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Add this fresh herb to your favorite summertime dishes

Dill and summer go hand in hand — try these three recipes and see for yourself!

herbs blogIn our ongoing series about ways to add a fresh herb to your meals, today we’re featuring dill.

Dill lends its sweet-and-sour flavor to a variety of foods from several European countries, as well as to Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. It also provides a hint of summery flavor to a lemon sauce for fish, in yogurt-based dips, on vegetables such as carrots and spinach, in egg dishes or with legumes.

Dill has 4- to 8-inch feathery leaves that are used fresh or dried and are sometimes referred to as dill weed. The seeds of dill also have culinary uses, most commonly in creating pickled vegetables. While cucumbers are used for the well-known dill pickle, other vegetables that can be pickled include green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and okra. This Easy and Delicious Dill Pickle recipe uses fresh dill weed. Continue reading

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Swimming pool scrabble

mott blog - clv 2015 - swimming scrabbleSchool’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Summer gives us an opportunity to put extra focus on the fun in learning. Here are some great word games you can play in the pool. These work with both large pools and small kiddie pools. So have fun and get wet!

Letter jumble

For this fun activity, you just need some simple kitchen-sized sponges, scissors and a permanent marker. Cut the sponges in half. On each sponge, write a letter (you can write a letter on one side and leave the other blank or write different letters on each side). Choose letters that can be easily assembled to create words (vowels and consonants like B, D, G, H, L, M, N, S, T, R).

Now for the fun. Toss the sponges into the pool. Have your kids swim and collect the sponges. You can start by having each person collect 5 sponges to see if they can create a word from their letters.  Each person can draw more letters as needed to create a word, similar to how you’d play Scrabble.

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Build your own (breakfast) taco!

Breakfast tacosKids love tacos, and kids love hands-on activities.  This recipe combines both for a fun way to tackle the most important meal of the day – breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Eggs – one per person
  • Shredded spinach leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Other toppings, such as pineapple, mushrooms, diced red onion, diced peppers, etc.

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Donating wedding gown preserves warm memories

Brides ProjectEditor’s note: Cancer touches the lives of so many people, whether as patients, or as loved ones and friends. It’s not uncommon to look for ways to give back to the institutions and people who provide cancer care. Here is a touching story about someone who gave from the heart, preserving warm memories in the process. It comes from one of our partners in supportive care, the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

There’s a certain helplessness that comes with watching a loved one receive a cancer diagnosis and undergo treatment. No matter how much help we provide, often we wish we could do still more. For Kim Andrus, doing a bit more meant donating her wedding dress to The Brides Project in Ann Arbor, a nonprofit bridal salon operated by the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

CSC’s breadth of services and mission appealed to Andrus, who donated her dress as a way to both honor a beloved aunt and avoid merely storing her gown in the basement or attic. Knowing proceeds from the sale of her dress “would go to help people with cancer, like my Aunt Johanna – this touched me in a very personal way. She contributed toward our wedding and did so Continue reading

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Hiking with kids

Tips for hiking with kidsSummers in the Midwest are a great time to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking with kids is wonderful exercise and a fun family activity. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips to make sure everyone has a good and safe time.

Planning the hike

Hiking is a fun way to explore new areas. You can start by taking a few minutes to prepare so everyone has a good time. Continue reading

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Bubbles that bounce

Bubbles that bounceEveryone loves blowing and playing with bubbles. Wouldn’t it be great if the bubbles didn’t pop the instant you touched them? We have just the recipe! This activity involves a little pre-planning — you make the bubble solution the day before — but it’s worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled drinking water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin (available at most craft and drugstores)
  • Straw and/or bubble wand*
  • Clean glove (or sock) — helps keep the bubbles from popping

* You can also make your own bubble wand. Check out the directions below – you just need a wire hanger, needle nose pliers and some beads.

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