It’s the middle of the summer, which in my neck of the woods means it’s super hot. Like, even hotter than it should be in July. Thanks, global warming. But when life gives you global warming, make popsicles. (Also reduce your carbon footprint.) These are made with Oregon strawberries and mint that’s so local it was growing in my yard. And they just happen to be vegan, so these are a dessert you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Strawberry Mint Creamsicles
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh strawberries
pinch of sea salt
1 big handful fresh mint leaves (about ¼ cup leaves, packed)
Combine the coconut milk, honey, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a blender and mix with a few pulses.
Add in the strawberries and the basil leaves and pulse again until leaves are chopped fine. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze.
Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US, so I’m celebrating with a red, white, and blue cocktail. Other than that, I’ll be enjoying some fireworks and the company of friends and family. What more could you want out of a holiday, right? Happy July Fourth!
Berry Smash Cocktail
For the garnish, alternate raspberries and blueberries on a bamboo skewer. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash 4 blueberries, 4 raspberries, two 1/2″ lime wedges, and 1 Tbsp simple syrup* in a cocktail shaker 4–5 times just to release juices and oils. Add 1/4 cup vodka. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice, add sparkling water, then mound more crushed ice on top. Garnish with berries.
*Simple syrup: Dissolve 1 Tbsp sugar in 1 Tbsp boiling water
I’ve been promising a fringe tutorial for what feels like forever, and I just got my sewing machine back from a tune-up, so it was time to give it a go. I was inspired by some DIY fringe ideas I rounded up here and here, but the bag ended up as kind of a cross between this one and this one. It might be my perfect summer bag, just refined and simple enough to be able to go easily from music festivals to brunches and everything in between.
Sometimes I forget that I’m surrounded by an incredible amount of natural beauty just a short drive away. This weekend we decided to take a little hike to a place in Washington a friend had told us about, Beacon Rock. It actually has a pretty funny history: It was named by Lewis and Clark in 1805, though they started out calling it “Beaten Rock,” but just switched the name with no explanation. Then a man named Henry Biddle bought it in 1915 for $1 and constructed a trail to the top. To save it from being blown up (the Army Corps of Engineers wanted to use the rubble to construct a river jetty) his family tried to get it turned into a state park, but Washington didn’t want it until Oregon offered to accept. They don’t put that part on the official park signs, ha!
It rained on the way there, and started pouring on the way home, but mostly left us dry while hiking. The weather made for very dramatic clouds, though. I didn’t bring my real camera, just my phone, so these photos don’t really do it justice.
This is part of the switchback trail that leads to the top of the rock. It looks a lot more difficult than it was.
And here’s a view from the walk up:
The wildlife waiting for us at the top wasn’t exactly wild–there were several chipmunks who were clearly used to being fed. All this guy got from Steven’s palm was some trail mix crumbs.
After hiking I worked on my vegetable garden and planted a bunch of ferns and other woodland plants in a shady bed I made in our yard. Look at those cute little radish seeds coming up!
After all that, some of us needed a nap.
Hope you had a great weekend, too!