Tony and Sarah Nasello
The recent heat wave has had us looking for refreshing ways to cool down, and one of my favorite means to unwind and beat the summer heat is with a boozy summer slush. This week we're sharing two updates on recipes from my mother, and now my freezer is stocked for the summer with containers of Tropical Summer Slush and Fresh Fruit Slushie.
We love pancakes and have enjoyed them in both sweet and savory varieties. We also love coconut, whether it's in cookies, bars, pies or just toasted and sprinkled over ice cream. This week we're sharing a recipe for Fluffy Coconut Pancakes that combines both of these favorites to create a breakfast treat that has us craving more.
Fresh fruit is a must this time of year, and watermelon is one of our go-to summer fruits whenever we need to cool down. Watermelon is considered a super-food in the world of nutrition, and this luscious fruit is packed with vital nutrients that are naturally helpful this time of year.
I am not a particularly crafty person, but I do enjoy a good DIY project every now and then, especially one that involves using food products. Homemade playdough is right up my alley, as every ingredient needed is an edible food product, and most are already pantry staples.
Earlier this month, nearly 30 members of our Mathison family clan gathered at Pelican Lake to celebrate the 99th birthday of my beloved grandmother, Sunny Mathison. Four generations were present to witness Sunny's entrance into her centennial year, and I marvel at the mere fact that I am part of her gene pool.
Quick salsas are a great way to bring a burst of summer flavor to your table, and with their mix of fresh fruit and vegetables, our Green Apple-Cucumber and Spicy Corn and Cherry salsas are the perfect partners for grilled meats, fish, salads, toast and tortilla chips. In our opinion, a quick salsa should be easy enough to make in less than 30 minutes, and feature a limited blend of simple ingredients. We follow a simple formula that enables us to create an endless variety of quick salsas and also use up any leftover fruit and vegetables on hand.
Strawberries are in season, and it is nearly impossible for me to resist picking up a pack or two (or four) from the large displays in our local grocery stores. While delicious on their own, I love playing with strawberries at this time of year when they are seasonally low-priced, perfectly sized and at their best.
In the summer months, we love to keep containers of what I call "big-batch salads" on hand in our refrigerator for quick and easy lunch, snack or dinner side dish. These are salads that hold up well over several days, making them great for barbecues and picnics, and feature a robust variety of healthy ingredients.
When I was growing up, you could always find a bowl of clean grapes in my mother's and grandmother's refrigerators during the summer months, and I've continued this tradition in my own family. We love grapes, but until a few years ago our experience with this sweet fruit was pretty limited — we'd either enjoy them raw and chilled by the handful, or in a more sophisticated state in a wine glass.
My grandfather, Don Mathison, was a proud American-Norwegian, and I am grateful to be reminded each year at this time to honor his memory as part of our family's Syttende Mai observance. Syttende Mai, also known as the National Day of Norway or Constitution Day, is a national holiday celebrated each year by Norwegians around the globe, to commemorate the signing of Norway's Constitution on May 17, 1814.