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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.
  • Potato salad complements summer grill favorites
    Potato salad goes well with some of summer’s best foods — grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs. There are endless versions of potato salad. Some variations have a secret ingredient or a little twist here or there.
  • Tasty way to start the day: Breakfast Bundt
    Bundt pans aren’t just for cakes, they are for breakfast too. With just a small amount of preparation and 45 minutes of baking you can have a very impressive brunch on the table.
  • Go bananas! Sweet and healthful in pancakes and oatmeal muffins
    A single banana has around 100 calories. There are many health benefits to adding this adding this sweet yellow fruit to your diet. According to Live Science, bananas are packed with nutrients and are good for your heart, your eyes, your diet, and your mood.
  • Emojis are everywhere — they make food fun, too
    On Friday, July 28, 2017 Sony Pictures will release “The Emoji Movie,” a one of a kind 3-D animated American comedy. The movie takes place in the city of Textopolis, the home to all emojis hidden inside a smartphone. This new release is one that will appeal to children, teens and adults as millions of emojis are sent around the world in texts, private messages and emails.
  • Trash Bars: Don’t let the  name scare you; they’re sweet, salty, easy-to-make treat
    They may be called Trash Bars, but don’t be fooled, they taste like little squares of heaven. Trash bars or garbage bars are simple, no-bake bars that are the ultimate summer treat when you are craving something sweet (and a little salty), but refuse to turn on the oven in the summertime heat.
  • Hooray for red, white and blue recipes
    Don’t let the sparklers and fireworks steal the show on the Fourth of July. Dazzle your family and friends with red, white and blue recipes.
  • Flour power: A groovy kind of bread
    Hippie Bread got its start in the 1970s and makes the perfect bread for sandwiches or to serve alongside a rustic supper. This bread is chewy and moist and can be spread with any topping you please.
  • 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.
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