as GOLD as it gets

Life's adventures should be fully accessorized!


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pleasant valley lavender

IMG_2936

I am so excited to share these photos. After church we stopped by Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm and it did not disappoint. I’ve been wanting to go for awhile but missed the season last year. Today they told us the peak was really around July 4th but I truly couldn’t tell because the fields smelled amazing. They were so kind and took us around briefly and told us how different lavender smelled differently and you could rub it between your fingers and tell some were more earthy and others sweet smelling. _MG_2913They give you scissors and a basket and you are set free to roam. The are fields all around their house with a little tent shop set up out front. They even had baked lavender cookies that they let us sample! IMG_2895

The bees and butterflies were everywhere but none of them seemed to care about humans traipsing through they just buzzed around us. IMG_2935IMG_2937IMG_2978IMG_2938IMG_2939IMG_2941IMG_2946IMG_2981IMG_2986IMG_2992

This is the perfect escape in New Jersey to fool yourself into thinking you are in France for an hour or two!

 


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award-winning spicy & tart blueberry pie

award winning blueberry apple pie

I love participating in our local farmer’s market but the judges and competition are tough! This year I couldn’t believe I actually got third place! I pretty much went into it with low expectations but was thrilled!

The pectin in the apple really helps to firm it up so its more substantial and not soupy…if you’ve made blueberry pie before you know what I mean 😉

Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
4Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1) Combine 1 1/2 blueberries, the sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the water in a medium saucepan. Set over low heat and cook, stirring often until the blueberries have become very juicy and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water, then stir in about a third of the blueberry juices. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, return to the heat and cook stirring constantly until thickened and clear (3 min)
2) Remove from the heat, scrap the filling into a medium bow and stir in the spices. Let cool.
3) Set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 375
4) Fold the remaining blueberries and apple into the cooled filling
5) Scrap into the piecrust and spread evenly. Dot with the butter and arrange the top crust. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar
6) Place the pie in the over and decrease the temperature to 350 F. Bake until the crust is baked through and the juices are actively simmering, about 45 min.
7) Cool the pie on the rack and serve warm
Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 12 pieces
1) Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor, pulse several times until combined
2) Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is finely mixed into the dry ingredients.
3) Use a fork to beat the eggs until the yolks are broken and pour into food processor. Pulse again until the dough almost forms a ball.
4) Invert the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together 3-4 times to make it smooth.
5) Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form them into disks and wrap them each in plastic. Chill for a few hours before rolling.

6) Before rolling the dough, place on a floured surface and gently knead until smooth and malleable.

The recipe came from this book.

 


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Kennebunkport, Maine

kennebunkport flower box

We had the best weekend exploring Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kennebunkport Maine!  As we were driving into town we were already plotting our way to come back. The town is SO charming and the shops people are kind and the other tourists are polite and clean! HAve you ever been where they are not? It’s truly a thing to note! I did some research on things to do before we went (see how I do it here) and it couldn’t have been a better day.
lindsay and jordan walkers pointe Continue reading


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DIY large paper tissue flowers

This weekend I’m hosting brunch for Mother’s day for my mother in law (hopefully she’s not seeing this yet…). I’ll show more photos later but I wanted to share these beforehand. This is such an easy and inexpensive craft to do for a party. I got all of my materials from the dollar store! I found this great tutorial from A Blissful Nest and only slightly changed it.
large paper flower

Wouldn’t these be pretty for a baby shower or even left in a bathroom like this at a party. It reminded me of a water lilly and I just put it here so I could see what it looked like (#craftinginbedproblems)

DIY large paper tissue flower

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blueberry picking at terhune orchards

I’ve done a few posts on how much I love Terhune Orchards before (here and here). If you are in the Princeton, New Jersey area you should definitely check it out. We headed out to the farm to pick some blueberries for the West Windsor Farmers Market Blueberry Pie contest that I’m participating in.

blueberry pick you own - terhune orchards

The farm has so many different areas that you can “pick your own” but we hit up the blueberry patch. It’s a little bit intimidating deciphering which ones are the best to pick but it was fun going up and down the aisles and finding little patches are darker ripe blueberries. blueberry pick you own - terhune orchardsIt was fun until we were sweating and beetles and other swarming creatures kept coming at us. Luckily we ended up having plenty of blueberries for my pie and headed over to the farm store for apple cider donuts.
blueberry picking terhune orchardterhune orchardsI’ll post pictures and the recipe of my blueberry pie later this week!


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the best picnic snacks

Our attempt at a picnic and fireworks were unfortunately rained out last night. But that didn’t stop us from still haven’t a picnic! We pulled a blanket out in the living room and had an indoor picnic for the 4th.
best picnic snacks

(Lilly Market Bag above, in jellies be jammin’)

These are some of my favorite picnic staples:
pick a soft and a hard cheese : I chose a white cheddar and brie
Multigrain crackers & pita chips (both from Trader Joes)
Salami, grapes and roasted asparagus all add a little variety to the heavy cheese and crackers
Don’t forget to pack something to drink! We love italian grapefruit soda

what to pack for a picnicClink & Drink cupswhat to pack for a picnic

Aren’t these gingham plates the cutest? Perfect for summer!
what to pack for a picnic

And you can’t forget to pack something sweet! Is anyone else OBSESSED with these soft sugar cookies?!

What are some of your favorite picnic essentials?


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nautical party snack bar

This week we are in the Outerbanks for vacation and our first day of vacation happened to land on JPS’ birthday. Unfortunately most of his actual birthday was spent in the car from NJ to NC but we had a birthday breakfast and a nautical themed snack bar!
OBX

It was really fun to think about some snacks that everyone would like and that we could have a nautical spin on…nautical party snacks

fish & chips – potato chips
fishing bait – gummy worms
crab legs – pretzel sticks
seaweed – sour punch straws
nautical party snacksnautical party signs - wholesome to the partynautical party sailboat sugar cookiesBecause traveling with food can be beastly I tried to think of some simple things that could be made ahead and travel easily. I baked sugar cookies, decorated them and froze them a couple of weeks ago. I transported them in a cooler so the icing wouldn’t heat in the sun and smudge. I also made glazed donut muffins and added the sweetest anchors to them.

nautical party snacksnautical party signs - thirst aid station