A Hot Summer Gift Basket Guide

Summer Fruit Trifle Recipe

Summer gift baskets
Photo courtesy of Once Upon A Chef

This creamy and refreshing dessert looks as good as it tastes!  Use a trifle bowl or a 4 quart clear mixing bowl to layer berries, cake and creamy pudding.

This recipe works great for a Sunday brunch, family reunion or just for patriotic desserts - everyone will be amazed so be ready to share the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (3.4-ounce) instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries), washed and hulled, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 to 36 ladyfingers

Directions:

  1. To make the fillings, prepare the pudding according to the package directions and Let it chill.
  2. Slice strawberries then toss all of the berries with the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the berries to release their juices.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream, vanilla extract, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  4. To make the layers, set a layer of ladyfingers (around 7 or 8) on the bottom of a large, clear serving bowl. Top with the berries with half of the pudding.
  5. Add another layer of ladyfingers, another third of the berries and juice, and the rest of the pudding. Add a final layer of ladyfingers and berries. Top with the whipped cream and a berry garnish.
  6. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Serves 8 to 10.

Summer Fruits Salad

Summer Gift Basket Ideas
Photo courtesy of All Recipes

Fruit salad is such a "must have" for any summer gathering!  You could make a fruit salad to go along with your patriotic cookies for the big fourth of July celebration. Take advantage of the abundant summer fruits by creating a delicious summer fruit salad.   Below we combine a variety of delicious fruits with some rhubarb sauce for a scrumptious summer treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 15 seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 orange, sectioned
  • 10 fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 plum, pitted and sliced
  • 15 pitted Bing cherries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the rhubarb, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Mash and chill in the refrigerator, about one hour.
  2. To serve, mix the grapes, orange, strawberries, apple, peach, plum, cherries, and blueberries with 2/3 cup of the rhubarb sauce. Stir gently, but thoroughly to coat. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Summer Fun Recipes for Kids

Summer gift guides

Summer is here, that means the kids are ready for fun!  Here are some great homemade recipes that the kids can help make.

Ultimate Bubble Mixture

Summer present

2 cups Joy® dish detergent
6 cups water
3/4 cups Karo® syrup

Combine all ingredients and let settle for 4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator to extend suds life. Warm to room temperature before using.

Rainbow Crayons

Gift for summer

Broken crayon pieces
Muffin Tin

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Remove paper from broken crayons and place pieces in a muffin tin.
3. Place tin in preheated oven until crayons are melted.
*Do not move pan too much when removing, or colors will become muddy*
4. When slightly cooled, place in freezer until crayon becomes easy to remove.
5. Enjoy some rainbow coloring fun!

Finger Paints

Best summer gifts

1/2 Cup boiling water.
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
6 Tablespoons Cold Water

Dissolve starch in cold water in a cup. Add this mixture to boiling water, stirring occasionally. Heat until it thickens and becomes glossy. Color water with food coloring. Store in airtight container. Use freezer paper as paper to paint on.

Summer Treats Recipes for Kids

Popular summer gift idea

Cool Summer Treats

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Inviting kids into the kitchen to make their own snacks and meals can spark a lifelong interest in cooking! A fun child birthday gift is an apron and some kid-sized cooking utensils made just for them!

Below I've included a few of my favorite summer treat recipes. Ice Pops and Smoothies are fun summer treats that kids can help make. Fruits and yogurts make them refreshing and healthy too! This summer whip up some cool and refreshing snacks while enjoying time together preparing them.

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops

Fun summer gifts

It would be hard to find a kid that didn't love ice pops! Making your own is easy. You can purchase ice pop molds, or make your own in small paper cups or even ice cube trays.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries

Directions:

In a large pitcher, stir together the lemonade concentrate and water. Place strawberries into the container of a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour in some of the lemonade if necessary to help with blending. Stir strawberry puree into the lemonade. Pour into molds, and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Summer Fruit Kabobs

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For your next trip to the beach, pack these easy to make fruit kabobs into your cooler for something healthy to munch on. Kids love "building" their very own fruit creation! Summer is a great time to find healthy, organic fruit at your local farmer's market.

What You Need:

  • Assorted fruit pieces of your choice (choose from the following): watermelon, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew
  • Deli Turkey, cubed
  • Cheddar Cheese, cubed
  • Wooden Skewers

Alternate fruits, meats and cheeses on the wooden skewers and enjoy!

Fancy Fun Fruit Kabobs with Philly Hot Fudge Sauce

Banana Split Brownie Pizza

Gourmet desserts are sure to impress, and here's one that's easy to make and looks great! Kids will love cutting up this "pizza" and serving a slice to each family member.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (20-ounce) box fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
  • Marshmallows
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate syrup, for drizzling
  • Whipped cream
  • Mint, for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Foil line and Grease a 15-inch pizza pan.

2. Prepare brownie mix according to directions on box. Pour onto prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool.

3. Beat cream cheese while adding pineapple and sugar together in a bowl. Spread mixture over brownie crust. Arrange banana, strawberry slices, marshmallows, and cherries over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and coconut. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Add whipped cream on top and mint for garnish. To serve, slice as you would a pizza and enjoy!

Smoothie Recipes Galore!

Creative summer gifts

Throw in some yogurt, fruit, juices and more to create a delicious and refreshing drink that will keep your energy up for all those fun summer activities! Head out to the garden or local farmer's market and fill up your fruit basket, then click the links below for great smoothie recipes.

Dirt Dessert

Kids gift for summer
Photo courtesy of Neighborfood

What would summer be without a little dirt? This delicious snack looks dirty, but is oh so good!

Ingredients:

  • Oreo Cookies (Crushed Regular, Double Stuff or Chocolate Covered Oreos)
  • Chocolate pudding (make it ahead of time)
  • Cool Whip
  • Gummy Worms

Directions:

1. In a dish or your choice (plastic cups, or even a small, clean sand pail) layer crushed Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding, and Cool Whip.

2. Top with crushed cookies and place gummy worms on the top!

Alternative: If you want sand instead of dirt use any vanilla sandwich cookie, vanilla pudding and Cool Whip. Add gummy whales or eels or chocolate sea shells for a beach theme!

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