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Nothing says summer like beautiful salads, burgers, pizza and smores.

We had an awesome last weekend of summer and spent two different nights entertaining friends with just that, burgers, pizza and salads ( not all together of course!)

This is our patio…

In my dreams, it looks like this…


On the menu..

Night #1-

Roasted Beet Salad with walnuts and goat cheese– Thank you Once Upon a Chef!  ( recipe here)

* For the beet salad, I didn’t use any greens.  I used Golden Beets and whole grain mustard and white balsamic vinegar ( because I didn’t have Dijon and red wine vinegar…that’s how I roll)

Caprese salad with home grown tomatoes and a balsamic reduction – Thank you Pioneer Woman! (recipe here)  I wish I would have taken a photo.  This salad was BEAUTIFUL!!  I used heirloom tomatoes, yellow and red from my garden and alternated them with buffalo mozzarella… yum!

Sweet Potato fries– Thank you Paula Deen!! (recipe here)

Home Grown Zucchini grilled with olive oil and vinegar with herbs.

Grass-fed beef burgers with garlic aiolii… gotta love Allrecipes.com!  I used Olive Oil mayo and this really gave the burgers and sweet potato fries an extra little kick!

Smores roasted in the chiminea for dessert!

The best part about this meal, was that I was able to prepare all the salads and cut the sweet potatoes in advance so that when our friends arrived, all I had to do was throw the burgers on the grill and the sweet potatoes in the oven… I even served the zucchini cold and grilled it earlier that day!

Night #2-


I made a schnike load of pizza dough ( I know that’s not a word, but I say it and I think you get my vibe here…) and asked our guest to bring their favorite toppings.

You’ve gotta love a little Martha Stewart cornmeal pizza crust

We had a great time making a ton of pizza combos and as the pizzas came out of the oven, we all sampled at our leisure ( except for Maddox and Brent who had gluten-free pizza and BEEF respectively) .  So fun, so casual, so perfect.

This was by far our favorite of the night…

Pesto sauce, basil, sun-dried tomato, carmelized onions, artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese and a perfect sprinkle of feta after it cooked.  Delish.

I added a basic green salad with field greens, cucumber, tomato, and avocado.

Last but not least, a repeat performance of, yes you guessed it, smores!

Another great summer meal!

What meal says “summer” to you?