Quick-Fix Eats and Drinks for Summertime Snacks

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The Kitchen

The Kitchen

A photo from the production of "The Kitchen" in Montclair, N.J., on July 9, 2014. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/Watershed Visuals ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by: Jeffrey Neira ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Jeffrey Neira, 2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

From lazy afternoons spent outdoors to unexpected guests who drop by for an evening get-together, summer is all about relaxed, enjoyable days, including enjoyable entertaining. The key to any successful party — for both the guest and the host — is a range of go-to eats and drinks, and that's where snacks come in. Instead of feeling like you have to prepare a no-holds-barred feast for your company, settle on a few simple snacks instead, like those featured on this morning's episode of The Kitchen. The co-hosts showed off their favorite fuss-free recipes for casual bites and sips ideal for relaxed entertaining. Read on below to find a few of their quick-fix ideas, then check out the rest of what they prepared.

The Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Black Bean Salsa (pictured above) is a next-level take on the classic pairing of guacamole and salsa. When you dig into the dip with a crunchy tortilla chip, scoop up a mix of the creamy avocado and juicy salsa for a combination of flavors that are better together.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

A photo from the production of "The Kitchen" in Montclair, N.J., on July 9, 2014. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/Watershed Visuals ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by: Jeffrey Neira ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Jeffrey Neira, 2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

For something a bit more substantial, try making Grilled Grapes and Chicken Salad (pictured above), ready to eat in only 25 minutes. Start with prepared chicken, then mix it with a tangy Dijon-honey dressing, plus crunchy celery, cool apples and smoky grilled grapes, before serving. Since grapes can easy roll around and get lost in the grill's grates, it's important to keep the fruit in bunches while grilling.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

A photo from the production of "The Kitchen" in Montclair, N.J., on July 9, 2014. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/Watershed Visuals ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by: Jeffrey Neira ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Jeffrey Neira, 2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

If you're hoping to satisfy a sweet craving, look no further than Jeff's Grilled Angel Food Cake with Grilled Peaches and Cream and Cherry Coulis (pictured above). To save time in the kitchen, Jeff starts with ready-to-go mini angel food cakes, then dresses them up with a trio of accompaniments: a bed of sweetened pureed cherries and toppings of tender grilled peaches and cool mascarpone-laced cream.

Made with only four ingredients, 15-minute Thyme Lemonade with Grilled Lemon Slices is a refreshing drink that both kids and grownups will look forward to. Just add a few sprigs of fragrant fresh thyme and caramelized grilled lemon slices to your favorite prepared lemonade to create an extra-special presentation of a summertime favorite. The combination of charred sugar and bright citrus juice from the lemons will complement the herbs and add next-level flavor without a lot of effort.

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