4th of July weekend

So what did we do for the 4th?

Well after more than a week with Luke’s parents we were ready for a weekend in. (More on that week to come soon.) We spent most of the weekend working on the house, working on some of those projects that take only a few hours but are hard to fit in. We also got some quiet time to just regroup together, and on our own.

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On the 4th we celebrated with burgers, local hard cider, and dessert. For the 4th this year I decided to make a new cookie (always looking for excuses to experiment). After research online I decided to make lemon thyme shortbread cookies (recipe to come). To make them festive I used a star cookie cutter.

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To complete our dessert I made a berry salad adding fresh mint from our garden, then made some whipped cream with a little vanilla and agave. It was a refreshing and light festive dessert. Maybe a new tradition? For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2013/03/30/hot-cross-buns-and-berry-salad-a-new-easter-tradition/

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After dessert we drove over to Loon Lake to enjoy the fireworks, we got a perfect spot, closest I’ve ever been to a fireworks show.

 

Hope you had fun celebrating with friends and family for the holiday weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend

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This past weekend allowed for a much needed break and time to catch up on work around the house.  On Saturday we went to Lowes and did (hopefully) the majority of our summer shopping. We bought all the plant food, fertilizer, bug repent, and grass seed we think we need. Also we bought supplies to finally create that path to the front door we started working on last year.  For more on this see

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/09/24/august-backlog-summer-project-curb-appeal/

An update will come as some of these projects are completed.

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On Sunday we drove up to Rochester for a special dinner. All the month of May the Rochester melting pot had a special for a gluten free four course meal. That meant they took all croutons off the salads, I had good gluten free bread with my cheese, meat that was not in a flour based marinade for the entree, and flourless brownies and angel food cake to go with our chocolate. It was a great date meal out, plus because we had gift cards, and a groupon so the dinner cost half of what it normally does!

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On Monday we took the day slow and did some outdoor work. Then in the afternoon, to get out of the heat, we went to see the new x-men movie, which was of course good. For our memorial day dinner we did homemade cheese hamburgers with all the fixings and baked potato wedges. We already have enough mint from my plant that I was able to make mint lemonade to go with. Later for dessert I made my fresh berry salad with homemade whip cream, a light and healthier summer dessert. For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2013/03/30/hot-cross-buns-and-berry-salad-a-new-easter-tradition/

Overall it was a great weekend, but as always we could have used a few more days. How about you?

 

Happy Memorial Day!!

I chose to make some BBQ themed Memorial Day treats for Luke to take to the VA sharing a little thank you to his co-workers for serving those who have served.

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I found these jet puffed red, white, and blue star shaped marshmallows at the store and thought up a semi-healthy dessert.

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You could use watermelon or raspberries instead of strawberries. I found the blueberries were easy to work with but the strawberries were probably a little overripe. It is best to buy berries fresh and make the kabobs right away.

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The leftover blueberries and marshmallows were made into more dessert kabobs for our church picnic on Sunday.IMG_3129

Whether you are enjoying a BBQ with friends and family,  celebrating those who have served, or just enjoying a day off from work or all the above have a great Memorial day!

Hot cross buns and Berry salad: A (new) Easter tradition

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Hot cross buns rising on the preheated stove

My family (Halvorsons) never had any “traditional” Easter foods. Sometimes we had homemade brunch after church, other times it was a ham dinner after Easter egg hunts (some salt to balance out the sweets). But being that this is our first married Easter I thought I’d ask Luke if there are any Greene family traditions.

The answer is yes: Hot Cross Buns (yes just like the song-sorry if I got it stuck in your head).

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Baked brown and ready for frosting

Apparently there were a few years Diana (Luke’s mom) was working that she bought the buns from the store. After this Luke took it upon himself to make them! (even though he claims to be a cook; not a baker).

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The hot-cross bun recipe is a family thing for now (sorry).

But a few times for Easter brunches I have made a simple and delicious berry salad I’m willing to share with all of you.  🙂 I thought this would pair well as a light  side for our weekend of homemade Easter carbs. Plus this is an excellent gluten-free and vegan addition to consider if you are bringing something to an Easter brunch or hosting one yourself.

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Here is the easy recipe for my berry salad:

1 16-ounce container strawberries (halved or quartered depending on size)

1 8-ounce container blueberries

1 6-ounce container raspberries

1 8/6 ounce container blackberries

2/3 T powdered sugar

2/3 lemons

1.If you bought frozen fruits then semi-defrost the berries. If you bought fresh put them into the freezer until you are ready to make the salad.  Leaving the berries frozen/semi-defrosted will insure that you don’t end up with a mushy salad.

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2.Grate 2/3 lemons into a small bowl then cut and squeeze about 2/3 Tablespoons of their juice in as well.

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3. Add the 2T of powdered sugar to the lemon juice and zest and mix together (the powdered sugar will absorb and coat the berries easier than regular sugar ). You can also probably use honey but use your discretion for portions diffrences versus powdered sugar.

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Tip: Do not throw away the lemons after this. Instead place the leftover lemon slices rind and all into a water pitcher!

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4. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix gently with a slotted spoon.

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5. Let the mixture sit in the fridge covered for a few hours or for best results for a day before serving so the berries can soaked up the sugar and citrus juice.

Possible variations: You can choose to use orange juice or lemonade in exchange for the lemon/powdered sugar mixture or add fresh mint as a garnish.

Or if you want a fancier grow-up version: Use a citrus liqueur such as Grand Mariner or Lemon-cello.

Do you have any traditional Easter foods?

What is your favorite brunch dish?