Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Watermelon Kind of Day

What sort of things do you look forward to at this time of year?  I must admit that Memorial Day weekend kick starts the summer frenzy for me.  Having waited so long during the long and cold Wisconsin winter, the holiday weekend is the beginning of when things come alive and continue with an over abundance of events and activities.

A good example of such chaos can be evident in my indecisiveness of which content I will use as my first post for the summer season.  I am sure you will agree that with so many events that the summer months have to offer, there is so much to do and write about.  For my current post, however, I have chosen to go with A Watermelon Kind of Day since this watermelon-themed tablescape truly represents the carefree summer days ahead filled with playfulness, adventures and pure delightful fun.

Can you remember family trips to the lake where the entire day was spent swimming, playing in the sand and enjoying a picnic, including an array of tasty food and treats?  Our picnic always included grilled hamburgers and sausages, potato salad, noodle salad, snacks, cookies or muffins and, of course, some cool, juicy watermelon!  No wonder the fruit has become the epitome of the fun and frolic of summer. The watermelon is so popular during the summer that it has its own special event.  During my childhood days, there was a mid-summer watermelon seed spitting contest each year at a park in the small town near my family's cottage.  How exciting is that!

So start your summer activity to-do list, indulge in some sweet and refreshing watermelon and lets begin the summer celebrations!  Happy Memorial Day!!!

These blue and white tie-dyed style napkins folded into a cup with a Mason jar insert makes a cute flower pot holder for a bright and cheery red geranium.  A red and white gingham ribbon and a mini watermelon clothespin helps to keep it all together.

A cool and flavorful Asian-inspired noodle salad is packed full of bright and crunchy vegetables.  A complete nutritious meal in one bowl.

Some easy to eat Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins topped with a Cream Cheese Frosting is great to make ahead and freeze.  They are certain to thaw in time to eat them after a full morning of family activities.

Don't forget the snacks.  This apple pie spiced trail mix offers a healthier way to energize and satisfy any cravings.  Popcorn, peanuts, walnuts, pretzels and cranberries are sure to please adults and children alike.

Apple Pie Trail Mix

3/4 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 - 6 C popped popcorn
2 C pretzels, any shape
1 C whole walnuts
1 C peanuts or pecans
1 C dried cranberries, raisins or dried apples

In a small pan, melt butter and brown sugar.  Add spices and pour over the popcorn, pretzels, nuts and dried fruit that has been combined in a bowl.  Mix until the sauce has completely covered your trail mix.  Pour onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 250 F oven for 10 minutes.  Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

Be sure to stop in again for my next posting commemorating the upcoming Manitowoc County Breakfast on the Farm. This year's farm tour and breakfast is scheduled for Sunday, June 11, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Habeck Homestead Farms LLS at 12135 Pleasant Road, Maribel, Wisconsin.  Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-10 and children under 4 are free.  The farm event is always a wonderful inspiration for creative ideas for a tablescape or summer back yard celebrations. The post will include a variety of farm animal ideas for children's parties and/or adult country cook-outs.