to pick up a boatload of moist towelettes.

 

Red, White & Blue Desserts:

These sweet treats contain fruit, so they’re pretty much healthy… just go with it.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Make your life easy and nix the need to slice an actual cake. Serving size = 4, duh.

No-Bake Blueberry Layered Cheesecake

Too hot to turn that oven of yours on? No sweat. This colorful cheesecake is just what the doctor ordered. (Let’s forget the dentist for now.)

 

Cool Beverages:

Beer is nice and all, but sometimes you need something a little more festive.

Blackberry Mint Mojito

Do you like playing with fire? This delicious fruity mojito is almost as dangerous as setting off homemade fireworks in your neighbor’s front yard. Consider yourself warned.

Strawberry Lemonade

Adults and kids alike can enjoy this refreshing sweet-tart lemonade. Grown ups, feel free to add a glug or two of chilled vodka.

 

Want to see more stars and stripes? Take a peek at our showstopping 4th of July recipe collections.

 

Amazon is Buying Whole Foods Market: Great for Grocery Innovation

North American home cooks can expect even more convenient options and innovations to arrive over the next few years with Amazon’s announcement that they are acquiring Whole Foods. Moreover, the secondary competitive effects have a shot at finally ushering this once slow-moving but vital retail sector into a much more convenient and frictionless digital age.

The aggressive move, by far Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date, greatly expands Amazon’s currently minuscule brick-and-mortar retail footprint, and allows Amazon to much more rapidly scale services like grocery pick-up, home delivery and online ordering features.

Here in Seattle, we have a front-row seat to the innovations and experiments that Amazon has performed regarding grocery: delivery with Amazon Fresh, Dash Buttons, Amazon Go (“cashierless” stores), Amazon Fresh Pickup and more.

Whole Foods has 465 stores in North America and the United Kingdom, and according to Amazon it will continue to operate as a separate entity. Amazon has been a leader with grocery innovation, but so far it’s experiments have been small-scale. They’ve amassed considerable data on what works (and doesn’t) about grocery delivery, handheld voice tools, ambient voice devices like the Echo, cashierless shopping and consolidated grocery pickup.

We here at BigOven are always happy to see innovation in this once-sleepy but absolutely vital grocery industry, and today’s news is causing a lot of heads to turn among our partners in the industry.

Wall Street’s Early Read

Wall Street loves the deal — both Amazon and Whole Foods are up significantly:

And it knocked nearly $40 billion of market cap off of major grocery retailers and consumer packaged goods companies:

Our Take

We love to see innovation in the space and applaud Amazon for taking an aggressive, long-term step here to deliver more innovation to grocery. The US market for food and beverage is $795 billion, it’s the single highest-occasion shopping we do as consumers. Food and beverages accounts for 30% of all U.S. personal spending excluding cars and energy, according to Morgan Stanley.

On a data level, this gives Amazon a much clearer picture of consumers, and not just in the grocery category.

We are, after all, what we eat. Consumers express enormous implicit information when they buy at a grocery store. If you know consumer A is buying Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, chips and a case of Coors Light on a Friday afternoon in a transaction size of $38, and another is purchasing watercress, arugula and salmon in a $230 transaction on a Tuesday, you already know a lot about these two consumers. And that fuller picture will be used to better inform all recommendations.

We love to see innovation in grocery to make life easier for the home cook, it’s precisely what we’re about. For quite some time now, we’ve been wanting a world where home cooks could plan what they want to make, intelligently use up more of what they buy at the store, and instantly get items delivered to them (or pick them up) to make the perfect meal. This commitment by Amazon is terrific to see, as it alone should bring some great innovation. Its secondary effects might generate even more impact however — it is already causing some much-needed discussion in retailer and packaged good company boardrooms.

It’s high time things get even easier for home cooks. We are increasingly pressed for time, yet we still want to put a great meal on the table for our families. This massive transaction will no doubt push great chains like Kroger and Safeway further in completing their solutions for home cooks.

Amazon acquires:

  • Loads of data on high-end consumer buying preferences
  • Retail footprint
  • Distribution infrastructure for grocery delivery – employees, warehousing, food and produce sourcing, refrigeration, merchandising
  • Live retail labs for buying/merchandising
  • Logical delivery points for Echo, web and shopping list canvases

At BigOven, we’re all about using digital technology to improve the lifecycle of the home cook. This cycle, which hits daily has a large amount of cognitive load and physical hassle. Many of us love to cook, but find the process of figuring out what to make, planning, shopping challenging. We think the Amazon-Whole Foods transaction helps close that loop for Amazon, though it might not be fully aligned for all demographics (Whole Foods serves customers at the high end of the market).

After dabbling in various experiments in the grocery space, Amazon’s commitment signals a new digital era in grocery. In our view, given the size of grocery and its high occasion, it makes sense for Amazon to make grocery a strategic priority, as it fits with Amazon’s goal of being earth’s most customer-centric company. Amazon will continue to get great data on what consumers are buying to be able to deliver even more customized options.

The race is now on to own America’s shopping list, and if Amazon really wants to own it, they probably need a way to stock and deliver grocery items at scale. Players need a combination of assets such as:

  • Customer scale
  • Distribution infrastructure
  • Pick-up infrastructure
  • Digital platforms to look up recipes, manage a recipe collection, create plans and a grocery list
  • Planning tools with curated menu ideas
  • Household list management from any screen or canvas
  • Personalization and preference technologies

Amazon is known for market disruption, and we both welcome big bets like this in this category, and we expect to see counter-moves by big retailers like Albertsons Safeway, Kroger,  Trader Joe’s, Ahold Delhaize (Food Lion, Stop & Shop etc.) and others.

Across many categories of Amazon’s business, Walmart has been a chief rival, and this certainly ups the ante in the Amazon vs. Walmart competition. Amazon has certainly shown other retailers that unless they innovate, they’re in danger of being obsolete, as more and more purchase decisions will take place via ambient voice interaction, mobile and web, use machine learning for personalization and targeted deals, and much more.

But it won’t happen overnight, and Amazon initially gains primarily high-end grocery shopper coverage with this move. In addition to the logistical challenges of integrating a workforce with 67,000 employees, another major in our minds is whether the Whole Foods customer is (by and large) the same as the core Amazon customer, and also whether the core values of each institution match closely.

It also remains an open question whether the relatively high-end nature of the the Whole Foods customer fully aligns with Amazon’s core customer base. Another way to put this: you can’t buy Diet Coke or Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese at Whole Foods, and it’s for a deliberate reason — it’s in the name of the company itself. To achieve what we believe to be Amazon’s grander ambitions in the space to serve more than just the organics high-end purchaser, we predict that Whole Foods infrastructure will ultimately be used to expand downmarket — out horizontally from their current core base, likely via rebranding (e.g., Whole Foods becomes Amazon Fresh Organic, with Amazon Fresh offering the widest variety.) Not all home cooks are Whole Foods customers, though most of us here at BigOven are.

This presents a particularly interesting situation for Instacart. Whole Foods is an investor in Instacart, and one of Instacart’s top sources for delivery is Whole Foods. Instacart can continue to be a “Switzerland” for home delivery, neutral between parties, but more and more they will be in competition with an integrated Amazon-Whole Foods.

On the grocery delivery and/or pickup front, it’s still too fragmented. Most consumers shop at more than one grocery store in a given month. We think there’s an opportunity to establish a digital standard for grocery list communication between apps like ours (i.e., apps which home cooks use to make grocery lists) and grocers that have the end-products to purchase, in much the same way the retail photo finishing industry accepts orders from multiple photo apps.  It has to provide a financial incentive for apps to connect, but it’s completely feasible today; it just needs the will to make it happen. This would make grocery purchase and delivery considerably easier and increase velocity of home delivery and out-of-store selection for pickup.

For our part, BigOven currently has 3.8 million members, many of whom make grocery lists and would love home delivery; it’s a frequent feature request. If you’re in the grocery retail industry or delivery business and you’d like to discuss that with us, reach out.

About BigOven

BigOven is a leading app for the home cook. From great recipe ideas to organization, from planning what to make to grocery shopping, preparation and social sharing, BigOven makes cooking simpler. BigOven has 3.8 million members, 13+ million downloads, 1.6 million recipes and 4,000+ food bloggers with the Save Recipe plugin. Every day we welcome thousands of new members, and we hope you’re one of them. Join us today.

Dad’s Day Dishes

Cajun Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Caramelized Corn Polenta
Cajun Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Caramelized Corn Polenta

 

Aka meat, cheese and booze!

(Stretchy pants welcome recommended.)

 

Meat:

Bring on the protein!

Beer-Battered Fish

It’s hard to beat perfectly crispy fried fish. Beer just makes the whole situation 1,000 times better (no surprise there). Serve your fish with a tall glass of chilled beer of course.

Easy Traditional Greek Gyros

Not sure how to pronounce “gyro?” Doesn’t matter as long as you and Dad know how to chow down on a few.

Sugar Steak with Bourbon

Bourbon adds even more flavorful to juicy steak. Don’t overcook your meat! The steak will continue cooking after you remove it from the heat. And let that thing rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing in. Patience really is a virtue.

 

Cheese:

Get all cheesy. Dad won’t mind.

Carne Asada Chipotle Pull Apart Bread

Bread. And cheese. And meat. Plus you get to skip the utensils. Dreams do come true.

Calzones

Ooey gooey molten cheese stuffed inside golden brown dough. Yes please! Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings in there too, like veggies. Or not.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Now’s the time to bring out that hot sauce of yours.

 

Booze & Donuts:

Beer is good, but boozy cocktails are better. Donuts are icing on the cake… er donut.

Bacon Bloody Mary

Garnish with one (or five) strips of crispy bacon!

Kahlua Root Beer Float

End Dad’s Day with a creamy, spiked float. Feel free to add an extra splash of Kahlua. This is a celebration after all.

Peanut Butter Banana Donuts with Chocolate

Did someone say donuts?? Enjoy these bad boys for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. And second dinner.

 

Looking for more of the good stuff? See our collection of Father’s Day recipes.

The BigOven Grocery List is Now Available on Your Wrist

The BigOven Watch app helps home cooks with their grocery shopping experience

BigOven is launching its first-ever Apple Watch app today. The free app is available with the BigOven iPhone app in the App Store. Now grocery shopping for home cooks is as easy as a few quick taps on your wrist.

Enabling BigOven for Watch

Download BigOven’s 11.0.6 app version, then go to the Watch app on your iPhone. Launch Watch. In ‘My Watch’ tab, scroll until you find BigOven and tap on it. Slide to on position to show app on Apple Watch. Go back to My Watch main screen and tap ‘Dock’ to position BigOven as one of the apps you see in your Watch dock.

Adding Items to Your Grocery List

Add items as usual to your grocery list using your iPhone app or the website. The BigOven Apple Watch app will sync with your iPhone grocery list.

At the Store

Now when you go shopping, you can free up your hands for maneuvering your cart through the aisles, keeping your phone in your pocket or purse if you wish. Use your Apple Watch to tap items off your grocery list. Give it a try and let us know what you think.