Tony and Sarah Nasello
Earlier this month, Tony and I participated in the Fourth Annual Banquet in a Field, hosted by Carl and Julie Peterson at Peterson Farms Seed in rural Cass County. We have been the guest chefs for this event since it began, and back then we could count on one hand the number of farmers we knew personally. The only crops we could confidently identify were corn, sunflowers and wheat and neither of us had ever visited a working farm.
This past July, more than 35 members of my dad's side of the family came from all corners of the country to Bethany Beach, Delaware, to celebrate what has come to be known as Schmeckfest, a name given in homage to our German-from-Russia heritage.
During the summer, we use our grill nearly every night for everything from meat, to vegetables, and even fruit. On weeknights, we're usually looking for a dish that is quick and easy to make, and if it can be prepared in advance, even better. Bon Appetit, the culinary magazine, excels at featuring simple dishes that meet these criteria, and their Soy Basted Pork Chops have become an instant favorite in our family this summer.
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.