Summer is here and with it a chance to celebrate our Summer 2021 Cooking Panda Box! Here are eleven simple recipe ideas designed to make the most of just some of the lovely ingredients and niblets to be found in our latest release.
1. Air Fryer Hot Dog Sushi
Here’s a simple yet satisfying dish inspired by Asian bakeries. Take a sheet of ready-made crescent dough and split it into four rectangles. Place a hot dog in each rectangle and roll up like a roll of sushi. Cut the roll in intervals, all the way through the hot dog but with some dough left unsliced at the bottom, and then pull each slice, alternating left, and right, to form two rows of nestled hot dog slices snuggled together. Then, mix 3 tablespoons of diced onions, 3 tablespoons of corn, 2 tablespoons of mayo, and half a cup of shredded mozzarella to form a cheese mix. Top the sausage bread with the cheese mixture and set in an air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 8 minutes. Garnish with green onions and serve.
For some added texture and zest, crumble some Sonoma Creamery cheese crisps into the cheese mix before topping and cooking!
2. Three-Ingredient Sesame Noodle
This recipe will add some quick kick to the ready-to-eat Miracle Noodles that feature in our summer box. Simply drain the noodles of the water they come in, rinse with warm water as directed on the packaging, and drain any excess water. Then, mix one-fourth of a cup of peanut butter with the juice of 1 lime and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and toss the noodles with the sauce. Top with green onions and serve. Salty, savory, zesty, and sweet!
3. Grab ‘n’ Go Trail Mix
While our foodie boxes always include several great snacks to enjoy on their own, what better way to accentuate individual flavors than by having them all dance in your mouth at once? We found that Blüm’s salty Toasty Almonds, Rind’s chewy dried fruits, Sun-Maid’s sweet-and-sour strawberry raisins, Utz’s crunchy and creamy pretzel bites, and the wholesome superfoods LivBar all work together to create an inspired jam session of flavors and textures. Simply mix all the components, with the larger snacks broken up into smaller pieces, and store them in a jar for easy snacking.
4. Dessert Nachos
You might’ve looked at the title of this recipe and experienced a brief moment of wonder before realizing that the concept of dessert nachos is basically just a trail mix for breakups. Or fantastic first dates. Then you’ll make them because you’re a grown-up and you can do whatever the hell you want. Here, we decided to take the Utz peanut butter pretzel bites from the last entry and give them a decidedly more sinful fate by tossing them with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows before drizzling with warmed chocolate sauce and caramel and garnishing with rainbow sprinkles. No further explanation is required.
5. Hot Garlic Confit
If you’re a fan of garlic and its flavor-gifting benevolence, we’re betting you read the title to this entry and heard a tiny “yesss” somewhere in the seat of your subconscious. For this little bundle of delicious, place 2 tablespoons of dried ground chili in a small jar followed by 5 cloves of peeled garlic; really, you can prepare as much as you’d like with whatever ratio of chili to garlic you prefer. Then, heat up some Star extra virgin olive oil and pour still-hot (careful!) into the jar. Once cooled, smush a whole clove onto a cracker or slice of toasted bread and indulge!
6. Bloody Mary Pickle Ice
You might’ve heard of coffee cubes or fruit on ice. But unless you’re already years ahead of the game, pickle ice is probably outside the scope of your everyday life. But don’t worry: Van Holten’s got you. Van Holten’s strange but awesome pickle-flavored freeze pops make for the perfect way to keep your favorite Bloody Mary recipe cool and flavorful. Simply take the pickle pops when nice, hard, and frozen and cut into pieces, add to a glass, then fill with that refreshing brunch-time cocktail.
7. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Roll
If you’ve got a bit of time in the morning. This is a great way to make use of some plain old oatmeal. For a single 8-ounce ramekin’s worth of hearty goodness, blend 1 large, ripe banana and 1 egg along with half a teaspoon of baking powder, half a cup of oats, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a pinch of salt. Then, add whatever sort of fillings and flavors you’d like: the Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal mix that is part of our summer box already included dried apples and cinnamon! Place in a greased ramekin and bake in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. For an extra jolt of sweetness, drizzle with some powdered sugar glaze for a perfect way to start a weekend.
8. S’mores Dip
We know that words like “quick and easy” get thrown around often with food hacks. But few food ideas have a greater simplicity to decadence ratio than this one. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cover the bottom of a cast-iron pan with a layer of peanut butter chocolate cups. Cover this layer with an array of large marshmallows, then bake for 20 minutes. It’s like something a kid would insist is an essential food group. We dare you to eat this with Utz’s already peanut-buttery pretzel bites.
9. At-Home Nut Butter
While you can make excellent nut butter of any sort at home by blending roasted nuts and oil and perhaps a bit of honey, might we suggest using some of the Blüm’s Toasty Almonds that come in this season’s foodie box? These almonds are packed with flavor, coming in such varieties as spicy chili lime and honey vanilla, and sea salt. Those are sure to add more complexity and zest to your homemade nut butter. Spread on toast, with some chocolate chips if you’re feeling daring, and enjoy!
10. Acai Bowl Popsicles
With its close ties to the hustle of jiu-jitsu culture. The Acai Bowl is a fantastic dish bursting with fresh flavor and energy. We put a spin on this venerable dish by supplementing its revitalizing quality with hydrating Liquid I.V. drink mix before freezing into easy-to-enjoy popsicle form. For this energizing summer treat, take two packs of frozen acai mix, warm them enough to break into chunks. Then blend with 1 cup of frozen mango, 1 cup of frozen pineapple, 1 banana, and half a cup of either coconut water or orange juice. Feel free to add more coconut water or orange juice as you blend to smooth. Then place into an ice pop mold along with some fresh strawberries and blueberries before freezing.
11. Raspberry Lemonade Ice Cubes
Torani’s raspberry syrup is fantastic for adding some flavor to plain lemonade. But here’s an approach that boosts both flavor and presentation. Add a splash of the syrup to some lemonade before filling an ice tray with your new vermillion concoction. Freeze, then use the cubes to both elevate and cool down some plain lemonade. As the summer heat does its thing, your lemonade will only get more flavorful!