Dog days

It’s the dog days of summer. The cats and I are in heaven. Heat. Humidity. Sun. It’s fantastic!

I am so thankful for the pool being open! Swimming outside is a true joy for me and each visit restores my soul.

We’re about one month from empty nest now. Alec goes back to college in Chicago in 2 weeks and Avery has decided on a hockey team in Connecticut. It’s surreal after all of this time together—more than my maternity leave—that soon we will be far apart again. I am glad for the boys to be moving forward and hopeful for their health and safety.

In the meantime I am spoiling them rotten with their favorite foods and trying new ones.

We were honored to try a new local chef’s Mediterranean takeout, Dervish Mazza. Fun tapas style dips and snacks. Winner!

It’s berry season and I found an awesome strawberry shortcake recipe (vegan)! It’s soooooo fantastic!! I use coconut oil for the fat and it really makes for a moist flavorful cake. I ❤️ fresh local strawberries! And can even find great nondairy whipped cream or ice cream.

Speaking of favorites… I don’t know what I love more, fresh local cherry tomatoes (the purple ones especially!) or Door County Wisconsin cherries! I don’t care how much they cost, yes please!

Avocado cucumber soup. Green goop? You betcha! Anything avocado. Thank you Martha, as always, for this winning recipe. It’s like gazpacho but more satisfying. Eating it at the lake helps too. Kayaking amongst the loons is restorative.

In our first happy hour out in public (and his first visit to a cocktail room), Alec and I enjoyed local distillery Dampfwerk. This watermelon/lime gin cocktail “take home” kit was just what we needed for Saturday night patio time. I am going to miss him!!

Peace to you all…

Easy as apple pie

Well, technically, this is an apple tarte, although not the traditional apple tarte tatin, which uses puff pastry. This is my mom’s recipe. It’s just as impressive, but easier and healthier, since it uses only one crust. That gives you a few extra calories to top with ice cream or whipping cream, as some boys do! Plus, you probably have most of these ingredients on hand.

Apple tarte

  • 2-3 apples (braeburn, honeycrisp work well), thinly sliced. I don’t peel, but if you are picky and want to do extra work, go for it.
  • 1 ready made pie crust, at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Karo syrup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and Karo syrup in pan (a 9-10″ skillet works, or pie pan) in the oven while it is warming up. Arrange apple slices over melted butter mixture. Top with pie crust, tucking edges under. Bake for 30-35 min until pastry is browned. Remove from oven and cool approximately 5 minutes. Be brave now….place a plate over the skillet, hold edges and flip! It’s OK if it isn’t perfect, that adds to the rustic quality, and there’s another crust in the box 🙂