Recipes: Blueberry Peach Bars

And just like that, spring has passed and summer weather is here. We're busy planning some short vacations and beach trips, my scooter is all tuned up and ready to ride, we're filling up on ice cream and water ice, and the farmer's markets are filled with the best produce and flowers. 

Speaking of summer produce, I've sat down and thought about it and I don't think peaches get the hype they truly deserve. Summer is all about berries and watermelon and though I love those, peaches are pretty amazing. So to celebrate this fresh summer weather, we're making some simple and delicious pie bars with peaches and blueberries. 

Peach Raspberry Bars

Makes 12 bars

Crust:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:
3 peaches
3/4 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar

Topping:
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
sprinkle of salt
3 tablespoon butter, melted

Prepare a 8x8 baking pan by spraying with a light layer of cooking spray and lining with a parchment paper so two sides hang over for easy removal. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make your crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add in melted butter and mix until combined and clumpy. Spread into an even layer in the prepared baking sheet. 

To make your filling, thinly slice peaches and place on top of crust in a single layer. Fill in between the peach slices with raspberries cut in half. Once you've created one layer, sprinkle with corn starch, juice from the lemon, and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Add another layer of peaches and raspberries and then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.

Topping: In the same mixing bowl you made the crust in, add oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add in melted butter and mix until combined and clumpy. Using your hands, sprinkle lumps of the topping onto the peaches/raspberries. You should be able to see the peaches through the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is cooked through. Cool completely before cutting into squares. These bars are on the softer side, so store them in the refrigerator.

Peach Blueberry Bars 2.jpg
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Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Donuts

I rarely bake for anyone other than myself or the blog. It just ends up happening that way. So when I have the opportunity to bake specifically for someone, it's always an enjoyable change. You get to think about them and what flavors they like or what their favorite treats are. It's like a specially curated birthday present, but better because it's made from butter and sugar and we get to eat it.

Today we're talking birthday treats, which are the best kind of treats in my opinion. Each year I ask G what kind of treat he would like me to bake for his birthday. Two years ago I made him these Funfetti Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches and last year he requested this Blueberry and Custard Sheet Cake. This year, it was lemon and blueberry donuts with a cream cheese frosting. Sounds delicious, right? 

Lemon Blueberry Donuts

Makes 

For Donuts:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, cold and cubed
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare donut pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

Begin by mixing lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and working the two together with a spoon (or fingers) until mixture is clumpy and fragrant. In a large bowl, mix together flours, lemon sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is sand-like with bits of butter throughout.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Before completely combined, add the lemon juice and continue to fold together until mixture is smooth. Lastly, add blueberries and fold them in.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag with a tip large enough for the blueberries to pass through (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until all is combined. If your frosting needs to be softer, add in milk one tablespoon at a time until you have your desired consistency. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with rainbow sprinkles.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Earlier this week I heard—for the first time this year—the sweet sounds of spring. It wasn't birds chirping or kids playing outside that made me stop in my tracks and whirl around, it was the familiar jingle of the ice cream truck. 

Now, I don't know where you live or where you grew up, but my whole life I have heard the jingle of the ice cream truck. It reminds me of being a child, taking my parent's dollar and running out front of my childhood home. It reminds me of living in the city, where our street is so tiny and the truck has to drive so slowly that the jingle can be heard right outside my house for about 15 minutes most summer days. It's the sound of taking it easy, of splurging on a treat, and of summer sun.

Today we are skipping the ice cream truck and making a slightly healthier popsicle you can quickly and easily throw together at home. And who can beat the flavor combo of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate? Seriously now...

Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 8 popsicles

4 bananas
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey or agave (to taste)
1/2 cup peanut butter

Topping:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
handful of chopped peanuts or cashews

In a blender, add peeled bananas, greek yogurt, and peanut butter and blend until smooth. Depending on how sweet your bananas are, add honey or more peanut butter based on your personal preference. Fill your popsicle molds (I have this one) 3/4 full, insert sticks, and freeze for 4–6 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler on the stove, whisking until melted. Drizzle melted chocolate over each popsicle and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Enjoy immediately or store on a wrapped plate in the freezer until ready to eat. 

Cocktail: Mango Colada

This elongated winter weather has me dreaming of warmer days and tropical drinks. A classic piña colada is definitely a "vacation splurge" cocktail for me. It's not really something I make at home or order in a city bar. It's saved for those vacation moments when you're ordering from a pool boy or drinking for a coconut with your feet buried in the sand.

So today we are breaking out the rum and limes and throwing together a quick and easy cocktail that will have you dreaming of palm trees and rolling waves. Here we go...

Mango Colada

Makes 2 drinks

1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, stirred if separated
3/4 cup frozen mango
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup ice
splash of mango, pineapple, or (in a pinch) orange juice
pineapple or lime slice (optional)

In a blender, add the first 6 ingredients and pulse until cocktail is smooth with no large pieces of ice or mango. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with pineapple or lime slice and a colorful straw. Cheers!

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5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

I can safely say that I've been struggling to write this post for weeks now. Not really sure why, it really shouldn't be too hard to come up with 5 things but here we are. We did it.

We're still living in perpetual winter time over here in Philadelphia, but I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that it will finally stop snowing and start heating up a bit. Thankfully, we have had 2 decent Saturdays in a row, which has helped clear my head and shaken up my usual routine. It's amazing what a little fresh air, some sunshine, and being with friends can do for you. 

Button-down shirts: I'm currently having a love affair with colorful or patterned button-down shirts. I haven't been purchasing a lot of clothing lately, but I've been making an exception for a good button down. I think my obsession started when I purchases this around christmas time, then a vintage one from a consignment shop, and then bought this pj shirt a few weekends ago. Tucked into high waisted skinny jeans has been my uniform lately. 

LipSense: I know I've included this on another 5 Things I'm Loving list, but after years of trying to find a longwear lipstick that would actually work for me (liquid lipsticks always wear off the center of my lips no matter what brand), a friend recommended LipSense and it's a GAME CHANGER. I purchase from Becka at Feeling Fancy Shop and she's incredibly responsive, helpful, and super sweet. If you're looking for a lipstick that actually wears for 5+ hours—through drinking and tacos and sweating—give LipSense a try.

IGK Hair Products: So, you definitely know by now that I love a good dry shampoo. I think I've talked about dry shampoo in several of these 5 Things posts, all different brands, but today we are diving a little deeper. I'm pretty particular about hair products because my hair doesn't always agree with them. I look for products that give volume and keep my hair looking fresh without weighing my hair down or building up so that it gets greasy. After hearing a ton of great things about IGK, I tried a bunch of different products and loved all of them. Jet Lag and Direct Flight are awesome dry shampoos for bringing my hair back to life (I think I prefer Direct Flight since it's a little more intense). Expensive is an AMAZING deep conditioner. And I recently tried a tester of Mistress while out and about on Saturday and I can't stop thinking about it. I think I feel a new obsession going on...

Black Denim Jacket: Before we left for our trip to Nepal, I picked up this denim jacket and have been wearing it ever since. I have a lot of tighter cropped jackets and this slightly oversized one is perfect for layering or a more casual look. Plus, because it's black I can wear it with jeans without looking like I'm in full denim.

Fake Plants: I know, I know. But sometimes you just need a fake plant! Because our house has houses on either side of it, we only have windows on the front and back of our house. So, the middle just doesn't get enough light for real plants. I've tried countless times and killed them all. So among my real plants, there's a few fake ones in places where you can't get to close to spot the fakers. They just add a little something something to the space without me having to worry about them. Win, win!

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