Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Tonight for dinner I made one of our favorite side dishes - garlic mashed sweet potatoes. I have a great recipe for garlic mashed potatoes, and recently I decided to make it using sweet potatoes - and I'm glad I did! I love sweet potatoes, but adding extra sweetness with sugar and marshmallows is not for me - too sweet! Whenever I prepare sweet potatoes, I always use garlic and other Italian seasonings, and the flavor is great! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes
2 tsp garlic powder
3 oz of cream cheese
2 TBSP butter
1/8 to 1/4 cup of milk

First you peel and cube your sweet potatoes. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Place the sweet potatoes into a mixer with the cream cheese, butter, and garlic powder. Mix the potatoes to mash, and slowly add your milk to the desired consistency. Place in a baking dish, dot with butter, and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Homemade Spearmint Tea

This has been a perfect June weekend. Last evening we kayaked and fished until sundown on the lake. Then we stopped for ice cream on our way home, and the lightening bugs were out! (Summer officially begins for me when I see tiger lilies and lightening bugs). 

Today consisted of our usual Saturday chores, but we ended our day trying some delicious new recipes on the grill. I also made a batch of my father-in-law's spearmint tea (also known as meadow tea), and I thought I'd share the recipe here.

Spearmint Tea

Bring about 2 quarts of water to a slow boil and add about 9-10 sprigs of spearmint leaves. Turn back the heat to Medium High and let the leaves steep for about 5 minutes. Turn the burner off and let the leaves continue to steep for about an hour. Add in sugar (I used 1/4 cup, but it depends on how sweet you like it) while the tea is still warm. Squeeze your tea leaves to get extra flavor and remove them from your tea. Pour in a pictcher and refrigerate until cold.

Enjoy an ice cold glass while relaxing on your porch in the evening!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Brownie Box

Turns out the berry boxes I blogged about on Friday also make cute brownie boxes! Tomorrow at work we have an ice cream sundae party, and I volunteered to bring the brownies. Love them! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Berry Box Colander

I'm in love with these ceramic berry boxes. I first saw beautiful handmade ones at a cute shop in Glenside, PA while visiting some friends - but they were a little pricey. I happened to come across a similar style on pinterest, and it was linked to Crate and Barrel. I was so excited when I saw these lovely berry colanders were only $4.95 each! I picked up three of them, and I couldn't be happier with this product. Add a little charm to your brunch and serve fresh fruit in these! And, how cute of gift would this be to fill with berries from your garden?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Dill Pickled Radishes

My husband and I decided to experiment a little this evening. He loves dill pickles and wanted to try making dill pickled radishes - so we did! I'm not sure how they'll taste, but we cut up some radishes from our garden, clipped some dill, and did our first canning of the year. 

We just used our dill pickle recipe (we cut it in half based on the amount of radishes we had): 

1. Boil 2 cups of water, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 2 TBSP pickling salt. 
2. Place one garlic glove and a few sprigs of dill in each canning jar. 
3. Fill the jar with radishes, leaving about 1/2 inch space at the top.
4. Pour boiling vinegar-water over the radishes.
5. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Makes 4-6 pints.

I'll let ya know how they taste when the time comes to chow down on these!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Strawberry Pie with Short Bread Crust

The first week of June is my favorite. My husband and I get to celebrate our anniversary and usually take a few days off, the weather is always perfect, and I can expect fresh strawberries about this time. Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, and with them I make my favorite summer dessert - Fresh Strawberry Pie!

I always make my strawberry pie with a short bread crust - a very simple recipe.

Mix together 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of flour, and 1 TBSP of sugar. Then you press the dough into a pie plate and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. 

After your pie shell is cool, cut into halves about a quart of fresh strawberries

Next, mix 3/4 cup sugar, 2 TBSP of corn starch, and 1 1/2 cups of water together in a saucepan. Cook this mixture on medium heat until it becomes thick and clear. Remove the pan from the heat, and mix in (1) 3 oz box of strawberry jello. Place your fresh strawberries onto your cooled pie crust, and then pour the jello mixture over the top. Refrigerate until the jello sets.

Can't wait to enjoy a piece of this deliciousness! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Garden Harvest Baskets

Recently, my husband has taken an interest in woodworking. For months he has been watching instructional Youtube videos, reading books, and looking at tools. Within the last few weeks he purchased some tools and set out to try a few projects. He turned out to be pretty good at it!

Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary, and he gave me his first completed project - Garden Harvest Baskets! I've been wanting one of these for so long, but they are so expensive. I am super excited to have these beautiful baskets, and they're extra special because he put a lot of time and effort into making them for me :)

They are great for collecting eggs and gathering produce from the garden! I'm so thankful for a talented husband.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chicken Flat Bread Recipe

We were invited to a cook out last evening - and it was a beautiful night to be outside! Beforehand, I was looking for something to take along in which I could include some fresh produce from our garden. I came across a recipe for Chicken Florentine Flat Bread from the blog Creme de la Crumb. As I scanned the ingredient list, I knew it would be an amazing dish. And I was able to use some of our spinach and fresh basil in this flavorful recipe! If you're looking for a great appetizer, I highly recommend this one

I made my own flat bread using this recipe.