Happy Monday! I hope you had an amazing weekend and your week is off to a great start!

We’ve been having crazy storms recently that have made us cancel most of our outdoor plans. So when our local frugal blog posted about free military admission to the county fair on Saturday, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of the house.

It was free! We had to go!

And then we spent $80 to ride the rides. You got me, El Paso County Fair.

You got me good.

Buuuuuut, it was totally worth it to watch my 7 year old almost poo his pants on his first upside-down ride after insisting that he wouldn’t be scared at all.

But anyway, yesterday we had homemade popsicles while we (they) played in the mud that all these storms have created.

I finally broke down and bought popsicle molds after seeing so many great recipes this summer. And the first one was Strawberry-Watermelon Popsicles because I have been obsessed with all things watermelon this summer. Except actual fresh watermelon. Bleh.

These popsicles are just watermelon, strawberries, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of sugar. My kids loved them and I liked knowing where all the ingredients came from. Win all around!

Click for the full recipe

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Quick reminder: The blog will be down from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. If you need any recipes during that time, get them now!

And now we talk wine. Because it’s Friday! And I’m currently roadtripping with all 3 kids and a cockapoo. I’m almost positive that by the time this post goes live, I’ll be wishing that I was at the pool with a glass of wine in my hand.

(The husky was boarded. Because she sings in the car. And I couldn’t handle that for 19 hours.)

CK Mondavi recently sent me what may be the greatest box of goodies I’ve ever received. It was wine. All wine.

Click for the full recipe

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe - the best breakfast!

I’m breaking all my rules with this one.

Normally, stuff in my favorite cake would be a big no no in my house. I like my coffee cake to be just cake with a ton of crumbly topping. And then I just eat the crumbly topping off and leave the rest in the pan.

But this cake really called out to me for some reason!

It’s got the cake and the crumbles that I love but it also has a layer of cheesecake-y filling and a layer of sweetened strawberries.

It’s good. It’s really, really good.

I caught both the baby and the husky trying to sneak a piece off the counter so… I mean, that probably doesn’t tell you much since both will eat pretty much anything… but, yeah I’m not sure where I was going with that one.

You should just make it. And don’t tell me you’re not a sweet breakfast person. Because I’m not either. But cake for lunch? I can get into that.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe - the best breakfast!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the cake and crumb topping:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
For the strawberry filling:
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with baking spray.
  2. To make the strawberry filling:
  3. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl.
  4. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the strawberries have released their juices. Stir in cornstarch slurry; continue stirring until it has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you work on the rest of the cake.
  5. To make the cream cheese filling:
  6. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and egg and continue beating until everything is smooth. Set aside.
  7. To make the cake:
  8. Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  9. In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.
  10. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Spread the strawberry filling on top of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the strawberry filling.
  11. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.
http://fakeginger.com/strawberry-cream-cheese-coffee-cake/

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe - the best breakfast!

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Fact: I am having the worst time with pastry these days. I don’t know if it’s the dry winter air or what but everything’s falling apart on me.

Another fact: This pie is not going to cut nicely for you. But no one will care because it’s delicious.

One more fact: I really intended to have a week of Mardi Gras food but I dropped the moonpie on that one. Get it?! No? Moving on…

I took all my kids to Costco last week. Always a bad idea. Not as bad as taking all the kids AND the husband but still a bad idea. We ended up with 4 pounds of strawberries in our cart and even though they love strawberries, they just couldn’t eat them quickly enough. So I made a pie. Because there is never a bad time for pie!

I wasn’t going to post this pie because I was so disappointed that it didn’t cut smoothly but then my husband went absolutely nuts over it. The man loves strawberries but I definitely didn’t expect this pie to get such a strong reaction out of him. I swear he ate half of it in one sitting and then talked about it for a week after that.

It’s an easy pie too. You bake the pie crust alone and then you just have to refrigerate it once the filling is in. It took no time at all and the hardest part was waiting for it to chill!

And that lovely pink color? All strawberries! No food coloring needed. :)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pie

adapted from Blue Ribbon Recipes

Ingredients

1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade
For the filling:
2 cups fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup white chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
For the topping:
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the garnish:
sweetened whipped cream
chocolate-covered strawberries

Instructions

  1. Bake pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate according to the instructions on the box or the recipe you are using. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the filling:
  3. Combine strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature.
  4. In a double boiler (or a microwave) melt the white chocolate chips. Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Slowly add the melted white chocolate chips. Add the strawberry mixture and continue beat until well blended. Pour into the baked pie crust. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  6. To make the topping:
  7. Place the semisweet chocolate chips in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Heat the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Drizzle the topping over the pie. Chill for at least 2 hours and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate-covered strawberries.
http://fakeginger.com/chocolate-covered-strawberry-pie/


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So I mentioned we were moving and then disappeared for a month. Totally not my intention but if there’s one thing I’ve learned with the Army, it’s to never expect anything to happen when they say it will happen. Anyway, we’re finally settled, finally have internet set up, and finally replaced the laptop cord that a certain rodent made a midnight snack.

We moved from a very hot, wet area on the Gulf of Mexico to the dry, it’s-101-degrees-outside-but-feels-like-80 Colorado. Seriously, we’ve been here a month and I’ve yet to break a sweat. It’s the weirdest thing ever. However, the sun is ridiculous. It’s, like, right there. You walk outside for 5 minutes and your skin smells like you just spent 20 minutes in a tanning bed. You pretty much have to wake up with a bottle of water in your hand and then fall asleep with one in your hand or else you’re dehydrated beyond belief. I’m hoping it’s just something we have to adjust to but in an effort to hydrate in more exciting ways, I made this fruit salad.

It turned out fantastic and everyone in my house loved it! I think next time I make it, I’ll throw in some banana slices, shredded coconut, and maybe some mandarin oranges. It was delicious as is but if you can get away with more fruit, why not!

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

1½ cups grapes (red, green, or a mix)
1½ cups fresh blueberries
1½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained
1 can (10 ounces) frozen non-alcoholic pina colada mix, thawed
â…“ cup sugar
â…“ cup pineapple-orange-banana juice (Dole makes one.)
â…› teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. In a serving bowl, combine all of the fruit. In a small bowl, whisk the pina colada mix, sugar, juice and extract until sugar is dissolved. Pour over fruit; toss to coat. Chill until serving.
http://fakeginger.com/pina-colada-fruit-salad/

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