summer recipes

This is a guest post by Renee Tarantowski Baude.

Summer is fading. Kids are going back to school, and Fall is right around the corner. If you’re not ready to give up Summer yet here are recipes that will make your mouth water.

Disaster Averted with a Lemon and Avocado!

lemon avocado pasta

Photo credit Renee Tarantowski Baude

I’m not sure how it happened but I had 6 people to feed and nothing in my fridge, except and lemon and a couple of avocados.  I remembered reading in an now vintage Martha Stewart magazine something about an avocado sauce. I went into the basement and began going through my boxes and boxes of Martha’s magazines.  I didn’t think to google it until everyone was begging for dinner.

I dropped the pasta in the water and went to search google.  I read several conflicting recipes on how to make an avocado lemon sauce so I did what I do best–used my intuition.  I knew the kids liked creamy, they liked lemon, not everyone like avocado but everyone loves garlic. This recipe is a little heavy on the lemon and garlic and when I have basil growing in my garden, loads of basil.

This is a dinner that I plan on having when I come back from vacation.  I buy hard avocados and a few lemons and they are perfectly ripe and ready when I come home, need a dinner but have no time to shop.  

It’s easy, light, refreshing, forgiving and lends itself to culinary creativity.  Enjoy!

Lemon Avocado Pasta


  • 2 lbs of dry pasta
  • 2 ripe avocados pitted
  • 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons) juiced and zested
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper
  • Lemon Zest for garnish


Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a food processor, peel and core the avocado, add garlic the lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Blend. Add your favorite herb–dill, basil, tarragon and blend more. Alternatively, garnish with herbs. Serves 6. 

Add the sauce to the cooked and drained pasta.  Garnish with herbs.

Kitchen Notes:  This is best with ridged pasta–the sauce clings to the pasta for a delight in every bite.  

Add the sauce to the cooked and drained pasta.  Garnish with herbs.

Kitchen Notes:  This is best with ridged pasta–the sauce clings to the pasta for a delight in every bite.  

If you’re spending time outdoors there’s not much better than a salad.

Salad Bar

salad bar

Photo credit Renee Tarantowski Baude

The best thing about summer is eating fresh raw foods mixed in with wonderful cooked veggies.  Think roasted beets, olives and apples on a bed or fresh greens.

Maybe fresh spinach with cucumbers, mint, and watermelon.

I often line up a wide variety of foods that are colorful and appealing, foods I know everyone will love and foods that they may not be so sure of.  

The secret to getting kids/spouses to try new foods is to add in things that they already like with new foods.


Just about anything!


It’s salad–you could have a layered salad, a chopped salad or a mixed salad but there aren’t a lot of directions.  Think of it as nature in a bowl . . . alive and never the in a constant state of renewal.

Kitchen Notes:  The freshest is the best.  I love a little bit of tarragon, basil, chives, mint–just enough to add a nuance in a few bites of the entire meal.  Each bite should be a new experience. Add a dressing and you have a meal

If Summer is too hot for soup and you’re on the fence about welcoming Fall this is for you.

Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup

Photo credit Renee Tarantowski Baude


  • 1 box of ziti pasta
  • 1-32 oz carton of vegetable broth
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups– the combination of cut up veggies:
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Green onions
  • Asparagus
  • Basil for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  After cooking reserve the water. Drain pasta. Set aside.

Saute onions on low heat, in a 4-quart pan, until they are translucent.  Add garlic, cook for another 2 minutes. Add remaining veggies. To the pan, add 1 tablespoon of flour, stir to completely coat the vegetables.  

Slowly add the can of diced tomatoes, stir.  Add the spaghetti sauce, stir. Bring to a very slow boil.  At this point, the soup should have thickened up and the flavors melding.  Slowly add the vegetable broth until it is the desired consistency/mouthfeel.  Remember when you add the pasta it will thicken up a bit more.

To serve top the soup with pasta and basil.  Serves 6. 

Kitchen Notes:  This soup is incredible topped with roasted cauliflower.  It also lends itself to using leftover veggies orstore-boughtt bags of fresh cut up vegetables.

Renee Baude

Renee is an Essayist on Mindfulness, Motherhood and Menopause. She lives mindfully: a simple, soulful, sacred life. Visit Renee at