Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

We’re celebrating. Again! I know, it’s been a very good spring. The festivities planned for today are both of the birthday nature, as we honor both Danny and Canada simultaneously on this first day on July.

This red and white strawberry ice cream cake is how this party gets started. It is equal parts of vanilla ice cream and yogurt blended together and layered with strawberry honey jam. It couldn’t be simpler and it looks pretty on the plate.

You should serve it with a drizzle of strawberry coulis, or a big bowl of fresh or roasted strawberries, ideally, straight from the berry patch.

Speaking of u-picks, we are taking advantage of our national holiday, and jumping out the door this morning to pick strawberries. This post will be short, like strawberry season. I have to preserve the fruit before it is too late.

But I leave you with ice cream cake.

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Homemade Orange Soda Recipe

The moment we were allowed to each summer, my sister and I would collect our quarters and jump on our bikes. We’d weave through our suburban streets, heading off in the direction of the asphalt path that would lead to the corner store.

Bike locks optional, we’d lean our pedals and handlebars against the brown brick exterior and head inside, the cold blast of air conditioning hitting us in the face and prying our eyelids open on the way in. In the back corner we’d sit, staring through the floor-to-ceiling cooler doors at the bottles of colored soda. [Read more…]

How to make soft whole wheat hot dog buns

June is the month when we air out our camping gear and study the calendar for the perfect weekend to pack up and spend a few days in nature.

Whether you are pitching a tent in the backyard or camping on a pebbly lake shore, cooking over an open fire is such a fun family experience. We generally stick to real food camping meals, but once in a while it’s fun to roast a sausage on a stick and wrap it in a soft bun. For our (mostly) whole foods family, this takes a bit of planning, but here’s how I prep for a cook-out.

We’ll go to a nearby farm we know of that sells lamb sausage, or we’ll pick up organic, all-beef hot dogs at our local market for the excursion, so finding whole-food sausage is fairly easily done. But then there is the problem of the buns, as I refuse to buy pasty, all-white buns that are filled with sugar and who knows what else. I’ll consume these at the occasional hockey game, but I sure am not stocking up on them for a camping trip.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hotdog Buns on Simple Bites | www.simplebites.net

Our local health food store sells some decent unprocessed hot dog buns, but they cost a pretty penny, and around here we’re all about eating well and spending less. In fact, it’s my theme for this post, along with summer food to go.

So, for the past two summers I’ve been making my hot-dog buns and they are so, so great. A bit of butter and an egg in the dough keeps them soft, buttermilk gives the buns a nice tangy flavor,  and the whole wheat flour makes for a substantial roll that can hold up to the heftiest sausage.

Read on for the recipe and more suggestions for the best camping foods EVER!

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Whole Grain Strawberry Banana Bread

The one thing I’ve always been able to count on is Grandma Dorothy’s homemade bread. I don’t think I have ever crossed the threshold of her cozy kitchen, in all my thirty-one years, without a slice of bread finding its way into my hands.

The most incredible thing about Grandma Dorothy’s everlasting bread trick is that she is mother to eleven kids. Eleven! And she has enough grandchildren and great-grandchildren to populate a not so small town with only her own kin.

I can’t compete with Eleven kids, but I just doubled my brood overnight. Six kids!

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Breakfast in minutes: One-Pan Crispy Bacon and Roasted Asparagus with Baked Eggs

Our weekend farmer’s market outing was a soggy affair, the kind where you dash through the droplets, a child in each hand, and make a beeline for the tarps. It was not the time nor the place to leisurely stroll from stall to stall admiring the butter tarts and the goose eggs; instead I headed straight for the asparagus.

I picked up two fat bundles, thinking I would -finally- get a batch of pickles put up, but the asparagus didn’t last more than a few hours in my kitchen. On Sunday, as the water dripped down off the porch roof and I faced yet another chilly, wet day, I wrenched open the fridge and pulled out bacon, eggs – and the local asparagus.

We needed something substantial and beautiful to beat the weather blahs. Strong coffee is good and all, but it only does so much. This quick breakfast of crispy bacon, eggs, and roasted asparagus hit the spot and I’m a little shy to admit that Danny and I polished off the entire pan between the two of us.

Later on the sun came out, but at that point, the weather didn’t matter anymore.

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