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summer

Strawberry Shortcake Day is Almost Here!

Strawberry Shortcake

It’s June. The sun is shining, temperature is climbing, and everyone in Seattle is complaining about their home’s lack of A/C. Clearly, summer is almost here. And with summer comes one of the tastiest desserts: strawberry shortcake! National Strawberry Shortcake Day is right around the corner (on Tuesday, June 14th!) and I’m preparing to celebrate the holiday with a new recipe and a fun event!

Various Macy’s locations around the country are going to be holding special events on the 14th with local chefs to celebrate Strawberry Shortcake Day. I’ll be at the one in Downtown Seattle. Join me at 6pm to meet Stacy Fortner, the Executive Pastry Chef at Dahlia Bakery and see a baking demo! Best of all: the event is free! If you’re one of the first 50 people there, you’ll also get a special gift from Pyrex, and if you make a purchase in the home department that day, you’ll get a copy of the (amazing) Dahlia Bakery cookbook. If you’re not in Seattle, check out Macys.com/events to find one near you!

In honor of this upcoming holiday and to stretch my baking muscles a bit, I thought I’d make myself some Strawberry Shortcake. And this time, I wouldn’t cheat and buy pre-made items at the store. 😉 No, this time, I decided to crack open a copy of Helen Brown’s Holiday Cook Book, a somewhat bizarre 1952 cookbook that I recently added to my vintage book collection. Her strawberry shortcake recipe was very basic and written in a colloquial way, like you would find in notes on a family recipe card. (“Add enough milk to make a soft dough” instead of actual amounts.) I took her recipe, added some flair, and figured out some of the measurements. So enjoy my take on Strawberry Shortcake, using a recipe from the 50’s, and incorporating my natural sugars.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, 1 tbs of sugar, salt, and egg together.
  2. Add the butter in small pieces. Mix with your hands to incorporate the butter into the batter.
  3. Add half of the milk and mix. Slowly add in more milk as needed to make a soft biscuit dough.
  4. Place the biscuit dough into a parchment paper-lined casserole dish or cake pan, pushing and stretching it lightly to fill the pan.
  5. Sprinkle the top with some ruby sparkling sugar.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. While the shortcake is baking, rinse and cut up the strawberries, and mix them with 2 TBS sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
  8. Once the shortcake is out of the oven, let cool slightly.
  9. Cut the shortcake into squares, and then cut each square in half to make a biscuit “sandwich.”
  10. Place the bottom part of the shortcake onto a plate, and place some of the strawberry mixture and whipped cream on top.
  11. Top with the top half of the shortcake. Garnish with whipped cream, ruby sparkling sugar, and a sparkling strawberry.
  12. Enjoy!

Will I see you on the 14th at Macy’s? What’s your fave strawberry shortcake recipe?

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Last-Minute Summer Entertaining (And Teagaritas!)

Teagarita 1

When summer hits Seattle, everyone suddenly changes from anti-social Seattleites to extremely friendly neighbors. You say “Hi” to people on sidewalks and in elevators, everyone’s smiling, and everyone wants to get together for impromptu gatherings.

Teagarita 2

I like to be prepared with food and drink when people come over, so I’ve learned to keep some fun items stocked throughout the summer that are easy to prep and don’t involve an oven. My pantry/fridge/freezer isn’t complete without:

  • Chips and salsa (a nice, easy snack)
  • Fresh summer fruit (a great alternative to my usual baked goods)
  • Ready-to go cocktail, like Teagaritas (a fun alternative to beer or wine)

Teagarita 3

Teagaritas, if you haven’t heard of them, are a combination margarita and iced tea. It takes Jose Cuervo margaritas, mixes it with orange liqueur and iced tea, and puts it all in a bottle ready for you to serve over ice. I had my friends Kristina and Justin over on a beautifully sunny afternoon to give the cocktail a try (and enjoy some snacks and good company), and the consensus was that Teagaritas are delicious (even to those who don’t normally love iced tea!). It’s a super refreshing drink, and I love that it’s pre-prepared and ready to go. I need to re-stock, but once I do, I plan on giving one of the recipes from Jose Cuervo’s Pinterest a try.

What items do you keep on-hand in the summer? Have you been having a lot of impromptu gatherings? And have you tried Teagaritas?

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

DIY Push-Up Pops

Push Up Pop Pic

Remember Push-Up Pops? Now remember the “Pebble” Push-Up Pops with nerds inside? I grew up on these things. It wasn’t summer if these weren’t in the freezer. I started getting a hankering for them over the last couple weeks, and realized how ridiculously easy it would be to make them myself. Presenting: DIY Push-Up Pops!

Ingredients:

  • Push Pop Containers (Around $1 a piece from Amazon. They’re reusable and can be used for all sorts of cool projects!)
  • Sherbet in the flavors of your choice (I used orange and lime)
  • Rainbow Nerds (often found in the “movie candy” section of the stores)

Directions:

  • Allow the sherbet to thaw slightly so it can be mixed.
  • Mix (by hand or on a slow setting in a mixer) the Rainbow Nerds and sherbet in a large bowl.
  • Spoon the mixture into the push pop container, and place the lid on.
  • Return the push-up pops to the freezer and let chill for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy!

See? So easy. So delicious. But be careful, they melt quickly! Better eat them all now.

What was your favorite summer treat when growing up?

Geek Etiquette: Don’t Fight Over Music


As San Diego Comic-Con approaches, caravans of geeks are about to make the trek down to sunny California. If you’re like my friends’ road trips, the day will be filled with lateral thinking puzzles, Weird Al, and probably the blasting of the James Bond theme song. But what do you do when you get tired of the old options? Who gets to decide on music?

I suggest you use “Roadtrip Mixtape” by The Echo Nest. Put in your starting and ending destination, and the program will put together a mixtape of local artists from the town you are currently driving through. You’ll learn about the roots of your favorite musicians and get introduced to some local up-and-comers you may not have heard of. Not a fan of the local rapper from Renton, WA? You can skip songs to your heart’s content.

Now the only thing left to fight over is if you should stop at McDonald’s or Taco Bell…

(Source: Thrillist)

Creamsicle Cocktail

Hoping to look a little more like C-3PO and a little less like R2-D2 this summer?

Then enjoy a low-calorie cocktail in place of those creamsicles you loved as a kid.

Ingredients:

1 part Orange Vodka
2 parts Whipped Cream Vodka
1.5 cups Orange Mango Cascade Ice 2 Calorie Water

Mix together in tall glass (with ice, if preferred). Garnish with an orange slice.

Not on a diet? Reduce the whipped cream vodka to one part, and add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt!

This recipe was created for Cascade Ice’s “Skinny Cocktail Creation” contest. Like what you see? Go to their Facebook page and vote for my drink! The winning blogger receives a cocktail party, and voters have a chance to win Cascade Ice as well. (And although I first tried it for this contest, I’ve gotta say… Cascade Ice is pretty good!)

Nerd Merit Badges

Summers are pretty crummy for adults. No sleepaway camp, no falling asleep exhausted after a full day of sleeping, and no more cookouts and ghost stories over a fire. But there is one thing that can keep that summer camp feeling alive:

Merit Badges.

You may no longer be eligible for knot tying or fire building, but Nerd Merit Badges are just as pretty and much easier to earn.

Use FourSquare? There are 8 badges for that.

Known as the Family Tech Support? Make your kids buy you this badge.

And of course, the toughest badge of all: Getting your inbox down to zero.

So gather your girlfriends around, get your laptop sashes, and get ready to earn some badges!

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