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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.
  • It’s a berry good time of year
    I love to keep my boys busy in the summer. We enjoy exploring new places together. I had not gone berry-picking before and since both boys love strawberries I thought this would be something fun to try. We headed to Iowa Orchard Strawberry Patch just west of Granger right off Highway 141.
  • Easy-to-prepare meals make summer days a little less hectic
    Summer days are full of endless fun for kids. Between playing at the park, riding bikes and swimming at the pool, they are always on the go. All of this activity means kids are always hungry and seem to eat all day long.
  • Fritos: They’re good for more than just a snack
    Fritos Corn Chips are a popular snack with a unique beginning. These crunchy and salty chips were made popular by Charles Elmer Doolin during the Depression in the 1930s. He was the manager of the Highland Park Confectionery in San Antonio, Texas and he wanted to create a corn snack that didn’t go stale. At a local gas station he saw a Mexican man frying corn chips made from cornmeal selling little bags of Fritos, “little fried things.” Doolin bought the patent and began to make the chips at home in his kitchen with the help of his mother and brother. The first bags of Fritos sold for only 5 cents a bag.
  • Monster cookies are a huge treat
    Thick and chewy monster cookies are everything I want in a cookie. They are chock full of oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and M&M’s.
  • Try different versions  of old favorites meatloaf and mashed potatoes
    Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are a match made in heaven. Traditional versions are always enjoyed, but next time cook up something out of the ordinary. Serve up meatloaf muffins stuffed with mozzarella cheese and pesto mashed potatoes made in the slow cooker.
  • Zesty Italian pasta salad packed with flavor
    Shaped pasta, chunks of chicken and colorful veggies create a unique pasta salad that can be served as a luncheon entrée or a side dish for a potluck. This pasta salad is fresh and packed with flavor. The homemade Italian dressing has just the right bite to give it a wow factor.
  • Sharing some tried and true recipes
    We all have our collection of tried and true recipes. They are recipes we’ve made again and again that have stood the test of time. I’ve found some of the best recipes are those shared with me on a wrinkled and stained index card.
  • Extra sour cream put to tasty, good use
    Not too long ago, my team and I were slated to provide lunch for our school staff. We decided to set up a nacho bar with all of the fixings. I signed up to bring a few pounds of seasoned ground beef and sour cream. I purchased two containers of sour cream at the store, one light and one regular to take to school the next day.
  • Happy Easter, happy feasting
    Celebrate Easter with a gorgeous feast of fresh flavors and spring colors. After the traditional Easter egg hunt, treat your family to a table full of holiday favorites.
  • Crunchy orange carrots are a tasty sign of spring. Carrots are inexpensive and versatile and can be used in a variety of ways from side dishes, salads and desserts.
  • Chocolate lava cakes: Simple steps for making your own
    Chocolate lava cakes are all the rage on restaurant menus. If you want to really splurge, go ahead and order this over-the-top dessert or make your own at home with a few simple steps.
  • Bundt pan provides ideal way to roast chicken
    Your company will be impressed when you bring a perfect roast chicken and vegetables to the table, but will be even more impressed when they find out you cooked it all in a Bundt pan.
  • Go green! Recipes for celebrating St. Pat’s Day
    What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with festive green food? March 17 is an excellent day to go green!
  • Reuben recipes: It can be more than just a sandwich
    There are varying stories involving the origin of the Reuben sandwich. Different parties claim they are the one responsible for creating the first Reuben in the early 1900s. This American staple is on deli menus across the country.
  • No-bake bars: The quick, easy way to make treats
    No-bake bars are quick to make and a great way to cook with kids. They’re ideal when you’re short on time, feeling lazy or don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house.
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