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75 Super Fresh and Easy Summer Recipes

When the sun’s out, these easy summer recipes are in. From light and delicious appetizers to main dishes and desserts, we have all the recipes you need for the season.

Summertime should be about light summer lunches, cookouts in the backyard and simple suppers that take little effort. You want healthy summer recipes and summer side dishes that make the most of the season’s best produce, and summer barbecue staples like grilled meats, potluck salads and fruity drinks.

Don’t forget summer fruit desserts, from fresh strawberry pie to every crumble, crisp and cake under the sun. Make the dog days cool and breezy with our favorite summer recipes!

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Key Lime Cream Pie

Easy no-bake summer desserts are key to keeping cool on the hottest (and laziest) of days. This creamy key lime pie takes a few minutes to prepare and a couple of hours to chill, and it will disappear in a flash.
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Easy Seafood Salad

Like most summer salads, this deceptively simple chilled seafood salad can double as an appetizer or a main course. Swap in the seafood of your choice, from peeled shrimp to scallops, crab meat and more.
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Mixed Berry Sangria

Batched cocktails and punches are perfect for cookouts, beach picnics and potlucks. Made with sparkling wine, white cranberry juice and coconut rum (though you can choose plain white rum, too), this is a fresh take on classic sangria. It’s one of many fruity drinks we love for summer sipping.
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Terrific Tomato Tart

This delightful tart makes the most of the endless tomatoes we all have during gardening season. Use store-bought phyllo dough and pesto for an easy and elegant-looking appetizer.
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Bing Cherry-Amaretti Fool

Who doesn’t love cherry season? Use fresh Bing or other types of cherries in this creamy, cool and custardy dessert. The whipped cream and sour cream plays nicely with the sweet fruit and amaretti cookies.
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Caprese Eggplant Hero

Grill eggplant planks and layer them with super fresh summer tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. A balsamic glaze ties the sandwich together; you can buy it or make one yourself (like the one from this creamy polenta with balsamic glaze recipe).
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Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewers

The most work you’ll do with this recipe is threading fresh mango onto skewers. The corn makes the dish—use fresh corn cut off the cob or even frozen in a pinch. Super easy grilling recipes like this are a highlight of summer.
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Cucumber and Hummus Boats

Cucumbers filled with creamy hummus and garbanzo bean salad are nutritious and full of flavor. When it’s boiling hot outside and you need a satisfying lunch, remember: There’s a reason we say “cool as a cucumber.”
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Fizzy Peach Shake

This summer recipe is perfect when fresh peaches are at their peak and you don’t want to make another pie or cobbler. Throw a few sliced peaches in a blender with vanilla ice cream and ginger for a fizzy take on a shake.
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

If you think a tomato sandwich is the quintessential summer treat, try adding thinly sliced cucumbers and a bit of fresh mint. It’s a refreshing twist for those really hot days when you don’t want to do anything extreme in the kitchen.
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Grilled Chicken Ramen Salad

When a lighter dinner is in order, this chicken salad full of crisp greens, fresh vegetables and crunchy ramen noodles really hits the spot. It’s a one-bowl meal that will wow even the most finicky crowd.
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California Roll Wraps

Turn a sushi bar staple into this flavor-packed wrap that’s great for lunches, picnics or any day you don’t want to turn on the stove. This recipe is highly adaptable: Use tuna or smoked salmon instead of crab meat, or pita instead of a tortilla, or any other vegetables.
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Rosemary Strawberry Daiquiri

A sprig of rosemary adds a lovely herbal note to these slushy strawberry daiquiris. Use the best rums when making daiquiris and other cocktails.
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Triple Tomato Flatbread

This summer recipe comes in handy when your garden is overflowing with tomatoes. The mix of tomatoes—plum, sun-dried and cherry—is the perfect combination for the grilled flatbread. You can easily bake it, too!
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Moroccan Lamb Lettuce Wraps

Ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend, livens up slow-cooked lamb for these lettuce cups. It’s easy to make with spices you probably already have in the pantry, but you can also find it in grocery stores.
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Air-Fried Radishes

Radishes: Not just for salads anymore! Fried radishes make a quick and colorful side dish for any meal, and they’re super easy to make in the air fryer.
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Vegan Quinoa Salad

It’s not necessary to toast quinoa before cooking it, but you’ll get a pleasant nutty flavor when you do. After that, use any mix of herbs and fresh vegetables for this delicious and effortless salad.
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Salmon and Spud Salad

There’s so much goodness in this one recipe. Heart-healthy salmon coupled with lots of green veg like asparagus and arugula is a perfectly satisfying one-dish meal for summer.
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Sliders make every party more fun, and hot dogs topped with a fresh fruit salsa have some serious zip. Upgrade your summer cookout game with some of our other favorite hot dog toppings.
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Steak Fajitas

An easy and zesty garden salsa (aka pico de gallo) really makes these grilled steak fajitas pop. Like most meats, slice the flank steak against the grain after it rests. That helps keep the meat tender.
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Pesto Corn Salad with Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest things to cook on the grill, and these skewers only need a few minutes per side. Making this for a party? Prepare the corn salad ahead of time so it’s ready when the shrimp come off the barbie.
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Grilled Veggie Pizza

Whatever you have too much of in the garden—peppers, greens, tomatoes, zucchini—you can use them all on top of this pizza. Grill the veg first for added caramelized flavor before piling on top of the pizza.
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Bump up the servings for this salad recipe, and you’ve got yourself the perfect picnic or potluck dish. The vegetarian-friendly combo of chickpeas and tons of summer veg is already fantastic, but you can add sliced chicken or lamb for a meatier meal.
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Watermelon Sherbet

This creamy sherbet is the next best thing to fresh watermelon. Have some fun and try different varieties of melon, like yellow watermelon.
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Summer Garden Fish Tacos

Have all of your tortillas, fish and toppings ready for DIY taco night in the backyard. If you’re worried about tilapia sticking to the grill, cook it on a piece of foil sprayed with oil. Or use any other type of fish that grills more easily, like salmon, halibut or mahi mahi.
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Grilled Vegetable Platter

Marinated and grilled peppers, summer squash, carrots, onions and asparagus create a beautiful centerpiece to any summer party. Swap in any of your favorite vegetables.
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Disney’s Dole Whip

This is exactly how Disneyland makes the famous sweet-sour treat. Now your kitchen can be the happiest place on earth!
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Kathy’s Herbed Corn

When you think about it, fresh summer corn is the perfect vehicle for any number of flavors. Here, grilled corn on the cob gets some added pizzazz from thyme and cayenne, but let your spice cabinet and imagination run wild.
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Strawberry Lemon Trifle

This summer trifle is easier to make than it looks. Make a creamy custard with pudding mix and cream cheese, blend together strawberries and white grape juice, and layer with store-bought angel food cake. Viola! A picture-perfect dessert. We’ve got even more trifle recipes, all delicious hits.
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Marinated Cucumbers

All you need for this simple side dish are cucumber, onions and a tangy herb-packed vinaigrette. Serve alongside sandwiches, burgers and grilled meats, or simply eat on its own.
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

It only takes a few ingredients to add a ton of flavor to grilled chicken. Here, red pepper flakes, rosemary and lemon do all the work. Turn the chicken into gyros with warm flatbreads and creamy tzatziki, or serve with a fresh salad and couscous.
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Ribbon Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

To make this citrusy salad, peel zucchini, cucumber and carrots into “ribbons” for an elegant effect. Everyone will think you worked really hard on something that came together in mere minutes.
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Lime-Rosemary Shrimp Skewers

When your rosemary is going bonkers, use the sprigs as skewers. Not only does it add an herbal flavor to grilled shrimp, but the “sticks” are biodegradable too!
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Grilled Flank Steak with Summer Relish

Flank steak is one of the best types of steak for grilling because it’s full of beefy flavor and doesn’t take too much time to cook. But it’s a good idea to use a marinade, even one as simple as garlic, salt and olive oil like in this recipe. Serve with a vibrant corn relish that pops with poblano peppers.
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Chili-Lime Grilled Pineapple

Whether served as a side dish to pork or as dessert, grilled pineapple should be your summer go-to. Spice it up with chili powder and lime to complement the fruit’s natural sweetness.
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Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

This summer recipe features a tasty combination of sweet and savory. Make a vinaigrette with blueberry preserves, maple syrup and fresh berries, then drizzle over a big bowl of greens with more blueberries plus mandarin oranges and tangy goat cheese.
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Potato Salad with Kalamata-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

It’s always good to know what types of potatoes are best for potato salad and other recipes. Here, just-tender Yukon golds tossed in a light vinaigrette serve as the base, while avocado, olives and crunchy hazelnuts add extra flavor and texture.
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Grilled Nectarines with Burrata and Honey

A riff on a traditional caprese, grilled stone fruit topped with creamy burrata and a drizzle of honey is the appetizer of your summer cookout dreams. Best part: It comes together in a matter of minutes so your guests can nibble while you pull together the rest of the meal.
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Root Beer Float Pie

We could all use more no-bake desserts as the temperatures rise. Combine whipped topping, root beer, milk and pudding, and dump into a premade graham cracker crust. Chill and serve to a very happy crowd.
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Mango Barley Salad

If you don’t love barley, try this fresh and fruity salad with quinoa, farro or your favorite grain. Pineapple also works in place of the mango. With lime, cumin and Dijon, the vinaigrette adds some zing.
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Tarragon Asparagus

Asparagus is perfect for the grill and only takes a few minutes to get crisp-tender. Sprinkle with freshly chopped tarragon or any other herb and serve as a side for grilled steaks, chicken or fish
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Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

No one has to tell the kids that these deliciously fruity frozen pops are actually good for them. It’s a choose-your-own-flavor kind of adventure, too: Mix strawberries, peaches, blackberries or any other summer favorites into plain Greek yogurt, add a stick and freeze.
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

Salty prosciutto and sweet melon is a classic Italian appetizer. Here, they’re turned into a salad with greens, honey mustard dressing, and fresh basil and mint.
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Grilled Nectarine & Cheese Crostini

Grilling stone fruit like nectarines (peaches and plums also work) caramelizes and brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit. Tangy goat cheese and fresh basil are perfect accompaniments on crusty crostini.
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Zucchini & Cheese Roulades

This is a super delicious and easy summer recipe for all that surplus zucchini. Grill thin slices before stuffing and rolling with a creamy cheese filling. Swap in sun-dried tomatoes for olives, if you like, or use feta instead of Parmesan cheese.
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Basil and Parsley Pesto

Basil plants out of control? Make pesto! Only this time add fresh parsley along with garlic, almonds, lemon and parmesan. It goes with everything, from sandwiches to pastas to dips.
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Grilled Green Beans

Yes, you can grill green beans! This souped-up version comes with a delicious shallot-butter sauce, and cooks on the grill alongside whatever main dish you’re preparing.
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Blackened Tilapia with Zucchini Noodles

If you don’t have a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, simply use a vegetable peeler to cut ribbons. They cook just as quickly and still look lovely next to this blackened tilapia.
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Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Make your own spice mix for this speedy dinner idea. While the chicken cooks, mix together avocado, tomato, corn and spices for a delicious accompaniment. All you need is a salad or a side of rice and beans for a complete meal.
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Thymed Zucchini Saute

Zucchini, fresh herbs, boom—perfect side dish. Serve with grilled steaks or fish all summer long (or until your garden stops giving you more zucchini).
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Grilled Tilapia Piccata

You don’t want to marinate fish in anything that has a lot of acid in it; that will make the flesh too mushy. Instead, brush on a light lemony and caper mixture before grilling, drizzling any reserve when it comes off the heat. If you don’t like tilapia, any flaky white fish will do!
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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Watermelon and cucumber are both delicious and super hydrating when it’s hot outside. Combine the two with mint and a zesty vinaigrette for the ultimate crispy and cool summer recipe.
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Grilled Steak Salad with Tomatoes & Avocado

Why leave steak for weekends when you can make this quick and tasty salad any night of the week. The bean salad with tomato and avocado is a great way to stretch the meal. Need another veg? Toss in some crisp romaine lettuce or peppery fresh arugula with the beans.
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Sausage & Feta Stuffed Tomatoes

Scoop out the pulp from roma or other garden-variety tomatoes before adding the crumbled sausage stuffing. Bake, sprinkle with cheese and serve as a delicious alternative to stuffed peppers.
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Brown Sugar Salmon with Strawberries

Brown Sugar Salmon with Strawberries

A delightful strawberry and cucumber salsa is fantastic alongside brown sugar-crusted grilled salmon. It’s light, sweet and crunchy, and it has just enough acid (thanks, lemon!) to punch up the fish.
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Rustic Summer Vegetable Pasta

There is a point every summer when there are almost too many amazing vegetables spilling out of your garden and farmers market. Put them all to good use in this quick and rustic pasta dish, and feel free to change it up with whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand.
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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Not only is this a great fried chicken recipe, but it’s easy too. The most important thing to know, apart from which spices are needed for a perfectly flavored coating, is which oil to use and at what temperature to keep it. After that, it’s just minutes until fried chicken bliss.
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Avocado Crab Boats

While you can eat these crab-filled avocado halves warm, cold or at room temperature, they need to go under a broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese. They make a great addition to any potluck table.
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Gingered Spaghetti Salad

Everyone needs a few quick pasta salads to get through the long summer. With chicken, this one is a full one-bowl meal. Need a vegetarian dish? Omit the meat.
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Sauteed Radishes with Green Beans

With fresh green or wax beans (or both) and radishes, this side dish is a perfect summer garden medley. Cooking radishes brings out the sweetness of the vegetable but retains that slightly peppery kick.
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Layered Hummus Dip

Hummus topped with chopped cucumber, tomatoes and olives, plus a sprinkling of feta cheese, really ups the dip game. Here’s the best hummus recipe if you want to make your own, but store-bought is perfectly fine to use.
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Chocolate Pudding Pizza

A pizza by any other name…is a giant cookie topped with sweet cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream! You need a little oven time to make the base of this dessert pizza, but then the fridge takes it to the finish line.
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Avocado Salsa

Move over, guacamole! This avocado salsa has a lot more going on, thanks to corn, black beans and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips or spoon it over grilled meats.
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Ginger Plum Tart

Feel like you can’t make another summer pie? Make a free-form tart instead! Use sweet stone fruit and a bit of sugar, and serve warm with a dollop of real whipped cream.
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Turkey Pepper Kabobs

Turkey tenderloins are a great alternative to chicken breast, but it’s ok to use chicken, too. Grilled pineapple and peppers add sweetness and color to the skewers; reserve some of the basting sauce for a drizzle after they come off the grill.
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Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes

A fresh tomato and basil marinade adds tons of flavor to grilled chicken. Reserve some for serving alongside grilled tomatoes. It’s one of those basil recipes that tastes just like summer.
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Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

Because they’re the star of the show, you want to use peak-season strawberries for this easy pie (if you don’t know, here’s how to clean strawberries). Bake a flaky crust, fill with berries and a gelatin mixture, and top with lots of fresh whipped cream.
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Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs

You can thread skewers alternating meat and vegetables, or cook all the chicken on separate skewers from the vegetables. Doing it that way ensures even grilling for each.
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Grilled Steak Bruschetta Salad

We love using the grill for more than just the obvious. After the steaks have cooked and are resting, throw slices of thick Italian bread over the coals for a crispy charred flavor. Top with sliced steak and this easy zesty salad for a delicious dinner.
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Batter-Up Walleye

Bring your catch back from the lake and make this quick pan-fry walleye for a summer backyard feast. Don’t have walleye? Any type of flaky white fish will do. We have more tips on how to fry fish, from selecting the right fillets and coating to the best oil and tools to use.
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Halibut Soft Tacos

All you really need to do for this easy summer recipe is make a quick salsa and grill the fish. From there, let everyone build their own tacos with tortillas, lettuce and a squirt of sriracha for a little kick.
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Frozen Sandwich Cookies

Need a quick dessert? Mix strawberry yogurt and cream cheese together, fill chocolate wafer cookies and chill. The pretty-in-pink sweet is a surefire hit.
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Watermelon-Blueberry Salad

A zippy mint and lime dressing brings out the best of both watermelon and blueberries in this quick-serve salad. It’s the perfect refresher on hot nights (and super good for you!).
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Grilled Loaded Potato Rounds

Make this your new go-to for outdoor potlucks and cookouts. Slice par-boiled potatoes for the grill, and serve with an array of toppings for DIY fun—from cheese and bacon to sour cream, sliced onions and chives.
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Grilled Peaches ‘n’ Berries

Make foil packets for this quick and easy dessert so there’s less to clean up after. Sprinkle blueberries and peach halves with brown sugar, grill and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Lesley Balla
As an associate editor at Taste of Home, Lesley helps track food and cooking trends, and writes and updates digital content. When not at her desk, you'll find her whipping up something with finds from the farmers market, discovering new restaurants, or hiking and roadtripping with her husband and pup Pucci.