14Y Staff Recipes: August Edition


Summer is coming to an end but we can still enjoy some delicious summer meals. We’ve gathered some of our staffs’ favorite summer recipes for you to enjoy!


Heirloom tomatoes in August

Recommended by Jordan Brackett, Executive Director

If it’s (late) August, then you must be making some heirloom tomato salad. I never measure, so take the following technique and play with it. Recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver.

Number of servings: 4

  • 2 1/4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, different shapes and colors
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A good pinch dried oregano
  • Red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
  1. Go to the farmers market and get some beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  Get all sorts of colors and varieties. The Union Square Greenmarket has an amazing selection from August through September.
  2. Cut the different tomatoes in different shapes. Slice some, chunk some.
  3. Gently place tomatoes in a colander and place over a plate. Salt tomatoes liberally with kosher salt and let sit for about 20 minutes to draw out extra liquid.
  4. Place tomatoes in a bowl. Add in grated fresh garlic, some dried oregano, a little chopped basil, good olive oil, grated fresh chili (optional), and a bit of good red wine or balsamic vinegar if you want.
  5. Gently toss tomatoes, being careful to not break them.
  6. Serve alone with some fresh mozzarella and a crisp bottle of Rose.

For the original recipe, click here.


Baked Mac and Cheese

Recommended by Brianna Collins, Marketing Consultant

This is one of my all-time favorite comfort food recipes. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser, perfect for the kids in your life (my nephews love it!) and as a side at any (socially distanced) barbecues this summer.

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • ½ pound White American or Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ Pound Velveeta Cheese
  • Bread crumbs
  1. Boil water in large pot.  Add one pound of macaroni and boil for about six minutes.  Drain in colander, rinse with cold water and drain again. Pour cooled macaroni into a greased casserole dish.
  2. In the pot you used to cook the macaroni, melt two tablespoons of butter and add one tablespoon of flour. Mix well to form a roux.
  3. Slowly add four cups of milk and heat on medium heat. Do not boil! When the milk mixture is hot, turn to low and add some salt and pepper.
  4. Then add ½ pound of White American cheese and ½ pound of Velveeta cheese (sliced into pieces).  Stir until cheese is melted. Pour over the macaroni.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about ½ hour.
  6. Meanwhile, combine two tablespoons of melted butter with about one cup of bread crumbs. After the mac and cheese is in the oven for about ½ hour, sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top and return to the oven and bake about 10 minutes more or until lightly browned.


Cowboy Caviar

Recommended by Jaci Fletcher, Director of Marketing

Cowboy Caviar is so healthy and delicious, and makes an excellent topping for salads. I enjoyed mine with some baby arugula and a boiled egg for a yummy lunch!



  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of lime juice
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tbsp of hot sauce (such as Cholula)
  • 1/2 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of kosher salt


  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup of black-eyed peas
  • 1-2 of orange bell peppers, chopped (you can use any type of bell pepper you like!)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  1. If you’re using dried beans, which I personally like better, plan in advance and soak them for 6 – 8 hours overnight.
  2. To prep, wash your dried beans to remove any stones and dirt. Then place the beans in the pot that you plan to cook them in. Fill with 3 cups of cool water for every one cup of dried beans. I leave the pot of soaking beans on my stove with the top slightly off until the morning when I cook them. I also use the soaking liquid (the water the beans have been soaking in overnight) to cook. It’s full of flavor and my mom swears it’s more nutritious. (More info here in case you were curious.)
    Tip: Don’t throw out that water! I save the cooking liquid from the beans and freeze until I want to make a delicious soup. The liquid from cooked beans is an awesome, healthy stock.
  3. When you’re ready to cook your beans, add salt and any flavor enhancers. I usually just salt and a bay leaf, but you can use a garlic clove, pepper, etc. Simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours until the beans are soft and delicious.
  4. Let your yummy cooked beans cool and continue on to make your Cowboy Caviar! In a small bowl, make dressing: whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cilantro or parsley, hot sauce, cumin, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Toss with dressing until well combined. Serve with chips.

For the original recipe, click here.


One-Pot Pasta

Recommended by Katie Walker, Director of Program Operations for Youth Programs

I love it because there are endless ways to make it, and I can add in my kids’ favorite things. This way of cooking the pasta also makes it very flavorful and the sauce is nice and thick! One of our favorites is turkey bacon with mushrooms and onions!


With this formula, just about everything is adaptable: You can swap in all kinds of ingredients, change the cooking liquid and experiment with your noodles.

  • This recipe is an especially great way to stretch vegetables and meat, or to employ ingredients that need to be used up. Add hearty vegetables and raw meats in Step 1, and add quick-cooking ingredients, like shrimp or peas, in Step 3 toward the end of cooking time.
  • Swap out some or all of the water for broth, coconut milk or dashi.
  • If you want a creamier pasta, add another 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk toward the end.
  • You could also use udon, soba or ramen, but adjust the water and cook time. (It’s better to start with less liquid and add more if the pan looks dry.) Use rice or another grain and you’ve got faux risotto.
The Flavors

If you’re stumped on how to experiment, try these combinations. Consider each of these your first step, then pick up from Step 2 in the recipe above.

  • Broccoli and anchovy (above): Cook anchovies and sliced garlic in olive oil, then add finely chopped broccoli and red-pepper flakes.
  • Brown butter noodles: Cook the butter until it smells toasty, and you see little browned bits.
  • Alfredo: Melt butter. Sauté leeks or garlic until soft. Add a Parmesan rind. Just before serving, add handfuls of grated Parmesan and a little heavy cream.
  • Hearty greens and chives: Cook the stems of chard, kale or collard greens with the butter, then add thinly sliced leaves and whole chives. Finish with lemon zest and juice (and maybe toasted bread crumbs).
  • Cauliflower Bolognese: Melt butter and soften chopped garlic. Add tomato paste and cook until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add cauliflower rice, sliced onion and red-pepper flakes.
  • Nori butter ramen: Brown the butter, then add crumbled bits of nori and grated ginger. Add ramen and frozen peas. Finish with parsley, more nori, and lemon or lime.
  1. In a 12-inch skillet with high sides (you could use a pan of a different size, but cook times and water amounts will vary), melt 4 tablespoons butter or heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add any ingredients that need to be cooked through, like garlic, hearty vegetables, sausage or bacon. (See the Flavors section below for some ideas.)
  2. Once they’ve softened, add 12 ounces of pasta (make sure it will cook in 10 minutes or less — anything with a longer cook time will be unevenly cooked), along with 5 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. If the noodles don’t lie flat in the skillet, break them in half.
  3. Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing the pasta constantly, until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. If it looks dry, add water. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and serve.

For the original recipe, click here.


Oreo Milkshakes

Recommended by Ann Li, Marketing Intern

These are super easy to make and delicious too! They’re the perfect cold and delightful drink for hot summer days!

Number of servings: 2

  • 2 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 8 Oreo Cookies
  • Optional: 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Optional: Whipped Cream for serving
  • Add the ice cream, milk and Oreo cookies to your blender. Pulse until mostly smooth.
  • Serve in large glasses with whipped cream if desired.

For the original recipe, click here.


We hope you love the recipes as much as we do! For more recipes, check out our previous recipe blog posts from April and May!