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No-cook & barely-cook party recipes

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Simple summer dishes

Serve up an easy-to-make meal at your next summer gathering -- just pick one (or more) of these appetizers, entrées and desserts! Since there’s little to no cooking required, you won’t have to heat up the kitchen or miss out on the fun.

Simple summer dishes


With recipes this simple, you can serve soup and salad!

Fresh berry soup with white wine

Jolan Turkington, certified sommelier and an experienced cook, offers a refreshing, delicious combination of white wine and fruit.


  • 1 bottle white wine (a light, crisp variety is best)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 cups sliced berries (strawberries, blueberries and/or raspberries) 
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • splash of fresh lemon juice


  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the wine and sugar; boil for about five minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the fruit and fruit juices.
  3. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend.
  4. Serve in big wine glasses with spoons.

Sassy watermelon mint salad

With this 15-minute recipe, certified holistic health counselor and nutritionist Latham Thomas uses the flavor and nutritional power of watermelon — rich in vitamins A, B and C, lycopene, magnesium and potassium.


  • 1 5-pound watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)


  1. Cut the watermelon into one-inch chunks, slice the onion into thin rings and soak in a bowl of cold water for at least an hour.
  2. Discard the water and remove onions.
  3. In a large bowl, add the watermelon, mint, cilantro, parsley, lime juice and onions; gently mix, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Sprinkle feta on top.

Next up: Simple side dishes

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