Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Peach Pleasin! Annual Peach Recipe Blog Post 2013

I'm such a *tradition* girl, that NOW I even have traditions for my lil blog! Every year, at the end of summer, I write a blog post sharing peach recipes.  We live right next door to the super-juicy, super-big, super-famous, Palisade peaches!  

Since living here, and since starting this annual peach recipe tradition, my entire family 5 looks forward to our peach season, when we try different peachy dishes.  The kids bite into whole peaches all day long, but the extra treat is sampling unique and new recipes!

Cameron wrote down "peach picking" on his summer to do wish list.  Mid August, we piled in the car and drove to Palisade for perfect peaches.

This peach weighed 1.25 pounds!!

Peach orchards 2013:


My first recipe this year was simple Peach Bread.  
Peachy, cinnamon goodness!


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (Use the good stuff!  I use Savory Spices Vietnamese Cinnamon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches
for tips on peeling peaches, see HERE.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 16 muffin cups or a bread loaf pan.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into the prepared pans.  Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

I made a lot of peach muffins with the extra batter to freeze and use on school mornings.

I definitely recommend this recipe.  
The texture is moist and light, 
rich with the fresh taste of peaches
 and highlighted with cozy cinnamon.  


Next is a summer fresh lunch treat:
Grilled Peach Flatbread 
with basil, blue cheese 
and a balsamic cream sauce.

This was tasty, 
I prefer the savory peach dishes I shared last season over this one,
because those were truly incredible!

To make this summer lunch:
Start by slicing and grilling peaches.  Set aside.
Use any white sauce to spread *lightly* over the flatbread.
Use StoneFire Flatbreads (they are the best, so much better than the rest!).

For the balsamic sauce, add balsamic vinegar to your homemade white sauce.  I browned butter and flour in a saucepan with fresh garlic.  Then I added half and half for my white sauce base. After it thickened, I added balsamic vinegar, a bit of red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. 

For a lighter option, simply sprinkle the flatbread with oil and vinegar instead of using the cream sauce. 

Top with fresh basil, the grilled peaches, and blue cheese crumbles.  If you don't prefer blue cheese, use Feta.  Bake in toaster oven until sauce and cheese bubble.

Take that tasty lunch outside and enjoy under the summer sun.

The last recipe is a timeless dessert:

Southern Homemade Peach Cobbler with
Cinnamon Sugar Dumplings

Our family's favorite peach dish this year was a classic homemade peach cobbler. 
 The recipe I found is a true winner, one of the best cobbler recipes I've ever tried! 

Cooked spiced peaches...

Homemade pastries...
dumplings in process..

Cinnamon sugar crusted dumplings were the best part of this dessert. 

Al la mode

Until next year,
happy peach tasting!

If you have a WINNING peach recipe, 
pretty please let me know.  
I'd love to try it next season
for our annual peach recipe time!

More Peach recipes:

 Pin It

This post is linked to: Under the Table & DreaminNifty Thrifty,  Made by You MondayMet Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and TipsHOMEWORK: Be InspiredTip JunkieGet Your Craft OnWorks for Me WednesdaySnap CreativityOrganize and Decorate EverythingTransformation ThursdayTablescape ThursdayStrut Your Stuff36th AveFoodie FridayI'm Lovin ItTickled PinkFriday FlairBe Different Act NormalFunky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summertime RIVER RAFT Birthday Party and Whitewater Rafting Trip!

A Summer's Adventure Birthday Party

Summer birthdays have SO much energy and are SO much fun!  My Dad and Dakotah (my sandwiched-in-the-middle boy) have JULY birthdays, only a few days apart.   Last year, for Dakotah's big 10th birthday, I threw a giant Olympic Training Party.    That same week, I threw a super cute Mustache party for my Dad's birthday.  That was a lot of work in one week!  So...this year, we decided to celebrate both of their special days at once, during one weekend family getaway.

I still love to THEME parties all out.   I thought a White Water River Rafting party would be ideal since it was the very middle of summertime and since we live in Colorado, next door to the splashing rapids!  Our boys are *just* the right age to experience river rapids for the first time.  We piled in our cars, party gear in tow, and headed away for a big family weekend out.  My parents and brother came too!

To kick off the festivities,  we started our vacation with a picnic birthday party on the beach next to the river where all the rafters put in.  Our location was absolutely perfect because we had rafters passing down the river, RIGHT next to our picnic party, which completely enhanced my lil theme! ;)

How awesome is that?!!

I served light finger foods and special munchies.  These veggie, dip, and bread appetizers were one of the first brilliant ideas I discovered on Pinterest.  And oh yes!  I copied it so hard! ;)

Start with loaves of baguette bread.  Cut into a few pieces with one side straight and the other angled.  Cut the middle of the bread out.  Spoon veggie dip into the center.  Finish by sticking cut veggie sticks inside!  I used red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, celery, and carrots.  

I also made a popular "comeback sauce" for the chips and veggies.  

I folded down paper lunch sacks to create rustic picnic "bowls" for our cherry covered pretzels and other crackers.

The best part were the HOMEMADE potato chips!  This was the first time I made them and I'm in love.  They taste extra yummy.  I don't even like regular potato chips, but these are amazing.

For a lil bit of sweet, I made Creamy Rich Peanut Butter Brownies.

To keep in theme,  I served RIVER RAT trail mix to feed to all the hungry river runners!

Our picnic was so beautiful and peaceful.  BUT...really?  How can a picnic not be amazing when you're right on a river, with green trees everywhere!  Our great big beautiful outdoors, which we all get to enjoy in different forms, is truly a blessing. 

For the decor, I kept it natural and rustic to match the outdoors.  Those rafters in the background were the BEST part of the decor!

My super cool husband is really good at origami.  Remember my Valentine paper flowers?? He made these river boats for our party decor!  Thank you, thank you Chris!  I added some washi tape flags in some of them.

I also wrapped tea lights with washi tape.  Both the paper boats and tea lights were scattered along the table.

I always like to match some of the gifts to the party theme.  Oftentimes, my decor doubles as a birthday gift!  (Someday, I'll do a blog post JUST on that subject!)  For the river raft party theme,  we gave Dakotah a swimsuit.  My parents got him a River Rapids Raft mindgame.

Cameron always writes the most heartfelt and beautifully worded cards.  This photo is precious.  It captures the delight in Kotah's spirit as Cameron is reading kind words about him from his birthday card.

After the birthday song, candles, cake, and gifts, it was time for a short PARTY GAME!  To celebrate the outdoors, I asked the boys what 3 colors they most often saw in nature.  The answers: BLUE, BROWN, and GREEN.  Each boy was assigned a color and his job was to hunt over the rocks, around logs, in trees, and under leaves for 3 items that matched his NATURE COLOR.

Shhh, these are the surprises that were hidden.  
Blue for nature's water and sky
Green for nature's plants, trees, and grass
Brown for nature's earthy ground

Ready, Set, Go!!

The surprises were hidden all over the trees and rocks.

And the nature hunt goes on...Titus was the winner!  He found his prizes first!

My Dad and Dakotah are both beautiful people, inside and out.  We enjoy celebrating WHO they are and what they mean in our lives!  We are extra grateful for the color and dimension they give to us all.

Annnd, they are so so similar!  Both have a bit of a mischievous streak!  In this "photo shoot" my Dad is torturing Kotah with tickles.

Our picnic party was a memorable success!

Next, we packed up the party and started out on a hike!
This hiking area and stream is absolutely gorgeous!  Colorado love.

I'm pretty sure we had a little too much birthday cake, 
because we were some kind of sugar crazy...doing squats with balanced water bottles and just being silly on our hike.

This is how Chris and my brother, Kyle, greet each other when they've been apart for 5 seconds.

We had to come back later to play with our paper boat rafts in the river because we forgot to during the hike!  

After an excellent Italian dinner in downtown Glenwood Springs, some fun in the hotel pool, and a good night's sleep we were ready for the NEXT DAY.

Our party grand finale:


a guided White Water River Rafting Trip!

The boys got a quick tour inside the boat house before we left!


Let's Do This!

River Rats riding the rapids!

Happy Birthday Dad and Dakotah!
Cheers to you both,
to summer,
to God's beautiful earth,
to family,
and to adventure!

 Pin It

This post is linked to: Under the Table & DreaminNifty Thrifty,  Made by You MondayMet Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and TipsHOMEWORK: Be InspiredTip JunkieGet Your Craft OnWorks for Me WednesdaySnap CreativityOrganize and Decorate EverythingTransformation ThursdayTablescape ThursdayStrut Your Stuff36th AveFoodie FridayI'm Lovin ItTickled PinkFriday FlairBe Different Act NormalFunky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday