Join Me in the Kitchen! June 18, 2018


Contributing Writer
Vicki McGraw

Well, it’s here! Summer vacation is about to arrive in Western New York! While some of our close southern neighbors started a couple of weeks ago, Jamestown and its’ surrounding areas will be graduating another fine crop of young adults this week and school will be out for the summer. We all know what that means, too. Two long months of hearing “Mommmmmm, I’m sooo booorrred!” as well as our all-time favorite, “Mom, I’m STARVING and there is NOTHING to eat in the house!” (which, when the kids are home all of the time, is usually the unfortunate truth!). Ah, the fond memories of my own youthful summer vacations. I’m sorry, Mom!

I now know your pain!

Because I am not home much during the days, I always tried to keep the natives from getting too restless by having lunch and snack foods ready to grab and go. As I usually do, I made sure I over-prepared dinners so that there were plenty of leftovers to be reheated in case of a dire hunger emergency!! I would pack the leftovers in single serving containers, so in the rush to satisfy their cravings, they could heat up a serving, not a meal! This way, Todd could grab a container of leftovers to take for his lunch at work, rather than run out for fast food. I also discovered that if the package directions on a mix were simple, my guys could make pancakes and muffins without problems. Frozen Pizzas were always an option for them, but one of their favorite meals was tacos, so rather than making a single pound of taco meat, I’ll cook a couple of pounds and that would serve not only as a meal but could be a snack over tortilla chips.

There is always fruit in the basket on my kitchen table, but in the summer you will also find a big bowl of cut melon in the fridge, next to the big bag of baby carrots. Yogurt and granola is another great snack to keep on hand. A big bowl of cereal and milk will satisfy a craving, so I always carried a list of my boys’ current favorite kinds in my purse. Sounds a little crazy, I know, but at least I knew I’d (hopefully) buy what they liked, not just what I like! I don’t like to buy junk food (chips or candy) unless we are having company…the temptation is just to great…fruit or chips…what SHALL I eat??

Summer snacks are fresh and tasty, and don’t have to be a big bother to make. With the abundant Farmer’s Markets and fresh fruit stands in the area, there is no reason to not keep healthy snacks on hand and at the ready!

Fresh Fruit Kebabs
with Creamy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Skewers
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz blended vanilla yogurt
  • 3 T orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange

Cut fruit into 1” (or bite size) cubes.

Thread melon and berries alternately onto skewers.

Serve well chilled with dip on the side

For dip, whip softened cream cheese, stir in yogurt,
orange juice and orange zest.