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By Jennifer A. Wickes: Other Articles by Jennifer

(Recipes below)
In the summer, who has time to spend hours in the kitchen baking cakes or pies?  The sun is shining, flowers are blooming in the garden and there are barbecues and picnics waiting to be had all over town.  Family and friends are coming to visit.  It is far too hot to be cooking inside, plus we should be enjoying this fabulous weather with our family and friends!

During the summertime, I prefer to spend a little time in the kitchen making something for my family and friends.  I find it a joy to take a little of my time creating something lovely for all to enjoy.  It shows them how much I care.  Anyone can pick up a pie at the grocery store.  But what people do not realize, anyone can assemble these desserts too!

These quick and easy-to-prepare desserts are also quite elegant.  From delicious peaches to rich whipped cream, from traditional flavors to more exotic tastes, the possibilities are endless!  You can even trying playing with the flavors and substituting ingredients so you can come up with your own signature dish!  If you don’t like peaches, try strawberries!  It’s all up to you!  Take advantage of fresh produce.  I find it exciting to eat fresh berries in the summertime.  Guests would enjoy that much better on a hot day as opposed to pumpkin pie or a cake.

Remember to think light.  During the summer months, people are warmer and are more weight-conscious and therefore prefer lighter dishes.  Peaches with Red Wine and Lemon Ice are perfect for the finale to a wonderful barbecue!  If you have been at the beach or pool all day, why not end your day with a fabulous trifle?  And to really wow your guests, the mousse and the syllabub will definitely etch your meal in their memories!

Impress your friends and family with one of the desserts at your next gathering and serve up a feast that will not be forgotten!


Yields: 6 servings

    • 3 cups peaches, sliced, fresh or frozen
    • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • Mint for garnish

Divide the peach slices into 6 goblets or bowls.

Whisk sugar into the red wine and divide evenly between the servings.

Garnish each with a mint leaf.

Other ideas: Try strawberries with a chardonnay!


Yields: 6 servings

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup whiskey

Whip cream until it forms soft peaks.  Be careful not to over whip, or the cream will turn into butter.

In a separate bowl, combine the honey and whisky.  Fold gently into the whipped cream.

Fill 6 margarita glasses and chill until served.

Serve with cookies.

Other ideas:
Maybe Bailey’s Irish Cream will do!

Yields: 6 servings

    • 1/4 cup mango jam
    • 1/4 white rum
    • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 6 tbsp. Icing sugar
    • Fresh grated nutmeg

Mix the mango jam and rum together until smooth.

Whip the whipped cream until it forms soft peaks, then add the sugar and whip again.

Fold the mango rum mixture gently into the whipped cream.

Fill wine glasses and grate some nutmeg on top.

Chill until ready to serve.

Serve cookies.

Other ideas:
Attempt guava jam with port!

Yields: 6 servings

    • 1 package pound cake
    • 2 8-ounce jars lemon curd
    • 1 16-ounce package whipped topping
    • 2 pints blueberries

Cut the pound cake into pieces and place a third of them at the bottom of a trifle bowl.

Mix the whipped topping and lemon curd together to form a mousse.

Add some of the mousse on top the pound cake.

Add some of the berries.

Repeat until you end with blueberries on top.

Other ideas: Use raspberries instead!

Yields: 6 servings

    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup superfine sugar
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice

In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, sugar and lemon zest.

Remove from heat once the sugar has dissolved completely.

Cool completely.  Then, combine with the lemon juice.

Place the ice in a 9” x 13” baking pan and place in the freezer.  Every 30 minutes, pull the ice out and scrape with a fork.  When the mixture is scoopable, it is ready to serve.

Serve in bowls or wine glasses.  Garnish with a lemon slice and a piece of mint.

Other ideas: Use limes in place of lemons.

With over 25 years of cooking experience and a certification in Food and Nutrition, Jennifer A. Wickes is a professional freelance food writer, recipe developer and cookbook reviewer. Her work can be found in The Library Journal, Garden Plate magazine,, Ernest & Julio Gallo's Turning Leaf Wine brochure, Bon Appetit, and much more. She is working on her first cookbook.

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