Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crumbled Strawberry Shortcake with Fresh Raspberry Whipped Cream



Happy Thursday, friends!  I hope y'all enjoyed time with loved ones over the long weekend.  Taylor and I spent the majority of our time doing some serious and oh-so-needed yard work.  We made a lot of progress, but still have our work cut out for us.  The house we are currently renting was unoccupied for three years before we moved in and the yard definitely shows it.  After all of our hard work in the hot Georgia sun, I figured we were about due for a treat and wanted to whip up one of Taylor's favorite desserts.  This crumbled strawberry shortcake is ideal for the warmer summer temperatures and the fresh raspberry whipped cream is the perfect finishing touch!


For this sweet treat, I opted for a box of store bought angel food cake mix...sometimes it is OK to take the easy route!  Especially when you're exhausted from weeding your mess of a yard :).  Plus, when paired with fresh raspberry whipped cream, no one would ever know the entire dessert isn't made from scratch!

Fresh raspberry whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 5-7 crushed raspberries
Strawberry shortcake:
  • Angel food cake, boxed (if you have a favorite angel food cake recipe, I'd love to hear it!)
  • Sliced strawberries
Instructions:
Prepare angel food cake according to instructions and set aside to cool.  Set medium-sized bowl and handheld whisk attachments in refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes to chill.  Once chilled, whip powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Add in crushed raspberries and continue whipping for a few more seconds (just until berries are incorporated).  To assemble, crumble cooled angel food cake and place in bottom of bowl.  Layer on sliced strawberries and top with fresh raspberry whipped cream.


I love how light, yet satisfying this treat is on a hot summer day.  What's your must-have dessert for summertime?  And seriously, if you have an easy, fast angel food cake recipe, send it my way!

Love,
Aly


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Refreshing Mint Lemonade



Happy Thursday, friends!  It seems like just yesterday I was bundled up and dreadfully awaiting a second snowpocalypse in Atlanta (I totally got stuck in the one made fun of on SNL - thank goodness for nice strangers!), but now it is mid-May!  Although the summer has not officially begun, it is already in the high 80s here.  When temperatures rise, I always look forward to spending time outdoors with loved ones, and this recipe for a refreshing mint lemonade is perfect for the upcoming hot summer days.


Mint Lemonade:
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped mint leaves
Instructions:
Begin by making a mint simple syrup - mix sugar and 1 cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring regularly.  Once at boil (and sugar is dissolved), remove from heat.  Place chopped mint leaves in a separate heat resistant bowl.  Pour water and sugar mixture over mint leaves and cover.  Let steep until syrup is room temperature and then refrigerate to chill.
I opted for fresh squeezed lemon juice, removing the seeds but leaving the pulp.  If you don't have the time (or patience) for squeezing 8 lemons to death, I think using 1 cup of store bought lemon juice and 1/2 cup fresh squeezed would still make a delicious lemonade!   
To finish, simply mix lemon juice, mint simple syrup and remaining 7 cups of water in a larger pitcher.  Stir and garnish with a lemon slice and mint leaf!  This recipe yields 60 ounces of refreshing lemonade. 


Thanks for stopping by!  What's your favorite way to put a twist on a summertime classic?

Love, 
Aly

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quinoa Banana Breakfast Bowl




Happy Thursday, friends!  Today, I am sharing a recipe for a yummy quinoa breakfast bowl, topped with banana, honey and cinnamon.  I used to think quinoa could only be eaten for lunch or dinner, but when Taylor and I were in Highlands last month, I tried a quinoa breakfast bowl at a local cafe and loved it!  If you're a quinoa fan and haven't tried it sweetened - I highly recommend it!



Quinoa Banana Breakfast Bowl:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups sweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions:
Rinse quinoa under water, using a fine strainer to drain.  In a medium pot, heat almond milk over medium heat until warm.  Add quinoa, cover pot and simmer over low-medium heat until the majority (but, not all!) of the almond milk has been absorbed (25 - 30 min).  After most almond milk has been absorbed, remove from heat and stir in honey, cinnamon and about half of your banana slices.  Gently mix together and you're good to go!  I topped my bowl with a few extra banana slices, more cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. 


This recipe yields 4 small servings, so I am definitely looking forward to making it ahead of time for an easy breakfast option during the week.  


Thanks for stopping by!  What are your favorite ways to have quinoa for breakfast?

Love,
Aly 


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Interior Inspiration: Rustic Touches


Reclaimed counter top on island - HGTV Fixer Upper

Although we've been married for over two years now, Taylor and I are still in the process of figuring out our home decor style and buying all the necessary pieces to make our house a home.  I mean, we are still using the couch Taylor had when he was 18 years old - definitely time to upgrade!  Thankfully, we have pretty similar tastes when it comes to interior design and home decor... which is a love for basically anything Joanna Gaines touches.  Fixer Upper is seriously our favorite show!  I love Joanna's farmhouse style and today, I am sharing a few ways to bring an unexpected rustic touch indoors with some lovely inspiration from around the internet. 


Rustic wood ceiling and farm table -  Inspired by This



Exposed wood beams and shelves - Liz Marie Blog


Elegant wooden chandelier - HGTV Fixer Upper


Open-shelving in the kitchen - Style Me Pretty


Joanna Gaines' kitchen with open shelving and exposed beams - Magnolia Homes

I'm in love with the Gaines family kitchen - subway tile, open shelving and shiplap definitely speak to my heart!  Taylor and I actually recently made our own version of the Super Market sign to hang near our kitchen - I will have to share some pictures of it soon :)

What are your favorite ways to incorporate rustic touches into your home? Thanks for stopping by!

Love,
Aly