Goodbye Summer: Things We Will Miss

[Image: travelettes.net]

  1. The sand between our toes
  2. Summer baseball games
  3. Sipping iced coffee and reading a good book in an outdoor café
  4. Lazy days on the beach and bonfires at night
  5. Summer Fridays
  6. Walking barefoot on lush grass
  7. Outdoor grilling all day, everyday
  8. Romantic strolls on warm, summer nights
  9. Lounging by the pool
  10. Drinking champagne on rooftops
  11. Firework Fridays at Coney Island
  12. Flowy dresses, wide brim floppy hats and flip flops
  13. Camping, fishing, kayaking and hiking all in one weekend
  14. Running under the sprinklers with the kiddies – or fire hydrant
  15. Shakespeare in the Park

Goodbye summer. It’s been fun. We’ll see you again soon.

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Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Admittedly…these are not very West Coast/health-conscious of me, but I’m a firm believer in “moderation in all things” – including indulgence. The combination of spicy peppers with gooey cream cheese, lime zest and crisp bacon, is undeniably delicious. What a perfect appetizer for your Labor Day barbecue menu. Paired with a delicious cold microbrew… maybe Fat Tire? You have a winning duo that will send your Summer out with a bang. Bless up and enjoy these bad boys with a smile.


Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh Jalapeno Pepper (OR small green Poblano Pepper for less heat)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese – whipped
  • 2 strips of thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon – cut in half
  • Zest of one (1) lime
  • ½ lime – juiced
  • 2 Tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Garlic Salt & Chili Powder – to taste

Directions:

  1. USING RUBBER GLOVES* – make a small slice ¾ way up each pepper, from tip to the stem edge, and remove and discard all seeds. DO NOT cut completely in half, leave the stem intact as it will hold your cream cheese in during barbecue. *I’m not joking about the rubber gloves, the oil from these seeds can be extremely painful to your hands, eyes, or any skin/membrane surface that it comes in contact with. Use caution and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Our lungs were actually burning! Oh, but …it was worth it.
  2. In a small bowl, add cream cheese and stir in lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder and garlic salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Fill each pepper with cream cheese mixture.
  4. Wrap each pepper with a piece of bacon, making sure to not overlap as this will make bacon thickness and cooking times inconsistent. Bacon should be wrapped snugly and pepper should be as “closed” as possible. Insert a toothpick through center of pepper to hold bacon in place.
  5. Barbecue over low-medium heat for roughly 20 minutes, turning every few minutes to prevent burning.
  6. Once peppers look soft and bacon is cooked, remove from grill and let stand for several minutes to cool. With respect for the erratic heat each pepper may offer…take caution and ENJOY.

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Samoas Cupcakes

I love Samoas cookies from the Girl Scout’s but no matter how many boxes I buy they never last until the next time the girls come around. I found this recipe for Samoas Cupcakes from Spice Is Nice to hold me over until I can stock up again. Besides looking so delicious, everything is homemade-the cupcakes, icing & chocolate syrup!

Image src: Spice Is Nice

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flavoring
  • 1 cup coconut (packed)
  • 1 (scant) cup boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F and line 24 muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  3. Add in eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and coconut flavoring. Mix well
  4. Fold in coconut, then add boiling water
  5. Pour batter into muffin tins. Fill each one no more than 3/4 full. Bake for 22-23 minutes
  6. Let cool and then remove

Ingredients for Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter until fluffy
  2. Add in vanilla extract and caramel topping. Add powdered sugar and salt, mix until smooth.
  3. Ice cupcakes once they are completely cool
  4. Top  with toasted coconut, chocolate syrup & caramel sauce!

For recipe for homemade chocolate syrup visit Spice Is Nice!

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What to Wear with a Chambray Shirt

Chambray shirts are huge. They may seem difficult to wear but it’s really simple to pair with outfits. I like to think of it as the next “white tee”. Very versatile and can be dressed up or down and take you from day to night. Check out some of the ways we love to wear the iconic chambray shirt.

(staysassy.livejournal.com)
Wear it as a jacket. Throw it over a neutral tank or tee paired with sandals and statement jewelry for a comfy and chic look.

(chicatopia.com)
Wear with boots. With autumn approaching fast, a few of us at Totsy can’t wait to break out our boots. We love this casual and put together look – chambray shirt, black denim and sleek knee high boots.


(washingtonian.com)
Denim on denim is effortless as long as they are noticeably two different shades. Love these cobalt denim jeans paired with a chambray shirt.

(cupcakesandcashmere.com)
Add some texture to your wardrobe by pairing a chambray shirt with a floral and feminine skirt for a date night look with hubs. Pair with a black pencil skirt and classic pumps for work.

(jcrew.com)
Not a fan of skirts to work like mentioned above? Pair the chambray shirt with cropped slim fit trousers or wide leg trousers for a more professional, wear to work look.

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How to Make Pizza Balls

What kid doesn’t love pizza? Thanks to weelicious.com, here is a pizza recipe that make eating pizza more fun and easier to  hold – pizza balls!

 

(Image: josephswife.blogspot.com)

You’ll Need:

  • 1 16 oz pkg white or whole wheat pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup broccoli florets, cooked & chopped – spinach or any veggies your kids love
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Pepperoni slices – sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

Step-by-Step:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Bring pizza dough to room temperature and divide into 16 even pieces.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the broccoli (or whatever addition you choose), mozzarella, pepperoni and pizza sauce.
  4. Roll out each piece of dough into a round, about 3 inches wide, and place 1 tbsp of the cheese mixture in the center.
  5. Take the edges of the dough and bring them to the center, pinching along the edges to make sure they stick together, then roll into a ball.
  6. Place the ball, sealed side down, in a greased pie plate and repeat these steps making the rest of the balls.
  7. Brush each ball with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve.

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“I’m Bored, Mom” Ideas In A Jar

Whether your a parent, grandparent or a babysitter, kid’s tend to be famous for two words-“I’m bored.” This tends to be the case during summer, weekends, break from school or whenever they run out of things to occupy them. So how does one keep the kiddies busy for days upon days? Well naturally we would all turn to Pinterest for help, which is how I stumbled upon this darling idea from Shabby Beach Nest! Create an “I’m Bored” Jar filled with 101 ideas to cure boredom. Visit the Shabby Beach Nest for 101 free printables!

Image src: Shabby Beach Nest

Materials:

  • Jar
  • 101 tongue depressors
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrapbook paper

Instructions:

  1. Print 101 ideas from PDF (you can use scrapbook paper or regular paper)
  2. Cut each idea out
  3. Brush Mod Podge onto the back of one idea using a paint brush
  4. Place tongue depressor on the side with glue, make sure the tongue depressor is aligned w/ the shape of the printable by holding it up to the light
  5. Place on hard surface and press down
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for 100 more ideas and let them all dry
  7. Trim excess paper from around the tongue depressor
  8. Decorate your jar with lace/ribbons/papers/stickers or whatever you desire, put all the ideas in the jar and your all set!

Visit Shabby Beach Nest for free printables (it even includes some blank ones to fill in your own ideas!)

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Dine with Diana: Individual Blueberry Cobblers

This time of year makes me nostalgic for the summers I had as a kid.

Now that I have my own kids I want to pass those memories on so they remember their childhood summers as fondly as I do.

One of my favorite memories is the blueberry festival in Poplarville, MS. My great aunt and uncle loved it and rarely missed it.

This super easy recipe recalls those summer days for me, but instead of the big, giant, difficult and time-consuming cobbler my aunt and uncle made, these individual versions are super gooey, buttery and delicious because each one gets its own pat of butter and its own 1/4 cup of blueberries. EVERY SINGLE ONE!

Plus, all the kids I know like to have their own. Sharing is tough – even tougher when it’s blueberry cobbler!

xoxo,
Diana

PS: Even if the fresh berries have passed your region up already, you can sub in frozen ones any time is year.

(yesiwantcake.com)

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut butter into eight pieces, place one piece in each of eight ¾ cup (6-ounce) baking cups.
  3. Set cups on rimmed baking sheet, place in oven until butter melts, about 1 minute.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flower, sugar baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add milk, whisk until a smooth batter forms.
  6. Divide batter equally among baking dishes, add 1/.4 cup blueberries to each cup.
  7. Bake until the batter forms a golden crust on top and the blueberries bubble, about 30 minutes.
  8. Serve warm. Or bake earlier and reheat in a 350F oven until warm.

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