I love summer

I love summer.

The outside activities, sunshine, and warm mornings all make me happy.

The smell of sunblock and bugspray are my perfumes.

Water activities are the best.

Sunkissed cheeks are extra kissable.

I love the way that Autumn comes home with tangled hair matted to her from running around and getting sweaty.

Cold glasses of ice tea are a must.

Melty ice cream cones make for sticky fingers.

Our dogs flop into the cool tile floor after a long walk.

The smells of grills fill the air at night.

S’mores are my summer time addiction.

Flip flop tan lines are a sigh of freedom.

Piles of sand on the car floor means a great weekend was had at the beach.

Going down the slide at the pool is a given.

Summer is the best season.

Pics from this weekend’s community splash pad event.

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Peach Pie Trifle

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My apologies for missing my weekly ‘Friday Pie Day’ post last week. Boo!

I had traveled for work on Monday and Tuesday and when I arrived at work on Thursday I was sick. Well, me being a dummy, I¬†didn’t realize it until the end of the day. I just figured my coldness was just from the building controlled AC. Nope, I had the chills. I was so cold I sat under my coworker’s desk to huddle around the space heater she uses in winter. Fast forward to the evening and I was passed out on the sofa with a fever of 101.4.

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I was out sick on Friday and while I could have quickly written this post I decided to sleep off some more of the yuck I was feeling. And even then I napped on Saturday and Sunday. This virus that settled in my throat whooped my butt. It just shows that I need to boost my immune system more to fight off plane germs to handle some more upcoming work and personal travel. Wish me luck!

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So here we are, a week later, and I’m finally feeling like me again. And I have this amazing Peach Pie Trifle for you guys! A coworker, who transferred from our Boston to DC office came back for a visit and came over for dinner. She always enjoyed the goodies I would bring into the office, specifically the trifles I would make. I even made her one for her going away party that we hosted at our house. She requested a trifle for this visit so I created this one especially for her!

Okay, so this isn’t really a pie but I was inspired by peach pies for this recipe. Plus, it’s always fun to take something and remix it into something new. ūüôā

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I made my favorite cake recipe for this trifle but you can do it quickly with a boxed cake mix. But I swear this is some good cake. And I hadn’t made a cake in so long, I wanted to just pop cubes of freshly baked cake right in my mouth, but I resisted and used it for the trifle. Worth the wait!

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I made 1 large trifle but this would be great if it was served in individual glass bowls or jars. Mason jars even make for great trifle serving vessels.

There is no rhyme or reason in the layering of the trifle. It doesn’t matter if you start with peaches or cake first, but I always finish trifles with whipped cream. I specifically make shallow layers so that when people are digging in they are sure to get goodies from all of the layers.

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Peaches are super fresh and in season now. Now is the best time for delicious juicy peaches so be sure to make some Peach Pie Trifle now.

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Peach Pie Trifle

Makes 1 very large trifle, serves 12-16 people

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups Self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour

For the filling

  • 3 lbs of peaches
  • 3/4¬†cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream

Process

  1. To make the cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 2 9″ round baking pans.
  2. In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the vanilla extract and beat the mixture again.
  3. Combine the flours together and then add half of that to the butter mixture, beating well to incorporate. Then add half of the milk and beat again. Repeat this process to add the rest of the flour and milk.
  4. Evenly divide the cake batter between the 2 cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick that is placed into the center of the pan is clean of batter upon removal. Let cool.
  5. While your cake is baking, slice your peaches into thin wedges. In a large skillet, combine the peaches, sugar, and 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract. Over medium heat cook the peaches down until they are just soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches. Bring the syrup mixture to a slow boil and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add to the bowl of peaches and let cool completely.
  6. Beat the heavy whipping cream and remaining vanilla extract until there are stiff peaks.
  7. Cut the cool cake into squares by slicing the cake into strips and then rotating the pan and cutting again.
  8. In a large trifle bowl or in individual bowls, layer the cake, peaches, and whipped cream.¬†Repeat thin layers until you have exhausted each layer. It’s suggested to finish with whipped cream. ( I did the following: cake, whipped cream, peaches, cake, whipped cream, peaches, cake, whipped cream.)

Trifle recipe idea created by I am a Honey Bee, cake recipe slightly adapted from Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook

 

PS… my helper wasn’t too helpful, but I think I’ll keep her ūüėČ

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6.28-30: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}¬†left work early – headache & tiredness | nap with Kemperpup ¬†| Price gets home | Price and Kemper go for Poker Night at Chris’ | lounge for hours watching mindless tv¬†| bed

{Saturday} up early with Kemper | back to bed | sleep in ’till 9.30 |¬†cleaning the house | errands together- Petsmart, Babies R Us, Michael’s, Stop and Shop | lunch- hot dogs and chips | more cleaning | talk to my mom | Price picks his dad up at the airport | catch up and get settled in | grill steak, veggies, and corn for dinner | relax | bed

{Sunday} up early | Price and Tom get McDonald’s | lounging around | Price and Tom go to Target | go back to bed | get ready | go to Home Depot | gardening out front | lunch- hot dogs, corn, horiatiki salad | relaxing and puppy cuddle time while watching the NASCAR race |¬†nap |¬†dinner-KFC | Price played frisbee with Kemper out back¬†| bed

hot dog lunch

4th of july wreath

18 week baby bump

horiatiki salad

kemper tongue watermelon dessert

price and kemper dan brown inferno

A beach stroll & the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpture Festival – Revere, MA

Several years ago I went to see the Sand Sculpture Contest entries on Revere Beach with Emily after we went to Brimfield. At that time we went on a Friday and saw the artists working on their sculptures. It is really an amazing thing they do so watching while they meticulously worked was a lot of fun.

 

I realized that the 9th annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpture Festival was this weekend so Price and I went over to see the completed pieces last night. We lucked out and got a spot quickly and ran over to see the pieces before the sun set. It started rain and my back was starting to hurt so we went through pretty quickly. (I missed photographing 2 sculptures :-/)

“Your Time to Fly” by Dan Belcher from St.¬†Louis¬†Missouri

“Heads, I Win” by¬†Justin Gordon from Groveland,¬†Massachusetts

First Place ‚Äď ‚ÄúBee or not to Be‚ÄĚ by Jonathan ‚ÄúJobi‚ÄĚ Bouchard of Montreal, Canada

 

Second Place & Sculptor’s Choice¬†‚Äď ‚ÄúEveryone has a Dark Side‚ÄĚ by Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington

 

Third Place ‚Äď ‚ÄúIllusion‚ÄĚ by Dan Doubleday of Treasure Island, Florida

 

People‚Äôs Choice ‚Äď ‚ÄúJust Skin and Bones‚ÄĚ by Stephane ‚ÄúJust Bob‚ÄĚ Robert of Montreal, Canada

  

“Nautical Goddess” (I think) by Steve Topazio of Tiverton, Rhode Island

  

“The Earth Cries” by Benjamin Probanza from Acapulco, Mexico

It was such a fun visit to the beach. The sculptures were stunning, it was fun to walk around with Price with sand around our toes, and, of course, I was in love with the plans overhead as they were coming into nearby Logan Airport.

 

If you have time to quickly visit then I suggest going as the town leaves the sculptures up until the elements break them down and leave them unrecognizable. If you miss them this year then I hope that you visit Revere Beach to check out the beautiful temporary works of art.

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Blueberry Lemonade

As much as I love to curl up with my favorite mug in the winter with hot tea or hot chocolate, I love the¬†refreshing¬†drinks that go hand in hand with summer. I don’t count Labor Day as the end of summer. I enjoy every summer sip and bite until the first day of fall. I don’t¬†necessarily¬†wear summer things until then- I wore a ¬†long sleeve shirt and¬†sweater¬†today- but I will fill my stomach with summer’s last bit of produce.

If you are like you realize that you have 15 days until the first day of fall. That includes 2 full weekends for you to kick back and relax with a lemonade before the full¬†onslaught¬†of pumpkins, cider, and¬†Halloween¬†candy. Don’t even get my started on how I keep seeing CHRISTMAS candy in the stories!!

 

The combination of blueberries and lemons go together very well. I love them in desserts so in a drink the same would be true, right? Correct! The blueberries add a nice naturally sweet flavor to offset the tart lemons.

 

I decided to incorporate the blueberries into the lemonade by making blueberry puree ice cubes. I love when making an icy cold drink and making ice cubes part of the drink, not just something that keeps the drink cold. Also, I don’t want to use just regular ice cubes that will water down the drink. The blueberry ice cubes came out very well, but one thing that I noticed was that they broke apart very quickly. This was fine since I was drinking the lemonade right away. ¬†If you plan on letting the drink hang around for a bit, I suggest that you make the ice cubes out of store bought blueberry juice and adding some frozen blueberries to the glass.

edit– right after I tweeted this post I got a tweet mentioning that vodka should accompany this lemonade. Umm, how did I forget to mention that? Well,¬†obviously, vodka would make this blueberry lemonade even more delightful. Plus it gives you options… a¬†regular¬†vodka or you can get creative and use a¬†flavored¬†one. have fun and enjoy.

 

Blueberry Lemonade

Serves 8

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 7 lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 cups of water
Steps

  1. Blend the blueberries and then strain the puree. Pour the puree into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  2. Squeeze all the lemons. 
  3. Combine the sugar and the lemons into a large pitcher.
  4. Add water to pitcher and mix well. 
  5. Serve the glass of lemonade with blueberry ice cubes and a slice of lemon.
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