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Peaches and Cream Popsicle Recipe

While everyone’s focused on getting the kids back-to-school right now, it’s still officially summer for a few more weeks and we’re taking full advantage of the hot days and warm nights. This time of year is also the peak of peach season, one of my all-time favorite fruits. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 24 states that grow peaches in the U.S., try to take advantage of a pick-your-own farm to ensure you get the freshest, ripest peaches around. Otherwise, farmer’s markets and grocery stores in every state should all be boasting big delicious peaches this time of year. And what better way to enjoy peaches in these final days of summer than with peaches and cream popsicles?

Peach Recipes

Picking your peaches

Last week, the kids and I went peach picking at our local orchard and ended up with 37 pounds of fresh peaches. Whoever said you cannot have too much of a good thing obviously never had to deal with 37 pounds of peaches! We bought a popsicle maker at the beginning of the summer and have been making popsicles with every imaginable ingredient, so I was excited to give peaches a try. These peaches and cream popsicles have probably been our favorite ones all summer! When selecting peaches to use for this recipe, try to choose ripe peaches — you will be roasting them to soften, but you’ll get a much sweeter (less tart) flavor with peaches that are already soft and ripe.

Peach Recipes for Summer

Roasting the peaches

Start by slicing ripe peaches and arranging them on a baking sheet. Make sure your pieces are small enough that they’ll fit inside your popsicle molds when soft, but not so small that they’ll shrink down to nothing. Drizzle them with honey and a sprinkle of sea salt and roast for 30-40 minutes or until they’re soft. Try not to eat all the peaches at this point… they will be incredibly tempting!


Creamy popsicle base

While the peaches are roasting, make the yogurt popsicle base. I’ve made this recipe once before, but this time I made a few modifications in order to make the pops slightly creamier. Instead of low-fat Greek yogurt, I used a mixture of full-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese. Using low-fat yogurt is fine, but it will give you icy popsicles (as opposed to creamy). The whipped and creamed cottage cheese gives the popsicles a cheesecake flavor that really adds richness without adding lots of calories. If you don’t like/want the cheesecakey-flavor, just use all yogurt. You can use vanilla extract, but I really like using vanilla bean paste, which gives it so much more vanilla flavor without making your mixture runny. Plus, you can actually see the vanilla specks, which I love.

Freeze and pop

Once the roasted peaches have cooled, gently fold them into the yogurt mixture. Spoon the mixture into your popsicle molds, carefully pressing down the peach chunks as you go. If the chunks are too large for your molds, you can slice them, but I didn’t have a problem and I really loved the big chunks of peaches in the popsicles. Freeze the pops according to the directions of your popsicle maker. If you’re using traditional molds (or cups), then freeze at least 4 hours and run them under warm water to loosen.


Pop them out and enjoy! These popsicles are rich and creamy, but still healthy and all natural. They have a great creamy texture (like a pudding pop) with an added honey roasted goodness flavor. Sure to be a big hit with kids and grown-ups!

  • 1 pound ripe peaches (about 3 medium), peeled and sliced into wedges
  • 6 tablespoons honey, divided
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss sliced peaches with 2 tablespoons honey and a pinch of salt. Arrange the peaches in a single layer on parchment. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the peaches are soft and juicy (stir halfway).
  2. While peaches are roasting, whip up the cottage cheese in a food processor to smooth. Blend together the creamed cottage cheese, yogurt, remainder of honey, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Feel free to add more honey or vanilla to suit your taste. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove peaches from oven and let cool. Scrape the peaches and juice into the yogurt. Gently fold the mixture together.
  4. Use the spoon to transfer the yogurt blend into the popsicle mold. Insert sticks and freeze according to popsicle maker directions (or at least 4 hours if using traditional mold).
  5. When ready, remove popsicles and enjoy immediately.


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Summer is officially in full swing. That means days filled with fun in the sun and beating the heat by playing in the water. Since we spend the majority of our time in or around water during the summer, one of the first orders of business each summer is scheduling our little ones for swim lessons. We want to make sure that while our children are making those summer memories of splashing or perfecting the perfect cannon ball that they are also being as safe as possible. For this year’s lessons we turned to the Sunsational Swim School.

Sunsational Swim School Swim Lessons That Come to You

Convenience meets comfort

The Sunsational Swim School is a unique swim lesson experience that partners a play-based learning environment with a water safety awareness program, all with the convenience of in-home lessons. That’s right, Mom. No more trekking to a swim center across town!

What Age Should You Start Swim Lessons?

With Sunsational Swim School, you are easily able to coordinate swimming lessons with a trained instructor at the pool of your choice, at a time that works best for your schedule. Simply visit their website, enter your zip code, and within a few clicks you are provided a list of certified instructors to choose from.

Safety first

Drowning can occur in just a matter of seconds and is the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14. The Sunsational Swim School understands the importance of teaching young children and their parents water safety right from the first lesson.

Tips for Starting Swim Lessons

Our Sunsational swim instructor not only shared important information and facts to keep our kids safe, but they made it a priority to incorporate safety into each lesson. Everything was covered from not running around the pool to what to do in the event that your child fell in the water.

From Tadpole to Seal

The Sunsational Swim School owner Sarah Sebe has created a fun and progressive swim program. With seven instructional levels to choose from, your little swimmer is ensured a swim program that will help them prepare for their water filled days ahead.


When presented with children at a variety of ages and skill levels, our instructors were quickly able to assess and tailor lessons unique to each child’s needs. Lesson length depended on age and skill level, and always concluded with a fun homework task for the children to practice in between lessons. This was great to reinforce their new skills!



As our Tadpole, Starfish, and Jellyfish wrapped up their time with the wonderful Sunsational instructor, they received a special reward and certificate. As moms of busy little ones who spend most of their time waterside throughout the summer, the biggest reward was seeing our children gain both skill and confidence at one of their favorite summertime activities.

Water Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Swim lessons were provided by Sunsational Swim School. All opinions are our own.

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Picture this: You’ve just sat down at the beach and are starting to relax — toes in the sand — when you hear it. Yes, moms, I’m talking about the dreaded call that says your little one is now soaking wet and, of course, needs to go potty. The rest of the story is one that we all know well — pull and stretch to get her out of her suit, which is now a soggy ball on the disgusting bathroom floor, then stretch, pull and yank the now freezing cold and germ-covered suit to get it back on. Repeat in 20 minutes.

Fasten Swimwear is a Moma's Beach Dream Come True

If this whole song and dance sounds familiar then you’re going to love Fasten Swim, the swimsuit for girls that makes it so easy to conquer the bathroom in an adorable and germ-free way. Developed by a two moms on a mission, Jill Slater and Alexis Castellano, Fasten Swim has hidden magnets that hold the bottom of the suit closed for swimming, but that easily open for going potty and changing diapers. Say it with us… “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

Fasten Swim Makes Beach Potty Trips SO MUCH EASIER

Mom! I need to pee!

It never fails that once her body hits the water my 6-year-old will have to pee, like clockwork. So, trust me when I say that we were able to give Fasten Swimsuits a really good try and in my fully honest opinion: Yes, yes, double yes. My first concern was that the magnets wouldn’t be strong enough — cannonball after cannonball — and she would end up flashing us at some point in the day. To my surprise, the magnets are really pretty strong, but just in case, they have also added snaps on either side of the suit to reinforce the magnets.

When it came time to go potty, all it took was a quick pull on the front of her suit and the bottom portion flipped down and stuck to the back of the suit via a small magnet at the top of the back of the suit. They thought of everything here! Don’t get me started on the beach-side diaper change on my wiggly 1-year-old. Easy peasy.

Fasten Swimsuits for Girls Make Beach Diaper Changes Easy
It’s all in the details

Fasten Swimsuits are 84 percent poly and 16 percent Spandex and are thick, two-ply high-quality fabric. The waist belt of the suits contains three strong magnets on the front, two snaps on the side, and a magnet on the back of the suit to hold the bottom up while using the potty.

As far as sizing, like they mention on the site, I would recommend going one size up. For the 18-month-old I went to a 2T and it was perfect. My 6-year-old, however, is on the smaller, thinner side, so I was a little over ambitious in ordering her a size 6. As you can see, it was a bit baggy and the shoulder strap kept slipping. On the upside, the quality is incredibly good so I can see her wearing this suit again for next year (at least), not to mention it’s her new favorite suit… because butterflies.

Fasten Swimsuits range in size from 6-months-old all the way up to girls size 10 and they carry enough colors and patterns to suit any style, not to mention a line of matching hats, headbands and cover-ups!

Through August 31st, Fasten Swimwear has been kind enough to offer our readers 20 percent off their order with the code SAVVYSUMMER, which is good on all regular priced items.

Which suit are you excited to order?
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Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kids Summer is here and if your kids are anything like mine, they’re going to be spending a lot of time over the next few months in swimsuits. Whether you’re going to the beach, the water park, your neighborhood pool, or just setting up a sprinkler or water table in the backyard, your kids should not only have suits that are cute and comfortable, but ones that will protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. Platypus Australia produces high-quality, fashionable UV protective swimwear for kids — infant through teens — in a variety of mix-and-match patterns, colors and styles.

Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kidsUV protection

Platypus Australia’s sun-safe swimwear and rash guards ensure that the kid wearing them receives maximum sun protection. Platypus Australia was formed in 1996 by two mothers that know just how hard it is to apply sunscreen to kids on the move! They realized that there was a demand for kids bathing suits and clothing that would protect children from the sun’s damaging rays and still be comfortable and cool. The company’s mission is to educate parents, children and industry representatives of the importance of protecting children against the sun’s damaging rays, trying to prevent skin cancer in later life. Each Platypus Australia item blocks out at least 97.5% of harmful ultraviolet radiation, making them one of the safest swimsuit lines on the market.

Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kidsMix-and-match fashion

Platypus Australia’s swimsuit lines — for babies, girls and boys — are designed to be mixed-and-matched. Each line has multiple styles of tops, shirts, rash guards, tanks, shorts, sunsuits, briefs, hats, cover-ups and accessories that all coordinate, so your child can pick the type of suit they feel the most comfortable wearing. Collections come in adorable prints like seashells, lobsters, flamingos and regatta. You can shop online by collection or by type/style of suit. Sizing ranges from infants all the way up to kid’s size 14. And no worries mama, there are even some swimsuits and rash guards for women.

Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kidsEnter to win a Platypus Australia gift certificate ($100) in our #SummerScoop4Moms giveaway!Platypus Swimwear 4Quality and service

Platypus Australia strives to achieve high quality garments and sun protective swimwear with good fit, at affordable prices, backed by fast and friendly service. Platypus Australia is made with LYCRA® because of its amazing shape-retention, maximum breathability and most importantly, its ultra chlorine resistance properties. These fun colorful suits won’t fade in the sun or even after dips in the pool and will hold their shape without being stretched after multiple wears. And just because these swimsuits for babies and kids come from the other side of the world doesn’t mean you can’t get them for your own little sun worshipers. Easy shipping is available to both the U.S. and Canada… plus, it’s free if you spend over $80.

Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kidsCheck out Platypus Australia online at any of the sites listed below:

Website // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter
Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kids

Platypus Australia UV protective swimwear and rash guards for kids

What’s the most important factor to you when buying a swimsuit for your kids?
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Easy dinner ideas

By the end of the week, the last thing I want to do is make dinner — especially during the summer. If you try one of these amazing recipes each Friday this summer, you’ll be set until it’s time to go back to school in the fall! We know you’re going to love these easy dinner ideas!

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Light summer meals

On hot summer nights you might not be in the mood for a heavy dinner, or you might feel like putting together several lighter dishes for your own little tapas night.

Caprese Avocado Toast from With Salt and Wit is easy enough to be a snack and filling enough to be a meal. If you have a garden, you can use some of your own ingredients in this one, which makes the dinner just a little more special.

Call Me PMC took the classic flavors of a Cuban sandwich and reimagined the sandwich as an appetizer. Cuban Sandwich on a Stick is adorable — and filled with protein. Kids will love the little pickles, and eating finger foods for dinner is always a hit at our house.

The Berry Basil Salad from Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen takes full advantage of summer’s berry abundance. The homemade dressing really brings out the flavors of the berries while keeping the fruit salad light and fresh tasting.

The Easy Steak and Vegetable Flatbread Pizza from Cotter Crunch is gluten-free, making it a fabulous option if you keep a gluten-free kitchen. Summer’s fresh veggies truly make this pizza a nutritious, flavorful meal.

Food Fanatic offers a Quinoa Chicken Salad that will quickly become one of your favorite dishes — and maybe the most versatile. You can make it with leftover chicken from a meal earlier in the week, or you can make a double batch and use the leftovers for lunches. The recipe lets you tweak the ingredients to meet your food preferences, which is wonderful for exploring the variety of summer produce available.

Easy dinners from the grill

Not only is grilling a simple way to pack a punch of flavor into your meal, spending time outside while you’re cooking makes the most of summer weather.

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Pizza is quick and delicious. It uses chicken instead of ham, and grilled pineapple is one of the tastiest ways to serve the fruit. You’ll love the added sweetness offered in this simple pizza, courtesy of Real Food by Dad‘s secret ingredient.

Natalie’s Food & Health suggests a Turkey burger with greek yogurt topping that’s both beautiful and packed with healthy flavors like dill. Even her husband approves of this one, making it perfect for grilling for friends who are hesitant to try a healthier burger.

Put a twist on taco night

Taco night stays on our dinner menu all year; it’s one of the meals each of us can customize to our liking and leave the dinner table happy. Changing the ingredients and flavors slightly this summer will keep things fresh without abandoning a favorite meal.

Living Sweet Moments makes Baked Chicken Taquitos that might take the place of traditional tacos at our house. Salsa verde is a fresh taste for summer, and the avocado crema is an amazing addition you’ll want to use on everything in your refrigerator.

The Buffalo Chicken Tacos from Spiced incorporate the ever-popular buffalo chicken flavor with the ease of tacos. Cook the chicken in your slow cooker and make dinner time even easier. We think the blue cheese crumbles are a perfect topping, but offering shredded cheddar to kids never hurts.

Taco night isn’t complete with guacamole, and i heart eating offers a flavorful treat in her Roasted Garlic Guacamole. Let’s be honest, on some summer evenings, a hearty guacamole, chips — and our favorite Champagne Margaritas — can be an entire dinner.

Add international flavor to start your weekend

Whether you’re mimicking your family’s favorite takeout location or trying something new, sampling new cuisine is a fun way to change up your meal plan.

Once you try the Sesame Chicken from It’s a Sparkly Life, you might never go back to take out again. You can create this in under 30 minutes, which will actually save you time unless you have a lightning fast delivery service in your area.

A Duck’s Oven tempts your tastebuds with her Slow Cooker Haitian Pork. This amazing dish does take a little prep time earlier in your week, but once it’s ready to go, the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you.

Stir fry is definitely one of our go-to meals for simple dinners. The Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Roasted Broccoli from Foolproof Living will quickly become part of your weekly meal rotation. The peanuts are optional, so you can easily adapt the recipe if you’re working with a food allergy.

What’s your favorite Friday night dinner?
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The Babymoov Anti-UV Tent is the perfect way to keep your baby cool and shaded when you’re outdoors. The top portion of the tent is made with an anti-UV material that blocks up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays keeping Baby’s sensitive skin safe from the sun. It measures a roomy, but not overly huge, 38.5″ x 30.5″ x 33″. The front of the tent has mosquito netting that can either be closed with the attached Velcro, or swept and tied to the side, completely out of the way. There is also a netted rear window that allows for a great breeze and viewing.

Summer Must-Have: Babymoov Anti-UV Tent

This adorable little tent weighs less than 3 pounds and folds flat, so toting it around can’t be any easier. Set up is a cinch since it practically pops up on its own once removed from its handy carrying case. The case also has a little pocket where you will find four tent stakes to keep your little lightweight tent from blowing away. The frame of the tent is made up of bendable wires  (think car window sun shade) and folds up just the same. My favorite was how easy it was to clean it up when we were done with it — just pick it up and shake it out!

Enter to win a Babymoov Anti-UV Tent in our #SummerScoop4Moms giveaway!

The only thing I had a little trouble with was refolding it, so back to the internet I went to watch the video a few times. I found there is a trick to it, but once you get it it’s pretty simple. My advice: Hold it upside down, bring the sides together — one side over the other like a burrito — and shove to the floor. It’s just that easy. But, just in case you still are having some trouble, here’s a video of how the fold is done according to Babymoov:

Happy camping!

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Tips and Tricks for Soothing Sunbursn
Soothing tips for sunburns

Sunburns happen, sometimes despite the most careful preparation. You research the best and safest sunscreens for your kids and forget to apply your own, just for the afternoon. You carefully slater your favorite lotion on your arms and shoulders and miss the tops of your ears. Your new bathing suit has a different cut. No matter what the reason, a sunburn hurts, but some tips for sunburn relief can help you feel better until your irritated skin heals.

Get out of the sun — immediately

Sunburns creep up on you. You might feel a little hot or tingly, but the real damage comes hours later as the sunburn develops. When you begin to notice even a little redness or heat on your skin, it’s time to get out of the sun. It will be worse later, and staying in the sun longer can cause more damage — and pain. If it’s impossible to find shade, throw on a rash guard, like this simple black and white Stripe Rashguard (Athleta, $64).

sunburn relief

Don’t be afraid to medicate

An anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, can help reduce the swelling in your skin. A dose of Advil before the sunburn has a chance to develop all the way can help ward off some of the discomfort you will eventually feel. Keep a travel-size container of Advil in your beach bag (, $3). Even if you never need it for sunburn relief, it will come in handy before the end of the summer for headaches or sore muscles from an overzealous run on the beach.

sunburn relief

Soothe your skin

Keeping skin gently soothed is one of the most difficult things about a sunburn. Showers sting, even when the lowest possible pressure is used. Try a bath instead, made using Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment (, $7). The powder is made with 100% colloidal oatmeal, which can soothe irritation and itchiness caused by sunburns, eczema or even poison ivy. The milky bath gently cleans as well as soothes, an added bonus for sunburn sufferers, as soap will dry out and irritate a burn even more.

sunburn relief

Slather on hydrating lotion

Keeping skin soft and hydrated will help the discomfort of a sunburn and prevent the skin from becoming drier and tighter. Pure aloe vera gel is a definite option, but a lotion or cream containing aloe and vitamin E can be even more beneficial. The Pure Life Aloe and Vitamin E Regenerative Cream will relieve dryness and help skin heal (Vita Cost, $8). The cream is free of paragons, alcohol, petroleum, artificial dyes and fragrances.

sunburn relief

Continue to treat your skin

Green tea compresses can provide additional skin relief. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea — we love Matcha Japanese Green Tea — can soothe skin and promote healing (Teavana, $45). To make a compress, simple brew your tea, let the liquid cool, soak a soft cloth in the steeped tea and gently hold against the sunburn.

sunburn relief


Stay hydrated — outside and in

Keep drinking water as well as using that fabulous aloe and vitamin E lotion. Keeping your body hydrated from the inside will help the healing process as well. Sunburn can cause your skin to lose water at a more rapid rate, so keeping a water bottle on hand will remind you to sip all day. It will also help to prevent headaches, another side effect from spending too much unprotected time in the sun. The Lifefactory Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve is an adorable way to keep your water on hand, in an environmental and health-friendly container (Lifefactory, $25).

sunburn relief

Do you have any tried and true tips for sunburn relief?
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Fruity Cocktails for Hot August Nights
Take advantage of local flavors for summer cocktails

Fresh, seasonal fruit is one of the most fabulous parts of summer. Use your best farmer’s market finds to add a burst of flavor to your cocktails to cool you down on these end-of-summer hot August nights. Summer cocktails make the most of fruity recipes and frozen drinks. These recipes can turn any gathering into a party!

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Cocktails filled with fruity flavors

Sarah Hearts crafts a tasty cocktail with her Grapefruit Mint Granita Punch. Not only is this fruit cocktail refreshing and filled with citrus flavor, the color is gorgeous. It’s perfect for a brunch or afternoon party, when your guests can sip it in the sun.

Boysenberry Mojitos from The Devil Wears Parsley take a classic cocktail and add a fruity twist one doesn’t often find in cocktail recipes. The boysenberries can be replaced by any summer berry, but why would you want to do that when these are so delicious just as they are?

Cooks with Cocktails knows the only thing better than a delicious, fruity cocktail is a fruity cocktail that adds ice cream to the mix. The Raspberry Vodka Sparkling Wine Float needs to immediately go on your must-try list before the end of summer. With ice cream involved, you can consider it dessert, too!

The Drink Blog takes the quintessential souther summer fruit — the juicy peach — and puts its flavor to work in the Peach Lime Rickey. The fizzy cocktail works perfectly for days when you want something refreshing, bubbly, and not overly sweet or syrupy.

If you prefer your cocktails a little more savory than sweet, definitely try the Grilled Pineapple-Jalapeno Summer Cocktail from Chili Pepper Madness. Flavored vodka and rum mean this cocktail packs quite the punch, so proceed with caution and enjoy the flavor kick from the fresh jalapeno.

Chef Savvy mixes up the Mixed Berry Mojito in less than five minutes. The rum-based cocktail takes advantage of the abundance of summer berries, muddled together to create a cool beverage bursting with flavor. If you love mojitos, she has other variations to try, too.

Refreshing frozen cocktails

Maya from Treats and Eats describes the Strawberry Margarita Granita as part half cocktail and half dessert — a combination that sounds just about perfect to us! You can change the ingredients to make this frozen treat non-alcoholic, which makes it a fun option for a party where you’ll be serving kids or friends who prefer not to drink alcohol.

A Pineapple Margarita from Foxy Folksy helps cool off the summer heat. The frozen cocktail is adapted from the classic margarita and uses the fresh flavors of summer blended together for a sweet, icy concoction.

In It 4 the Long Run offers a Frozen Paloma that’s a truly refreshing frozen cocktail made with a burst of citrus flavor. It pairs perfectly with Mexican food, so serve it with your favorite guacamole and chips and enjoy the warmth of the summer evenings.

Busy Mommy knows sometimes you don’t have to leave the lemonade stands to the little ones. The Spiked Pink Lemonade Frozen Fruit Cups are a special summer treat for your pool party guests. With a little prep work, you can freeze these the night before — they’ll be slushy in no time if you’re outside in the sunshine.

No summer cocktail list would be complete without a watermelon-based beverage. The Tequila Lime Watermelon Ice Shots from Czech In the Kitchen make the most of summer’s iconic fruit. Whether you’re using watermelon you have left over from a summer barbecue or buying it specifically for these icy treats, you won’t be disappointed.

Please share your favorite fruity cocktail with us!
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Campfire meals make eating outdoors fun

11 Campfire Meals & Desserts

Roasting hot dogs is a traditional campfire favorite, but there are ways to add variety to your campfire meals. From s’mores with a twist to toasted sandwiches, cooking over a campfire can produce fun meals sure to please kids and adults.

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Campfire dinners for your hungry campers

Easy Campfire Pizza from The Culinary Camper is so simple even the most novice camping chefs can create it. With tips about how much charcoal to use and how to make sure all the ingredients make it safely to the campsite, the recipe will quickly become a camping favorite. Check out The Culinary Camper for even more delicious camping recipes.

The Gunny Sack offers a Grilled Margherita Sandwich as your next must-have camping treat. The sandwich combines some of summer’s tastiest flavors — fresh basil and tomatoes are to-die-for — and presents them in a camping-friendly way. You won’t regret adding this sandwich to your camping meal rotation.

Grilled meat often rules the camping menu, but the Cilantro Lime Pulled Pork from Foods Of Our Lives is something a little different to prepare the next time you go camping. The greatest thing about this recipe is its versatility. Even picky campers will find a favorite way to eat this easily-prepared meal.

You don’t have to forego cheesy nachos just because you’re camping. Cooking with Janica knows nachos are a crowd pleaser, and the Campfire Pizza Nachos definitely need to make an appearance at your campfire by the time summer ends. Kids can help put the nacho toppings on the chips, giving them an opportunity to participate in meal prep for a camping dinner they’ll love.

Campfire side dishes

Campfire food doesn’t have to be monotonous. Try the Middle Eastern Spiced Campfire Chickpeas from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. While chickpeas might not seem like traditional camping food, they’re a fantastic, meatless alternative that shine when cooked over wood. You can make your own spice mix — included at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary — and use it for any variety of meals.

Olga’s Flavor Factory knows classic side dishes can be even better on the grill, like Grilled Baked Potatoes. Campers can choose and customize their own toppings before letting the potatoes cook. After they’re assembled, these do best when left to cook on their own, which means more time for campfire stories!

S’mores with a twist

Not all s’mores need to be a decadent dessert. The Big Man’s World offers Campfire S’mores Granola for a healthier twist on the gooey classic. The granola can be grilled or roasted over a campfire, so it can be pre-made before your camping trip or put together when everyone else is roasting marshmallows on a stick.

Sweet Peas & Saffron combines flavor favorites in Grilled Caramel Bacon S’mores. The salty, sweet combination is unbeatable almost anytime, but the warm, toasted marshmallow elevates the flavor combination to another level. Make them on a barbecue or make them over the campfire, but definitely try this version of s’mores before summer ends.

The Grilled Banana Boat S’mores at Create-Celebrate-Explore are the most adorable version of s’mores you’ll make this year. Heavy on the fruit, with a little bit of sweetness sprinkled on top, they’re a campfire treat you won’t mind serving to your little ones after a long day of camping.

Sweet campfire desserts

Bakes in Slippers has a warm Apple Crunch that makes every campfire meal end sweetly. Don’t forget your cast iron skillet for this one, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be to bake while camping.

Easy Baked Camping Apples from The Cookie Writer are a delicious, fruity dessert with simple preparation and even simpler clean-up. Tossing these apples atop a campfire can’t get much easier, and the recipe can be easily adapted to make them vegan-friendly.

What are your favorite campfire meals?
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The best beach reads are a perfect summer treat

Best books to read on the beach

Beach reading takes on a different meaning when you have little ones to chase after at the beach. The days of completely losing yourself in your favorite beach read won’t be recreated for another couple of years — unless you have someone with you to watch the kids. Moms need books that move quickly, make you smile, and are easy to pick up and put down without losing your place in the plot. Toss one of our best beach reads in your bag this summer and grab it in between snack sessions and sandcastle beach reads

The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke explores what would happen if you could literally use your Facebook statuses to change your life (Barnes & Noble, $11). The night of her rehearsal dinner, Kate’s fiancé, Max, breaks the news that he’s leaving her to be with her friend and co-worker. As Kate takes to her favorite social media platform to cope, she notices her world starts to mirror what she posts online. While trying to show her friends what’s happening, Kate notices changes, but every attempt to get back together with Max is foiled. Soon, she begins to ask herself if she truly wants the life she’s trying to shape one Facebook status at a time.

best beach reads

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave follows Georgia Ford, the daughter of California winemakers, as her perfect life begins to unravel in front of her eyes (Barnes & Noble, $17). Georgia’s life is filled with almost as many secrets as there are grapes in a bottle of wine — 800, as referenced by the title of the novel — and each of them threaten the relationships surrounding her. From a blistering truth about her fiancé to the inner workings of her parents’ marriage, Georgia is faced with how to move forward without sacrificing everything that’s been important to her in the past. This is the perfect read with a glass of wine — plastic if you’re actually at the beach while reading.

best beach reads

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin generated considerable buzz for the jaw-dropping details revealed in Martin’s memoir about life on the Upper East Side (Barnes & Noble, $16). Tales of “wife bonuses” and cutthroat social maneuverings were fantastic enough to be true and entertaining enough to be fiction. Using a sociologist’s perspective, Martin, a Ph.D. “studied” the women living in one of America’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Later, the buzz turned to curiosity as fact-checking revealed some of the holes in Martin’s memoir seemed to be stitched with thread from her imagination. Either way, this is a part of society you’ll love to goggle over while digging your feet in the sand.

best beach reads

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin chronicles Jess Dunne’s climb toward fame in America’s west coast city of dreams — Hollywood (Barnes & Noble, $19). Jess thought she had no use for her estranged mother, but the failed actress might hold the key to a career upgrade for Jess. She bounces from barista to personal assistant for a film composer, where her cooking catches the eye of an almost-A-list actress. Climbing up another rung in the Hollywood status ladder is the only thing on Jess’s mind, until her mother’s secrets threaten to unseat everything she’s gained.

best beach reads

The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis shows how the chips in family traditions can threaten to splinter relationships (Barnes & Noble, $12). The Herington sisters are looking forward to a relaxing summer at their family’s Cape Cod beach house, and each of them has her own reasons for needing to recharge and reconnect with her family. Nothing’s the same as it was in the past, and when their mother decides to make a surprise visit with her new boyfriend, tension rises. Their father’s never gotten over their divorce, and old and new heartbreaks lurk on the shores of Cape Cod for the whole family.

best beach reads

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume blends nostalgia and unparalleled storytelling into this highly anticipated novel (Barnes & Noble, $17). The queen of coming-of-age young adult novels, Blume crafts a tale spanning three generations. The story begins in 1987, when Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown and begins to remember the worst year of her life. In 1952, air travel was new, exotic and filled with promise — until planes started dropping out of the sky. With her deft touch for poignant reality, Blume’s tale explores how each generation deals with technological change, how loss shapes families and how life, always, goes on.


What are you reading this summer?
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