When Life Gives you Lemons…

 

When life gives you lemons…make lemonade! There is something incredibly charming about a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, and this has been a special treat we’ve been enjoying at our house lately. Simple ingredients come together to create a refreshing drink to be savored and adored! This recipe is from the culinary queen, Ina Garten, and can be made in a matter of minutes. Cheers!

 

Fresh Lemonade 

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)

1/2 cup superfine sugar, to taste

1 cup crushed ice

4 cups water

 

Combine the lemon juice, water and sugar in a blender until completely incorporated. Add the ice, stir, and pour into a pitcher for serving and enjoy! Pro tip: cut thin lemon slices to garnish each glass – a classic detail for a classic drink!

What Your Summer Table Needs: Melamine

 

Summer brunches, lunches, and dinners have an effortless and relaxed feel (cue alfresco dining!), often with fabulously fresh food and a vibrant tablescape to match. One element that elevates entertaining – even intimate weeknight dinners with your immediate family – are the dishes, especially melamine. Like little works of art, artfully crafted melamine marries design and durability, and has truly become my favorite warm weather details when setting the table.

We have melamine plates, cups, bowls and acrylic cups from Juliska (the above floral napkins are from Carolina Irving and Daughters), and use them literally every day. Words can’t describe how much I love these dishes, and I would love to add to our collection and mix and match. I also adore these new green bamboo plates from Pomegranate Inc., they would be so chic paired with any of their printed napkins.

And so, I rounded up all of my favorite melamine and acrylic entertaining essentials for this summer. Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

image via LexRayn

 

I’ve been cooking more than ever these past several months and enjoying testing new recipes, both savory and sweet. Our children have loved baking, and become more adventurous with their tastebuds too which has thrilled me to no end! As each week tumbles into the next, our family continues to feel so fortunate to be at home making these memories together. We have profound admiration and gratitude for all of the doctors, nurses, first responders, and people working on the front lines right now.

And so, one of our weekly tradition’s is a special Sunday night dinner. Last Sunday I whipped up a Mediterranean menu as well as strawberry shortcake for dessert. I found the most beautiful red berries at the market on Saturday, and so I instantly knew what to make for our Sunday treat. Strawberry shortcake always reminds me of summertime when the late sunny afternoons spill into warm evenings, and the berries are ripe and juicy,  just waiting to bejewel a buttery biscuit and decadent dollop of coconut whipped cream. I decided to add a little strawberry sauce as well, and it really added an extra layer of flavor and elevated the dish. This delectable recipe – which is also grain free, dairy free and gluten free – is adapted from my favorite dessert cook book by Sweet Laurel Bakery, and I hope you will give it a try! PS-this made enough for us to have shortcake for two nights, which is always a bonus 🙂

 

Strawberry Shortcake (8 Strawberry Shortcakes)

Biscuits 

2 tablespoons solid coconut oil

2 tablespoons solid coconut butter

21⁄2 cups almond flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3⁄4 cup coconut yogurt (I like Culina)

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the coconut butter and coconut oil to a small bowl, and place it in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cold coconut butter and coconut oil and mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated and the oil and butter are the size of peas. Gently fold in the maple syrup and coconut yogurt until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball, and then press it down until its about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough on top of itself several times to help create a fluffy texture.

Next, press the dough so it’s 1 inch thick, and using a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter), cut out X-inch round biscuits. Place them on the baking ship, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set the the biscuits aside to cool while you prepare the strawberries, filling and whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Filling

1 cup quartered fresh strawberries (plus an additional pint of fresh berries to be used on top of the whipped cream)

Juice of 1 lemon

1⁄4 cup honey

 

Pour 1 cup of the quartered strawberries, the juice of half a lemon, and honey into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you’d like the sauce thinner/less sweet, add more lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency and taste.

 

Assembling the Shortcakes 

Place each biscuit on a plate and add a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream (I love this one, but you could also make your own), a heaping spoonful of fresh sliced strawberries, and a spoonful of strawberry sauce. I sometimes like to garnish with a sprig of mint too!