In Season May 2012

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

Samantha Chan

Get Out There
With the weather getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Spend time with the clan by riding bikes, playing ball and finding new ways to workout. You don’t need fancy equipment or organized teams. Simply get your brood to move around for at least ten to 15 minutes a day. For physical fitness tips and ideas, log onto www.healthiergeneration.org.

Fantastic Fajitas
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these fabulous treats from Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry (Penguin Group). The chicken in this recipe can easily be substituted with beef, pork, shrimp or grilled vegetables.
Ingredients: •3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil •½ tsp. ground cumin •⅛ tsp. chili powder •½ tsp. dried oregano •3 large organic, free-range chicken breasts (1-1½ lbs. total) cut into 1-inch-wide strips •1 medium onion, sliced •1 clove garlic, minced •1 large organic red bell pepper, sliced •6 corn, warmed •Salsa
Directions: Combine 2 tablespoons of oil, spices and chicken in a glass dish and marinate for up to 1 hour. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until the pepper and onion are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside. Add chicken and marinade to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Add vegetables to skillet and cook until hot, about 1 minute. Present fajitas with warm tortillas, salsa and other chosen accoutrements.

Fun for All
Whether you’re planning a Mother’s Day party, birthday fete or picnic, get your hands on a Party in a Box from www.cupcaketree.com. The kit includes one three-tiered round cupcake tower, four sets of scalloped edged disc overlays in four colors and 36 cupcake wrappers with scalloped edges. The do-it-yourself set is reusable, recyclable and affordable for families to celebrate with all year.

Stress Be Gone
Moms tend to be busy running around to and from work, school, extracurricular activities and appointments. Help a mommy friend relax this Mother’s Day with a great gift from Carex Health Brands. The Bed Buddy Herbal Naturals Neck and Hand Wrap and the Bed Buddy Warming Shawl are infused with aromatherapy and lined with soothing lavender and chamomile. The 100-percent all-natural products offer moist heat to melt away stress, tension, muscle pain, arthritis, and chronic aches and pains. To purchase, visit www.carex.com.

Secret Garden
On May 11, commemorate the fourth annual National Public Gardens Day. Explore the beauty of a local public garden, which raises awareness of conservation and environmental preservation. Special events are planned for this day at more than 500 outdoor venues across the country. Find a location near you at the National Public Gardens Day’s Facebook page or www.nationalpublicgardensday.org.

Butterflies Fluttering
Welcome spring with a butterfly craft from Kaboose. Suspend your creations from the ceiling with fishing line, use them to decorate balconies and porches, or attach the winged wonders to paper plates to create a mobile.
What you’ll need: •½ black chenille stem •Paper coffee filters •Water color paints •Paint brush •Water
How to make it: Flatten the coffee filter. Place it on a plate or newspaper to paint, as the color soaks through. For vibrant butterflies, paint all white areas. Set aside on a paper towel to dry. Fold the chenille stem in half. Remember, you are only using half of a chenille stem to begin with. Fold the coffee filter accordion style, in about ½-inch pleats. Position the pleated coffee filter into the bent end of the chenille stem. Center the filter at the bend. Twist the chenille stem around the filter to secure it in place. Bend over the tips of the stems about ¼ inch to create the antennae. Fan out your creation to show off the wings.

This column appeared in the May 2012 issue.