This summer was such a good one, as BG summers always are. It is hard to sum up what our little town means to me and our group. The best way I have heard it put is that it is a modern day Mayberry. It’s really the best way to say it. Everyone slows down and enjoys the little things: good conversations on the porch, bike rides and everyone’s favorite American pastime, baseball.
My friends Bryan and Karissa captured the summer by taking a Polaroid every day. It became a challenge for them to find the picture of the day. Check out the project here.
I, on the other hand, tried to capture our summer days with my camera of choice, the iPhone.
Here are some highlights:
Loren and I shot a wedding together in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. These fun bridesmaids made the day such a blast.
We recreated one of my favorite youth group memories for the Grace & Peace youth group: the gutter banana split sundae.
So much softball! And the runner-up title for the Mid Summer Best of the Rest tournament. On top of that, we got our jerseys just in time for the very last game.
Playing softball with Ryan was probably the highlight of the summer. He started playing hesitantly since he hadn’t played since little league, but by the end of the season he was pitching half the time. I can’t believe it! I love being your teammate, Ry! Bikes to the grocery, bikes to softball then dinner, bikes to snow cones and so much more.
It was a summer for the books. Thanks to those who participated in any and all activities that made it so memorable.
I plan to be back to be blogging soon! The end of the summer has been so busy and there is lots to catch up on. In the meantime, here is a recipe that should be added to your menu as soon as possible.
- 4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus
- 1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth (I used white wine)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
- Cook asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add rice; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup broth, vermouth (or wine) and salt. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes). Add asparagus and shrimp; cook 4 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining ingredients.
As brave as I think I am in the kitchen, I have never altered a recipe when baking. Yesterday all of that changed.
For the Leftovers Club this month, I was paired with Shaina Wizov of “Take a Bite Out of Boca“. She writes reviews on restaurants in her area of Boca Raton, Florida, as well as sharing her own recipes.
I decided to experiment with these cookies and I am so excited about how they turned out. I used my normal chocolate chip cookie base so the consistency would still be delish. Then I added chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and chopped pecans. They seemed a little dry right before I was going to add the extras, so I put in some coconut oil.
A few friends tried them and approved, so I will have to try more experiments soon! Shaina, I hope you enjoy my Brave New World Cookie.
A Brave New World Cookie
Adapted from my favorite chocolate chip recipe
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- a few drops of coconut oil
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, coconut and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
One of my favorite things about the Leftovers Club is that it gives me new opportunities to experiment in the kitchen. If you are interested in being part of the club, make sure you visit theleftoversclub.com for more information!
About a month ago, the Talisman staff was working hard to make our final deadline. Over the last few years, it had been a pretty small group that stayed until the very end, but this year was different. Since so many people stuck around, it made the work load easier and we had a whole lot of fun. I am grateful for these memories. Spending all day, every day with these folks is such a treat!
Photo Credit: Katie Meek
Photo Credit: Ryan for Katie Meek‘s Insta
Photo Credit: Katie Meek
The last celebration was a long promised dinner at my house. Wrapping up the book is always such a bittersweet time. I am really glad we got to make it such a party this year.
The last month has been such a doozy. The yearbook has been sent and I am happy to have time again!
It is time for the Leftovers Club once again. This month I was paired with Elizabeth Cavallari, the founder of the club and blogger at Food Ramblings. I really appreciate everything she does to organize and coordinate the club, so I wanted to make her one of my favorite treats: Key Lime Bars. If I could pick just one recipe that reminds me of my mom, it would be these. She loves them and gave me this wonderful recipe!
Key Lime Bars
from the kitchen of Julie Hill
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1 cup melted butter
Mix the flour & sugar, then add butter. Press crust into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
2 cups sugar
5 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspon baking pwder
4 eggs, beaten
8 Tablespoons lime juice
green food coloring, a couple drops
Mix sugar, flour, & baking powder. Add eggs, mix well. Add juice & food coloring and pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until it begins to firm up. Cool a little, cut while warm. Dust with powdered sugar.
You can use lemon juice & yellow food coloring for lemon bars.
If you are interested in the Leftover Club, go here for more info: theleftoversclub.com