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DIY Painted Picnic Blanket

2015 July 28

Summer, summer, summertime! We still have a few more months of long lazy days, sunshine, beach adventures, and days spent lounging outdoors. Today Christina is sharing how to make this easy-as-pie DIY Painted Picnic Blanket perfect for all of your summer adventures!

DIY Painted Picnic Blanket

You will need:
1 4×5 Canvas drop cloth, available here
1 Can of Spray Paint Color of your choice
Painters tape
Ruler (optional)

DIY Painted Picnic Blanket

Step 1. Lay out drop cloth on a hard, flat surface.
Step 2. Tape individual stripes, approx 3inches apart. Once tape is on the cloth, press out any bubbles or gaps.
Step 3.  Spay paint cloth. Spray long even strokes. The canvas soaks up a bit of the paint, so go back and cover any spots. I used 1 can of spray paint.  
Step 4.  Let dry completely, about 2 hours.
Step 5.  Carefully remove tape.  Then admire your masterpiece!

DIY Painted Picnic Blanket

Let the picnic-ing begin! Just don’t forget the champagne.

DIY Painted Picnic Blanketphotos by Christina Streit

Baked French Toast with Raspberry Butter

2015 July 27

I love French toast for breakfast and so does Jason! But what I don’t love is individually cooking one piece of toast at a time, especially when Jason is a bottomless pit when it comes to sweet breakfast foods.

Baked French Toast

The solution: Baked French Toast! I made this recipe for Baked French Toast with Raspberry Compote Butter for a girlfriend’s brunch I threw and it’s one of my all time favorites. Simply soak a big batch of bread in rich egg, cream and vanilla custard, layer in a baking dish and bake until golden and set. It’s totally easy to do and perfect for serving a crowd or in my case, one hungry husband.

Baked French Toast

Top warm French toast with a thick slice of Raspberry Compote butter, hot maple syrup, fresh raspberries and a dollop of homemade whipped cream. What a treat!

Baked French Toast

Baked French Toastphotos by Mary Costa

Baked French Toast with Raspberry Compote Butter
Serves 6
Easy baked french toast perfect for serving a crowd.
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  1. Butter, for the pan
  2. 1 loaf crusty French bread
  3. 8 eggs
  4. 2 cups whole milk
  5. ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  6. ½ cup granulated sugar
  7. ½ cup brown sugar
  8. 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  9. Pinch of salt
  10. Raspberries, for serving
  11. Shredded coconut, for serving (optional)
  12. Maple syrup, for serving
  13. Whipped cream, for serving
  14. Raspberry compote butter, for serving
For the raspberry compote butter
  1. 2 sticks or 1 cup butter at room temperature
  2. ½ cup fresh raspberries
  1. Grease a baking pan with butter. Slice bread into thick slices and tile in the pan. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Wisk until well combined. Pour custard evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until bread is completely soaked, preferably overnight.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter for the raspberry compote until soft and fluffy. Mix in raspberries for just a few seconds until distributed. Turn butter mixture out onto plastic wrap and roll into a log. Seal tightly and refrigerate until hard.
  3. Bake French toast at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until french toast is cooked through and the the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and top with fresh raspberries and shredded coconut (if using). Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, additional raspberries, sliced raspberry compote butter and warm maple syrup.


4 Bourbon-Whiskey Cocktail Recipes to Try

2015 July 24
by Leah Bergman

Happy Friday friends! Are you a Bourbon drinker? I certainly wasn’t a fan of either Bourbon or Whiskey or even know the difference for that matter until a couple of years ago when my eyes, and taste buds, were opened to just how delicious a good Bourbon-Whiskey cocktail could be. For those who are not familiar with the difference, don’t feel bad. I was confused myself until after asking my Dad to clarify. Isn’t that’s what Dad’s are for?

Sho Fly Bourbon Punch

So here’s the short answer: Bourbon is a type of whiskey that gets its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky, where it’s made. Bourbon tends to be amber-colored, and a little sweeter and heavier in texture than other whiskeys but is at the end of the day it’s a whiskey! (source)

Whether you already love Whiskey or are interested in trying it, here are 4 cocktails perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. Hey, why not give one a try this weekend?

Sho Fly Punch

Sho Fly Punch
serves 4-6

2 cups Whiskey
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup simple syrup
2-3 bottles of ginger beer to taste (about 24-36oz)
garnish: slices of orange & fresh mint

1. Make the simple syrup: In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
2. In a large pitcher combine Clyde May Whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange slices. Chill until ready to serve.
3. Just before serving stir in ginger beer.
4. Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnished with fresh orange slices and mint sprigs.

Apricot Bourbon Smash

Apricot Bourbon Smash
makes 1

2 oz bourbon-whiskey
2 oz apricot puree (recipe follows)
1/4 oz lemon juice
3 mint leaves, plus more for garnish

For the puree:
8 apricots, pitted
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs sugar

1. In a food processor or blender, puree apricots, lemon juice and sugar. Strain through a fine mess sieve and discard skins. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, apricot puree and lemon juice. Tear mint into the shaker by hand.
3. Shake until well chilled and pour into a mason jar filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Pineapple Julep

Pineapple Julep
makes 1

1 sprig fresh mint, plus more for garnish
4 to 5 chunks pineapple
Crushed ice
1 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces bourbon

1. Put the mint and pineapple in the bottom of a glass; muddle and crush ‘em up with the back of a spoon until pineapple is in small chunks.
2. Top with crushed ice to fill the glass. Add the simple syrup and bourbon. Garnish with more mint.

Bitter Eastern Sour

Bitter Eastern Sour
makes 1

2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce orgeat syrup
2 ounces Bourbon
¼ ounce Campari
lime wedge for garnish

1. In a shaker ⅔ filled with ice, add orange juice, lime juice, orgeat and bourbon.
2. Shake well for 20 seconds and strain into a large saucer or rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Pour Campari over ice.
3. Garnish with a lime wedge.



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