June 2017 archive

roasted strawberries and cream popsicles

It’s popsicle week!!! Every year for the past four years, Billy over at Wit and Vinegar has hosted popsicle week. During popsicle week, bloggers from all over the web send links to fun popsicle recipes they have created especially for this web-wide event.

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

Last year I made berry granola popsicles and roasted apricot Greek yogurt and strawberry popsicles, in 2015 I made watermelon lime mint popsicles, and this year we have roasted strawberries and cream popsicles! Let me just tell you, roasted strawberries are my new favorite ingredient. They are more complex than fresh strawberries but still have that wonderful sweetness that you get from a fresh-from-the-vine strawberry. The two popsicles I made last year used Greek yogurt, but we’re switching things up a bit this year with coconut milk for a dairy free popsicle option.

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles-2

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

One of the great things about popsicles is that as long as they freeze, it is really hard to mess up when you make them. In testing these I had some popsicles that were mostly strawberry mixture, some that were mostly coconut milk mixture, and some that were an even mix. The beauty of this recipe is that it is up to you how you want to mix them! You can mix the strawberry mixture with the coconut mixture for a homogeneous pink popsicle, layer the roasted strawberries and the coconut milk as shown in these photos, or forget the coconut milk altogether if it’s not your thing for a deliciously red roasted strawberry popsicle. There are so many delicious options!

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

I’m so excited to see the great popsicle ideas everyone else comes up with throughout this fun week. The blogging community is so creative and I’m so grateful for the opportunities like these to participate and contribute to such a wonderful group and fun idea that brings so many people together. Let’s start freezing!

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles
1 pound strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup honey, divided
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the strawberries on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until fragrant and soft. Place the roasted strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir the coconut milk, remaining 2 tablespoons honey and vanilla extract.

Layer the strawberry and coconut mixtures. Cover the popsicles, add sticks, and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

link love

It’s Friday and it’s Summer so what are we all doing on the computer? Let’s get out and get working on that Summer bucket list! I’m ready!

link love 6.23.2017


Until then though, here’s some link love to brighten your day.

As I was just saying, it’s Friday and it’s summer. Summer Fridays are apparently all the rage – can we all jump on that train? My favorite quote from this article: ““It’s not like people are really killing it at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon in the middle of the summer.”

After spending many hours flying to California and back a few weekends ago, I loved this funny article about unwritten airplane etiquette.  Sharing a very small space with a bunch of strangers as you are all trying to be comfortable in the stale recirculating air – planes are a funny place.

I recently came across this tradition and think it sounds so fun! We currently use a small table that has been passed down for almost (maybe more than) 100 years now. It was my great grandparents and was passed down to my grandparents, then my parents (we used it as our arts and crafts table growing up), and now to Will and me. It is already filled with memories and love, but imagine if every guest who had come to all of those houses had participated in this tradition!

All my fellow Type-As out there, this one is for you. I love Carly’s post on how to go with the flow when you are Type A. As I was reading it I found myself nodding over and over again at her points and tips. This is absolutely me. As a Type A person, I have a hard time going with the flow, but I want to be able to, for my sake and for the sake of those around me. I have my own strategies that help me try to go with the flow (as only a Type A would) and I love that this post shares even more.

Sometimes I think Lilly Pulitzer can be a little over the top and jarring, but this Lilly Pulitzer suite at Watch Hill Inn is so fun for a beachside hotel room. And when is a more appropriate time to post about Lilly than in the first few days of summer?

Have a wonderful warm weekend, everyone! Let’s have some summer fun!

summer bucket list 2017

Happy summer! It’s officially here with the humidity to prove it!

Summer Bucket List

For the past few weeks I have been gearing up for the new season and adding things to my summer bucket list. While it is not my favorite season (I’m not a fan of the extremely hot and humid days we get here), I do love that summer always seems more relaxed than other parts of the year. Summer comes with its own kind of fun. It brings a relaxed vibe, long days, warm nights, fresh fruit and vegetables. The sunny days entice me to spend more time outside and allow for dinner on the back patio and outdoor weekend projects. I am excited for all of these fun experiences this summer!

-Swim in the pool at our complex (we didn’t swim in it a single time last year!)
-Spend an evening at Honeysuckle Tea House (we went for the first time to cross it off my spring bucket list and we loved it!)
-Go to one place on our Triangle bucket list
-Try a new coffee shop
-Ride bikes together
-Pick blackberries
-Make popsicles
-Go to the lake
-Make and start to implement a plan for our back patio beautification
-Refinish table
-Pick paint color for guest bedroom
-Take a trip before Will starts his MPH year
-Try a new seasonal recipe
-Go to a Durham Bulls game
-Buy local food from the Farmers’ Market

What fun things are on your summer bucket list?!

happy third anniversary

Third Anniversary

Three years ago, on a sunny Father’s Day, Will and I got married. We were high school sweethearts getting married right out of college so, needless to say, we have gone through a lot of change since that day. We moved into our first apartment together in Chapel Hill, Will started medical school, I started a new job, I switched jobs, our tiny 500 square foot apartment almost flooded, we moved to a new (larger) apartment outside of the floodplain (praise!), we traveled overseas and domestically, Will moved from the classroom to the clinic and hospital and we experience terrible med school schedules and difficult rotations. We have gone through life changes of our own, but have also witnessed life changes in our families and our friends’ lives. We have experienced the death of relatives, and the marriage of family members and close friends. We have learned more about what we like and don’t like, and what we are passionate about in our lives.

Third Anniversary

Hope and Will Wedding-1

Third Anniversary

Going through all of these changes together, as a team, has been the best part of it all. While changes and difficult situations can strain marriages, I also think there is such potential for those to strengthen marriages as well. There are so many times in the past three years when we have needed to lean on each other, support each other, or celebrate with each other, and our marriage is stronger because of how we have been able to help each other and act as a team in those situations. Marriage requires effort and selflessness, but the wonderful thing is that you are on the receiving and giving ends of that. You get to receive the love and support and you get to give that love and support when your spouse needs it.

Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary

We are in the midst of wedding season in our lives, with friends getting married every few weeks. It is wonderful to see far-away family or college friends at all of these weddings, but it is also refreshing be reminded in each ceremony of the commitment we made to each other on that day three years ago, of God’s love for us, which is deeper than our own, and of our love for each other. So, as we celebrate this third anniversary, we remember all of those things and look forward to many more years together. Happy anniversary, Will! :)

Third Anniversary

All photos by the talented Graham Terhune, now part of Anagram Photo!

memorial day brunch

A few years ago, our family started a tradition of making a big brunch together in Memorial Day. As many traditions do, it started out as just an easy day to get together and make brunch because we were all off of work or home from school, not as something we intended to be an annual event. But, the next year we got together for brunch again, this time branching out with our dishes. From then on Memorial Day brunch became an assumed tradition and we love it!

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

We have a few go-to brunch recipes for any time of the year, including coffee cake (heavy on the crumb topping), scones (chocolate chip and/or berry), fruit salad, and the typical eggs and bacon. We try to switch up the breads from time to time so we don’t get in a rut. This year, we suggested different breakfast items beforehand and voted to narrow down which ones we ultimately made. After many heated debates about whether cinnamon rolls or sticky buns are better, and if we should put blueberries in the scones if we also put them in the lemon loaf, we decided on our Memorial Day brunch menu.

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

I am sharing our menu below, with comments, so you can prepare for your own great brunch. Some of our favorites would be a great to include on Father’s Day!

Lemon Lemon Loaf – We adapted the recipe from Baked cookbook. Every recipe we have tried from this cookbook has been good (the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf is our go-to in the fall!). Note that one recipe makes two loaves, but it is easily halved. We skipped the glaze and added 1½ cups of blueberries to the flour mixture before mixing it with the wet ingredients. I would definitely recommend adding blueberries if you make this – they break up the texture and add a great flavor. The loaf was very dense and extremely moist, but tasty.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns – This recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book. These cinnamon buns took a lot of time to make and the result was only okay. The filling was too sweet for our taste and overpowered the flavor of the buns themselves and the glaze. For the amount of time it took to make them (we started the night before), I expected the result to be amazing. I admit that I’m not a wizard with yeasted dough, but I think I did it right this time. It could have still been a mistake on our end with kneading or mixing, but they weren’t that wonderful. I am still willing to make homemade yeasted cinnamon buns, but I wouldn’t spend my time on this recipe again.

Summer Fruit Salad – This one is self-explanatory. We combined berries and melons and added a few sprigs of mint to the top. It was fresh and delicious, as always.

Mixed Berry Scones – As I mentioned in the cinnamon swirl scone bread post, brunch is not complete in our house without some type of scones. The flavors can vary, and chocolate chip scones are a staple, but in the summertime mixed berry scones are just as delicious. We used our favorite recipe from Foster’s Market and added blueberries and chopped strawberries to the flour mixture. If you haven’t had a good scone, these will change your mind. The Foster’s Market Cookbook is another one of our favorite sources for recipes. Foster’s Market is a local cafe and market and we love trying to make recipes in the book to replicate the delicious items in the shop.

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon – You can’t have brunch without some sort of eggs or breakfast protein (at least not in our house!). This is one of the easiest parts of brunch, but is so tasty!

Brunch is my favorite meal and I’m always looking for great new dishes! What is your favorite brunch item?!

cinnamon swirl scone bread

This loaf of cinnamon swirl scone bread is one of my favorite things to come out of our kitchen this year and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you!

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Scones of some variety are a staple at any family brunch we have, and have become a staple at brunches I host on my own. They are one of my favorite items to contribute to brunches and showers, and we love giving the dough as a hostess gift when we stay with friends and family. They make a wonderful, delicious, quick treat. Since scones are one of those breakfast items that you don’t have often, they always impress people, even though they aren’t difficult to make.

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

My love for scones is apparent here on the blog. I have shared a few types of scones throughout the years, including carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze, gingerbread scones, and lavender Earl Grey scones, but in my opinion, this loaf is even better! It is everything I love about scones in easy-to-cut loaf form. It pairs perfectly with coffee or a lovely pot of tea and if you make it over the weekend you can cut slices to snack on throughout the week.

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

This cinnamon swirl scone bread has a crunchy exterior, a soft pillow interior and is studded with ribbons of cinnamon streusel. A combination of coffee cake, pull-apart bread and scones, it is the best of so many worlds. It is quick to throw together, and the leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have any) save better than individual scones, which I find to dry out after a day. Next-day slices make a wonderful breakfast, and a great snack for that 3pm slump (you know what I’m talking about). I always feel so fancy when I have fresh breakfast breads on a workday :)

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon swirl scone bread is absolutely amazing, and will transform your brunches. Whip it up and watch people swoon. I can’t get enough!

Find the recipe for cinnamon swirl scone bread over on Glitter Inc!

link love

link love 6.2.2017via

It’s Friday (and national doughnut day at that)! Sometimes short weeks get me all confused. My days are all off and every day this week has felt like a different day of the week, but not necessarily in order. My brain is very confused, but hey, it’s almost the weekend! We’re avoiding the news and focusing on some link love because covfefe and climate change are both terrifying right now (and in case we need a reminder, let’s take a look back at the “Antarctica is Melting” link from last week).

Moving on, this list of the best romcoms is enticing as the weekend approaches. There are so many on that list that I haven’t seen, but I agree that the one’s I recognize should be on the list. What are your favorites? I’m always up for a good romcom.

My to-do list this weekend includes “buy sunscreen,” among other errands. New York City beach goers may be able to remove that from their list this year. The Parks Department has organized a pilot program of free sunscreen dispensers at city beaches this summer. We already have hand sanitizer dispensers all over, why not sunscreen? Reapply, reapply, reapply.

As we head into the weekend, here is a tip to make yours feel longer: try new things! I read this article earlier this week and then heard something similar on the radio this morning. Maybe that’s a sign that I’m not trying enough new things. Hmmm.

I love some good science of baking explanations, or just helpful answers to baking faqs. Joy has that down pat. Salted butter, gluten free wizardry, cookie troubleshooting, flour on flour on flour, buttermilk…whyyyy? You name it, she answers it. It’s good information for anyone to know.

Enjoy your weekend – I hope it’s beautiful for you!

june goals

June 2017 Goals | www.passthecookies.com

Happy June and almost summer! It is starting to feel more and more like summer every day, with warm weather, open pools, and nightly thunderstorms to boot. Our May was filled to the brim and because of our packed schedule it seemed to go by quickly. While being busy and fully booked can sometimes feel stressful, we got to spend wonderful quality time with so many friends and family members who we don’t see often. It was a great month and having a three-day weekend right at the end was the cherry on top! I’d take another May 2017, if anyone’s asking. I’m going into June with a still busy schedule, but have great hopes for it after the great month we just had. Plus, summer is coming, and while the intense heat of July and August aren’t my favorite, June still has some beautiful long nights that I’m looking forward to filling with time outside. Without further ado: a recap of May goals and some new June goals!

May Goals
– Plant herbs – I moved the basil outside and so far it has been doing well in its pot. I may plant it in a bigger pot this month, but we’ll see how it does.
– Have tea at Honeysuckle Tea House – I’m carrying this one over because we didn’t get to do it but I really want to while the weather is nice.
– Celebrate with friends and family at (and on the way to) weddings – carrying this over from last month because we have more weddings coming up in May! Celebrated with lots of friends and family at and on the way to a wedding last month. We are looking forward to even more family and celebration at a special wedding this month (see June Goals below!)
– Balance my work and weekend obligations with exercise – Run at least 3 times a week, do toning exercises at least once a week. I feel like I am back in a good rhythm with running again, and when the evening thunderstorms throw of my running plans I have been able to do indoor exercises. Hoping to keep this up!
– Successfully work all of our end-of-school-year events at work (5 within 15 days). Halleluiah!
– Spend Memorial Day weekend relaxing with friends and family (brunch?!). Memorial Day Weekend was packed to the brim with friends and family and it was so refreshing and so good! I’ll recap our brunch spread soon!
– Make plan to make headboard for daybed. Made a plan, now figuring out a good time to implement.
– Celebrate bachelorette parties, bridal showers, birthdays and Mother’s Day. May was full of celebrations and parties, with one (or more!) every weekend!

June Goals
-Make and decorate a cake for a baby shower
-Celebrate Will’s brother and almost sister-in-law getting married!!!
-Help with the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and other celebratory events
-Enjoy a girl’s trip to LA with childhood friends
-Add two go-to dinner recipes to our list
-Use the lettuce and herbs from our garden in meals
-Find a moisturizer or foundation with SPF that I like and start wearing it regularly
-Make new popsicle flavor combinations
-Continue with a regular running schedule or do indoor toning exercises when it is thunder storming or too hot (welcome to North Carolina summers!)
-Have tea at Honeysuckle Tea House
-Celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary (!)