Food for Your 4th

I don’t know what you have planned for the 4th of July, but I hope it involves time with family, friends, and some good food.

Right now, I’m thinking my day will be filled with NO alarm clocks, time at the lake with the nephews, a big afternoon nap and maybe some reading.

This just means I’ll probably be sunburnt, way too full, and super exhausted. Fun!

Holiday week or just good summer weather, these are some of our favorite recipes right now – make ‘em while you can!

Strawberry Feta Skewers


Chicken Spiedies with Farmhouse Bread

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad

Spiced Chicken Kabobs and Chickpea Salad

Burgers with Avocado and Cilantro Mayo

Bacon and Leek Focaccia Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza with a super easy and fast crust

Drinks:

Cucumber Lime Spritzer

Triple Citrus Margaritas

White Wine Peach Sangria

Fresh Strawberry Mojitos

Strawberry Mint Sparkling Lemonade

Homemade Izzes

Desserts:

Frozen Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough

Whole Wheat Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Browned Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

No Bake PB Oatmeal Bites

Oatmeal and Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crust Pie

Cheesecake Yogurt Chocolate Cups

Happy 4th of July!

Green Onion Potato Bread

This is one of those weeks where I’m going to hate my computer. A little because it messed up on me this weekend but mostly because we’re going on vacation and I’m going to ignore it for the next week.

I had this post scheduled to go up a few days ago and – nothing.

green onion potato bread 5

I wanted to share this bread recipe with you over the weekend so you could go ahead and put it on your 4th of July menu. Since it didn’t happen when it was supposed to, let’s talk about this now.

We love bread in this house, especially a loaf right out of the oven. And this recipe is going to be put in our regular rotation from now on.

Easy Chocolate Coffee Pudding Cups

I turned 30 this week.

It wasn’t the life-changing event I always thought it would be. Really, it was just another work day plus a fun dinner with friends at the end of it. Unlike any other day, I did get a new banjo(!) from Nick that I’m very excited about. To see those words written out – that I got a banjo for my birthday – is definitely something I never thought I would say.

easy chocolate coffee cups 2

Even though there were no fireworks or instantaneous changes that happened when 29 became 30, I do feel different. Some of that is simply getting older, but some of it is because I’ve made some changes recently to try to make things easier on myself, and I think it’s working.

It seems to be, for me, anyway, that simple is the best. Simple meals, easy foods, non-fussy recipes. And even though I’ve made some changes lately in how I’ve been cooking (new recipes coming soon!), I feel like some creativity is finally coming back to me. And that is exciting….since I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a rut for months now.

easy chocolate coffee cups 1

Enter my new favorite dessert: easy chocolate coffee cups.

When I tried describing these to Nick as an easy pot de crème, he asked “So….you made pudding?”.

And yeah, I guess I did. But without the normal cornstarch you would have in pudding and this dessert is made in the blender with almost no cook time (except to heat the milk). Easy enough for you? It was for me.

My favorite part about this recipe is that even though it takes almost no time to make, it’s a pretty fancy way to end your meal. And no one else has to know just how easy it was.

Strawberry Honey Soda

I swear I’m not trying to slack off with recipes here. Real life is simply taking over.

Call it busy summer days with longer lasting daylight. Call it the-garden-is-taking-over-our-lives-again. Call it traveling too much. Call it, more often than not, laziness once I finally sit down at night. Mostly, it’s dreading turning the computer on after a long day at work spent – you guessed it – on the computer.

homemade strawberry soda 2

There are some days, weeks even, when making the simplest thing is hard for me. And this really doesn’t do well for the blog, if you couldn’t tell. I feel weird about sharing this, like I’m the only one that feels this way or goes through this and that’s always the worst feeling. That no one else feels the same or understands, but I don’t think that’s true.

Like most of you (or so I hope), I lose steam…motivation…creativity. Every few months, I find myself in a rut and sometimes, it’s hard to dig myself out of it. I get comfortable where I am and have no desire to change things, to make new things, to do anything that requires thought again. This is when I fall back into books, reading for hours, and not wanting to do anything else. Between work, commuting, making meals, pulling lettuce and chard, making jam, freezing berries, doing laundry, cleaning house, taking care of pets and reading, I just don’t want to do anything else.

homemade strawberry soda 3

So it’s been easy things here lately.

Quick meals, lots of leftovers, nothing that requires too much work. I know I’ll get back to the point where I want to spend an entire day making croissants or roasting a chicken while making bread and braising something else. But that day is not today.

I started to feel bad about this, about not making lots of things lately or not having much in the way of motivation to cook. But we all go through this, right? It can’t just be me.

Sometimes, you just need a break.

Bourbon Orange Pound Cake

I’m so confused right now.

Today totally felt like Monday, so I keep forgetting that it’s actually Wednesday. My suitcase is still packed from this weekend and laundry needs to be done.

And, even though I’m trying to tell you guys about this bourbon orange pound cake, all I can think about is strawberries.

bourbon orange poundcake 4

I went out tonight to pick strawberries for the first time in a week. Blame the travel, blame a little bit of laziness, blame the rain, blame whatever you want, but it had been too long. I even brought 2 huge bowls with me because I figured there would be a ton….but I think we’re hitting the end of our berries, which put me in a bad mood.

I’m not ready for our berries to be done! I still have to wait another month and a half for figs and raspberries. I wanted more pie! More jam! More berries in our freezer! Can someone please just come take my day job away from me so I can plant an acre of berries and just be a farm girl already?

bourbon orange poundcake 1

Since I’ve been working on freezing and jamming and inhaling strawberries lately, I’m backed up on recipe posts and haven’t even posted anything with strawberries yet! Such a shame. But those are coming soon, I promise.

Before I get to the strawberry recipes, I have to share this pound cake. Remember that pound cake phase I went through last year? Well, it had been long enough. I needed either a sponge cake or pound cake for a recipe I was testing a few weeks ago and I figured, this is the perfect time to make another pound cake for myself!

this may be my new favorite joke

i cannot stop watching this video – have you seen it?
 

 
in other news, i’m still recovering from my weekend in austin with 500+ bloggers. recipe coming soon!