Summer is here!

First weekend of June is here and the Traditions crew made the most of a summer weekend.

Good food, great friends, and a little wine are the perfect recipe for a summer evening. In Naples, dinner al fresco is the way to go.


Rhubarb Festival! 

Who knew Wisconsin had a festival exclusively devoted to rhubarb? Mark your calendars for next June. Nothing says summer like a great rhubarb crisp. See one of our favorite recipes below.



Edina Art Fair! 

For those who stayed in the Twin Cities, the Edina Art Fair was packed with great local artists, food and shopping.

Sides, Mains & Dessert

As we mentioned in part 1 of this post, nothing says summer more to us than a little Backyard BBQ with our friends and family. We love a good game of cornhole or horseshoes, a cold beverage and some yummy food to go along with it. Our least favorite part of the whole shabang is having to cook all the food—we’d rather be enjoying the festivities and not stuck inside! Luckily, all of us at Traditions know our way around the kitchen and have a couple recipes up our sleeves that are worth sharing for your next potluck style party! We hope you can enjoy some of our favorites sides, mains and desserts as much as we do!

Kersten’s Homemade Cole Slaw
1 medium Head of green cabbage
1 large crispy red apple (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)
1 cup Mayo
1/2 cup White Distilled Vinegar
2 tablespoons White Sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed

Start by thinly slicing the head of cabbage into strips. Do a rough chop to make cabbage more bite-size.
 Slice the apple into thin strips; set cabbage and apple aside.
 In a separate bowl add vinegar and sugar and whisk until sugar is nearly dissolved. Add in mayo and whisk till creamy. Add celery seed. 
Pour mayo mixture over cabbage and apple. 
Kersten likes her coleslaw not very saucy, so she pours just enough for everything to be coated—but save the remaining sauce. Cover coleslaw and store in fridge until it is chilled. Just before serving, give it a stir and add the remaining sauce, if desired.

(Kersten said this recipe also goes great on blackened fish tacos!)

Rhonda’s Super Simple Watermelon + Herb Salad

4 cups seedless watermelon in 1 inch cubes
1/4 c whole mint leaves
1/4 c whole basil leaves
2 Tbsp parsley chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c diced feta (4 oz)

Combine watermelon and leaves in large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and gently toss with watermelon. Gently add feta.

Cat’s Convertible Cauliflower Salad

Find any good potato salad recipe, either a tried and true or brand new recipe found online and replace the potatoes with cauliflower. Everything you love in a potato salad with the added health benefit of cauliflower!

Carolynn’s Favorite Go-To:
Grilled Sausages
Carolynn is the health nut of the store. We have all learned proper portion sizes for almost any food out there, including her quick, easy and healthy summer go-to snack!

Grilled chicken sausages – spicy or mild
Cut into chunks after grilling and serve with toothpicks to dip in an array of fancy mustard

Nancy’s Favorite:
Grilled Brats

Who doesn’t love the simplicity of a grilled brat when they’re sitting pool-side on a summer day? If you don’t, Nancy’s favorite recipe might just change your mind!

Grill brats until charred on outside, then 
put grilled brats in boiling bath of beer, sauerkraut and grainy mustard. Let brats boil until ready to serve. Serve in liquid.

Mary DJ’s BBQ

On the weekends, Mary loves to throw pork ribs on the grill and douse in her secret, homemade barbecue sauce. It’s so delicious and coveted, that she won’t share the recipe with us 😜 Maybe if you stop in and visit her at the store, she’ll share with you!

Sharon’s Mouthwatering Brisket

4-5 lb brisket
3 oz  liquid smoke
1 cup water

Place brisket in shallow a pan and sprinkle entire bottle of liquid smoke over the top; add the water.  Bake [uncovered] at 350 degrees for 2 hours

15 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
A couple shakes of Tabasco sauce

Blend together.  Pour over brisket and bake additional 2-3 hours [uncovered] basting every so often.  Meat will look black but is very tender.  Slice thin. (Sharon typically doubles the sauce — she pours 1/2 over the brisket while baking and serves the rest on alongside the brisket)

Suzanne’s Sandwich of Choice:
Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Whether it’s a family gathering or a quiet night in, Suzanne’s favorite BBQ dish to make comes from Bon Appetit.  The Carolina Pulled-Pork Sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser. The vinegary barbecue sauce is the crowning moment of this finger-licking-good sandwich!

Mary McElroy’s Favorite Tasty Treat:
Key Lime Bars

No barbecue is complete without a delicious dessert. These key lime bars are the perfect cap to a fantastic meal—the tangy Key Lime juice is the perfect compliment to a hot summer night. You’ll be the hit at the party with this recipe from

We’ve felt so inspired sharing all these recipes with you, we might just have to plan our next potluck in the courtyard of our Minneapolis store to celebrate the end of summer! We hope you enjoy these favorites as much as we do, and would love to hear how they turn out for you! Stop in to any of our 3 locations and share 😊




Drinks + Starters

Nothing says summer to us like a good ‘ole fashioned Backyard BBQ. We jump at the chance to have friends and family gather together, enjoy a game of cornhole, a cold libation and some tasty dishes (Okay…maybe the only thing better than that is not having to cook all the food)! Luckily, all of us at Traditions aren’t shy when it comes to food and have a couple recipes up our sleeves for a potluck style partaaayyyy! We hope you can enjoy some of our favorites just as much as we do!

Kathy’s Favorite Drink :
Moscow Mule

Kathy loves a good drink and has recently discovered the joy that is a Moscow Mule. Refreshing with a little bite, this drink will cool you down on any hot summers day!

1/2 of a fresh lime
2 ounces vodka
4 to 6 ounces ginger beer (Kathy recommends Crabby’s Orange Ginger Beer for a fun twist!)

Squeeze the lime over the ice, add vodka and ginger beer. Stir and garnish with lime wedge.
Note: The traditional way to serve the drink is in a copper mug, but if you don’t have one handy, it tastes just as good in a glass 😜 We promise!

David’s Favorite Drink:
Whole Citrus Party Margaritas

4 navel oranges, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 lemons, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 limes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 1/2 cups Silver Tequila (David recommends Partida Tequila)

Juice the oranges , lemons and limes. Pour the juice into a large pitcher. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Then stir in the Cointreau, Triple Sec and Tequila. To serve: Pour salt onto a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the top of each glass and dip the glass in the salt. Fill each glass halfway with ice and pour in the Tequila mix. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Lauren’s Favorite Snack:
Pimento Cheese

As made by Nancy, our bookkeeper extraordinaire, who used to run a blog and has been gracious enough to share her coveted pimento cheese recipe. This spread has quickly become a store favorite!

3/4 cup mayo
8 oz. roasted red peppers in a jar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound sharp cheddar, shredded
8 oz. whipped cream cheese

In a food processor combine mayo, red peppers, cayenne and garlic powder. Pulse the cheese into the mayo mixture, approximately 10 pulses. Fold in cream cheese. Refrigerate and serve with crackers or baguette slices.

Jalapeno image from: I Breathe I’m Hungry

Kriss’s Favorite Bite:
Grilled Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

1 pkg bacon
1 jar jalapeno slices
1 container cream cheese

To make: Lay bacon out in strips. Spread cream cheese on entire strip, lay jalapeno slice on bacon and roll. You can use a toothpick to hold, but sometimes they char on the grill. Place on top rack of grill to get insides more done- some cream cheese will be lost- so put a lot in to begin with. At the end place on lower rack to get the bacon nice and crispy.

These can also be done in the oven on an aluminum lined jelly roll pan, but spray aluminum foil with non stick spray first. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. When Kriss does them in the oven, she cuts the bacon in half so the jalapenos are done all the way through. Bake for 15 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Sidenote: The smoke detector WILL inevitably go off, so be prepared with proper fanning device 😆

Stay tuned for Part 2: Sides, Mains and Dessert…COMING SOON!