September 16 is National Peanut Day, so before I jump into all the traditional flavors of fall like apples, pumpkins and squash in the coming weeks, I want to take this opportunity to feature peanuts.

Labor Day weekend has passed and that means the kids are back in school. It also means I am back to work at an elementary school. Summer was short, but it was sweet! With school starting, so does the need to pack daily lunches, unless your children eat the school lunch.

Seems like it was just days ago I was planning for an exciting Memorial Day weekend filled with graduation events and backyard barbecues. Now our living room is piled with things our daughter will take to college with her in just a few days, and Labor Day is upon us.

The recipes I share are inspired most by what is seasonal and the holidays on the calendar. Summer of course means garden-fresh produce is abundant. Fall means apples, squash and heartier comfort foods are making an appearance. Holiday meals are not far behind.

I know I’ve featured summer’s fruits and vegetables quite a bit in recent weeks, but there is just such a variety of fresh, healthy, tasty produce available this time of year, I can’t help but share recipes that include them. This week is no different. Summer vegetables are the best!

If they’re not already, garden tomatoes will be ripening faster than you can pick them very soon. It’s time to get creative with how you can use them in your recipe planning and consider ways to preserve them for the winter ahead.

In recent days, a road trip that I had to make several times for a sporting tournament took me by two u-pick blueberry farms. The signs are out and blueberry season is here!

Unusual weather patterns this calendar year have the harvest dates for most garden produce quite out of whack compared to a more typical year. Planting dates were significantly delayed for many, pushing harvest further into the summer for produce that is typically flourishing right now.

Summer and salads go together in a large variety of tasty ways. From simple side salads to main dish salads loaded with summer’s fruits and vegetables and topped with grilled chicken, strips of steak or even shrimp, there are an endless array of options. Add all the varieties of dressings in…

It’s rather depressing that we are talking about the Fourth of July already. Summer took too long to find us and now it’s going way too fast, but there’s still a lot of days to savor the fun and tastes that summer brings.

After what seemed like an endless winter, summer has finally broken through and heat and humidity have found us again. I’m not complaining one bit, and I promise I won’t. I haven’t even turned on the air conditioning yet. The windows are open, and the breezes are finding their way in.

After what seemed like an endless winter, summer has finally broken through and heat and humidity have found us again. I’m not complaining one bit, and I promise I won’t. I haven’t even turned on the air conditioning yet. The windows are open, and the breezes are finding their way in.

June is Dairy Month! That’s a slogan I grew up promoting while a member of my local 4-H club. It was also (and continues to be) one close to my heart because my home was a registered Holstein dairy farm in Richland County.

The month of May is nearly over, but there’s still time to celebrate May Beef Month and take that celebration right into the summer season and beyond. There’s never a bad time to include beef in your diet.

May seems to be a time of celebrations whether it’s for weddings, graduations, recitals, showers or any number of other reasons. Large group gatherings are frequent this time of year and that means cooking for a crowd.

Spring means a fresh crop of rhubarb, and that is one of many things I cherish about this season. Unfortunately my ability to keep rhubarb growing and producing in our own yard has been challenged. Luckily we have friends who have our backs — and an abundant supply of this seasonal treat. Fo…

The page has turned to May on my calendar, which means the reality of our daughter’s looming high school graduation just got very real and the panic over planning the graduation party has set in, but first we get to turn our attention to May 5 and Cinco de Mayo.

Weather in Wisconsin is such a mystery. It was spring for roughly three days and then we returned to winter. The cold weather gear came back out, games were postponed, practices were canceled and farm machinery got a few more days of rest. Can I even hope that spring may have returned again?…

The longstanding tradition of dyeing Easter eggs continues at our house even though our youngest is nearly 14. Our son has long declined the invitation, but the girls still look forward to it every year, and I gladly set them up with more hard-boiled eggs than a whole gaggle of exuberant tod…

The calendar finally says spring is here, and for the most part, the weather agrees. For my family that means softball and track seasons are in full swing. More daylight means long practices and weekend tournaments that will continue right through the end of July. For those in agriculture it…

In a conversation recently with our teenaged daughters, the topic of making homemade pizza with their grandmother came up. “Remember how we’d always make pizza at Grandma’s house? That was so good!” said the oldest. The younger one agreed, “That was so fun!”

With Lenten season upon us, many are incorporating more fish into their diets. Even if religious beliefs don’t dictate it, choosing fish and seafood is a mouth-watering way to add some spark and flare to our weekly menus.

I’ve officially hit the time of winter when inspiration in the kitchen is hard to come by. The temperatures are below freezing, and I’m watching snow fall, yet again, outside the kitchen window.

Valentine’s Day is a fun day to celebrate the special people in your life. Before the children came, it meant a quiet dinner out. When the kids were little, it meant heart-shaped pancakes with sprinkles, homemade heart-shaped pizza and red Jell-O desserts with creamy topping and fun treats m…

Super Bowl Sunday is on the horizon! I’m so excited, but I must admit that my enthusiasm has little to do with the actual game and much more to do with the friends we will view it with, the food we will enjoy and, I admit it, the commercials.

It’s winter and it’s cold. It’s also January, so that means we can celebrate National Soup Month! There’s no better time and no better way to warm up from the inside out than with a delicious bowl of soup.

Just when I think I may be hard pressed for a recipe theme, I see that there are two pretty tasty food holidays on the horizon; Jan. 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day and Jan. 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day!

Skillet cooking can be a great way to not only change up your daily cooking habits, but also a way to keep a healthier diet going into this new year. In many cases, skillet cooking also cuts down on dirty dishes as many skillet recipes are “one pan meals,” and they come together quite quickl…

The start of a new year can mean a fresh start in setting and reaching goals. Many of us strive to change our dietary ways this time of year. If you are looking for ways to eat healthier, one step is to modify your favorite recipes.

Nothing sends a person into a Christmas panic more than sitting down to write a recipe column with a Christmas meal theme! How can the Christmas deadline be here already? There is still shopping to do, gifts to wrap, school concerts to attend, cookies to bake and menus to plan! Please join m…

One of my absolute favorite meals during the holiday season is the morning brunch we have with our children after opening presents. Usually it is Christmas morning, but depending on the travel schedule needed to attend other family gatherings, it sometimes falls on Christmas Eve morning. I’v…

We are right in the middle of a fast-paced holiday season. It is a time when food is center stage at many gatherings and holiday events. Where do slow cooker recipes fit in to this festive time of year?

Hard to believe, but the holiday season is just around the corner. Thanksgiving Day is roughly a short week away! Whether you are hosting or traveling, it is time to start planning the menu and preparing the shopping list.

The weather has turned chilly, so now I have no excuses for not making my favorite weeknight casseroles. There’s just something about pulling a hot dish out of the oven filled with a combination of meat, vegetables, potatoes or pasta and cheese that screams warmth and comfort!

Halloween is not high on my list of favorite holidays, but when you have kids or spend any time around children, you understand that Halloween is a big deal — a very big deal!

Despite what the stores shelves may be displaying, it is not holiday time just yet. But don’t feel you have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy the mighty cranberry. It is harvest time for this tart berry, so finding them fresh is going to be pretty easy in the immediate future.

It’s October and fall is officially here. The sun is setting sooner, the leaves are turning and football has consumed many a household. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all usually have some form of football on our family’s schedule.

When you live just outside La Crosse, a community that hosts one of Wisconsin’s largest Oktoberfest celebrations, you don’t think twice when you see men wearing leather shorts and suspenders (lederhosen) or women donning dresses with tight bodices and gathered skirts (dirndls). They are prob…