Squash Fritters with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Making squash fritters is a tasty and unique way to use the abundance of squash in the Summer. These fritters can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish or as even a savory bread if you like.

Steaming the squash first ensures it's done cooking when the breading is perfectly golden.  I use a small ice cream scoop to divide the batter most often, but, for a smaller fritter, use a teaspoon or tablespoon.  I've included a simple dipping sauce, too.  If you love squash, or even if you don't, these fritters are worth the small amount of effort to make.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Vegetables

I love using my slow cooker year-round.  In the cold months, it works to keep us filled with hearty soups and stews, and in the warm months it keeps my kitchen cool.  This one pot slow cooker meal has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion for my family.

When slow cooking whole birds such as chicken or turkey there are a few things you need to know.  First of all, slow cookers provide a moist cooking environment but, won't crisp the skin.  If you enjoy crispy skin, you'll need to go one extra step and place the bird under the oven boiler for a few minutes at the end of cooking to brown and crisp the skin.  The color of the finished product will also depend on the seasoning rub used.  For this roast chicken, I used rotisserie chicken seasoning and I crisped the skin under the broiler for 4 minutes.  If you opt to use a seasoning that doesn't have paprika or some sort of crushed red chili in it, the color of your chicken may appear different. Also, slow cookers just like ovens, can vary in intensity of heat, so adjust the cooking time based on how your equipment cooks.

The vegetables in this dish form a sort of tasty "rack" for the chicken to sit on and the juices and seasoning from the chicken lend a spectacular flavor to them while cooking.  Experiment with your favorite root vegetables and enjoy roast chicken with very little effort.

Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake Trifle

Trifle is such a popular dessert and I always get rave reviews when I serve it.  This trifle starts with my Lemon-Raspberry Sour Cream Pound Cake, then it's layered with a homemade lemon laced cheesecake mousse and fresh sweet raspberries.

I recently made this trifle to take to our Summer neighborhood block party.  I have the greatest neighbors and I wanted to take something for everyone to enjoy.  The bowl was returned to me empty and squeaky clean.  So this dish has been family and neighbor approved.  For the crowning touch top it off with fresh lemon zest and grated white chocolate for a world class sweet treat.

Hawaiian Pineapple-Coconut Loaf

The island flavors in this Hawaiian pineapple-coconut loaf cake will take you away.  I love the combination of sweet pineapple, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts.  It's so very tasty served with tea or coffee any time of day.

I think loaf cakes are perfect for smaller gatherings when you don't want tons of leftovers, too.  You can serve this on it's own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  It's moist and delicious.

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