Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Saturday Seven.

7 fun and easy recipes including dessert nachos, strawberry popsicles, s'mores cupcakes, and sand dollar cookies!

Welcome back, weekenders! Hopefully you’re all doing something fun this weekend as summer sneaks in. This weekend we’re going camping down in Maryland. I know it seems a little out of character, but I actually love to go camping. Maybe it’s all the s’mores.

Yup. It’s the s’mores.

Side note. And this is completely random. I’m typing this post as I chow down on a take-out Fuji apple chicken salad from Panera. Have you ever had it before? I always order it with extra apple chips. Because yum. The onions, the gorgonzola, the PECANS. I should probably just make this myself at home. What do you usually get at Panera?

End rant my blabber.

With June right ahead of us, I’m sharing 7 favorite warm weather recipes with you today. All of these recipes are relatively easy to make, just as all summer recipes should be.

Speaking of salad… you have to try my Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad. Complete with avocado, blueberries, and poppy seed dressing. This salad literally has everything. Except beets. I do not like beets.

Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad with Avocado_-3

Oh and speaking of s’mores too… S’MORES CUPCAKES!

S'more Cupcakes

After that cupcake, you might want something a little less sweatpants and a little more bikini. I bring you my Strawberry Mango Breakfast Smoothie.

Strawberry Mango Breakfast Smoothies-4

Alsooooooo, those 3 ingredient Strawberry Banana Pops.

Strawberry Banana Popsicles-4

Zucchini bread! Award-winning too. This is actually Kevin’s recipe. He won the state fair with it when he was young. He and I? Totally meant to be.

PS: I add streusel on top!

Award Winning Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

You can make it into muffins too!

Award Winning Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread-7

It’s not summer without a ginormous plate of Dessert Nachos.

These homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chips are LEGIT.

Dessert Nachos

Sand Dollar Cookies. Can you handle this cuteness!?

Sand Dollar Cookies! There is nothing not to love about them!

Want more summer recipe inspiration? Here you go!


Q: Have you tried any of these recipes before? Thoughts?

Q: What are your favorite summer recipes?



  1. Sally, I’ve been following your blog for nearly two years now, and I just have to let you know how amazing you are! You’re the sweetest, most genuine blogger, with the perfect balance of recipes, tips & tricks and personal stories; not to mention the drool-worthy photos. I’ve made so many of your treats over and over again: your Master Muffin Mix, chocolate chip cookies (both recipes), banana and pumpkin breads, carrot cake, cinnamon rolls (my favorite!), brownies, crumb cake, pretzel bites, Oreo cake… the list goes on and on. I just ordered your cookbook off Amazon (why on earth it took me this long, I cannot say) and can’t wait to try through those recipes.
    Thanks for everything and keep up the good work.
    Much love (and a very happy belated birthday) from a broke college student all the way over in Switzerland!

  2. I can’t tell you how much I love the zucchini muffins. Actually, they are on my to do list, I need to get the zucchini out of the freezer. I actually planted 4 zucchini plants this week in the garden dreaming of the zucchini muffins I will get to make.

    I think I am gong to try the Strawberry banana pops – my vegetable/fruit averse teenager might actually like them. (I know that I will!!) Happy camping!!

  3. Have a great time camping and enjoy those s’mores 🙂

  4. Have a wonderful camping trip! I think smores are a perfectly legitimate reason to like camping. 😉 I love those cupcakes and the salad…I really want to make zucchini bread, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it. This summer!

  5. That Strawberry Mango Breakfast Smoothie with the granola…I’m pretty sure it’s my summer spirit animal! I want to try it every.dang.time I see pictures of it, and I think this week may be the week!

  6. I usually make marble cake to take camping because it’s large and handles the travelling.  Although when we camp inFrance we’re too busy eating patisserie to need marble cake!

    Liking the look of the zucchini bread (we’d probably call it a courgette loaf cake here!), and I especially like the fact that it’s Kevin’s prize-winning contribution.  My husband was always very proud to tell me that he won the Chocolate Log competition back at school, but that’s been about the limit of his contribution to baking since…

  7. The s’mores cupcakes look just amazing! A must have for summer. I love the giant cookies from Panera, their bakery section always looks so good!

  8. These look lovely and I cant wait to try them out. Great for a party or small gathering 

    Fancy Dress

  9. We (my toddler and I) made the Strawberry Banana popsicles with our new Zoku Polar Popsicles (I recommend checking out the cuteness of them) and they are super, yummy delish and quick (key with a toddler)! Thanks for a simple recipe for pops.

  10. s’mores making camping almooost worth it 😛

  11. Hi Sally! I absolutely LOVE your blog!!! I just had a quick question I have your amazing cookbook and Lord willing I’m going to be making your peanut butter cookies soon 🙂 but I was just wondering can I substitute the crunchy peanut butter for creamy? And can I leave out the peanuts so that it is just a soft peanut butter cookie?   Thanks!   God bless! 

  12. Sally–I just got back from a 5k, 10k, and duathalon race! I was in the 5k. 5th in my division isn’t bad, right? It was freezing when I ran because wind=cold, and so now my hair makes me look like a madwoman. 🙁 Although, it was a fun race! First half, I wasn’t really in the zone, but then I got more in the zone on the second half. Yay!

  13. We’re going camping for a week this summer. Never been camping that long, but we sure will be enjoying a lot of s’mores! I’ll have to try out the strawberry banana pops- I don’t think I can go long without making some kind of sweet!

  14. Being a pescetarian (too many -arians, yeesh!), it makes it hard for me to resist the special Panera salads. I die. Gorgonzola is my downfall. YOU DON’T LIKE BEETS?!?! Not even marinated in vinegar?!? I die. Use them as lipstick, that’s how my mom got me to eat them when I was little. 😉
    I can vouch the zucchini bread is BOMB. I don’t even know how many times I made it last summer. Mmm streusel.

    • Laur, you can order that Fuji apple chicken salad without chicken. I’ve done it before. In my opinion, it’s just as tasty. Sometimes the cuts of chicken on that salad are over seasoned. And maybe I just haven’t tried beets the right way before? I just… can’t do ’em!

  15. Wow all of these look so tasty. I’m not even a fan of salad and you’ve made it look amazing! The s’mores cupcakes look so good! s’mores are a nice treat when we visit America, can’t make them the same here unfortunately.

    Alison At Home!

  16. Hey Sally! I have a funny story to tell you….well, you should know, I’m 13 and I haven’t been baking for very long. My mom never bakes, so, thanks to my aunt we JUST got a Kitchen-Aid. I wanted to try it out on your Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies which, by the way, are DEEEE-LICIOUS!!!!! So this morning I decided to make up the batter. My mom was out shopping and I thought that it would be a perfect time. ☺ I started out by getting all my ingredients together. It was a good thing I did, because I found we had like ONE CUP of flour. It is not a good thing to start baking in the kitchen of a non-baker LOL!! So, I had to walk over to my grandparent’s house (they live about 600 feet away) and borrow some flour. Finally I could start working on my cookies. Everything worked out OK thanks to your detailed descriptions and I was ready to roll out the dough. THEN I found that we did not have a rolling pin! I was like, SERIOUSLY!?? My mom has been cooking for us for 15 years and she DOESN’T HAVE A ROLLING PIN??? So I went into the pantry and found a glass jar (thankfully it had smooth sides and no labels) to roll out the dough. Fortunately it worked like a charm and I was ready to put them in the fridge. After they chilled, I had one more sabotage! ONE sheet pan! My mom hadn’t washed up the new sheet pans my grandmother bought her (because she NEVER buys practical things LOL) so I had to use that lone sheet pan to make my three batches of cookies! Oh my!!
    By the time all the cookies were baked I was ready to laugh out loud because seriously, baking cookies should not be THIS eventful. Anyway, there’s my little story. Hope it made you laugh and have a fantastic day!

  17. Hi Sally, Your website and recipes are amazing! Do you answer random baking questions? I am having a repeating problem where I follow a recipe exactly but when I pull it out of the oven it is not cooked through. I can put it back in for 10 mins and it may still not be done. Besides my oven temp being off, is there something I may be doing wrong to cause this. PS, I am not referring to your recipes, they have been a dream1 Thanks so very much!!!

    • Sarah, thank you. Make sure you are baking the item on the center rack, unless otherwise noted in the recipe. I always bake breads and cakes on the lower third rack. Please check your oven temperature. Depending on what you are baking, you can put your item back in the oven until it is cooked through.

  18. Dear sally !

    I think you are amazing ! Your recipes are delicious! Your email are the 1st ones I read and I love it , can’t wit for your 2nd book alraedy ! Your blog is so good ! I would put all of it in a printed cookbook if I could or maybe 2 or 3 ,I don’t think there is a recipe of you that I don’t like ! I must try this zucchini bread for my kids and the sand dollar cookies for me 😉

  19. I LOVE the Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad!!  It’s so summery and delicious!  It’s been awhile, so it should get back into the dinner rotation this week! (and leftovers for lunch)  I’ve also made the S’mores cupcakes…they were a huge hit at a July 4th bbq!

  20. I love Panera’s Sierra Turkey.. I share it with my son to cut the calories.. Do not ever look up the calories unless your ready to be disappointed. Lol

  21. The Zucchini bread looks so tasty and interesting! I really want to try making this now ^_^

  22. These all look fantastic- especially that fruity chicken salad, it’s calling my name!

    On Saturday I made an adaptation of your coffee cake (added strawberries+rhubarb, subbed almond milk) and it was so moist and delicious…it didn’t make it past Sunday morning!

  23. Your pictures always make my mouth water! I can’t deal lol

  24. Hi Sally,
    Those Dessert Nachos look amazing!  I need to try those some time!  I just made your Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Crumb cake the other day.  It is soooo yummy!  Could you maybe come up with a ice cream or gelato recipe without using an ice cream machine, please?  

  25. I love a good zucchini bread – I can’t believe I haven’t tried your recipe yet! Going on the list for our next long weekend! 
    I hope you are enjoying the summer weather! We are enjoying some cooler days, which is the best time for baking in our house! Oh and long walks along the water to balance it all out 🙂 

  26. Though I haven’ttried those recipes (yet), I love simple Popsicles made from Orange juice and frozen berries! healthy and to die for!

  27. When it comes to Panera, I love a half grilled cheese/half Caesar salad combo. Unless, of course, they have their baked potato soup, which my Irish blood can’t pass up! 

    I can’t wait to try out those dessert nachos! I bake for others (it just a perk that I love it), and that’s the perfect dish to share!

    On a side note, I started a new job on the Main Line a couple months ago, and I brought in your Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups on my first day. My boss loved them, and he told me last week “You’ve been late a couple times…but bring in those peanut butter cups again, and all is forgiven.” I brought in 24 this morning: half for him, and half for the rest of the office. So thanks for helping me stay employed! 

  28. My 1 year old is allergic to milk so she doesn’t get to experience the joy of eating ice cream on a hot summer day. So I tried the strawberry banana popsicles last week and she went nuts over them! Looks like those could become a regular in our house. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *