By Deborah Eisenhut

 

Next to the holiday months, May and June are the busiest months of the year.  Most families have at least one wedding and or a graduation, in addition to Mother’s and Father’s Day. Just getting the garden in and diving into vacation plans once school is out, can become overwhelming if the kitchen is in overdrive entertaining guests.

With late spring and early summer freshness abounding, plan some simple, easy dishes to carry you through a couple months of family and friend get-togethers. Being able to enjoy al fresco dining is a big help as well.  Grilling out can save heat in the kitchen and makes for easy clean up.

Enjoy the following recipes and appreciate their ease of prep and nutritious value as well as their delicious taste:

 

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

1 cup roughly chopped strawberries

¼ cup chopped red onion

½ small jalapeno pepper, minced

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 medium avocado, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until well mixed. Chill well and serve with grilled fish or shrimp.

 

Spiked Blueberry Basil Lemonade

12 ounces rum (can substitute vanilla rum, bourbon, vodka or pisco)

1 cup of fresh blueberries

1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed

24 ounces quality lemonade (preferably homemade)

1-2 liters of chilled seltzer or club soda

Arrange a dozen ½ pint jam jars or cocktail glasses on the counter

Add 1 ounce of rum and a few blueberries and a few basil leaves to each glass and gently muddle.  Top with two ounces of lemonade and cover each jar or glass and shake.  Add ice and seltzer right before serving.  Think outside the box for garnishes:  sprigs of basil, mint, rosemary, thyme or slices of lemon.  Even sprigs of lavender or nasturtium flowers.

 

Sweet and Tangy Slaw

1 cup mayo

2 T. brown sugar

2 T. lime juice

2 T. white vinegar

1 T. light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper

2 (16 oz) packages prepared quality coleslaw mix

Whisk together first 8 ingredients in large bowl.  Add coleslaw mix and toss to coat.  Cover and chill 20 minutes or until ready to serve.  Even good on grilled franks!