Delicious, fast summer meals

Summer is here and living should be easy, at least in the kitchen – more info. We have all the ingredients we need to make delicious, healthy meals from nature. It’s up to each of us to slow down and enjoy this bounty. Dinnertime can be a new experience with extended daylight hours and no need for us to worry about homework.

These simple dinner ideas will allow you to shake things up this summer. Even pickiest of eaters will be enchanted.

*Picasso in The Kitchen

Let the vibrant colors of summer fruits be your palette. Place slices of watermelon and kiwi on a large, white plate or tray. This arrangement can be used as the centerpiece of your table. A few bowls of yogurts can be placed around the table so that your hungry family members can enjoy them. Wrap a loaf of French bread in a cloth and place it on the table. You can also arrange sliced cheeses or smoked or roasted turkey slices at the deli counter to make a display that’s easy enough for people to eat.

*Participation Is Key

Summer days are less structured and allow kids to help with meal preparation. Chances are that kids will cut the carrots. Your older children might be given a night to choose and prepare the menu, with you as their sous-chef. You might offer them some ideas, such as “breakfast for dinner” and “Mac and cheese night.” MomJunction.com is a new social networking site that caters to moms. Recently, they posted a simple, tried-and-true Mac and Cheese recipe.

Boil 8 oz. Small pasta. After draining, add 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, or 8 oz. Salt and pepper to your liking. Sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Simple, delicious and easy! !

While you will need to assist with boiling the pasta, it is easy for children aged 8 and up. For the final few minutes of boiling the pasta, add some frozen or fresh peas to make it even healthier.