6.02.2014

Memorial Day 2014

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend!
Most importantly, I hope you paid tribute to our veterans. 
We are so blessed that so many have fought for the freedoms we have.
 We work every Saturday, so after we finished Brandon and I headed out to the pool to soak up some sun and relax.
 Sunday morning some of our best friends arrived and the guys headed over to the country club for a round of golf while I took the girls to pick strawberries.
It was their first time ever going to a you-pick farm, and they loved it!
We almost convinced them to leave the city life behind and move to the country...almost.
 After we picked strawberries, we went to the pool to have some much needed girl time and catching up.
 After the guys played golf we all swam in the pool and then headed down to the river shoals to play for a while.
 We ate too much...ribs on Sunday night and burgers and grilled chicken with all the fixins on Monday.
 Our visit was a blast, but too short! We love these people and are blessed to call them friends.
 We're already planning our next reunion!
 We also ate this delicious homemade strawberry pie with the fresh berries we picked.
It was SO good!
 Just in case you missed the recipe from the past, here it is:

Ingredients
  • 1 9-inch pastry crust (baked)  I used a pie crust.
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (divided)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch I used 5 tablespoons.
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Directions
Step 1
Hull the strawberries. Slice half of the berries, and set aside. (You should have about 2 cups of sliced berries. I used 2.5 cups.) Place the remaining berries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very finely chopped. (You should have about 1 cup of pureed berries. I used 1.5 cups.)
Step 2
Arrange the sliced berries in the baked pastry shell. Set aside.
Step 3
In a medium saucepan, combine the pureed berries and 1 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk the corn starch into the water, and gradually add to the strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until mixture is considerably thickened. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Pour mixture over prepared pastry shell, spreading evenly with a spoon. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Step 4
Just before serving, whip the cream, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Serve chilled pie with a dollop of whipped cream and additional berries or lime wedges, if desired.

5.30.2014

UGA Day Macon

Every May the UGA Alumni Association holds a meet and greet dinner event with Coaches Mark Richt (football) and Mark Fox (basketball).
 We promptly got in line to get our autographs and pictures.
I got the inside of my bulldog clutch autographed...both coaches said it was the first purse they had ever signed!
 Unfortunately the lady who took our photo moved and only took one, so this is what we ended up with.
Both coaches are so incredibly nice and they remember us from years past, which is neat.
 For the past two years barbecue from Fincher's has been served.
Personally, it's some of the worst barbecue I've ever eaten.
I can't stomach it-and that's pretty bad.
 If you're a Georgia person you have to love Chuck Dowdle!
It couldn't go without mention that our beloved quarterback, Aaron Murray, just signed with the Kansas City Chiefs!
Also, that his older brother Josh, also a UGA grad, is representing the Bulldawg nation on the Bachelorette (Bachelorette Andi is from Atlanta)!!!
We;ve known he was going to be on the show for several months now, so we've been anticipating the start of the season.
Of course, the Pinson house is Team Josh Murray all the way!!
I seriously can't wait to see what happens with their relationship. 
 Coach Fox gave us an update on the basketball team, who has been signed, and some things to look forward to this season.
 Coach Richt shared about new training, new coaching, new players and updates on the overall status of the team.
 The grounds are just beautiful-perfectly manicured.
 We are looking forward to the new season and seeing what the Bulldogs have in store for us!
Go Dawgs!!

5.29.2014

Strawberry Recipes

This post is a repost from June 2013...we absolutely love these recipes, so I thought I'd share again for any of you new readers!
Enjoy!!

We are blessed to have to most precious strawberry farm right outside of our neighborhood.
I swear their strawberries taste better than any others I've had.
Because of the convenience, I find myself out at the farm picking quite often when they are in season.
For one thing, I find it therapeutic to get outside and pick in the stillness and the quiet.
For another thing, I just can't get enough of them!
Thinking about making freezer jam, homemade pies and cobblers, shortcakes, muffins, and a dozen other delicious recipes gets me excited and motivates me to get picking!
Twin Oaks Farms
They also have the best homemade strawberry softserve ice cream you've ever had.
So, the first thing I made was a Strawberry-Lime Pie.
I got the recipe off of Pinterest, but of course I made adjustments.
The original recipe can be found here.
Ingredients
  • 1 9-inch pastry crust (baked)  I used a pie crust.
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (divided)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch I used 5 tablespoons.
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Directions
Step 1
Hull the strawberries. Slice half of the berries, and set aside. (You should have about 2 cups of sliced berries. I used 2.5 cups.) Place the remaining berries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very finely chopped. (You should have about 1 cup of pureed berries. I used 1.5 cups.)
Step 2
Arrange the sliced berries in the baked pastry shell. Set aside.
Step 3
In a medium saucepan, combine the pureed berries and 1 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk the corn starch into the water, and gradually add to the strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until mixture is considerably thickened. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Pour mixture over prepared pastry shell, spreading evenly with a spoon. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Step 4
Just before serving, whip the cream, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Serve chilled pie with a dollop of whipped cream and additional berries or lime wedges, if desired.
I ended up making several of these pies because they were such a hit!
The second time I added in some fresh cubed peaches and it was yummy, too!
Of course mine wasn't as pretty as the Pinterest picture, but it tasted delicious!
Memorial Day 2014 we made these pies a bit more patriotic:


The next recipe I made was Strawberry Banana Muffins, also found on Pinterest-originally pinned from here.
They were so delicious and moist-and I made a few changes to this recipe, too.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped  *I used 1 cup finely chopped strawberries, plus 3/4 cup pureed fresh strawberries
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour *I use King Arthur Brand-unbleached
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease mini muffin cups or line standard size muffin cups with paper liners.
*I used mini muffin cups (using nonstick spray) without liners and they did not stick.
Stir melted butter, sugars, eggs, and  vanilla until combined. Stir in mashed bananas. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and cream together until combine. Do not over beat. Fold in strawberries.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes for mini muffins. For standard size muffins bake 16-18 minutes until center is set.
I froze a few gallon size bags of fresh whole strawberries, then I pureed some and put them in freezer containers for use in muffins, pies, jams and jellies, etc.
I also shared my recipe for Strawberry Banana Freezer Jam in this post a few years ago.
I hope you are enjoying your Summer so far and that you might try some of these delicious strawberry recipes!