In the Garden

Summer Is……

June 20, 2011

Bright



Bountiful


Musical



Simple


The start of summer is almost upon us, and it is such a beautiful time of year. After the grey of winter and the delicate light of spring, summer brings such a warmth and vibrancy to our days.

No matter how your summer begins, I hope that it brings you a season full of long days, warm evenings, great food, vibrant color, and tons of fun.  

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Summer Weekending

June 5, 2011

Out of all the holidays and celebrations that we have in the course of a year, I think that birthdays are the most sacred. The day that we entered the world is something to be joyous over, and to mark with as much love and celebration as possible.

My dad completed his 74th trip around the sun yesterday, and the boys and I were so excited to throw him a party. It was a relaxed day filled with good food and fun, a few wishes and a lot of full bellies.

I had two favorites to this day. First, the desserts.

There is nothing that I like more about a birthday than the desserts. I made a gluten free raspberry pound cake with lavender honey whip cream, and a second dessert of frozen kiwi and apricot chocolate pops. I had seen the kiwi pops on my new favorite time suck; Pinterest, and I immediately knew they were a must. I came across a fresh basket of apricots at the farmers market and thought that I would give those a try as well, and I am so glad that I did because they were the hit of the evening.

I decided to make the pound cake after visiting the Boulder Farmers Market this week. There was a vendor who was selling the most delectable looking cupcakes, and one flavor that looked particularly amazing was her raspberry with lavender frosting. For the first time since I went gluten free, I was angry. I wanted that cup cake so badly I could almost taste it, and I came home with a mission to recreate it. After a bit of thought I decided to change it up a bit and make a pound cake instead, and the result was better than I hoped for.

Raspberry Pound Cake with Lavender and Honey Whip Cream

To you favorite pound cake recipe add

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice (in place of water)
12 oz fresh raspberries

I added in the cinnamon and orange zest with my dry ingredients, and then the orange juice with the wet. I folded the raspberries in by hand very gently, and then added 5 minutes to the bake time of the original recipe to account for the extra moisture from the fruit.

Lavender Whip Cream

1 container of heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp lavender blossoms (I used dried lavender)
3 tbsp honey

Combine your heavy whipping cream and lavender in a small pot and cooking on low, bring the cream just to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely (I refrigerated the cream for 2 hours). Strain the lavender blossoms and add honey. Whip to desired firmness and serve.

My second favorite part of the evening was the table. I wanted a table that was fun, out in the garden area, and a little different than anything we normally used. One of the boy’s closet doors recently came out so that they could have better access to their clothes, and it seemed like the perfect size for a makeshift table.

Using two Christmas storage containers as the base, I laid the closet door down and covered it with a favorite table cloth that I had gotten from the thrift store last year, and had been trying to find a good use for ever since. We cut peonies from a bush on the side of the house, lit a few candles and laid out our sofa cushions as chairs. It was a perfect way to relax and enjoy a family meal, and it will certainly be making it’s way back out for many more evenings to come.

Landon’s favorite part of the party had to be his first experience with balloons. He spent what felt like hours just staring up in awe of the vast array of colors, and he seems on track to follow in his brother’s footsteps and fall completely in love with these magical play things.

Celebrating with my dad was a great way to start the weekend, and now we are off for our final soccer game of the spring season and then on to help a very special little girl celebrate her 5th birthday.

Wishing you the best of summer weekends.

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