Tag Archives: summer

Frozen Hot Chocolate

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“I can resist anything except temptation.” Oscar Wilde

As an English major in college and an English teacher these past 12 years, I have read my fair share of great classic literature.  Oscar Wilde wrote my favorite play, The Importance of Being Earnest, and if you have not read it, I suggest you do.  I dare you to not laugh out loud as you read this!  (Don’t ask me about the movie adaptation as I haven’t seen it.  This is mainly do to the fact that I may not like it and then it will forever taint my view of this beloved play. Please tell me this isn’t weird.)

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This quote is not from that play, but every time I read it I laugh.  Out loud.  And quite honestly, I can resist many things, but this dessert…Nope. Nada. Negative Ghostwriter.  I have been making this for 6 years now, and every time I offer it to others, they can’t resist it either.

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The best way to describe this dessert is that it is a cross between a slushie and a milkshake.  I make it in summer; I make it in winter. I make it when I have have a craving for chocolate; I make it just because.  And you should too. Enjoy! xoxo Continue reading

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Raspberry Crumb Bars

RCB1Every year, our neighborhood has a 4th of July parade and party for the young children.  It starts with a community bike ride at the end of the cul-de-sac, and ends at the local park with games and food.  The kids bikes were packed (as we were going camping a few days later), so we instead we walked in the parade over to the park with the entourage of kiddos.

The weather this day was pretty cold.  Last year it was in the mid 90s, which is extremely rare early July in the Pacific Northwest, but this year it was in the mid-60s.  However, you wouldn’t know that based on what Grace is wearing!  Kids…

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Matthew and Grace participated in a three-legged race (which was a very hard concept for a 3-year-old to understand) and a gunny-sack race.

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Grace fell on early in the race (sadness!) and refused to get up and continue, but Matthew was all about trying to win.  (Wonder where he got that from…)  Just look at that face! Continue reading

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

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I am not an early morning person.  My alarm is set to the exact time that I HAVE to get up in order to be out the door by 6:45 AM, with absolutely no wiggle room.  So, on the off-chance something goes wrong in this morning routine, (i.e. I’m having a bad hair day), I have not accounted for that extra time, and usually run around the house exclaiming, “I’m late! I’m late!” (But of course, not in that weird white-rabbit-Alice-in-Wonderland voice.)  All that to say that I don’t build time in my daily routine to eat breakfast.  I usually grab something quick, like a yogurt or granola bar, and eat it once I get to work–and that’s if I remember.  I get distracted in the emails to check and any last minute prep work to finish before the students walk in the classroom.  Hmmm, I think I see a pattern here.

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Anyway, Saturday mornings are my favorite for two main reasons.  One, my kids are now getting old enough that I get to sleep in–until 8 AM!  (Prior to having kids, that felt like my super-early-weekdays-wake-up call, but now, it’s heaven.)  And two, we get to have a leisurely start to our day.  I try and protect this precious time, as it allows us to bond as a family and just slow down from the busyness of everyday life.  The kids get to stay in their pjs, which for some odd reason they just love, and I make a homemade breakfast of their choice.

Pancakes are my kids’ favorite food and they request it almost every day.  They usually ask for lots of whip cream and syrup to go with it.  I blame grandparents for that one–they know how to spoil children. Continue reading

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Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream

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We just got back from a week’s vacation visiting family in California.  Like all good adventures, this one was filled with laughter, fun, and craziness.  And when I say craziness, it pertains to just one thing–children.  Ha! I had the brilliant idea of driving, which by map, should have taken about 10 hours, but in actuality, it took a little over 13.  In my head, I thought of it idealistically, that driving would be good family fun and bonding, and let me just say, we certainly bonded!  I already knew that little ones just cannot sit still for that long, but a long car ride just proved that point even further.  (Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be.  The kids were pretty good in spite of it all; it was me who had to remember they’re only 3 and 5.)  The portable DVD player is what saved us.

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One day we went into San Francisco. I love that city!

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Eric and I had been there numerous times before, but it was fun walking through the city with the kids. They saw things I had never observed before!  As we concluded the day, we went and had ice cream at Ghirardelli.  Grace and I shared a double scoop cone, and Eric and Matthew shared one. Seems reasonable, right? Apparently, I had NO IDEA just how big a double scoop is. We could have shared one between the four of us!

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We had such a wonderful time (despite the car ride) and were so grateful to extended family for hosting us.  They cooked us yummy food and kept the kids entertained (which is no easy feat).  So, thanks fam!

LIC1As a parting gift, my aunt sent me home with a bunch of Meyer lemons and limes from her yard.  (My other aunt grows grapefruit, and I came home with about 20+ of those. Trying to think of good desserts to make with that fruit…) Continue reading

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Creamy Lemon Bars

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The weather in the Pacific Northwest has been unusual, to say the least.  Sunny and in the 70s and 80s off and on for the past two weeks–this is not April weather people! Where’s my rain? And my cloudy, 60 degree weather? I am feeling a bit gypped by Mother Nature. It’s like winter jumped right into summer. Okay, I am beginning to sound like a whiny toddler, and I already have one of those, so two isn’t needed.

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My husband and children love lemon, and, well, since it’s summer here I thought I’d make a lemon dessert. What I love about this recipe is the raspberry jam sandwiched between the crust and the lemon cream cheese layer. It adds a nice contrast.  These bars are rich, so a little goes a long way.   Continue reading

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Basil Pesto

I love basil; it smells unbelievably like summer.  Every year, I grow too much basil; and every year, I try to pack in as much pesto and basil-y type lunches and dinners as I can.  So far, this summer in the Pacific Northwest has been quite nice–mostly in the high 70s to mid 80s.  I get grumpy when it’s too hot, (and for me, upper 80s and beyond is too hot), so for me, I live in the perfect climate.  The tomatoes in my garden have yet to grow, but at least my basil is prolific.

One of the best things about pesto is not only is it super easy to make, but it freezes really well.  I have placed the pesto in ice-cube trays to freeze, but  I found this small, 1-inch silicone tray works really well.  Plus, it has the perfect proportions and it’s easy to pop out once it’s frozen.  (Regular plastic ice-cube trays do work, but silicone ones are super easy getting out food once it’s frozen.)

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Pecan-Oreo Fudge Bars

Eric and I went camping for the first time with our one-year-old son.  It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  (Camping with a child is a new adventure for us.)

We went floating on an inner-tube in a lazy river, played with my sister’s energetic dogs, and took lots of walks around the campsite.  (Matthew’s learning to walk but can’t quite do it on his own yet.)  We made hobo biscuits and s’mores, and ate lots and lots of junk food.  And the dogs got a little bit too.  They certainly weren’t deprived.   (No, we didn’t give Matthew’s food to Sadie the dog, but she certainly wanted it!)

Here are some pictures of the beautiful river behind our campsite.

I am not a gardener, (so I couldn’t tell you the name), but this wild flower on the bank was so lovely, I just had to take its picture.

So when we were invited over to our friends’ house for a birthday dinner the day after returning from our trip, I wasn’t sure what to make.  (It had to be easy since I was tired from all the laundry and cleaning up.)  Continue reading

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