A Taste of Summer (with Recipes!)

by Guest Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz

Happy summer! Happy Fourth of July! In honor of this summer holiday, Carolyn invited me to bring along a few of my favorite recipes. She knows that I love to cook for my family and friends! Since I can’t cook for all of you in person, sharing these recipes is the next best thing. They’re all easy to make, and both the salad and dessert are definitely picnic-worthy.

Let’s start with the salad. I’m a Jersey girl, and this is the time of year when the corn and tomatoes are ready to go, fresh and flavorful. This warm salad uses your garden-fresh corn, tomatoes and herbs. If you don’t have any grilled corn, you can bake it in the oven–directions are at the bottom of the recipe.


corn and tomato salad2 ears corn on the cob
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato (any type of tomato works in this dish)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano (or 1 TBL dried oregano)

Grill or roast corn on the cob and allow to cool (directions for oven-baked corn are at the bottom of the recipe).
Stand corn on its end and cut kernels off the cob.
Saute onion in a little olive oil. When it begins to brown, add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add corn, tomatoes, salt and pepper to pan. When everything is heated through, add basil and oregano and toss until basil wilts. Serve warm.

Makes 8 side-dish servings.


Shuck corn and remove silk. Pour 1 TBL olive oil on a square of aluminum foil. Place corn on olive oil and roll it until entire ear is coated. Wrap corn in foil. Each corncob should be wrapped individually. Bake 20 minutes at 450. Allow to cool 10 minutes before unwrapping.


Now that you’ve enjoyed your salad, let’s move on to the main course. Carolyn specifically asked me to share this recipe. I wouldn’t feed it to the whole Fourth of July crowd, because shrimp is an extravagance, but it’s a simple dish that tastes like you fussed over it!


shrimp scampi1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp (raw, tails on)
3 TBL minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
cooked linguine for 4

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic to oil remaining in skillet along with red pepper flakes, wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and stir in shrimp. Remove skillet from heat.

Toss with cooked pasta and serve. Serves 4

If desired, sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley and lemon zest over the dish before serving.


Did you save room for dessert? I hope so, because I’ve got a real treat for you: CMP Brownies. A CMP is a chocolate-marshmallow-peanut ice cream sundae that was a local favorite in Scranton, PA, where I went to Marywood College. It’s a great combination, so I decided to re-create it in a brownie. This is a dressed-up box mix, which makes these brownies easy to put together. These brownies are rich, so a little goes a long way.


Makes 24 brownies.

CMP brownies1 box chocolate fudge brownie mix, prepared as directed
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup marshmallow créme
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven as directed on box of brownie mix. Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray (I like to use the nonstick foil and skip the spray.)

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes (less than directed on package). Remove from oven and allow to set 3 minutes.

Mix peanut butter and milk until smooth. This will take a few minutes of vigorous stirring. Spread on top of brownies with a wide icing spatula.

Dollop marshmallow créme on top of the peanut butter. Allow to soften a bit, then spread across the top of the brownies.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanuts on top.

Return pan to oven for 8 minutes more.

Cool completely before serving.

About Barb Szyszkiewicz

Barb is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan, freelance writer/editor, and editorial consultant at CatholicMom.com. Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb volunteers at the school library and is a music minister at her parish. She is also an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Barb blogs at FranciscanMom and shares her family’s favorite recipes at Cook and Count.

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