Independence Day has come and gone, hopefully it was filled with laughter and celebration. The day we are sure looked a little different, with fewer guests and a lack of fireworks, 2020 showcased a fourth of July unlike any other.

Though everything has seemingly changed, we still did the one thing that we’re all good at; we ate good food. We got to cooking and came up with four patriotic dishes that can accompany any cookout all summer long.

Burgers and hotdogs are a staple to grill in the back yard. Not only are they easy to prepare, but they taste delicious! Add some Coney sauce, boom you’ve transformed your hotdog into a Coney dog or your hamburger bun into a sloppy joe. These core items are important pieces to any cookout, but it is ultimately the side dishes and the dessert that determine the success of your party.

Macaroni salad and potato salad are the side of choice at almost any summer gathering. The cool, creamy composition will leave you feeling refreshed on a hot summer day. If your tired of the same boring potato salad, try this Lemon Aioli Potato Salad. It will not only add a pop of color to your backyard BBQ, but it’s unique flavors will have your taste buds singing.

Lemon Aioli Potato Salad

3 pounds potatoes (I used a mix of small white, red, and blue potatoes)


1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon zest

2 small cloves garlic, finely minced

salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup chopped red onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

¼ – ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, just until potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes, then place them back into the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Quarter (or slice) steamed potatoes and place them into a large bowl, along with onion, bell pepper, and parsley.

Top with aioli and gently fold together. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Top with additional chopped red pepper and/or chopped parsley.

Note: Blue potatoes tend to bleed a little, so if you want to keep the color contained, mix them with a little aioli separately, to coat, before incorporating with the remaining ingredients.

Want something quick and easy to snack on at the pool? These two recipes pair perfectly for days poolside. This sweet salsa will give you serious payoff in little to no time! Not only do the flavors from the fresh fruit compliment the jicama really well, but the saltiness from the tortilla chips adds the perfect combination of flavors that will have you dipping back in over and over again.

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup diced strawberries

1 cup diced jicama

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper stemmed and seeded

Juice of 1 large lime

Salt to taste

Tortilla chips for serving

In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips at room temperature or chilled.

If salsa and Chips are not your snack of choice, try this summer salad that is sure to amplify any outdoor gathering. Featuring tomatoes, sweet blueberries, creamy mozzarella, and bold balsamic vinegar, it wont disappoint. It’s a flavor explosion!

Blueberry Tomato Caprese

1-pint blueberries

2 pints cherry tomatoes

fresh basil

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper

firm buffalo mozzarella cheese

Wash blueberries and cherry tomatoes and drain well in a colander. Half cherry tomatoes and toss in a serving bowl with blueberries, set aside.

Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/4 or 1/2" slices and then cut into small stars with a cookie cutter. Top the tomatoes and blueberries with the star cheese.

Tear fresh basil over-top and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Finally, no party is complete without some dessert. The endless options could leave you feeling overwhelmed. This cake recipe is easy to make, and it tastes amazing. Just swap in food coloring and sprinkles depending on the occasion, and your dessert will wow the crowd!

Homemade Funfetti Cake

Funfetti Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch salt, optional and to taste

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup sour cream, lite is okay (plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sprinkles (red, white, and blue)

1/8 teaspoon each of red and blue gel food coloring

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, optional salt; set aside.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth.

Divide batter into thirds, add red coloring to one and blue to another.

Gently stir in the sprinkles, taking care not to overmix or they could bleed.

Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes (start checking at 25 minutes), or until center is set and not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.

Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool. While cake cools, make the frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3–4 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*

2 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

salt, to taste

Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes.

Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add 1/4 teaspoon (or more) if frosting is too sweet.

Frost cooled cake as desired and top with sprinkles. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you wish to use.

There you have it, four simple recipes that will keep your summer fresh and leave more time to be out soaking up sunshine and memories. Slow down and enjoy the dog days of summer before the cold and snowy winter days return.

Ohio Amish Country is comprisied of so many wonderful small businesses; each one comprised of their own unique story. Tom and Tara Bright are the owners of one of those businesses. Keep reading to hear Tara's perspective on what it's been like to take over a family business and how they transformed it into a business both her and Tom are passionate about.

We never envisioned ourselves having an "Urban Winery'' in the country when we conceived our dream of starting a winery. However, that all changed overnight when Tom’s mom had a stroke and we took over his family’s business. The idea of shutting down the family business after 40 years of dedication was not an option, so we started to brainstorm how to infuse our vision with that of the family business.

The space and land were challenging, which forced us to become creative. Sunny Slope was a convenience for those on the far edge of town. We wanted to keep some of the “convenience store” roots in place, while building the winery. Which is why you will find deli cases, freezers with products, as well as a few essential items inside. The laid-back style (couches, board games, mismatched seating, and cool décor) sets Sunny Slope apart from other wineries, where everyone feels welcome and relaxed. By opening the side yard and turning it into a backyard neighborhood gathering, more time can be spent enjoying the great Ohio summers and fall.

When it came to grapes for production, we knew the grapes are not going to be harvested from our own vineyard, as none currently exists. Tom grew up on a farm and has hinted that “once soil is in your veins it is hard to remove”, so it is possible in the future we may also become a farm to table experience. For the time being, we are enjoying working with farmers and their harvest selections. This freedom has allowed us to be more creative and pickier with our selections, creating unique and flavorful wines.

Like most Ohio wineries, we have a concord wine. Our concord “Slap” came to be thanks to our neighbors who would tell us, "It's so good it makes you wanna slap yo Mama''. Slap was the wine shifting us from homebrewers to professional winemakers. Friends and family liked it so much they wanted to buy bottles to have on the weekend, or to take to parties. We could not sell it as we were not licensed yet, the hobby was becoming expensive. Slap was the motivation Tom and I needed to pursue making our future BRIGHTER with WINE.

Sunny Slope Winery began to take shape and we were eager to share our passions. Tom’s passion and care for wine making is therapeutic. He calls his lab “the box”, this is where he shuts the world out and lets the creativity flow. Tom’s winemaking skills are also reflected in his cooking. He savors the slow methodical process of seasoning each layer. His mouth-watering creations, food, or wine are often celebrated with people begging for seconds. While Tom does all the heavy lifting in the winemaking department, I (Tara) have a fun time helping him come up with wine ideas and blends. Some ideas are standard expectations for an Ohio winery, while others reflect our history together.

"Wicked Christmas'' is one wine that stems from our own passions. We fell in love with Maine 16 years ago, on a babymoon, before our 1st child was born. We traveled up Route 1 and experienced our first harvest of Wild Maine Blueberries. There is just something about being in Maine at harvest. The ocean, mixed with the pine trees, the cooler air temps and of course the wild Maine blueberries, it is intoxicating.

When creating our "Wicked Christmas" blend we wanted to highlight our beloved wild Maine blueberries. Why use the term Wicked you ask, because “Wicked” is jargon in Maine for anything cool, fantastic, rad, delicious, or awesome. Tom has been making wild Maine blueberry wine since we first fell in love with the berry, so we blended the blueberries with cranberries and blood oranges to create the New England Christmas punch blend known as, "Wicked Christmas".

 "Good Times & Bright Wines” comes from my love of entertainment. Where Tom is more introverted and gets his battery refilled from being in "the Box" I am extroverted and get my battery filled from being with people. I thrive in being able to set an environment for people to experience. Tom and I have created deep friendships and have even been able to partake in creating a micro-community of sorts in our store. New friendships and connections have grown over our three years of being opened, for me has been the most fulfilling part. The building of relationships and community. 

Holmes County has felt like calming during such a hard time in the rest of our world. We are in a community with huge faith and grit. When the orders from Governor DeWine came out to only allow carry out and delivery for restaurants and wineries, we knew we needed to take that leap of faith with the hope it would be received by our community. We have found that people do want it and appreciate it!

In the first week and a half we ran over 75 deliveries, each week we the orders have been coming in more and more. Sunny Slope Winery is delivering in a 15-mile radius around Sunny Slope Winery plus we deliver all of Wooster. We charge a $5.00 flat rate fee but offer delivery free to anyone over the age of 60. Our wine slushies, sangrias, full bottles, deli items, are not only keeping our family business going, but we have seen the joy it is bringing to those who order. We love to see all the smiling faces and hear the many thanks with each delivery we make!

We are so proud to be a part of the county and we will get through this together. Our motto is " Pour yourself into all you do, and don't forget to pour yourself a glass or two"

TNT (Tom and Tara)

Sunny Slope Winery

Decorating Easter Eggs has never been easier, and it might not even cost you a dime! Open your pantry doors because these eggs only require a few common kitchen ingredients.

First things first, you'll need to hard boil your eggs. If you struggle to get a perfect egg that doesn't stick to the shell when you peel it, and who's yolk does't turn green try my family's tried-and-true tips to the perfect hard boiled egg.

First fill a medium sized sauce pan about 2/3 the way full with water. Salt the water, about 5-10 good shakes, and place it on high heat until the water comes to a rolling boil. The salt should help prevent your eggs from cracking. Once your water is boiling, gently add your eggs one-by-one and turn the heat down far enough that only a slight simmer remains. Cook the eggs at a simmer for 15 minutes.

While the eggs are cooking, prepare a pitcher of ice. As soon as your timer goes off remove the eggs from the heat and drain most of the hot water out. Now, add the ice to the top of your eggs creating an ice bath. Set a timer for five minutes and let your eggs chill. By the end of the five minutes, most of your ice will be melted. Your perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs are ready to be decorated!

Gather your supplies, you will need hot water, white vinegar, food coloring, and vegetable oil. You will also want a few jars to color your eggs in, my family likes to use mugs best.

For the first round of coloring, you will need a few jars of hot water, I microwaved my water for two minutes. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a few drops of your favorite color. In order for your marbled affect to really pop, you'll only want to leave your egg in the mixture briefly, about one minute should do!

Once all of your eggs are colored and dried, you'll want to dispose of the leftover dye in your jars. For this round you'll only need warm water, I let my tap water run hot and used that. In your jars add food coloring and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Now for the magic! Using a spoon, ease in your egg and swirl it gently in the mixture. Stirring too much will over coat your egg, covering most of your hard work from step one. We found that the amount of time needed for the affect to take place greatly differed between color combinations, ranging anywhere from a few seconds to one minute, so keep your eye on its progress. Once you remove your egg, gently blot it dry using a paper towel, making sure to rub away the vegetable oil. Note: if you leave some of the vegetable oil behind it gives your eggs a nice shine.

This technique took our family a few bad eggs before we figured it out, so don't feel discouraged if your first attempt isn't perfect! Try different color combinations to produce different effects, no decision is a bad decision. Have fun, and Happy Easter!

Tel: 330-674-3975

White Washed Wood
Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

6 W Jackson St., Suite A, Millersburg, OH 44654

330-674-3975 |