Healthy girl summer
Beloved actress, cookbook author, and lifestyle guru Tia Mowry knows a thing or two about healthy girl summers and shared her fave food pairings & hosting tips to help you prep for all of your seasonal sipping and kick-backs.
From her go-to style choices to her favorite tunes to get the party started, Tia shares how she’ll be hosting alfresco gatherings with tasty eats that pair perfectly with Italy’s #1 cocktail: the Aperol Spritz!
Peep her easy-to-follow recipes and guest entertaining tips below:
Herb Goat Cheese Crostini with Prosciutto and Fig
Serves 10-12 as an appetizer
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 1 french baguette
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
• 10 oz goat cheese, softened
• 4 oz cream cheese or mascarpone, softened
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 4 oz prosciutto or salami, sliced in half
• 10 ripe figs, stemmed and thinly sliced.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette into ¼ to ½ in thick slices on the bias. Place on sheet trays in a single layer. Generously drizzle with half of the oil. Flip and drizzle with the remaining oil. Place in the oven, bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool. In a large bowl, add goat cheese, cream cheese, lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper. Using a fork, mash, and blend cheese together. Spread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese mixture on toasted bread. Top with half a slice of prosciutto and sliced fig. Place on platter, drizzle with oil, and serve.
Tia’s Tips: Make crostini a day ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Prepare cheese mixture ahead of time, remove from refrigerator an hour before using. The mixture will spread easier. I love to have this with an Aperol Spritz on the side on a warm summer day!
Pesto Tortellini Salad with Arugula and Peas
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 16 oz cheese-filled tortellini
• 1/2 cup premade basil pesto
• 3 cups arugula
• 2 cup frozen peas
• Parmesan wedge
• Salt and pepper
Directions: Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water and drain pasta. Return hot pasta to pot, add pesto, arugula, and frozen peas. Toss until pasta is covered in sauce and arugula has wilted and peas defrost. If pasta seems dry, add a little bit of pasta water and stir. Pour the tortellini into a large bowl. Allow to cool completely. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, top with shaved parmesan cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.
Tia’s Tip: Making the pasta a day ahead will allow the flavor to blend better. Substitute any pasta for the tortellini. This pairs well with the Aperol Spritz, which is my drink of summer!
Summer Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Peaches
Servings 6-8 as an appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
• 3-4 assorted heirloom tomatoes, medium size works best
• 3 small ripe peaches, washed
• 16 ounces (4-4oz balls) burrata
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
• 10-15 basil Leaves, washed
Directions: Wash and dry all tomatoes and slice them into ¼ slices. Remove core from any slices that may have one. Place on platter, overlapping slices to fit platter. Cut peaches into slices and remove the pit. Scatter on top of tomatoes. Break open burrata balls in half, and place on top of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with balsamic first, then oil. Hand tear basil leaves and sprinkle all over tomatoes.
Tia’s Tip: Prep tomatoes and peaches on patters and keep them refrigerated for up to 2-3 hours before serving. Right before finish topping with remaining ingredients, then serve. Of course, I’m washing this down with an Aperol Spritz!
And while you’re here taking notes, check out Tia’s essential entertaining tips:
1. I’m really looking forward to gathering with friends and family more this summer and have a few crowd-pleasing recipes up my sleeve that I plan to serve all season long. Everyone loves a quick and easy bite so one of my go-to’s is a crostini topped with goat cheese, figs, and salami or prosciutto.
Paired alongside tortellini or Caprese salad, you have a delicious spread with culinary nods to Italy that works so perfectly with the ultimate summer cocktail of an Aperol Spritz. The combination always makes for the most joyful and celebratory occasion and the best part—it only takes a few simple and fresh ingredients to pull together!
2. For me, entertaining is always about the music. I spend a lot of time curating the perfect playlist to ensure good vibes all around—whether for a few friends coming over for brunch or just to enjoy while I’m cooking in the kitchen.
My top three theme songs for this summer are DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “Summertime,” Sade ‘No Ordinary Love” and, of course, DeBarge “Rhythm of the Night”
3. The summer season is definitely one of my favorites in terms of style. It’s the best time of year to embrace effortless sundresses, strappy sandals, minimal makeup, and of course bold, bright colors. I have recently been embracing styles and looks inspired by that Italian vacation we have all been missing the past year or so. If I can’t get to the Amalfi Coast, at least I can dress like I am going there!
4. Summer is the perfect time to revamp and refresh your bar cart to ensure you are well stocked on all your favorite drinks and ingredients! For me, my go-to cocktail for summer is the Aperol Spritz.
All you need is a white wine glass full of ice, Prosecco, Aperol, soda water, and garnish with an orange slice! It’s not only simple and easy to make but the iconic orange color really brightens the overall mood and aesthetic of the bar cart, bringing a beautiful, fresh summer vibe to my home.
An easy way to remember how to create the perfect Aperol Spritz? P.A.S.S.!
- P – Prosecco
- A – Aperol
- S – Splash of Soda
- S – Slice of Orange
(Aperol is available for purchase nationwide on Drizly, MiniBar, and Reserve Bar platforms with an SRP of $25.99 for a 750ml bottle)
5. As a foodie and a cook, I’m always in the kitchen experimenting with new ingredients and creating recipes that are quick, easy, and stress-free. I love adding in fresh seasonal ingredients that can easily transition a classic dish from one season to the next, like adding peaches into a traditional Caprese salad or figs onto a crostini for the summer season.
6. This summer, I’m planning to spend a lot of my time entertaining outdoors. While dining and celebrating alfresco always ensures a lovely setting for friends and family, you can always bring the space to life and make it memorable with a stunning tablescape.
One of my go-to decoration tips is using bright, beautiful summer flowers to fill the table with some color. My favorite, of course, is bright orange – the color of a perfect Aperol Spritz.