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How-to Tips For Keeping Your Finances Fresh Throughout the Year

How-to Tips For Keeping Your Finances Fresh Throughout the Year | Family Life Tips Magazine

For many Americans, reaching and maintaining financial stability is a goal that tops their checklists.

However, the strategies necessary for achieving that goal can quickly fall by the wayside.

Consider these tips from Bank of America Credit Cards Executive Jason Gaughan that you can put in place to help keep your finances in check throughout the year.

Make Financial Goals More Attainable
The key to achieving financial goals is to make them measurable. Try to focus on achievable outcomes that slowly push you in the right direction financially. For example, if you are planning to make a large purchase, give yourself a specific, short-term goal like saving $50 from a paycheck so you can effectively measure your progress and build toward your purchase over time.

Redeeming your credit card rewards wisely can also help you more seamlessly reach your financial goals. Some cards allow you to redeem cash rewards directly into a checking or savings account or to apply to your credit card balance. In some cases, rewards can also be applied into longer-term investments like 529 accounts for college savings or a retirement fund, letting your everyday spending help fuel your future goals.

“Earning cash back on everyday purchases can provide extra funds to invest, splurge on a family vacation or put a down payment on a new car,” Gaughan said. “Whatever your financial goals are, a rewards card can help you get closer to achieving them.”

Tips for How-to Reduce the Number of Credit Cards in Your Wallet | Family Life Tips Magazine

Reduce the Number of Credit Cards in Your Wallet

A Bank of America survey found 52% of Americans weigh down their wallets with multiple cards to earn rewards across different categories. By choosing a flexible credit card that allows you to earn benefits across various categories, you can consolidate and eliminate the need to juggle a variety of rewards cards.

One flexible card option is the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, which allows you to choose from one of six categories – gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement – to earn 3% cash back on purchases each month along with 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, up to $2,500 each quarter. Cardholders also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cards such as this reward all your purchases, especially those in the places where you spend most frequently so you can maximize your cash back.

Cut Unnecessary Spending and Tackle Debts
If you’re dreaming of financial freedom, a budget is one of the first steps toward getting there. Start by reviewing bank and credit card statements from at least the past three months to gain a better understanding of your spending habits and identify areas you could improve. While cutting back on non-essentials is typically a good place to start, this is also an opportunity to identify areas you can get better deals by switching providers for things like car or homeowner’s insurance as well as your cellphone, internet and other home services.

Once you’ve addressed your expenses, consider tackling your debts. To determine which debts need to be prioritized, look at the interest rates and principal costs of each and focus on paying off debts with higher interest rates first. Reducing your debt should take priority over most savings goals.

Discover New Ways to be Rewarded
You may be eligible to enroll in a banking rewards program like Bank of America Preferred Rewards, which gives members access to a variety of everyday banking benefits including credit card rewards bonuses on eligible cards from 25-75%, home and auto loan discounts, free stock trades, ATM fee waivers and more.

Layering your banking rewards program together with airline, hotel, credit card, dining and shopping rewards programs can help boost your financial rewards earnings to the highest level.

Use Digital Banking Tools to Gain Full Visibility Into Your Finances

When using a combination of multiple rewards and savings strategies, it can be hard to keep track of where and how much you’re earning and saving at a given time.

Your bank may offer digital tools that provide assistance and resources to simplify your banking experience. For example, some digital dashboards allow cardholders to track their rewards earnings and redemptions, and discover additional benefits. Those using their bank’s application on their computer or phone can typically manage their rewards, deals and benefits across multiple rewards programs.

Keep Tabs on Your Credit Reports and Scores
A numeric representation of your credit, your credit score signifies to lenders what kind of borrower you are. Because it influences everything from mortgage and auto loan rates to credit card approvals, keeping an eye on where you stand can be important in achieving your financial goals. It’s smart to periodically check your credit score to make sure everything is accurate and know where you stand. You can check your score through the major credit bureaus, and some credit card issuers even allow you to view your score for free through online or mobile banking.

The key to keeping your finances fresh is to create a simple strategy that allows you to push toward your financial goals all year long. By consolidating your wallet, creating realistic goals and budgeting, you can set yourself up for financial success.

Earn Rewards Where You Spend Most
According to the spending analysis of more than 50 million Bank of America credit and debit cardholders, the average cardholder spent $3,174 on groceries, $2,430 on dining, $2,319 on travel and $1,627 on gas last year.

“Regardless of whether your spending priorities change frequently or remain steady, you should consider a flexible card that allows you to earn cash back across multiple categories that align with your spending patterns,” Gaughan said.

Top Tips to Help Children Start the School Year Off Right

Top Tips to Help Children Start the School Year Off Right | Family Life Tips Magazine

As kids head back to school, it’s important to provide them with the necessary resources to succeed.

As a parent, you can take steps to put your kids on the path toward a successful school year.

To help your children put the best foot forward, consider these suggestions from The Salvation Army, which operates hundreds of low-cost after-school programs for kids of all ages in low-income neighborhoods across the country and understands the importance of setting children up for success all year.

Transitioning your way back to a normal school schedule | Family Life Tips Magazine

Get back into a routine. During the summer months, family routines tend to slide, especially morning rituals and bedtime habits. A few weeks before school starts, begin transitioning your way back to a normal school schedule. A gentle progression toward earlier bed and wake-up times is easier on kids physically and mentally. Try adjusting by 15 minutes each day until you reach the optimal schedule for your family. Remember that routines aren’t just about the clock, though. If there are certain steps that are part of the school year routine, such as packing lunches and laying out clothes for the next day before bed, make those part of your transition plan, too.

Set a good example. Kids learn important behavioral lessons by watching the adults in their lives. The back-to-school season provides many opportunities to demonstrate compassion and social responsibility. For example, giving back to an organization like The Salvation Army helps provide funding for programs that support the educational needs of children who otherwise may not have access to the same resources.

Research resources for homework help. Discovering your child is struggling in school can be overwhelming. You’ll want to be able to pull in help as quickly as possible, so it’s a good idea to research resources in your area that can help provide support outside the classroom. Your school likely has some options available, but it’s a good idea to also look into tutoring programs and other community services that encourage literacy and study skills as well as provide one-on-one assistance with homework and school assignments.

Get organized. The first few weeks of school typically bring plenty of change and adjustment. You can help manage the stress by creating some structure. Use a wall calendar to keep track of school start and dismissal times, bus pick-up and drop-off times, after school activities and other appointments. Review lunch menus and plan ahead so you’re not finding out at bedtime that you need to pack a home lunch in the morning. Stock up on breakfast foods and make time to catch up on laundry before school begins so hunger and wayward socks don’t derail your mornings.

Explore extra-curricular programs. With the new school year comes numerous ways to enrich your kids’ social and cognitive development. Extra-curricular activities let kids continue practicing skills even after the school bell rings, but in a fun environment so they may not even realize they’re still learning and cultivating healthy, safe relationships with friends. In addition to sports and clubs, a wide array of music and art education activities may be available that focus on everything from choir, band and dancing to drawing, writing and acting.

Set goals. Begin the school year by encouraging your children to take ownership and pride in their learning. Talk about goals like reading a certain number of books each month or earning grades that reflect their highest potential. Get kids motivated by designing goal boards or charts that can serve as daily reminders and track their progress. For larger goals, consider setting milestones so they can celebrate progress along the way and stay motivated for a big finish.

Learn more about educational and giving opportunities in your community at SalvationArmyUSA.org.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool | Family Life Tips Magazine

When it’s hot outside, heat can seep into your home and make it unbearable.

However, there are sustainable, eco-friendly solutions to maximize comfort and cooling when the thermometer creeps upward without racking up an outrageous electric bill or large carbon footprint.

While some options for keeping your home cool involve an upfront investment, over time they’ll save money, and the environment, for years to come. If you’re looking for ways to cool your home during even the hottest days, consider these ideas from the experts at Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating.

Adjust Ceiling Fans

Installing ceiling fans in your home can help keep temperatures moderate and cut down on your cooling bill. For best results, those ceiling fans should be adjusted seasonally. During warm weather months, fans should rotate counterclockwise at a higher speed to push air downward instead of up toward the ceiling, which can lead to a more comfortable temperature in your home.

Mitsubishi Electric’s sleek and modern MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette | Family Life Tips MagazineUpgrade Your Air Conditioner

If your home’s climate control is lacking, it may be time to invest in a new HVAC system – particularly if your current one is more than 15 years old. An energy-efficient option like Mitsubishi Electric’s sleek and modern MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette is designed for easy installation and saves energy by monitoring room conditions to make automatic adjustments to maintain the temperature you choose. To improve your indoor air quality, the MLZ uses reusable air filters, which are easy to remove, wash and reinstall. In Dry mode, the unit makes the air feel fresher by removing excess moisture.

Additionally, these ceiling cassettes can be programmed to operate around your life using a remote control, smartphone or tablet. Whether gone for the day or on an extended vacation, you can monitor your system from an app, ensuring you won’t return to a home that’s blazing hot.

Reduce Incoming Sunlight During the Day

Direct sunlight coming into your home through windows, doors or skylights can increase the temperature. To help reduce unwanted heat as the sun rises higher during the day, consider closing your blinds or installing light-colored blinds that reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat. Other options such as blackout curtains or reflective window panels can have the same effect, helping reduce warmth trapped inside.

If closing all your blinds or covering every window isn’t an option or makes you feel claustrophobic, focus on any south- or west-facing rooms in your home, as these are typically the trickiest to keep cool during the warmest hours of the day – usually from late morning until early evening. Exterior window shades and awnings can also be useful options if you’re looking to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home, but still want to take advantage of the natural light.

Change Your Light Bulbs

Since warmer weather also equates to more sunshine, turning off the incandescent lights in your house when possible can cut down on extra heat and save on your energy bill. Though the soft yellow glow of incandescent light bulbs can create a nice ambiance, it also gives off a lot of heat. Swapping out those old light bulbs for more efficient, LED bulbs can cut down on the amount of heat your light fixtures emit. If you can’t replace them, minimizing their usage – particularly when having a light on in a room is unnecessary – can make a difference.

Strategically Plant Trees and Shrubs

Planting trees or shrubs near sunlight-facing windows can make a big difference when it comes to the temperature inside your home by shielding the sun’s rays. While planting trees strategically around your home is more of a long-term plan, the benefits can also last for many years to come in terms of shade, added curb appeal and overall betterment of the earth.

Start by focusing on west-facing walls, where the sun is typically the strongest. Choosing trees native to your area can decrease maintenance, and those that bloom in spring and drop leaves in the fall offer year-round benefits by providing both shade and heat in accordance with the season. Vines and other tall shrubs are options for quicker results, but they may also require more long-term maintenance.

Reduce Appliance Usage

To help minimize running appliances and equipment that generate a lot of heat, like stoves and ovens, choose to cook outdoors or opt for quicker meals you can prepare using the microwave, which doesn’t heat the house to the same extent. While grilling and eating outside more frequently may require an awning or gazebo to stay cooler, it can beat the alternative of warming up your oven, and ultimately your home, for an extended period of time.

Reducing your usage of other heat-producing appliances such as computers, dishwashers, clothes dryers, curling irons and hair dryers can also help keep interior temperatures comfortable and energy use low. Try using these appliances earlier in the day to minimize the extra load placed on your air conditioner.

Keeping cool during warm weather months doesn’t have to be complicated. Take advantage of these measures to reduce your home’s heat load and energy bill. Find more tips for cooling your home at mitsubishicomfort.com.

Learn The Importance Of Spending Time With Family And Friends From Kai “The Cuddly Panducorn”

Author, Mother and Wife - Kathy Tran | Family Life Tips Magazine


We are without a doubt living in the most tech savvy era of the world. We moved from using limited technology in our daily lives to incorporating technology in every aspect of our lives. Whether its communication, taking photos, working or any other thing for that matter there is always an element of technology involved. Technology has totally taken over our lives so much so that most of the time we don’t even listen to what the person next to us is talking about.

Author Kathy Tran - Pictured with Family | Family Life Tips Magazine
Author Kathy Tran – Pictured with Family | Family Life Tips Magazine

When we look at the older generations we see a lot of happy people who spent most of their young lives without using any fancy gadgets. Those people knew the importance of spending time with friends and family. Unfortunately, with time we have lost that feeling and sense of importance for family and friends. These days’ people tend to spend so much time on their phones that they start treating their online activities as part of their real life. Some things might have gone wrong in the middle but it is crucial for us to work hard on our future generations. It is very important to teach them the importance of spending time with friends and family and what better way to do it than by a children’s book.

From Kai Can’t Do To Kai Can Do

Let’s take a look at the journey of Kai the cuddly panducorn. Kai is a cute and innocent Panducorn. He lives in the wonderful world of rainbows and sunshine. It is a magical world where everyone is happy and where everyone tries to spread positivity all around. Kai is a panducorn. His father is a Panda and his mother is a beautiful unicorn and because of her unique parentage he has the magical powers of both pandas and unicorns. Out of all the different things that Kai enjoys, spending time with his friends and eating ice cream were two of his most favorite things until he got his Mypad. It was given to him as a birthday present by his friends. They gifted it to him so that he could use it to learn different things however Kai does a lot more than just use it or educational purposes.

Kai never took his eyes off his Mypad. It’s like he got glued to it. All his friends and family asked him to join them in their fun activities but he always declined. He felt like he only needed his Mypad to have fun. Whether its attending birthday parties or hanging out with friends Kai refused everything. No matter the season and time of the day Kai never left his Mypad alone. Whenever anyone asked him to join them in their fun activities, he only says one thing “Kai Can’t Do”. His friends asked him to help them color in the unicorn drawings and rainbows but Kai had the same answer for them ‘Kai Can’t Do’. He got so involved in his Mypad that he didn’t even listen to his parents anymore. His mom asked him to help her make unicorn cookies and cupcake but Kai kept playing on his Mypad and kept saying ‘Kai Can’t Do’.

Kai was ignoring everyone due to his Mypad and like all other kids who don’t listen to their parents and play more than they should, Kai’s Mypad broke down. He fell to the ground and his fall damaged his Mypad beyond any repairs. He felt like he lost something very important however that feeling was temporary and a matter of seconds as once he got rid of his broken tablet he could now see the beauty in the world. He could see the beauty in spending time together with friends and family. He started noticing things that he previously didn’t even notice due to his extraordinary involvement in his playful tablet. He started joining in different parties and gathering that he previously didn’t even notice. It was after this that he realized that his Mypad was fun but it was not as fun as enjoying some quality time with friends. He started listening to his parents and helped them around the house as well. His ‘Kai Can’t Do’ attitude quickly changed to ‘Kai Can Do’. It not only made him happy but also made his friends and family happy as well. They missed Kai as much as Kai missed them. After his Mypad broke down Kai realized that there is so much more to the world than just staying glued to your devices. He started enjoying ice cream parties, riding bicycles, building castles on the beach and many more things.


Kai Can Do is an amazing book with a very strong message for kids and adults alike. In the present day and time, people get absorbed into their devices. It is very important for parents to limit their child’s use of mobile phones and tablets. Once they get addicted to these devices then they will not only miss some important enjoyable events in their lives but it will also affect their early development. You need to make your kids socialize with other people on a face to face level instead of on the mobile phone. Technology is good. It is helpful and can be educative but extensive use of technology can make you ignore people. When you limit your use of technology you start realizing how beautiful life really is. You start to see the sunshine and rainbows all around. As mentioned earlier, the use of technology makes you ignore people and once the time is gone you might never be able to spend time with those people ever again so it is important to cherish every moment. This book explains the importance of prioritizing spending time with your friends and family. It is not just fun but also great for your child’s mental and physical health. Your children can only know the importance of spending quality time with their loved ones once they experience it themselves. So if you want your children to live a magical life then the first thing you should do is make them prioritize family and friends over games and mobile phones. Mobile phones and tablet might be fun to use but once you experience the fun and enjoyment from spending time with your family and friends you never want to shy away from that ever again.

Making Communities More Pet-Friendly

How-to Make Communities More Pet-Friendly | Family Life Tips Magazine

The human-animal bond can be a powerful connection with pets providing positive impacts on the lives of their owners.

Mars Petcare works to create a more pet-friendly world so that more people and pets can live happily together. A survey on behalf of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program highlighted what people love about their pets and the benefits of making four-legged friends more welcome. For tools and resources to help make your community more pet-friendly, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.

How-to Create a Balanced Diet by Making a Better Sandwich

How-to Create a Balanced Diet by Making a Better Sandwich | Family Life Tips Magazine

Fad diets come and go, and as many Americans find, so do the pounds they lose.

Most experts agree that eliminating, or drastically reducing, any of the major foods groups from your diet can be detrimental to your health and prevent you from achieving long-term healthy eating goals.

Each of the food groups plays a distinct role in fueling your body and providing it with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Attempt a well-rounded approach to eating, such as one that includes more nutritious choices for popular dishes like sandwiches. In general, pay attention to the variety, amount and nutrition of the foods you consume.

Consider these ideas for creating a balanced diet and a nutritious sandwich to help ensure you get enough of each food group:

Start from the Outside
There are two groups of grains: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, while refined grains have been milled for a finer texture and are required to be enriched per government mandate to help the population make up for nutrient shortfalls. Grains should account for about one quarter of each meal, but at least half of them should be whole grains – a fact that may surprise some people.

“Many health professionals mistakenly encourage consumers to skip the bread when trying to improve diets,” said Yanni Papanikolaou from Nutrition Strategies Inc., who completed a study to assess the energy and nutrients contributed from sandwiches in diets of children and adolescents. “Americans need to think twice before cutting bread from their diets. In fact, bread packs more of a nutrient punch than a caloric one.”

BEEF CheckmarkThe ingredients inside a sandwich, not the bread itself, are the most significant drivers of calories, fat and sodium, according to Papanikolaou’s research. A separate study published in the journal “Nutrients” shows grain foods contribute less than 15 percent of all calories in the total diet, while delivering greater than 20 percent of three shortfall nutrients – dietary fiber, folate and iron – and greater than 10 percent of calcium, magnesium and vitamin A.

Consumers can significantly and positively impact their caloric, fat and sodium intake by making more deliberate decisions about sandwich ingredients, including choosing either whole-grain or enriched-grain bread. Find more information about the role of grains in a healthy diet at GrainFoodsFoundation.org.

Rethink the Ingredients
Making more nutritious choices with sandwiches and positively impacting your consumption of calories, fat and sodium is oftentimes a matter of changing the way you stack ingredients between the bread. Consider this sample sandwich: two slices of whole-grain or enriched bread, 2-3 slices of lunchmeat, two slices of cheese, a few spinach or lettuce leaves and a slice of tomato.

Contrary to popular belief, research shows that sandwich eaters who choose either whole- or enriched-grain bread can consume less calories, fat and sodium compared to the typical sandwich consumed in the American diet. This demonstrates the need to focus on the ingredients between the bread for a better (more healthful) sandwich.

Try a different take on a lunchtime favorite by adding spicy horseradish to this Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwich, or make packing a lunch even simpler with this Ultra-Thin Pastrami Sandwich Lunchbox.

According to the USDA, most Americans get about the right amount of protein in their diets, but could do better at choosing leaner options and adding more variety to their menus.

Incorporating more variety doesn’t have to mean sacrificing convenience. For example, while prepared meats like deli meats, hot dogs and jerky are sometimes a target of critics, numerous studies and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm they can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Prepared beef products provide a convenient source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Because most prepared meats are pre-cooked, they offer consumers easy, on-the-go access to the nutrient density in meat.

The prepared meats category is diverse and offers choices to meet nutrition needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences. Thousands of products are available in the meat case, including low- and reduced-sodium products, low- and reduced-fat products, American Heart Association-certified, organic, Kosher grass-fed options and more. Learn more at meatpoultrynutrition.org.

Try these Beef Sandwich Recipes Below

  1. Recipe: Ultra-Thin Pastrami Sandwich Lunchbox
  2. Recipe: Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwich

How-to Properly Prepare Your Kids to Head Back to School

How-to Properly Prepare Your Kids to Head Back to School | Family Life Tips Magazine

Whether your child’s stance on heading back to school is eager and enthusiastic or falls a bit short of that level of excitement, by working together your family can gear up for a successful school year.

Transitioning back into school mode can feel overwhelming for many families. From building relationships with the educators at your child’s school to ensuring all the right equipment and supplies are on-hand, you can help your child feel well-prepared when the school bell rings.

Talk with teachers. Many schools host open house nights, and these serve as opportunities for parents to meet new teachers and discuss any concerns. Particularly as kids advance in grades and begin rotating through teachers, these events provide a chance for parents to begin building a relationship with teachers that develops more naturally in younger grades, when kids are the same classroom most of the day. If your district doesn’t host this type of event, reach out to the teachers to request time to meet one-on-one. Use the meeting to talk about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and to learn what to expect from the year ahead, including communication styles and frequency.

Make Sure Your Kids have the Proper School Supplies Before Heading Back to School | Family Life Tips MagazineGather school supplies. Sales start early on all the back-to-school necessities, so you can start bargain shopping early. As kids approach upper grade levels, it’s also a good idea to start exploring long-term supplies they can use year after year, such as a graphing calculator. For example, Texas Instruments’ TI-84 Plus CE can take students through all of the math and science courses they need to take in middle school, high school, college and into their careers. The calculator is 30% thinner and 30% lighter than previous models with six times the memory for storing vivid, full-color graphs, images and data. The lightweight, durable design comes in fun colors like Rose Curve Gold so students can crunch numbers in style. Learn more at education.ti.com/84ce.

Gear up for extracurricular activities. Learning during the academic year isn’t limited to the classroom. Extracurricular activities allow kids to practice what they’re learning in the classroom in practical ways while teaching valuable lessons about social interaction, teamwork and more. Often, these activities require special equipment such as uniforms or sporting equipment, so be sure to check into the requirements, including signups and tryout dates, and make note of deadlines and items you’ll need to obtain. Also keep in mind that some extracurriculars begin before school formally resumes, so early is better when planning to sign your child up for any activities outside of the classroom.

Research college prep information. For students in upper grade levels, it’s never too early to begin planning toward college. Whether it’s time to register for entrance exam testing or simply begin taking practice tests or attending coaching sessions, it’s smart to start early and begin working toward those milestones. As your child completes registration and considers which classes to enroll in, encourage him or her to consider dual credit classes to get a head start on college curriculum. Also keep in mind that electives are a convenient way for students to explore topics and interests that may translate into future careers.

Take time to talk. Especially if your child is a worrier, he or she may benefit from having you open the door to a conversation to air any trepidation. A new school building, new teachers, new friends and new coursework can all be overwhelming. Even if your child seems to take it all in stride, encouraging him or her to share any thoughts or concerns sends an important message that you’re interested in helping work through any issues.

Tackling the preparation for another busy school season as a family can help equip your child with all he or she needs to start the year on a path toward success.

Cherries, A Sweet Superfruit for Summer Meals

Cherries, A Sweet Superfruit for Summer Meals | Family Life Tips Magazine

From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor. . .

But also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.

Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.

The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite. Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.

Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at nwcherries.com.

Give these super tasty cherry recipes a try below.

  1. Mouthwatering Cherry Sauce
  2. Tempting Cherry Bruschetta

Recipe: Tempting Cherry Bruschetta

Recipe: Tempting Cherry Bruschetta Recipe | Family Life Tips Magazine

Kick off your summer patio party with this quick and refreshing tempting cherry bruschetta.

Crispy toasted flavor packed bread rubbed with olive oil, garlic, and fresh cilantro will have your party guests begging for more.

Cherry Bruschetta

Servings: 6

  • 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.

Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers (Cherry Bruschetta)

Recipe: Mouthwatering Cherry Sauce

Mouthwatering Cherry Sauce Recipe | Family Life Tips Magazine

If you’re looking for a simple sweet and delightful cherry sauce that will not only make your mouth water and will delight your dinner guests all at the same time.

This amazing cherry sauce recipe is the one you’ll want.

Mouthwatering Cherry Sauce

Servings: 16

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
  • 4 cups dried cranberries
  • 4 peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • raspberries (optional)
  1. In medium saucepot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.
  2. Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.
  3. Cool 30 minutes-1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.
  4. Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cherry Sauce)