Tag Archives: summer

When I was little I looooooved unicorns, but I really just loved anything related to horses. My obsession really revolved around the movie Legend with Tom Cruise where there were these magical white unicorns and the movie the Neverending Story where Atreyu has a amazing white horse named Artax. And pegasus, so pretty much any white horse! Which is still my color of choice for a horse (grey technically). 

So naturally this year I was super excited to have a unicorn frappe when Starbucks came out with them, but I was never able to enjoy one! They were gone before the time I could drive to a faraway town to find a Starbucks. Thus unicorn popsicles were derived!

These popsicles are much different than their distant cousin the unicorn frappe. They are loaded with yummy fruit mixtures and creamy, luscious yogurt. No added sugar, so they are really good for you too! When developing these I asked myself, why would I make these colorful concoctions in a basic popsicle mold when I could probably find one that resembled an actual unicorn horn!

I found these popsicle molds and they worked seamlessly. If you are a little more traditional, I also really love these popsicles molds when I’m making basic popsicles. I made both so you could see the difference! I decorated the unicorn pops with magical white chocolate and sprinkles, but they are just plain perfect without any fancy fixings. 

So if you are feeling magical this #popsicleweek tryout a unicorn popsicle. For even more fun and exciting, summery popsicles head over to Wit & Vinegar here to join in on all the popsicle madness! Happy Summer!

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Unicorn Popsicles
Makes 24 popsicles

INGREDIENTS
Blue Layer
2 frozen bananas 
1/2 c. greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
1 c. frozen pineapple
2 drops blue food coloring
water for blending

Purple Layer
1 frozen banana
1/2 c. greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
1 c. frozen mixed berries
1/2 c. frozen blueberries

Pink Layer
1 frozen banana
1/2 c. greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
1 c. frozen strawberries
1 c. frozen blueberries

Optional 
White Chocolate
Sprinkles

GUIDANCE
For each layer blend all ingredients. Separate each color out into three different bowls. Spoon small amounts of each color into your popsicle mold for the prefect unicorn effect. Freeze for 1 hour, then insert wooden popsicle stick. Freeze 4-6 hours before enjoying! 

*Melt white chocolate and drizzle over popsicles. Sprinkle on sprinkles immediately. Let sit for 20 minutes to harden.

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Overwhelmed seems to be my current word of choice lately. For some reason in the summer I get this feeling that I need to pack in as much fun, action, and tasks as humanly possible. Adding that to moving, remodeling a home and adding an addition has proven to be quite overwhelming.

To combat this feeling, I have been trying to be more mindful. Looking at my phone less and taking time to enjoy things that I enjoy. I know that everything will fall into place with our little house on the prairie, so I need to take a step back and stop worrying.

My worries were eased a few weeks ago because my parents came to visit and they helped us out tremendously on our house projects. When my parents came, they helped us rip out all of the old cabinets in the kitchen, sooooooo I’m happy to say I will be getting a semi-new kitchen! I’m so excited! Aren’t parents just the best! Did you all have a good Father’s Day?

So since this house has been a little overwhelming, what better to detract me than a little cooking time! When I’m cooking my mind is totally focused on the recipe, the flavors, and ensuring that the food looks yummy too.

For Fathers Day this year I wanted to make something a little different than the typical boring old hamburger. I came up with a tasty Chicken Caesar Burger to celebrate Dads! Even though I didn’t get to this post pre-Father’s Day, this recipe will be superb at your next back yard cookout or even just for a weeknight supper!

My whole idea for this stemmed from the thought that the bun should resemble those garlicky-herby crunch that you get from a superb crouton. Crouton Buns flavored with oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley made these hamburger buns delicious. 

A standout Caesar dressing also was a key component to creating this juicy burger. I have to admit I have never made homemade Caesar dressing and I was honestly a little nervous to use anchovies, but those salty fish really make the dressing! I used this recipe here for the dressing. I contemplated making these burgers with hamburger and then adding in some caesar salad flavoring, but making these with ground chicken was really the right way to go. The ground chicken really took on all the tasty flavors. I made the burgers quite large and they were extra juicy.

Slivers of parmesan, crisp romaine lettuce and a grilled chicken burger makes this the meal for your summer table. So in the midst of all this HGTV madness at my house, I hope you are enjoying the summer too! And if you are feeling overwhelmed take a moment and cook something, it just might help you relax!
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Chicken Caesar Salad Burgers

INGREDIENTS
Chicken Burger
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 T. parmesan cheese
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. parsley flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
salt 
pepper
1/2 c. romaine lettuce
slivers of parmesan cheese
1 recipe for caesar salad dressing, I used this one here

Crouton Hamburger Buns
hamburger buns
1/2 c. olive oil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. minced garlic

First prepare your chicken burgers. Mix chopped onion, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, parsley flakes, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and ground chicken in a bowl until well combined. Shape into 3 inch patties and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken patties until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Next prepare crouton hamburger buns. Mix olive oil, herbs, and garlic in a small dish. Use a brush to brush the open face portion of each bun. Broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. 

To assemble, smear caesar salad dressing on the top and bottom of the bun. Place chicken patty, crisp romaine lettuce and slivers of parmesan cheese on top of each other. Top with crouton hamburger bun and enjoy!

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Relax, rest, recuperate, recover, re-charge; isn’t that what summer is all about? I can’t think of a better way to do all of the above than by enjoying a cool, refreshing popsicle. But wait what about a popsicle with your favorite beer, even better! These popsicles are full of orange flavor and the best taste of my favorite brew, Blue Moon. Blue Moon is a Belgian style white beer and it’s brew is accentuated by hints of citrus. These popsicles are so easy to whip up and very RE-freshing after a hot, summer day. This recipe is a great one to round out popsicle week, which is a week devoted to totally awesome popsicle recipes in the blog realm. You can find a gazillion more recipes here on Wit & Vinegar. I didn’t get my recipe submitted but I still wanted to share this tasty, tipsy treat! Remember popsicle responsibly!

In addition to savoring these delicious popsicles, here are a few of my other plans to help relax this summer. Mapping out my plans to relax has proven useful, because often times the summer months can be very busy. With these ideas in mind it helps me remember to step back and truly enjoy each moment of these long, glorious summer days.

  1. Go to the beach
  2. Take a walk every day
  3. Host a BBQ (I worked really hard on my backyard, I need to show it off)
  4. Visit WYOMING
  5. Enjoy some live music, with a drink in my hand
  6. Spend time with my family
  7. Read 3 books (more on this later)
  8. Go fishing (It’s been 395 days since I last got to go fishing)
  9. Cook some great food
  10. RELAX

What are ways you relax in the summer? How do you recharge?

Blue Moon

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Orange Blue Moon Popsicles

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle (12 fluid ounces) Belgian White Beer (I used Blue Moon)
3/4 c. orange juice
Splash of watermelon vodka
Orange slices (optional)

GUIDANCE

Mix beer, orange juice, and watermelon vodka in a blender. Carefully pour into popsicle mold. I purchased mine here. If adding orange slices add after frozen for two hours, then freeze for an additional four hours. To enjoy without orange slices freeze popsicles for 6 hours or overnight. To unfold, dip mold into warm water for 20-30 seconds. Enjoy!

orange slices

Blender

Popsicle

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It’s summer (officially)! Today, Monday June 20th marks the first official day of summer. The summer season brings so many excellent mental health benefits. The opportunity to get outside, bask in the warm weather, relax, and enjoy any and all summer activities that you may enjoy.

This past weekend we celebrated my husband’s grandfather’s 90th birthday. What an amazing feat to live this beautiful life for so many years. I truly believe happiness plays a key to a long, healthy life. So I encourage you to take advantage of summer, get outside and soak in that vitamin D!

It was a great celebration, one in which inspired my recipe for this week. The birthday supper featured fresh buns, cold cuts, savory watermelon, a delicious potato salad, and pasta salad, but the true star was the kuchen that I found hiding in the back in the kitchen.

This recipe is the epitome of summer, blackberry kuchen. Berries are one of my favorite fruits to indlulge in during the summer months, because you can find them everywhere in North Dakota. This kuchen can be made with any berry you have on hand; huckleberry, juneberry, blueberry, raspberry, you name it! Kuchen is the german word for cake. It is a classic staple in many kitchens in the Dakotas (and the state dessert of South Dakota, if you wanted to know). The combination of the two is true happiness, one that invokes the same joys as the word summer. So I encourage you to take advantage of summer, get outside and soak of that vitamin D. Find some berries and try this kuchen, it’s divine!

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Blackberry Kuchen

INGREDIENTS

{Crust}
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 t. vanilla

{Topping}
4 c. blackberries (or berry of your choice)
2. c. cream
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 T. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. sugar

GUIDANCE
Mix crust ingredients and pat into a greased 9×9 baking dish (recipe can be made in a 15 x 10 x 1 pan too). Pour in blackberries. Whisk topping ingredients and pour over fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Yields: Two 9 x 9 pans or one 15 x 10 x 1 pan

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