Hi, friends. How have you been? Hope everyone had a great July 4th! The great thing about having the holiday on a Wednesday is that the weekends both before and after can be used as excuses to celebrate more than usual. I'll drink to that. I'll drink to America. I'm pretty fond of this country.
These past few weeks sure have been hot ones...I wish I had some fancy ice pop recipes for the occasion, but I'm not that prepared. Pinterest has monopolized the fancy ice pop department anyway. I do have a fresh and summery pie recipe, however. And it's especially good served with a chill from the fridge. More on that later.
So it's been a bit since I last posted. Can you blame a girl for opting to go to the beach instead of sit in front of a computer? Here's what's happened in the meantime:
I've made a few wedding cakes for the sweetest brides in the world.
Photo credit: Christina Batesko
I'm still at my "new" job, though I'm no longer the new girl...I don't think. And it's still as awesome as day one. They put a lot of trust in me and my abilities, and I haven't had an employer that has done that before. It's given me the opportunity to learn a lot and face new challenges every day. I feel very blessed.
I'm on Phase II of P90X. I don't remember what it was like to walk up stairs pain-free, so I guess that means it's working. Maybe one day I'll post embarrassing progress pictures. Though I don't see too much progress. I'm definitely muscley-er, and I think if I stuck to the plain-chicken-steamed-greens diet that they suggest, it might be more noticeable. I don't generally eat unhealthy, but sometimes I get home late and just want some Cinnamon Burst Cheerios. Is that really so bad, Tony Horton? He seems to think so. I digress.
After talking about it for a few years, we finally got chickens. They aren't the brightest creatures, that's for sure. But now I can bake with fresh eggs...for a little while at least. Which brings me to my final point.
I bought my ticket to England! Only two months left. I can't believe it. And now that all my wedding cake orders are completed and I've settled into my new job, it's finally hit me. Well only partially, because right now I'm nothing but excited, but nervousness needs to set in sometime! I'm trying to fit in some quality time with everyone before I go, and trying to soak up some sweet Jersey sun.
So, summer pie. Here's a recipe for a Strawberry and Lemon Mint Pie I came up with a few weeks ago. There's nothing like sweet berries in the summer, and fresh mint growing in the garden is a lovely addition to almost anything. I'll even chop some up to put in my yogurt to make it extra exciting. Because plain Greek yogurt can only reach a certain level of excitement on its own, ya know? The pie had a nice balance of bright flavors, and wasn't overly sweet. It definitely has summer written all over it. I suggest keeping the pie in the fridge and serving it cold.
Strawberry and Lemon Mint Pie
Your favorite pie dough recipe or store brand, enough for the bottom crust (you can find my recipe here)
1 1/2 pints strawberries, thick sliced
Juice and zest of one lemon (reserve 1 tsp of zest)
8 mint leaves, julienned
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine strawberries, lemon juice and zest, and mint in a bowl. Sprinkle on flour and sugar, and toss until evenly distributed. Pour into unbaked pie shell and top with lemon crumb topping (recipe to follow). Place pie on top of sheet pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Serve chilled.
Lemon Crumb Topping
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until texture resembles wet sand.
Speaking of pie, here's one that's oozing American pride to commemorate the first round of our nation's birthday. Now it's on to America Weekend Part II. I don't know if this amount of patriotism can be topped for round two, but I sure am going to try...it's the American way.
Enjoy another beautiful (and hot!) weekend!