one.

In the garden you’ll want to plant okra, cucumbers, garlic, chives, basil and sunflowers from seeds. Keep an eye out for weeds and pull often so that does not get away from you. Keep nurturing those tomatoes and strawberries and fertilize as needed.

two.

In the herb garden you’ll want to clip mint back and make extracts for baking. Easy to make with vodka and herbs crushed and sealed in a dry and dark place for 6 weeks. Also begin freezing thyme and basil into little cubed treats to add a lovely touch in your homemade lemonades during the summer months poolside.

three.

Set aside three days to clean out the garage, checking the bikes and other equipment that may need a little cleaning and TLC. Pump up the tires and get everything in working order for a spontaneous family stroll around the block before things heat up next month!

four.

On my nightside table… Boo Walker’s “A Marriage Well Done” and “God-Shaped Hole” by Tiffanie DeBartolo.

five.

If you have not planned the summer camps for the children now is the time to get that done. There are plenty of day camps and weekly day only available for the littles that may be apprehensive about sleeping away from home.

six.

Commit to writing a love letter each day starting in June for one month to your spouse. You can have it bound and add it as a very special gift this year under the tree! Who knows? It might actually give some insights to the one you love as to your daily muses about them and the relationship you’re in.

seven.

If you are already on a schedule with doctor’s appointments GREAT! But if you are a little behind…I have found that by booking the annual children’s checkups during the summer months; this staves off the possibilities of them catching the flu. I would never go to the doctor in flu season unless I was already sick.

eight.

Now is a great time to spend the afternoon at the zoo. The littles should pack a camera and take turns creating artistic compositions of the animals. Encourage them to frame the animals differently and even zoom in and do something abstract. These could also be turned into really cute calendars for gifting family this holiday season.

nine.

With a few weeks left in crawfish season you might try your hand at cooking up some of those mud bugs! Being from North Carolina I had never tried them before moving here 29 years ago and finally this year I actually CRAVED them! They are delightful with other entrees such as baked cod or roasted red snapper.

ten.

As always, place that electronics basket close to the kitchen and forbid their use during suppertime! Go around the table and ask each of your family members to tell about their day or pick a subject and let everyone pitch in with opinions and commentary. This will build many things in your children, the ability to articulate their opinion and defend them is a skill that must be mastered safely in the round table of your home.

Alisa Murray’s Tasty Tempura Prawns with Mixed Vegetables

One of the hardest decisions we face when we go to a sushi restaurant is whether to also order the tempura. It is so tasty and for years I was a little hesitant to try to make it at home. I discovered that it’s so easy to do and I make it regularly as an after-school snack so that when we go out to eat, we only order sushi!

You’ll Need:
2 boxes of tempura batter
1 small can of soda water
Pan with 2” cooking oil hot
Fresh prawns shelled and deveined
Chopped asparagus, zucchini, sweet potato, onion, red bell peppers
Dipping sauce of your choice

In a bowl take the tempura batter and pour in the soda water
Dip the veggies into the batter and drop into the oil. Let it bounce there for a minute and flip. Once brown, scoop onto a paper towel to drain
Repeat ‘til all veggies have been “tempura’d” and then do your prawns so they are nice and hot!

Finish by adding a ponzu sauce, soy sauce, or a dipping sauce of your choice