Ask your kids to give you ideas on easy summer and holiday recipes. Kids come up with easy menu ideas.

Pressure cooker recipes like this leftover roast beef soup are easy to cook without heating up the kitchen. 

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Easy Recipes

Go for easy recipes. No need to make a menu complicated when you’re preparing foods for a holiday with kids. Foods as simple as hot dogs and chips will please little kids and big kids alike.

Grocery Shopping with Kids

Grocery shopping with kids can be fun when you ask them to choose foods for the menu. My little grandson spent a few days over a July 4th holiday with my husband and me. He loved going grocery shopping with me and picking out the fruit, vegetables, and snacks for the holiday weekend.

My grandkids get excited when I let them choose their own fruits and veggies. They like being allowed to participate in planning the menu. Including them to plan and prepare holiday (or any day) recipes makes their day more special.


The July 4th grocery shopping inspired our grandson. Little Handsome made “blueberry muffin dessert” and a bowl of “chicken soup” (playdough food) when we arrived at my house. This gave me the idea to make soup with beef roast leftovers.

I’m including the easy Beef Pot Roast Soup recipe below, but first let’s talk about dessert. If you’re like me, as much as I love dessert, I don’t like to bake in the summer.

Oven baking in the summer heats up the house so make it easy on yourself. Either make no-bake desserts, or buy treats at the store. 

Snack and Dessert List

Here’s a list Little Handsome and I agreed on for snacks and dessert in case you need a little inspiration.

  • strawberries – the hydroponic kind
  • dragon fruit – just one so Little can try it
  • bananas – good as a snack and in jellos and puddings
  • apples – for snacks and jello
  • mango – only one because Little likes them
  • watermelon
  • strawberry jello mix
  • vanilla pudding mix
  • Bluebell Birthday Cake ice cream cups

Summer Picnic Foods

You may want to add summer picnic foods to your list as well. How about nutritious sandwiches, chips, and salsa?

Chips are not the healthiest thing to eat. However, sandwiches and chips do typically end up at picnics. So on holidays and special occasions, purchase chips with the lowest sodium and carbs.

You can make sandwiches as nutritious as you like. Buy low carb bread, whole grain, or sugar-free. Stuff the sandwiches with crunchy vegetables or sliced tomatoes (if you can get your kids to eat them).

Serve homemade salsa with your chips.

When I was working on my cookbook, Simple Summer Recipes, my garden yielded a ton of Roma tomatoes. I made lots of batches of salsa that summer. That homemade salsa recipe, as well as different sandwich recipes, went in the summer recipe book.

Ideas for Summer Dessert Recipes

Here are easy ideas for summer dessert recipes, some that I made over July 4th holiday weekend. They are simple to prepare for one, two, or several individuals.

Apple Strawberry Sugar-Free Jello

Quick jello is an easy recipe to make, and Apple Strawberry Sugar-Free Jello will satisfy kids’ palettes. My grandkids love strawberries and apples. Sugar-free cuts down on all the sugary foods they tend to want.

Boil water and mix with one or two packets of jello powder (read the directions on the box). Then add ice, stir, and chill for about thirty minutes.

Peel an apple and cut it into small chunks and stir into the jello. Mix in pecan or walnut pieces if you have them. But if you or the child in your family is eating the jello, he or she may simply want the plain jello.

Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding with a Cherry on Top

Vanilla pudding
Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding

It’s always good to keep boxes of jello and pudding in the pantry as well as milk in the fridge for quick desserts. Serve this sugar-free vanilla pudding with a Rainier cherry on top. Check the box for specific directions.

Last-Minute Summer Holiday Food Ideas

Look in your pantry and fridge for last-minute summer holiday event food ideas. Use chips, crackers, cheese, hot dogs, lunch meat, veggies, and any leftover chicken, roast, or other meat. Slice and serve raw vegetables you have on hand or cook them in a soup.

Little Handsome and I both chose veggies we liked in the produce section at the grocery store. He wanted carrots and celery, and I chose cilantro and squash. All of the vegetables were used in the soup.

You may prefer to cook your soup a more traditional way with potatoes, onions, and carrots. But if you don’t have those, substitute with what you do have.


Leftover Beef Pot Roast & Vegetable Soup

Easy soup from leftover roast and fresh vegetables

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword soups
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 lb Beef Rump Roast
  • 1 tsp Salt-free garlic and herbs
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 4 Organic carrots
  • 2 Yellow Summer Squash
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Leftover gravy


  1. Slice all the vegetables.

  2. Plug in the pressure cooker, turn it on, and prepare to cook on the roast mode.

  3. Add the vegetables, leftover meat, leftover gravy, and water.

  4. Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, and select the roast mode.

  5. When the pressure cooker completes the roast cooking method, press the quick-release pressure release button. When the little red pressure release button drops, you can unlock and open the lid. Please follow the directions on your pressure cooker for specific instructions.

Recipe Notes

I have a Farberware pressure cooker that takes about 10 minutes on the roast mode to use for sauteeing and/or searing. However, I go ahead and put the leftover roast in with the vegetables at the beginning of the roast cooking mode. Mine says 35 minutes when the sautéing/searing time is finished. 

This recipe is shared on Full Plate Thursday:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


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Difference between an Instant Pot and an electric pressure cooker:

They are both electric pressure cookers. Instant Pot is a brand of an electric pressure cooker.

The pot roast soup recipe above was cooked in a Farberware electric pressure cooker.

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Summer Salad Recipe Ideas to Serve with Beef Roast Soup 

I like a variety of salads and have listed several summer salad recipe ideas for you to serve with beef roast soup. They incliude Kitchen Southern Hospitality recipes as well as others I’ve seen that I want to make. They make perfect salad options for taking to any summer or holiday gatherings.

My husband and I love coleslaw so I included it on our July 4th menu. If you like salads with cabbage or coleslaw, you may like my quick Easy Coleslaw with Sugar-free Homemade Dressing recipe.

Salad Recipe Ideas

  1. Good Friday Vegetable and Fruit Salad – I made this salad one Good Friday, but it’s absolutely delicious any day of the year.
  2. Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad – Inspired by my Aunt Faye, this has become one of my favorite salads.
  3. Broccoli and Apple Salad – This broccoli and apple salad is both delicious and healthy.
  4. Chopped Vegetable Salad – And this salad goes well with the roast and all by itself.


broccoli and cauliflower salad
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad


Vegetable Salad
Southwestern Veggie Salad

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