By Rebecca Fending
Here we are in summery August again. The sweltering heat may be getting to some of us at this point (if I’m not in air conditioning or a body of water, I turn into a different person). But fear not—we have plenty of tips inside on how to get through the heat, stay hydrated and even enjoy the rest of the summer with tasty recipes.
As a kid, I loved summer because it meant no school. Summer was full of trips to the pool and long afternoons in the backyard, shielded by the shade of trees. However, as I grew up, the season turned into summer projects and working dinky retail jobs to earn extra cash that I couldn’t while in school. That’s not to say summer got less fun; it just turned into a different kind of freedom.
When May would roll around, it meant catching back up with old friends who would be in town visiting family to enjoy their college summer break. Late nights of giggling about nothing and pretending we knew what to expect once adulthood would finally hit us. The joke was on us because we’re still not sure what the future holds in the current climate.
The late summer heat may have us looking for easy, no-heat recipes that aren’t just salads and fresh fruit. As much as fresh produce is refreshing and delicious, it can definitely get boring. And it’s hard enough to keep your home cool without the added heat from the kitchen, so that definitely leaves out the oven for any cooking or baking.
I remember my mom making this no-bake dessert when I was a kid, and it was always a hit with our family or any guests we had over. It’s ideal for feeding a crowd of all ages. But don’t let the name fool you; it is certainly not a salad. Far from it, really. It’s frozen fresh strawberries, Jell-O, cream cheese and crushed pretzels. That’s pretty much it, but the flavors all work together so well that it’s the perfect summer dessert for any occasion.
Summer Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Serves 8 to 10
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 (8 ounces) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 (3 ounces) packages strawberry flavored Jell-O
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 (10 ounces) packages frozen strawberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
- Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.