Back to articles For Parents Only: Great Easy (Grown-Up) Recipes for Entertaining this Summer

Categories: Parent Picks

Get your summer entertaining off to a fast and fresh start with these quick and easy nibbles that you can throw together in a snap. I?ve kept the cooking to a minimum so you don?t heat up the kitchen and melt the ice cubes in your drink! Play with the flavours a little to suit your tastes, adapt to your pantry ingredients and make them your own signature summer style!

Brie Bundles

Makes 12

Preparation Time:          10 minutes

Cooking Time:               0 minutes

Notes:  Sweet, savoury and delicious – these little bites burst with freshness for a quick summer appetizer.



        12 small pieces of seedless watermelon, cut into squares, about 1 inch in diameter

·         12 thin slices brie, about the same dimensions as the watermelon slices

·         12 slices prosciutto

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Place a piece of brie on top of each watermelon rectangle and wrap each with a sliced of ham. Secure with a toothpick.  Sprinkle with chopped mint and serve.



Scallop Martinis

Serves 4

Preparation Time:          10 minutes + 1 hour marinade time

Cooking Time:               4 minutes



·         125ml (1/2 cup) vodka

·         50ml (1/4 cup) lime juice

·         2 tsp chopped red chilli pepper

·         1 tbsp olive oil

·         12 large scallops

·         Salt and freshly ground pepper

·         ½ finely chopped red pepper

·         ½ finely chopped yellow pepper

·         2 green onions, finely chopped

·         4 sprigs coriander


1. Combine vodka, lime juice and chilli pepper in bowl.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Sear about 2 minutes per side or until scallops are browned on the outside but still translucent in the centre.

3. Place scallops on board and cut into half or quarters if large and add to vodka mixture. Let marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

4.  When ready to serve, stir in the chopped peppers and green onions.  Divide scallop mixture between 4 martini glasses adding some marinade. Garnish with coriander. Serve at once.


Champagne Peaches

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time:          10 minutes plus 1 hour marinating time

Cooking Time:               3-5 minutes

Notes:                           Feel free to substitute nectarines or plums in this recipe.



·         250 ml (1 cup) water

·         ½ cup sugar

·         4 local peaches, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

·         500ml (2 cups) sparkling wine or champagne

·         Whipped cream to serve


1.     Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.

2.     Add peaches and sparkling wine.  Allow to sit for 1 hour or in the refrigerator overnight.

3.     When ready to serve, spoon the peaches into individual serving dishes (martini glasses are fun) and top with some of the sparkling wine marinade and a dollop of whipped cream.


About the Author: Nadine Hughes is the creator and owner of, The Cook’s Companion and The Menu Companion, through which she offers kitchen consultations, menu planning services as well as private cooking classes for adults and teens throughout Southern Ontario. She is also an award winning author.  Pick up a copy of her latest cookbook “The Groove Mamma Goes Gourmet – Easy Ways To Put The Fun Back Into Entertaining” (awarded Best Canadian Entertaining Cookbook at the 2009 Gourmand Cookbook Awards) for $7.98 at