Month in Review: July 2019

July went by in a blur. I guess that is the side effect of a busy month. As I sorted through all the photos and videos we captured throughout the month, I was stunned at how much we packed into 31 days. From catching up with friends to exploring Milwaukee with family, countless memories were made.

To kick off the month, Ian and I made a day trip over to Oconomowoc Lake to visit with friends. We watched a storm roll in over the lake while playing games on the deck and enjoying each others company.

After our goodbyes, Ian and I prepared ourselves for the crowded Summerfest grounds. We had tickets to see Bon Iver, and while the performance did not disappoint, the sunset over the lake stole the show.

As a Fourth of July tradition, Ian and I enjoyed a sunset dinner at Barnacle Buds. It is a quirky lakefront restaurant tucked in the middle of a shipping yard. The atmosphere transports you to the Florida Keys and makes you feel like you’ve been on a mini vacation.

In the middle of the month we made the drive back to the family farm. It was an afternoon filled with riding the Kubota and challenging each other to basketball games. You really couldn’t have asked for a better summer’s day.

During a rare free weekend, Ian and I drove up to Lion’s Den Gorge for a hike. I was stunned at the beautiful sweeping views of the lake. It was an easy hike, but it wasn’t long before the mosquitoes were chasing us. Therefore, we escaped the woods and drove to Kopp’s for a cheeky scoop of frozen custard before heading home.

The month came to a close with a visit from Ian’s family! We spent the weekend trying new restaurants, checking out new spots around town, and catching up. A highlight from the weekend was making it over to the new Mequon Public Market. It is a great addition to the area and I can’t wait to try out all of the food vendors – especially Santorini Grill!

Strawberry Hand Pies

In the summer Ian and I have a Saturday morning ritual which consists of waking up early, walking to the local farmers’ market, and buying hand pies for breakfast. While Ian opts for the savory meat pies, I favor the fresh fruit selection. Their offerings vary week to week, but I always keep my eye out for their strawberry hand pie.

This sweet summer flavor brings me back to my childhood when I would spend afternoons in the garden gathering produce. My mom would transform baskets of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and rhubarb into pickles, jams, and pies. One of my favorites was her fresh strawberry pie. It never lasted long, so you had to be quick to get a slice!

Therefore, when I saw the little farmers’ market stand selling strawberry hand pies it reignited my love for this sweet treat. I decided to modify my childhood pie recipe into and easy-to-eat hand pie that is perfect for outdoor gatherings. Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Hand Pies

Ingredients:

For the pies:

  • Pie Crust
  • 1.5 C. crushed strawberries
  • 1/2 C. sliced strawberries
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 C. water

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350˙
  • In a saucepan, simmer strawberries, sugar and water together for five minutes. Add cornstarch and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the sliced strawberries and let cool.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out pie crust. Add a dollop of pie filling in the center of the dough, add the top layer of dough and crimp the edges shut with a fork.
  • Bake pies for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle with powder sugar glaze and let set before serving.

Month in Review: June 2019

The long holiday weekend interrupted my workflow, but the break was appreciated. As we look back on June, it’s clear a pause from our busy schedules was needed. From the beginning of June to the Fourth of July, our calendar was filled. We caught up with family, celebrated birthdays, attended a wedding, and squeezed in a few summer events. It was a bit hectic, but each event on our calendar were moments we couldn’t pass up.

June began with a big celebration – Ian’s birthday! He had one wish, to ride the city bus to the zoo. I felt like I was planning an 8 year-old’s birthday party, but I was equally excited to spend an afternoon acting like a kid. We ate dole whip, read all of the exhibit plaques, and road the tram. As birthdays go, this was one for the books!

Next on the calendar was pizza night at Mapleton Farm! I had heard about these events popping up around Wisconsin and was excited to find one close to Milwaukee. I felt right at home laying a blanket out by the farm, listening to music, and eating pizza.

Ian and I were also blessed with two weekends to catch up with his family! His parents alternated weekends and we enjoyed cider samplings in Mt. Horeb and cycling races in Grafton. It was nice to spend quality time with each of them, especially since we don’t get to see them as often as we would like.

In between celebrating our friends’ wedding and attending a bridal shower, Ian and I went on a mini trip to Rockford. Ian started a new role at a company stationed in Loves Park, so we enjoyed spending a bit more time in the area and checking out the local spots. While Ian was at work I slipped away to wander through the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens. In the evening, Ian and I packed a picnic to enjoy while listening to music at the Anderson Japanese Gardens. This was a quick trip, but it gave us a little taste of the community and we are excited to plan another staycation.

While these are just a few highlights, they offer a glimpse into our crazy month. We loved each and every event, but by the time July rolled around I was ready for some down time. Luckily, we have a bit of time before things pick back up again, but being busy is unavoidable in the summertime.