It's the dog days of summer and you know what that means: Hours slaving in front of a hot stove Time to make some super-easy, ice-cold treats. Like refrigerator pickles! I made some for the first time this weekend and I couldn't believe how simple they were. You just mix cucumber slices with sugar and salt -- and then in an hour, you have crisp pickles in brine. It's magic.
Here are five ridiculously easy recipes for cool, refreshing summer foods. Each of these uses four ingredients or fewer. And they're so simple, your kids could make them. Come to think of it, maybe they should make these for you ... Mama's so hot and tired!
Refrigerator pickles. Supposedly this recipe comes from celeb chef David Chang. Slice a couple of cucumbers nice and thin and put the slices in a bowl. Combine three tablespoons of sugar with one tablespoon of salt and then stir the mixture into the cucumber slices. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can make a larger batch -- just use three parts sugar to one part salt.
Homemade soda. We do this all summer long. Start by making simple syrup: Melt one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Then you can infuse it with whatever -- chopped ginger, mashed fruit, sprigs of parsley (parsley soda, it's a thing!). Cover for at least an hour, strain, and cool. Then combined your flavored syrup with plain seltzer water.
Lavender limeade. And speaking of cool drinks, I mentioned this once and readers asked for the recipe. Here it is, lavender limeade from Oprah.
Granita. Puree or mash your favorite fruit with sugar and maybe a little lime juice. Then you pour it all in a pan, freeze for an hour, stir, freeze some more, and so on until it's ready. Check out this watermelon granita recipe.
Easiest ice cream ever. Did you know you can make ice cream in a Ziplock bag? Okay, this one goes over four ingredients if you count the salt and bags. But it's a super fun treat to make with kids.
What are your favorite quickie cool treats for summer?
Image via Adriana Velez