Lemon Lush Cake

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With Easter and spring coming, this is the perfect dessert!

This is light and delicious!  The buttery crust compliments the rich cream cheese and light lemon pudding perfectly!

CRUST- 2 cups flour/1 cup butter softened

Blend with pastry cutter, press into a cake pan (13×9) that is lightly greased with the butter left on the wrapper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool completely

CREAM CHEESE LAYER –

2 8oz cream cheese bricks softened

1 cup sugar

Using a paddle, blend the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth and spreadable.

Spread over the cooled crust

PUDDING LAYER:

2- 3.4 oz boxes instant lemon pudding mix

3 1/2 cups milk

2 TBSP Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed is best or you can use store bought)

Using a mixer or whisk for 4 minutes

Spread over cream cheese layer

 

Chill the entire cake for 2-3 hours

Spread on whipped cream (or coolwhip)

Keep leftovers refrigerated with plastic wrap to keep it fresh (if it lasts long enough)!!

 

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Summer Recap

Living on a farm with animals, property, gardens, a pool, and grounds to maintain makes for a rare opportunity to take a vacation.  This year the opportunity arose for us to get away from our farm for a week stay in Long Beach, Canada in the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer, countless boat trips on the Niagara River and Lake Erie, days and days spent at our local County Fair, and a few “date” nights for me and the man of the house.

This was made possible by my niece being back in the area as she is more than capable of handling all of our animal and farm work.  Couple her with my 72 year old mother who can care for the pool, gardens, and dog and we were able to have some much NEEDED family time away from the house.

I won’t bore you with hundreds of pictures and tons of details….ok…maybe a few.  We kicked off our summer right after the Fourth of July weekend by heading to Long Beach in Wainfleet, Canada.

 

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Our beach spot 

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This is a beach area and that is it.  There is literally nothing but a beautiful beach, one restaurant, a local marine shop that serves only the catch of the day fresh out of the lake, and a cute little putt-putt course.

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We treasure this area in Canada as the man and I both had spent time there when we were kids with our own parents/family. We first rented here in 2006 when our children were very young.  The cottage we rented is directly on the beach in a very private family owned area.  The family has owned the property and cottages for generations.  The picture below is of the main house built in the 1800’s.  You can see the house hasn’t been lived in or taken care of for years, but the granddaughter of the original owners (who is in her 80’s) has decided she is going to refurbish it.  I so want to be a part of that project!!!!  I did ask her if she would save the door (yes the partially boarded up white one on the second floor) for me.  She said she would.  I LOVE that historic piece!

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This is our cute cottage we stayed in while there in July.  There is no WiFi, there is no TV, there is no telephone.  But it is full of special family memories we created that will last a life time!

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We enjoyed our stay so much we rented the cottage next door to it (which was the one we stayed in in 2006) for the end of August.  This trip was extra special as we were able to celebrate the boys 11th birthday with some friends and family and we let the kids each have a friend stay with us for a few days and rented jet skis.  Even my niece and mother came for a few visits as this little paradise is only a 35 minute drive from our house.

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Here are a few pictures of our Island hopping on our boat and our local county fair.

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A big thank you to my niece, Brittany, and to my mother for the wonderful gift of “getting away” they provided for us this summer!!

Chicken Macaroni Salad

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Yesterday the boy of the house requested our Chicken Macaroni Salad for dinner.  Sometimes you need a little reminder of the summer as this is a dish I usually make for those lazy hazy hot summer days when you don’t want to cook or eat anything hot.  It’s also a great dish for a cookout or picnic lunch.

I made it for him (and my mother and nephew who happened to be here for dinner) and threw some watermelon and strawberries on as a side.  It was a nice look to the future of those coming summer days.

You can find the recipe for our Chicken Macaroni Salad on my Facebook page here:  Chicken Macaroni Salad

Canning Peaches

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Peach season is in full swing in our location and the time to can or make jam, preserves, or jelly is right now!!!  You should also freeze some slices to make a fresh peach cobbler or use in smoothies.  You can see how to flash freeze peaches here.

I canned 17 jars of peaches in various size jars last week.  As always I make the most for our family, a few as gifts, and a few to sell.  (step by step pictures at the bottom of post)

Last week at our camp out my son and his friend wanted to catch fireflies.  We were all back at the campsite and he asked me where the mason jars were to use for the bugs.  I told him exactly where they were.  So off the boys went to get a jar.  When they returned they informed me they did not see any empty jars only the peaches so they opened one, ate the whole jar, and now had their empty jar!! UGH…can we at least save a few for winter please!!!

Here is my method for canning our peaches.  If you do not know how to can, you can google it or follow instructions I posted on another blog here:  Canning procedures

I use a hot pack method with my peaches as I believe it helps to retain their color while stored.

Prepare a large bowl with water and 1/4 cup lemon juice.

You will need 8 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar

25 peaches or more

Slice your peaches all the way around and twist the top off (see procedure at the bottom of this page)

Peel your peaches (I have been told to blanch them, however I have never found it to work for me and I like my peaches more on the firm side rather than ripe with soft skins).

Peel one peach at a time and slice or cut into chunks and place in lemon water to keep the beautiful yellow color.

Once the peaches are all sliced and in the lemon water take a stock pot and fill it with 8 cups of water and slowly add 4 cups of sugar stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring it to a full boil.  (you can use more or less sugar if you would like.  I find the half/half method good for fruit that is a bit more firm)

Using a slotted spoon add the peaches to the boiling syrup and bring to a light simmer for 6 minutes (time after you place the last peaches in the pot).

Get your prepared jars and fill each jar to the rim with peaches again using a slotted spoon.

Use a ladle and fill the jar with syrup to 1/4 inch from the top. (the peaches may float up just gently pat them down with the back of a spoon).

Using a plastic knife carefully slide it around the jar to help the peaches settle.

Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet papertowel.

Put on the hot lid and the screw cap until just tight.

Fill all the jars and then process them in the hot water bath once the water comes back to a boil for 25 minutes.

Remove and let cool.  Once cooled, test the top by pressing gently to make sure that it is sealed.

I know this looks like a lot of work but the hardest part is peeling all the peaches.  The rest is very simple.

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This is a great way to enjoy fresh summer fruit during the winter months!!  Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have them!!

Peaches

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This is our 2nd batch of peaches.  Sometimes it’s very busy trying to fit in the old traditions with today’s world and conveniences.  It’s just as easy to stop at a store and buy your peaches, but there is a feeling that goes along with knowing you had the only hand in making your own things.  That is something you CAN’T buy.

Last night at 9:30 p.m.  I hot processed and canned our last batch of peaches.  It was the night before our first day of school, we also had a duck brought to our home earlier in the evening as it was stranded as a baby and we will nuture it until it’s old enough to fly off.  There were barn chores, hockey practice, dinner to be cooked, and I worked until 4:00.  So it was a full packed evening but when we open that jar of peaches during the winter, it will make it ALL worth while!!

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First batch of peaches we canned

I will share my canning procedure in a different post soon!!

Caprese Salad

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A nice light salad is perfect for lunch or dinner on warm days.  Tonight I decided to make a caprese salad.  Most places leave the tomatoes whole, but I like to chop it all into nice size chunks and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.   This was a great side to serve with our leftover Pork Roast (recipe here). 

Tomato season is right now so get those tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar and give this is a try.  Chop it all or slice it and drizzle with the balsamic.  You can add some fresh ground pepper if you like.  You can also chop it very fine and serve as bruschetta on crusty bread.  It’s a great summer food 🙂

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