From Farm to Garden, Enjoying Fresh, Healthy, & Adventurous Summer Cooking

From Farm to Garden, Enjoying Fresh, Healthy, & Adventurous Summer Cooking

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* Disclosure: I’m part of the Finish Power & Free Alliance of Moms and received complimentary product samples to facilitate this review, as well as compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.

As funny as this may sound after experiencing the longest winter in recent memory, I absolutely love the change of seasons. Even when that change brings on bitingly cold New England winters, a new season means I get the chance to cook, create, and spend time with my family in a whole new way. As our days become filled with sunshine, I constantly think of new summer dishes and delicious meals to fit a new season of warmth and adventure.

One of my favorite parts of the summer comes from my love of cooking and gardening. This summer for the first time, I have a farm share with friends, and every weekend we travel to the farm and pick up incredibly fresh vegetables – even such new finds as scapes, kohlrabi, and Komatsuma – for adventuresome new recipes. Most weekends we arrive without even knowing what we’ll find but always leave inspired to create something flavorful. Between the farm share and the herbs I grow in flower boxes around my deck, the summer proves the best time for my husband and me to truly experiment and try new recipes in the kitchen and on the grill.

With such wonderful ingredients and seemingly endless recipes to try, I look forward to making dinner each evening – and my family loves the colorful and tasty dishes that fit perfectly with the relaxing summer atmosphere. By grabbing some basil, oregano, or chives from my herb garden and incorporating fresh vegetables from the farm, I can finally celebrate the onset of summer with bright salads, flavorful fish recipes, and exciting summer pasta dishes.

But as I challenge myself to create new dishes for my family, one obstacle remains: the clean up! Even with the incredible new ingredients I discover every weekend, no recipe leaves me without a bit of a mess in the kitchen. In fact, the adventurous recipes leave us with the most dishes! The days grow longer this time of year, and while I absolutely cherish these beautiful summer evenings, I really don’t want to spend them grappling with a mound of dishes.

While I’m cooking with such fresh, local ingredients, I love that I can clean up with a dishwashing detergent that uses less-harsh chemicals. With products like Finish Quantum Power & Free Detergent and Jet-Dry Power & Free Rinse Aid, I know I can get my dishes clean and fresh – even the sauté pans with remnants of seared-on ingredients and dishes with lingering garlicky sauces – while using a gentler process. And I still love the fresh smell from the Power & Free products when I open the dishwasher each morning.

There’s something about truly being at peace with yourself while sitting in the sunlight, or enjoying the soft silence that comes with dusk in the summertime, that makes this change of season one of my favorites. And with more outdoor time comes more opportunities to create memories even more wonderful than the dishes my husband and I serve. Whether a farm share, your own herb garden, or simply buying a great summer cookbook, the new summer season offers us the chance to try something new, both in and outside of the kitchen. And thanks to products by Finish, we know we can extend this fresh, more gentle approach to our nightly clean up, and truly enjoy our wonderful summertime family meals.


Finish Power Free


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To enter our giveaway, leave a comment below on how you and your family celebrate summer! The giveaway begins Monday, July 14 at 9 a.m., EST, and ends at 3 p.m., EST on Monday, July 21, 2014. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email.

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Stephanie Kaufman
Stephanie Kaufman
Feeling for much of her life that she couldn't sit still long enough to thread a needle and that all in all, she'd rather be reading, Stephanie Kaufman discovered crafting in her late 40s and now loves knitting, sewing, and household decorative arts.
Stephanie Kaufman

Comments (34)

  1. Jessie C. says:

    We celebrate summer by going camping and swimming, enjoy all fun!

  2. Melissa says:

    We celebrate the warm weather by going to the park and grilling out as much as possible during the summer.

  3. neiddy says:

    We celebrate summer by enjoying the outdoors, having cook-outs and going to the beach

  4. Nicole N says:

    We love to be in the pool and have BBQ’s!

  5. lisa brown says:

    We celebrate by going camping during the summer; maybe going to the lake.

  6. Cynthia R says:

    We celebrate summer by spending a lot of time at the pool and grilling out

  7. Anitha Kuppuswamy says:

    We celebrate summer by spending a lot of time at the pool & local parks!!!

  8. april vogel says:

    by having picnics, going on bikerides.

  9. allison says:

    We celebrate summer by spending a lot of time at the pool and amusement parks, and bbq.

  10. shana vaughn says:

    My family celebrates the summer time by camping! We love sunshine and the lake! We enjoy fishing and BBQ’ing!

  11. rondah says:

    We do a lot of fishing and camping as a family

  12. Sarah Oswald says:

    We love to celebrate summer by spending time together at BBQ’s, swimming,and just hanging in the yard watching the wildlife.

  13. Naomie says:

    We love to spend time by the pool and at the beach. We try to grill often, make s’mores at night.

  14. Susan Christy says:

    We take road trips to visit family, go to festivals and fairs and spend a lot of time outdoors.

  15. Kim Henrichs says:

    We do a lot of biking on the rail trail, and we take a few road trips to Maine. Gotta have that good summer Maine food!!!

  16. Lauren E. says:

    We spend tons of time by the pool and beach. Plus we go fishing as a family

  17. tammigirl says:

    The best part of summer for us is breaking out the grill! Also, we love to hit up the local old-fashioned ice cream stand as often as possible.

  18. Toaa says:

    Outdoor grilling!

  19. meredith says:

    My family goes to the beach together during the summer!

  20. Mami2jcn says:

    We celebrate summer by heading to the beach, of course!

  21. elishia bakle says:

    summer time is time to hit the beach! get the cooler loaded with fresh fruits waters and sandwiches and head out to a beach nearby or the ones on the gulf! Its great to go to the state park and meet up with friends and fam to bbq and swim in the springs too!

  22. Elle says:

    We celebrate summer by spending a lot of fun, family time at the beach and by doing a lot of outdoor activities together. We always look online and in the local paper for different events going on and have family outings and make the most of the usually beautiful weather.

  23. jes says:

    We celebrate summer by visiting our annual family vacation spot.

  24. Linda says:

    We celebrate summer by going to the park a lot and staying active. We like to take walks together in the evening after dinner. It’s great.

  25. Shelly Peterson says:

    We celebrate summer going swimming and having bbq’s. we love to be out doors.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  26. Laura J says:

    Oh we love so swim alot, and just started our first time ever mini garden this year! Having so much fun!!!

  27. Kelly D says:

    We celebrate the summer by spending a lot of time outside, swimming, going on nature walks and playing games.

  28. kim kihega says:

    We celebrate summer by spending our days in the pool and cooking out!

  29. Tammy Si says:

    we spend as much time outdoors as possible , eat every meal on our deck and spend as much time as we can at our family lakehouse

  30. Ashley C says:

    We celebrate summer by hitting up different parks in the area, checking out all the zoos, and trying to be outside as much as possible


  31. Jennifer H. says:

    We celebrate summer by taking road trips.

  32. Melissa Moore says:

    We celebrate by going camping.

  33. Staci A says:

    We celebrate by spending more time together playing outside.

  34. heather says:

    We love to celebrate summer with bbq’s and trips down the river.

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