No-fuss summertime treats

Jul 9, 2014 at 6:37 p.m. ET

No-cook, no-bake, no-fuss recipes from QVC’s Resident Foodie and Cookbook Author David Venable.

No-cook, no-bake, no-fuss recipes from QVC’s Resident Foodie and Cookbook Author David Venable.

Even if the temperatures are rising outside, keep things cool inside the kitchen with my fast and easy heat-free recipes. Evenings in the summer can be spent in much better ways than slaving over a hot stove or oven. I'm always looking for easy, no-bake meals to beat the heat during the warmest months of the year. Here are four of my favorites, some sweet, some savory, and no heat necessary.

Garden veggie dip in a bread bowl

Serves 8-10

David’s insider tip: "Next time you're craving creamy veggie dip, stray from the pre-made packets and make your own garden-fresh bowl of goodness."


  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup halved canned artichokes
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 1 scallion, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup packed basil leaves
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 round loaf of pumpernickel bread


  1. Add the carrots, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, scallion, garlic, cucumber, parsley and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse the ingredients until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size bowl.
  2. Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar to the food processor and mix until smooth. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the chopped vegetables. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. While the dip is chilling, prepare the bread bowl. Cut a 1-inch-thick slice from the top of the bread and slice it into cubes for dipping. Hollow out the inside of the loaf, stir the chilled dip, and scoop it into the bread bowl.

S'mores dirt cake

Makes 14–16 servings

David’s insider tip: "My most popular recipe to date, this dessert tastes just like your favorite campfire treat but gets an elegant treatment in a beautiful trifle bowl."


  • 1 (14.4-ounce) box chocolate graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 3-2/3 cups whole milk
  • 2 (3.5-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (7.5-ounce) jars marshmallow creme
  • 1 (11.5-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) bag mini marshmallows, divided


  1. Place the graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the milk and the instant pudding in a large mixing bowl until thick and well mixed. Set aside.
  3. Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme to the bowl and whip until fully incorporated. Add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix until evenly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and 3-1/2 cups mini marshmallows to the cream cheese pudding mixture until fully incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  5. Layer the pudding mixture and the graham cracker pieces in a large trifle bowl, starting and finishing with the graham crackers. Layer the rest of the mini marshmallows on top and carefully burn or brown the marshmallows with a handheld blowtorch, as you would over a campfire. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Key lime cheesecake milkshakes

Makes 6–8 servings

David’s insider tip: "It's great to have a milkshake recipe on hand that you can make at home. They are so much fun for the kids, and are a nice, cool dessert option for summer. This tastes just like a key lime pie, or maybe a cheesecake. Either way, it is jaw-dropping delicious."


  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 full graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • Lime slices, for garnish


  1. Place the ice cream, cream cheese, key lime juice, milk, and graham crackers into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the drink into glasses and garnish each with a lime slice.

Antipasto pinwheels

Serves 4–8

David’s insider tip: "This recipe is perfect picnic food. Wrap the pinwheels up in some foil, pack a container full of fruit and a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips and you're set."


  • 3/4 cup giardiniera
  • 2 pepperoncini peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Whole canned artichokes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • Sun-dried tomato or spinach-flavored 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 thin slices mortadella
  • 12 thin slices Provolone
  • 16 thin slices Genoa salami
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • Sandwich picks


  1. Add the giardiniera, pepperoncini, olives, tomatoes, capers and artichokes to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients are finely chopped. Reserve.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl. Place the tortillas on a flat work surface.
  3. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the pesto mayonnaise on each tortilla. Layer 2 slices of mortadella, 3 slices of Provolone, 4 slices of salami and 3 slices of prosciutto over the mayonnaise spread, covering most of the surface of the tortilla.
  4. Spread about 1/3 cup of the reserved chopped vegetables over the surface of the meat. Roll the filled tortillas and secure with 5-6 sandwich picks along the seam of each, about 1 inch apart. Slice about 1/2 inch off of each end of the tortilla and discard. Repeat the process with remaining tortillas.
  5. Slice each tortilla between each sandwich pick, creating pinwheels. Serve.