Pina Colada Cake

National Pina Colada Day is July 10th, and you can have your drink and eat it too.  Nothing says summertime like a tiki cocktail, and when you turn those flavors into a boozy cake, it is pretty much a guaranteed baking win.  This cake is packed full of coconut and pineapple in various forms and has rum in the cake, frosting and layering components.  The perfect balance of creaminess, fruitiness and rum-ness.  Hello summer!

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Meatball Subs with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Meatball subs may seem a little heavy for the summer, but subbing fresh tomatoes and basil in for regular tomato sauce puts a lighter spin on it and uses up some of that summertime garden bounty.  Even as a former vegetarian, I really enjoy using the meat grinder.  Ground meat at the grocery store always grossed me out a bit.  It seems inevitable that you often end up with some gristle or a texture that is more like meat paste than ground meat.  Being able to grind your own not only lets you control the texture and quality but lets you customize your own blends with different cuts of meat from different types of animals.  And the freshness compared to store-bought ground meat is night and day.

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Blueberry Cobbler with Cookie Dough Topping

Blueberries are the quintessential summertime fruit to me.  For as long as I can remember, my parents have had row upon row of blueberry bushes.  While I hated picking my daily quota per the summer chore chart as a kid, I certainly didn’t mind stuffing my face with them.  It’s hard to get much better than sun-warmed fruit picked at its peak and eaten right away.  Except maybe when you turn it into cobbler.  This is one of my husband’s favorites, because instead of a traditional cobbler topping, you use cookie dough to top fresh blueberries that have been tossed with a little coriander, lemon juice and sugar.  Add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and you have summer dessert bliss.  I’ll definitely be whipping this up for Father’s Day.

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