Fruit Desserts for Summer and a Giveaway!

*This post is sponsored by Rich Products as part of their Give Bakery Because program.  A grocer’s bakery is the convenient and ideal location to purchase delicious baked goods that can be customized for any gift giving occasion.  Rich’s and I encourage you to head to your local in-store bakery the next time you need delicious, sweet treats – or just because.  But all these opinions are mine.

Summer entertaining made easy with fresh fruit and store-bought cookies for dessert. #givebakery #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHow is 4th of July in a little over a week?!  Life is moving too quickly for my taste.  I think we all just need to slow it down and make sure we are taking time to enjoy life and spending it with the ones we love.  I’m really looking forward to our annual block party on Independence Day.  It starts with a city-wide parade where the kids participate by riding their decorated bikes and throwing (and subsequently picking up) lots of candy.  Then we chill for a few hours and then head down the street to hang with the neighbors and a HUGE bounce house/ water slide/ ER-visit-inducing contraption.  Everyone is supposed to bring items to share.  I hate just bringing chips.  I always feel so lazy setting those down when the cute gals from around the neighborhood show up with crazy delicious homemade brownies and cookies, etc.  And while I want to step up my potluck game, I still don’t want to spend a lot of time on it.  The perfect solution is starting with a store-bought base and then adding my own touches.  This year I’ll be bringing a berry, basil dessert bruschetta (served on the perfect store-bought sugar cookies).  Boom.  Fruit desserts are perfect for summer.

Fresh fruit and store bought cookies makes a super easy treat for your summer parties. #givebakery #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYou only need a few ingredients for this dessert and they are so yummy!  I also love that you don’t really need any serving utensils for this and they are super easy to grab.  Start by cleaning your fresh berries (for this I used strawberries and blueberries but of course you can add others – raspberry seeds freak me out and their color is not patriotic enough for me but if you want to use them, I guess YOU can) and rinse your basil (Mint would be another good option but use your favorite fresh herb.  I find that the fresh herb helps to cut the sweetness of the berries and cookies a smidge).

Fresh fruit and herbs make this sugar cookie and fruit bruschetta perfect for 4th of July and summer entertaining. #givebakery #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI chopped my strawberries and put them in a bowl.  I decided to keep the blueberries whole for their color and have you seen the insides of a blueberry?  Off putting.  It makes me think of zombies.  Which is not super appetizing in terms of dessert presentation.

Fruit bruschetta with basil will delight your party guests. And it's so easy to make with store bought cookies! #givebakery #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOnce your fruit is prepared, and you have added your chopped herbs (mine are chiffonaded because I’m fancy like that.  I also make up tenses of words) toss it altogether and grab your store-bought cookies.  In this case, I added some store-bought whipped cream to the cookie first and then piled on the berries.  If these are going to sit out at all, though, you might want to let guests add the whipped cream themselves as it can melt.  These could easily be set out as a “station” so people could make them themselves.  For a do-it-yourself bar, I would put the bowl of berries on top of a bowl of ice and keep the whipped cream in a wine chiller.  Then set the cookies and a spoon and your job is done. [Read more…]

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Beer Floats

Banana bread beer floats are a refreshing treat for summer.  And dessert too.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comDo this.  For real.  Beer floats are kind of amazing.  And this one, with banana bread beer(!) is super yummy.  I was thinking these would be fantastic for Father’s Day celebrating.  Or a man’s birthday.  Or Saturday.

Banana bread beer floats!! YUM!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy local supermarket has been carrying craft beers for the last year or so, so I didn’t even have to go track this down any where fancy.  They also have a chocolate stout version (which I used here) that is GOOD.  There is no recipe for a beer float.  Add scoops of ice cream, pour beer on top.  Drink. 

Make a beer float this summer!  This banana bread beer is perfect.  Or try a stout with chocolately flavors!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt’s dessert and adult beverage in one.  I don’t see why you wouldn’t have one of these on a balmy summer night.  Have you ever tried a beer float before? 

Beer floats are perfect for summer.  And Father's Day.  And any other manly holiday. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comJust like a regular float, the beer foams up when you top the ice cream.  But please drink responsibly, and by that I mean make sure the kids know this is not a root beer float.  And don’t drink and drive.  And don’t drunk text.

 

Draw Your Own Story Gift Book

Color-your-own storybooks make a great gift idea for kid's to give someone they love.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comA few months ago I was browsing a super cute local boutique, Oh Hello Friend in Fullerton, when I came across this adorable book!  I was shopping for my mother-in-law’s birthday and thought this would be the perfect gift for my boys to give her.  These books come with the story already and then you illustrate it.  This draw your own story gift book is so cool.

These books come with the story and the kid's illustrate it.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comNot only is the story really cute but they were great prompts for the boys to draw from.  I had both boys work on the book which was great because you can see the different skill level from each boy.  This book is great for kids who love to draw and have a good attention span.  My five year old was pretty good, but my 8 year old was over it pretty quick.  So keep that in mind if you are trying to decide if this is something your kids would be down for.

Illustrate your own gift books.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comGrandma LOVED this gift.  We all passed it around and looked at all the drawings.  The draw your own story gift books come in a few different titles but I think this “Grandma is a Superhero” book would make a great mother’s day gift.  If you are local, you can pick one up at Oh Hello Friend.  Online find Grandma is a Superhero here.

Instagram Photo Album for Mother’s Day

Mini photo album for Instagram photos makes a perfect Mother's Day gift.  //  www.cupackesandcutlery.comI have found you the perfect Mother’s Day gift to give and get!  I went to the Craft and Hobby Show in January and came across these awesome little photo album’s made by We R Memory Keepers, specifically for printed Instagram pictures.  I fell in love immediately.  They come in tons of great colors and are the cutest little size.  So grab some flowers, pour mom a glass of champaign and make her an Instagram photo album for Mother’s Day.

Make an Instagram album for Mother's Day presents. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWith the mini album, you use plastic sleeves and Albums Made Easy Kits, also from We R Memory Keepers.  They come in all kinds of designs and are the perfect way to enhance the Instagram photos.  They take this from an ordinary photo album to an actual gift.

Printed Instagram photos are the best! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI had my photos printed via Printstagram and then spread them out to see what I had to work with.  I don’t know what it is about Instagram photos but they make me so happy.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I love my kids more than life itself and most of my Instagram pictures are of their darling little faces. [Read more…]

Perfect Recipes for Mother’s Day Brunch

*This post is sponsored by Foodie, one of my fave places to search for recipes!

Are you aware that Mother’s Day is fast approaching? I don’t know how it works in your family but the men generally try to take the reigns on our family get together, with gentle prodding from the females, of course. There is no telling how this year’s holiday will turn out. So I can always fantasize about the perfect Mother’s Day spread. In my opinion, it needs to be pretty and delicious. Girly but not too frilly, spring-inspired without being too flowery, and yummy without being over the top indulgent. And I’m just realizing it is posts like this that probably have my husband paralyzed trying to figure out what each of those things means. :) Brunch on a gorgeous sunny day sounds amazing right?  But if brunch doesn’t work out, I know it will still be a really special day. I’ve collected 16 perfect recipes for your Mother’s Day brunch, including some beverages. A good beverage is sometimes key to the overall success of a meal, says this iced tea connoisseur.

Here is a sample brunch menu for you in case you are salivating over all the photos too much to plan out the perfect meal: Apricot Glazed Ham served with Strawberry, Quinoa and Spinach Salad, and Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Cake.  How about some Watermelon Lemonade and a rose cocktail to go with it?

Or I’d start off with an appetizer of Honey Toffee Marscapone on toasts.  Then I’d move on to a Mushroom, Bacon, Swiss Strata, some Strawberry Pico de Gallo with tortilla chips, and end it with a Berry, Lime and Cardamom Spring Cake for dessert.  A Lemon Tea Cocktail or a Blood Orange Gin Float would round out that meal quite nicely.

And Goat Cheese Bacon Balls?!  YES!  Head on over to the collection to check out all the brunch recipes.

What does your Mother’s Day usually look like?  What does your fantasy Mother’s Day look like?