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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.
  • More ways to enjoy Iowa sweet corn
    For me the ultimate taste of summer is Iowa sweet corn. My favorite way to enjoy sweet corn is roasted on the cob, but there are so many other ways to eat fresh, nutritious corn. Add it to a dip or soup for a flavorful finish.
  • Cool pasta salad rounds out the menu
    There’s nothing that tastes better than pairing a grilled burger, brat or pulled pork sandwich with a cold pasta salad. Pasta salads are great for picnics and upcoming tailgates. They taste best when they’re allowed to sit overnight in your fridge so plan ahead.
  • Let the Games begin — and enjoy the treats
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the 2016 Summer Olympics Aug. 5-21. Over the course of 17 days, Olympic fans will cheer on world athletes from afar.
  • Add some variety to that cheesy, spicy enchilada casserole
    Enchilada casserole always hits the spot. It’s cheesy and spicy and feeds a crowd. Why limit yourself to chicken enchiladas? Next time try adding pork and black beans for a little variety.
  • Sweeten your summer with blueberry desserts
    In the summertime berries are bountiful whether they come from the farmers’ market, local grocery store or your own garden. This season take full advantage of the berries’ juicy sweetness and serve up summery desserts.
  • Recipes for celebrating fantastic Fourth of July
    This Fourth of July dazzle your friends and family with a stunning showcase of red, white and blue recipes. These three recipes can be made in advance allowing you to join in all of the patriotic fun on Independence Day.
  • Summer favorite — zucchini — offers limitless recipes
    Zucchini may not be quite ready to pick in Iowa, but it will be soon. It’s already on grocery store shelves and is a perfect summer vegetable. I grew up eating homegrown zucchini fresh from my mom’s garden. My mom sautés it with red onion and tops it with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This is still my favorite way to eat zucchini, but there are limitless possibilities for this green and yellow squash.
  • 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.
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