Wednesday, July 1, 2015

4th of July Party Ideas

Good morning! How are you and your week? Are you getting ready for the holiday weekend? I am co-hosting a party for 40 plus people to celebrate not only the 4th of July but also my sisters birthday so I am compiling a few ides of what to serve. 

BBQ Pork Shoulder from Simply Recipes

At this point I already know that I will be a making all of the desserts in this post because my family LOVES dessert and I love to bake them. In addition to the bars, brownies and cheesecakes, there will also be a banana cake which is my sisters favorite and a fabulous chocolate cake because that is my favorite.

Barbecued Chicken from Simply Recipes

As for the rest of the menu I am still finalizing my plans but should be done by today. 
What do you serve for the 4th of July events that you attend? Do you have a favorite recipe that I should try out?

Bourbon Baked Beans from How Sweet it Is

Blue Cheese Coleslaw from Closet Cooking

Any favorite potato salad, salad or cole slaw recipes to recommend?

Potato Salad One Good Thing By Jill Lee

Deviled Eggs Dessert Now Dinner Later

Bean Corn Dip from Sallys Baking Addiction

Summer Salad Five Heart Home

I cannot wait for this weekend, I am excited to be with my family, to see the fireworks and of course to eat all of these tasty treats. I love a good barbecue. What about you? What are your plans?

Fruit Salad from Family Fresh Meals

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Slab Apple Pie

Bourbon Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Angel Food Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Berries

To those who will be celebrating I hope that you have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend. 

Have a great day. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Almond Cheesecake Bars

Good morning! Can you believe that its almost July and that the year is already half over? Where does the time go? This week is the 4th of July and I cannot wait.  The fireworks, barbecues, time at the ocean and with family and friends is what summer is all about. 

Family, fun and food that is my summer motto. This week we are having guests and hosting several get togethers, the perfect opportunity for my to try out some new desserts. After all, in my world a party is only as good as the desserts!

These bars are fabulous! I think they might be the best dessert that I have made this year. The crust is basically a shortbread cookie, sweet, crunchy and buttery. And the filling is an easy, creamy, smooth, almond cheesecake. Add the frosting and the toasted almonds and you have a delicious dessert for any barbecue or party.

Almond Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Taste of Home


2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer with a paddle attachment add all ingredients for crust and mix until just combined. Then pat the dough into an un-greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, but begin to check after 15 minutes. The crust should be light brown.


8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the cream cheese and the sugar together until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and almond and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Pour the filling over the hot crust and back for 15-20 minutes. The filling should be set in the middle. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.


11/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
11/2 teaspoon milk or heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract

Toasted almonds for garnish

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. The pour over the cooled bars and smooth. Garnish with toasted almond slices. 

As I said, they cannot get any easier. I hope that you try them or one of my other almond recipes that I have made lately. I seem to be on an almond kick this summer. 

Swedish Almond Cake

raspberry Almond Struessel Cake

Buttery Almond Braid

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Friday Favorites from Beautifully Seaside, Yankee Magazine, Design Chic, Rooted in Thyme and More

Good morning! Are you ready for the weekend? I am, because it finally feels like summer. The heat, the beach, barbecues, family, friends and a few short trips have me in full vacation mode. All I can think about is more of the same. Long days at the beach with a good book, barbecues and the 4th of July with friends eating burgers, potato salad, and strawberry short cake; ocean waves lapping at the shore, sand between my toes and more. 

Image from Chic Coastal Living

Summer is all about fresh squeezed lemonade, picking fresh berries and of course Popsicles. This week Beautifully Seaside combined all that to make these delicious looking Strawberry and Raspberry Ice Pops. I cannot wait to try these when I see my nieces and nephew in a few weeks. 

Photo/Art by Keller + Keller Pavlova with Fresh Strawberries & Whipped Cream

I remember spending many happy days with my family picking fresh peaches, blueberries and strawberries. I actually think that we ate more than we picked but that is a story for another day.  During the summer I love to try new recipes including these fruits, so this post the 10 Best Strawberry Recipes from Yankee Magazine is right up my alley.

Rooted in Thyme

Do you have a green thumb? I do not and that is why I always enjoy seeing other peoples beautiful gardens. This week Jody from Rooted in Thyme shared her magical summer garden and flowers, I think you will enjoy looking around them as much as I did. 
I love a good "house tour" and this week I fell in love with this house by Dugan Nequette on Design Chic. Make sure to check it out as well as all of the other fabulous houses by Dugan Nequette as well. 

I am sure that by now you already have a pile of books to read this summer but if you are looking for a few more  you can read the Best Travel Books to Read This Summer from The Business Insider.

Did you find anything interesting around the net this week? Reading lists, recipes, adventures? Whatever you found interesting we would like to hear about so please share.

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Orange in the Happiest Color

Image InStyle Magazine

Good morning! Are you having a good week? Everything is going well here but my goodness it is HOT! Not that I am complaining but summer is definitely here. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am adding a little color to my wardrobe this year and orange is one of my new "neutrals". I think it adds a little punch of color without being overbearing.

Image House and Garden UK

These are a few of my favorite orange fashion looks from Pinterest

Image Pinterest via Stella and Dot

Image Here

Image The Gap

Image The Gap

The Loft

Image Wish Bone

Image Tattler Russia Via here

What do you think? Are you a fan of orange? Is it a color that is in your summer wardrobe? I have a few pieces this year that I love and cannot wait to wear them.


I hope that you have a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cream Cheese and Fruit Pastries

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend and a nice Father's day? I did! The weather was beautiful so we were able to spend a lot of time on the water, relaxing on the porch reading and being lazy. 

I did manage to bake a few things, no surprise there, and these EASY, scrumptious Cream Cheese and Fruit Pastries were one of them.

When I say easy, I mean easy. You basically need some puff pastry, a little sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and some jelly. Thats it! If you want to be a little fancy you can add a drizzle of frosting and some nuts. 

Quick and Easy Cream Cheese and Fruit Pastries


1 sheet puff pastry
4 ounces cream cheese softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1Tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-5 tablespoons raspberry and blueberry jam(homemade or store bought)
1 egg plus a little water to make an egg wash 
slivered almonds

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove puff pastry from box and unfold, let sit for 10 minutes. Once thawed cut into squares, 1 sheet will make 8 large pastries of 16 small. Score a square into each pastry, leaving about 1/2 around the edge. Do not cut all the way through, the square will contain the filling. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Then add sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix well. 

Put a teaspoon or tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the center of each pastry, where you scored each piece. The amount of filling depends upon how many squares you cut. The place a dollop of jelly into the center and swirl a bit. You could also use fresh fruit instead of jelly. In a small bowl beat the egg and a little water to make an egg wash. Brush edges with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges become puffed and golden brown. 

Remove pastries from oven and let cool. In the meantime mix together the frosting ingredients. Once pastries are cooled drizzle with frosting and garnish with slivered almonds. 

What do you think? Could these pastries get any easier? You can fill them with just the cream cheese mixture, you could add jam, or just fresh fruit, anyway that you make them they come out perfect and delicious!

I hope that you have a wonderful summer week! Get out there and enjoy yourself before we know it Fall will be nipping at our heels!

Linking to:

 Savvy Southern Style , Ivy and Elephants ,
 DIY by Design , We Are That Family ,Style Sisters ,
City Farmhouse ,Beyoned The Picket Fence ,
Home Stories A to Z , The Blissful Bee ,
Love of Family & Home ,The Dedicated House , Craftberry Bush ,
The Shabby Creek Cottage , Posed Perfection ,
 Katherines Corner , The Vintage Farmhouse  A Delightsome Life , 
 Imparting Grace ,  From My Front Porch To Yours 
No Minimalist Here

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I am blessed to have a fabulous dad,  and a step-dad; double the advice, love and more. Although I will not be with either of them today, I want them to know how much I love them. 

I hope that you are lucky enough to be spending the day with your dad.

Have a great day!

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