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In Season June 2013

Warm and creative ways to celebrate the month's holidays.

Melissa Marciano

Dads are the Best

On June 16, celebrate Father’s Day by gifting him with this homemade trophy, courtesy of www.kaboose.com.

Materials: •2 foam coffee cups •5-inch square box (or one cut to size) •Masking tape •1 gold chenille stem •Gold craft paint •Black construction paper, cut to fit on side of box •White paint pen •Scissors •Paintbrush •White craft glue

Directions: Place the coffee ups upside down and proceed to trim off their bottom pieces. Adhere the newly cut openings together with glue. While waiting for the cups to dry, cover the square box with masking tape. Once the cups are ready, place a piece of masking tape at the point where they are joined. Take the chenille stem, and cut it in half to create your handles. Poke these into the sides of the newly constructed trophy, and ensure the cups are now covered in masking tape, too. Use the gold paint to adorn the masking tape on the cups and box, creating a uniform look for the trophy. After the paint dries, write “Awarded World’s Best Dad” on the black construction paper with the white pen. Adhere this snippet to the box, and then glue the trophy to the box base.

Flag Day Fun

Join the fun on June 14 for Flag Day and honor the American Flag. Kids can create a flag as a home project thanks to www.childfun.com.

Materials: •Red, white, and blue paints •Paintbrush •Paint trays •Sheet of paper (2 feet by 3 feet)

What to Do: Orient the paper to resemble a flag, and then draw horizontal lines on it to echo stripes. In the top left corner of the sheet, paint a blue square. Ask little ones to fill in the stripe closest to the bottom of the paper with their handprints in red. Directly above this stripe, have the kids again mark handprints, but this time using white paint. Repeat the hand printing for all of the 13 flag stripes. To complete the effect in the blue square, have kids dip fingertips into the white paint and create stars within the space.

Dad’s Day

On Father’s Day, do something with dad that’s fun and memorable. Plan a trip or activity that dad loves, like fishing, golfing or visiting a zoo. Showing interest in his hobbies creates a bonding experience. For more great ideas, check out www.rd.com.

Summer Meltdown

Looking to escape the heat? Find relief by making fun and tasty ice cream treats from www.theicecreamhouse.com.

Ingredients: •12 vanilla or chocolate wafer cookies, or 6 1/2-inch-thick slices of your favorite cake •6 scoops of your favorite ice cream •3 egg whites at room temperature •1/4 tsp. cream of tartar •1/4 c. sugar •1/2 tsp. vanilla extract •Chocolate syrup •Sprinkles •Maraschino cherries •6, 3-inch ramekins

What to Do: Whether using cookies or cake, break the sweets into pieces. Divide them among the ramekins, fitting the pieces firmly into the bottom of the dishes. On top of the cookies/cake, place a layer of ice cream, and smooth it so it is level with the bowl’s opening. Put filled ramekins on a cookie sheet, placing it in the freezer. Now, prepare a “snowy,” meringue topping. Start by heating the oven to 500ºF. Whip egg whites with an electric beater on medium-high speed. When the eggs start to look like soap bubbles, add cream of tartar and blend until you see peaks in the mixture. Adding it 1 tsp. at a time, combine sugar into the mix, followed by vanilla extract. Keep whipping the ingredients. When the combination starts to shine, it’s ready to be used. Take the ramekins out of the freezer and spread the meringue onto each one with a spatula. The meringue will ensure the ice cream remains cold as the ramekins are baked on a cookie sheet in the oven for 1 to 3 minutes. Once these “snowballs” look golden brown on top, they’re ready to be removed and garnished with toppings. Makes 6.

Picnic Pizza

Make picnics more exciting for young eaters with delicious Pizza Scones. You can make the yummy snack together thanks to www.spoonful.com.

Ingredients: •2 c. flour •1 c. fine cornmeal •1 Tbs. baking powder •1 tsp. basil •1/2 tsp. oregano •1/4 tsp. salt •1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces •1/2 c. diced, sun-dried tomatoes •1 c. shredded mozzarella •2 large eggs •3/4 c. buttermilk

Directions: After heating the oven to 375ºF, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, basil, oregano and salt in bowl. Add butter with a blender. The mixture should now look like coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, cover the tomatoes with boiling water, letting them sit for 30 seconds. Drain the water, and stir in the cheese. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in another bowl before adding them to the dry ingredients along with the tomato mixture. Stir everything together. Once you have a sticky dough, spread it onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead it. Now, split the dough into two parts. Form each half into an 1-inch-thick disk, which should then be cut to shape four new wedges. Take the wedges and separate them 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. The 8 scones may be eaten warm or at room temperature.

This column appeared in the June 2013 issue.