Preserving Summer: A Round-Up of Inspiration

In case you wanted to approach Labor Day weekend in a very literal sense, I’m sharing a round-up of preserving tutorials for seasonal fruits and vegetables today. I’ve set aside some time tomorrow to pack my freezer with certain vegetables and berries that I know will be disappearing from the market soon.

For a practical application of this post, may I suggest you first scan the list below, then take note of what you and your family will use the most. After that, think about what you are able to source – Is blueberry season over? Are your favorite saucing apples ripe yet? – before deciding on a weekend project.

Here is more practical advice on how to make time and get organized to can and preserve the harvest. Have fun!

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Lemon Balm-Infused Lemonade for a Virtual Baby Shower

We’re still grasping at summer even though there is a decided ‘nip’ in the air. I found myself day dreaming about turkey dinner recently and had to shake myself out of the reverie by reminding myself that, hey! it’s still August. At least it won’t be a shock when the leaves start turning color, as I think I’m already in fall mode.

Still, I haven’t pulled out the crock-pot yet. We continue to enjoy chilled soups for lunch and dinners that feature or favorite seasonal vegetable, corn.

We got a late start on gardening this summer, but my herbs still pulled through and are thriving. Lemon Balm, a fast-growing herb from the mint family that has a lovely lemon scent, has wasted no time pushing the boundaries of the raised bed.

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How to Make Your Own Fruit-Bottom Yogurt

We’re so pleased to have Cheri Neufeld of Kitchen Simplicity back as a regular contributor. Welcome, Cheri!

Growing up, Fruit-Bottom Yogurt was always my favorite. I got so excited when I would see one packed in my lunch box. Somehow they always seemed more flavorful then regular yogurt and I loved how the little chunks of fruit would add a burst of flavor in my mouth.

I’m still a big fan of yogurt but I have a hard time eating ones that taste fake or processed. Anything that has the “flavor” and no fruit gives me a bit of the heebie-jeebies.

Eating yogurt is a daily occurrence for my son so I try and make sure that the yogurt I purchase has real fruit in it. One way to ensure that is to make your own.

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Weekend Reading

Tomorrow I fly to Vancouver to see my family and film an episode of a new show for Food Network Canada! You can hear me tell Tsh all about it in the latest Simple Mom podcast (link below).

This week we also launched Bloggers without Borders and had a fantastic response from the public and press alike. We’re excited for what lies ahead!

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Connecting Over Coffee (Recipe: Toffee Caramel Dessert Coffee)

Written by Kristen Doyle of Dine and Dish.

Since becoming a mom, coffee has become more than just a hot beverage to jumpstart my morning. Coffee has become an integral part of my personal social time. It has become an excuse to take time out of my day to get together with other moms. Coffee at home or at the local coffee shop has become something I look forward to because I know it will mean the chance to re-charge and reconnect with friends I care about.

For hundreds of years, coffee has been a social connector. There is something about sitting down with a steaming cup of Joe and chatting with friends that just feels right.

We have recently started serving a cup of dessert coffee to guests after dinner parties. Dessert coffee slows things down, allowing guests to continue to savor the ambiance of the meal and the company. Conversations continue to unfold, relationships continue to form, bonds continue to be made… all over a cup of coffee. [Read more…]