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Simple Recipes for Cool Meals on Hot Days

Lots of folks travel more during the summer - at the same time ingredients like fruits and vegetables are at their ripest and our urges skew toward lighter, easier, more-portable foods. If you're traveling this summer, you're in luck - every suite at our has an in-room kitchen. Maximize the benefits of your extended stay hotel in-room kitchen while enjoying this collection of Summer Food Ideas from our Simple. Better. Recipes collection.



Portable and Delicious

There is nothing better than nutritous, affordable, and highly portable veggie platters for snacking, with a meal, or to share at a picnic or pot-luck.

  1. Select diverse and colorful vegetables (4 oz. of total produce per person) including peppers, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, cauiflower, and beyond.
  2. Pick up 1 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt from the dairy and a packet of Ranch dressing spices from the salad dressing aisle. 
  3. Clean and chop veggies in to appropriate sized pieces (varies by vegetable choice) and place on platter - consider alternating green and colored veggies.
  4. Combine dairy and spice ingredients and put in a bowl. 
  5. Serve and enjoy.


Cool and Refreshing

Looking for something delicous and refreshing? Consider a bubbling freezer pop. These carbonated treats are bright, delicious, and ready to share.

  1. Pick up a sleeve of 8 oz. plastic cups or ice-pop molds (based on prefernce and budget) and a bundle of popsicle sticks.
  2. Choose 2 litres of grapefruit, lemon-lime, orange, or other fruity soda and 20 oz. of fruit juice to your liking.
  3. Combine soda and juice in cups or molds (note that soda expands when freezing so leave space).
  4. Freeze for two hours and then place sticks (in cups) and continue freezing for three to six more hours (until solid)
  5. Pop out of cups/molds and enjoy.


Just Like Outdoors

Foods, fresh off the grill, are the unofficial taste of summer. While you can't grill in your room or at our hotels, you can get fresh-grilled taste. Here's how:

  1. Head out and get all your meats and fixins for burgers, dogs, and brats including buns, and toppings.
  2. Also grab either an electric grill (like a George Foreman) or a grilling pan - both cost $10 - $20.
  3. Pick up a bottle of "liquid smoke" or "liquid barbecue" (both in the spices aisle of most stores).
  4. Add a few drops of the liquid to burgers or rub a little on other grilling meats before it hits the heat.
  5. Cook thoroughly, serve as desired, and enjoy.


Lunch, Dinner, Both

WoodSpring Hotels is all about keeping things "simple" but doing them better. This pasta salad, with a swap-out of the basic pasta is a great example.

  1. Purchase enough frozen or shelf tortellini (we like cheese-filled tri-color) for 3 oz. for each person you plan to feed.
  2. Pick up 1 oz. of feta or bleu cheese crumbles per person and 1/16 red onion per person, some cherry tomatoes, and Italian dressing.
  3. Boil water and cook pasta as instructed on packaging and then rinse and allow to cool.
  4. Chop onions and tomatoes, then toss cheese, pasta, veggies, and dressing together in a bowl.
  5. Chill until ready to serve then just plate and enjoy.


Summer in a Cup

Many of our guests are early-to-rise people with a long day of work ahead. Smoothies make a great breakfast - read in a few minutes, energy for hours.

  1. PIck a handful of fruits and veggies (in-season are cheaper) and stock up on fresh and frozen produce.
  2. Choose milk, plain yogurt, almond milk or other liquids and freeze some for ice (won't dilute when melting).
  3. Toss a handful of fruit, eight ounces of liquid, and a few ice cubes in a quick blender (about $25 at most retailers).
  4. Pour your smoothie in a glass or travel mug, rinse out your blender vessel, and grab a straw.
  5. Drink while reading the paper, walking, driving, or working. 


Ooey, Gooey, Convenience

We all love s'mores but the open fire, the sticks, and the in-dark assembly are downers. Consider these upgrades, made in your room - mess free.

  1. Pick up marshmallows (we like the flat ones), chocolate bars, and graham crackers at the grocery store.
  2. Put a graham square on a microwave-safe plate, paper towel, or dish and top with marshmallow and chocolate square.
  3. Microwave until the chocolate and marshmallow start to melt (about twenty seconds).
  4. Remove from microwave and top with graham square. The melting will continue from absorbed heat.
  5. Let stand for a moment and then enjoy while telling stories.