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Carsten and Kellan have fun in the kitchen making their very own slime.
Carsten and Kellan have fun in the kitchen making their very own slime.
Summer has arrived, and that means kids need things to do. My boys are thoroughly enjoying summertime, and so am I. I don't miss the hurried schedule of the school year and my hectic commute. Instead we are able to relax and make our own schedule each day.
  • S’mores – ooey, gooey good
    As soon as the weather warmed up, my boys began asking, “When can we make S’mores?” Ah yes, S’mores — that ooey, gooey concoction of a toasted marshmallow and a melted chocolate bar smooshed together between two graham crackers. Sticky fingers and a sticky face sitting around a campfire is the only way to eat a S’more.
  • Breakfasts also make egg-cellent dinners
    When you’re all out of dinner ideas, try breakfast for dinner. It’s nice to change up your dinner routine. Add a fruit salad and you’re all set.
  • Get the spring vegetable season off to a tasty start
    Spring is in full bloom and with that comes seasonal spring vegetables. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I have memories of going asparagus hunting with my mom, Ann Wilson, as a child and a teen. She had a hand-drawn map in her glove compartment of the best ditches to look for asparagus. We would drive on gravel roads looking for asparagus hoping other hunters didn’t get to it first. It was always a treat to find a tiny asparagus shoot tender enough to eat as soon as it was cut.
  • Swedish meatballs: 1-pot wonder turns out
    I often see one-dish recipes and wonder if they actually turn out. I recently put one of these “one-pot wonders” to the test. I love Swedish meatballs, but it’s not something I make for my family. This is not an authentic Swedish version with thick brown gravy and lingonberries, but rather a traditional American take.
  • Satisfy Asian-food craving with these home-cooked meals
    When a craving for Asian food hits look no farther than your own kitchen. With a few steps you can serve your family a fake-out, take-out meal at home.
  • These time-saving freezer meals made with chicken
    One recent weekend I was feeling particularly lazy and not wanting to make a trip to the grocery store to get something for dinner knowing I’d still have to make my dreaded weekly grocery run before Monday. Then it dawned on me, I had several freezer meals in my freezer just waiting for me.
  • Warm up to freezer meals: Easy to fix on busy days
    Is it possible — no measuring and no mess on a busy weeknight? Yes it is with a little help from freezer meals. Stock up on freezer bags and prepare all of the ingredients at once. Be sure to label the bags with the name of the dish and the date. Also squeeze out as much air as possible from each bag before freezing.
  • South-of-the-border flavor inspiration
    If you have leftover beef roast and shepherd’s pie, beef hash or barbecue beef sandwiches don’t sound appealing to you, head south of the border for some new ideas.
  • Freezer meals time-savers, healthful
    If the weeknight dinner rush causes you to panic, never fear, freezer meals are here! Recently my school staff took part in a freezer meal workshop at my school. A local grocery store brought all of the ingredients, and we lined and assembled 10 freezer meals.
  • Funfetti makes treats even more appealing
    If you’re around kids, you know kids always eat with their eyes first. My youngest, son, Carsten, 5, especially loves colorful things and always chooses the doughnut with the most sprinkles.
  • Make Easter feast in a snap
    You can plan your Easter dinner from start to finish in a snap. Start with dill pickle deviled eggs everyone will enjoy. Next serve up cheesy hash-brown and ham casserole and a fresh fruity salad. Top it all off with mini bird nests filled with candy. Your family will be filled to the brim and ready for the annual Easter egg hunt.
  • Green treats for St. Patrick’s Day
    Celebrate the luck of the Irish with a tasty meal bursting with the color green. Begin with bacon-wrapped asparagus and hearty green bean casserole. Top it all off with a mint green and chocolate pie.
  • Make the most of your leftovers
    With a little bit of extra thought you can transform leftovers in your fridge into dinners your family will love. Take a good look and you might have some ingredients just waiting to be made into a delicious enchilada dinner.
  • Cook-ahead meals can ease stress
    As a teacher by day and mom of two boys by night, my energy level runs low in the evenings. Typically I have more energy on the weekends so I’ve made it a goal of mine to cook two meals each Sunday. My family and I don’t mind leftovers, and it’s so much less stressful to come home on a school night knowing that our dinner is ready and waiting. All I have to do is warm it up and add fruit or veggies to make it a complete meal.
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