Category Archives: Food & Drink

Our Meal Planning Process & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

If you’re a member of my DIY newsletter tribe (sign up here if you haven’t yet!) then you’re already armed with my printable meal planning worksheet. But now it’s time to dive into our actual meal planning process, including our favorite recipes and meal inspiration resources.

It’s not exactly a task that John and I relish doing every single week, but laying out our week of meals is essential for making sure we don’t rush out to a pricey dinner for lack of good food in our pantry. Keep scrolling to find out how we pull the task off every Sunday with as little mental pain as possible, and I hope you’ll weigh in with your own tips and favorite recipe links in the comments at the end!

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

How We Meal Plan

This may seem like a super straight forward process, so forgive me if I sound like I’m stating the obvious, but I wanted to give you the low down just in case this simplified method is something you hadn’t thought of or tried before.

Essentially, we sit down together once a week to talk about what we have on the calendar for the week ahead. Things like late evening work meetings, meet-ups with respective friends, or even food-related projects that I might have on the docket for the blog play a major part in how we plan our meals.

For example, if I’m headed out of town to visit with family for the weekend while John stays behind to watch our fur babies and take advantage of quiet time here at the house, we might only plan 2-3 meals as opposed to 4 since he will just be fending for himself (he usually eats leftover freezer portions of our homemade meals in these cases). Or, if I have a shoot planned for the blog that involves, say, sweet potato soup and a cheese board, we know we don’t have to be intentional about adding an extra meal to our list because we can just eat the blog “props.”

Once we know our weekly to-do’s, we compile a list of recipes (we only need 3-4 recipes per week since leftovers stretch the meal over a couple of days) and make our grocery list from there. Making this master list of recipe names with ingredients means that we have a little sheet of paper that we can hold on to all week long for reference if we forget our list of specific meals for the week.

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Favorite Recipe Resources

We pull meal ideas from, frankly, a lot of really random places, but a few favorites include Facebook (I’m a sucker for those fast-paced Tasty videos!), our collection of Ina Garten cookbooks, a slow cooker cookbook that we have used and loved for years, and also magazines like Real Simple and Allrecipes.

From time to time, I also use Pinterest and a few go-to food blogs for inspiration. I’m a particular fan of Pinch of Yum. When I find a recipe I like—whether it’s during our weekly sit-down meal planning sessions, or while browsing the web during work hours—I email the link to myself and John. I put the name of the meal in the subject line along with the word “Recipe” so that I can easily search all of the meals that I’ve sent to the two of us simply by searching “recipe” in my Gmail inbox. I also keep them in a separate folder in my inbox for even easier perusing.

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

As promised, a few of our all-time favorite recipes (the ones I can link to, anyway) include this General Tso’s Cauliflower, a recipe for Creamy Sweet Potato Soup that took John and me just 15 minutes of hands-on time to make, these Easy Chicken Curry Bowls via designlovefest, and a recipe for Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos that we can’t get enough of.

Let us know your own meal planning methods and favorite recipe links below!

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

P.S. In case you missed last week’s newsletter and want to get the free meal planning printable I mentioned in the beginning of this post, you can download it right here. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to stay in the loop for next time!
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DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe

*This post has been sponsored by the J.M. Smucker Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

Tell me: do you remember the very first time you had a cup of coffee? I remember I was on a school trip (or was it something to do with girl scouts?), and our adult chaperones had stopped at a gas station to fill up our bus. We were allowed to run inside the convenience store for a quick bathroom break, and a couple of my girlfriends also bought cups of coffee with their allowances.

I decided to give in to peer pressure, and ordered a machine-made cappuccino of my own. Sitting back in the bus sipping on my drink, I don’t mind admitting that it was the first time in my tiny life that I felt like a real adult. It was pretty life-changing—so much so, I can still remember the way the gas station was laid out. It’s that fresh in my mind!

Twenty years later, my coffee tastes have changed quite a bit. It’s an appreciation that has grown with time as I’ve experimented with different flavors, styles, roasts, and methods, and it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be able to properly start my day without it.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

Now that we’ve just kicked off a brand new season, I figured it was the perfect excuse to test my coffee-making skills yet again. This time I wanted to learn how to make the perfect cup of cold brew coffee, something full-bodied and cool to enjoy throughout these last few weeks of transitional warm-to-cold fall days.

If you’ve never tried your hand at cold brewing, you might not even really know what it actually is—I know I didn’t know before going through the motions myself, so here’s the deal.

Cold brewing is actually the process of steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 8-12 hours. I think, before this little at-home experiment of mine, I always assumed that cold brew was just another way of describing iced coffee, which is made by pouring hot coffee over ice. The latter, of course, is still tasty, but come to find out that cold brewing is super easy to make at home, and affords you one incredible cup of coffee. We’re talking ultra-smooth, rich, deep flavor—my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

In case you’re looking to mix things up when it comes to your own morning cup of Jo, I teamed up with Dunkin’ Donuts to show how you can make a cup of cold brew in less than 10 minutes of hands-on time. You know I love a good quick craft any old day, but especially one that results in something so delicious—and nostalgic, too.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

First, you need a box of the new Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew Coffee Packs. You can pick these up at your local Target store in the coffee aisle (scroll to the end for a Cartwheel coupon!).

What I love so much about this method is that it’s almost too easy to warrant a “tutorial.” Just drop 2 Coffee Filter packs into a pitcher, fill the pitcher with 4 cups of cold water, and steep in your fridge overnight (or for 8-12 hours). Pull the pitcher from the fridge, remove the filters, and add 3 more cups of cold water. And, lastly, and easiest of all, enjoy.

It has become something of a routine each evening for me to prep a pitcher of cold brew for John and I to enjoy together the following morning. I think it’s the type of thing we’ll be keeping up well into the new year.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

Another thing I love about this brewing method is that it’s easy to customize to your particular tastes and the current season. To commemorate fall, for example, I put together a simple spicy pumpkin flavor mix to give the coffee an extra dose of fall-themed personality.

Just combine 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup french vanilla creamer, and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, then pour into the finished pitcher of cold brew coffee. Enjoy it over ice (with an extra dash of spice!) in individual glasses.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

A cup of our DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte is one of the main things I look forward to each morning, and, often, in the afternoon, too. You can score 30% off a box of Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew Packs with this Cartwheel coupon now through November 4. Did I mention that there’s also a pumpkin version of the Dunkin’ Donuts packs?! I can’t wait to try our spicy lattes using the pumpkin packs for extra fall-time flavor.

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

What are your favorite seasonal coffee drinks to enjoy this time of year? Have you given cold brew a try yet? And don’t forget to tell us about your first experience with coffee, too!

DIY Spicy Icy Pumpkin Latte Recipe | dreamgreendiy.com + Dunkin’ Donuts @ahalogy #ad

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6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

We’re hosting a big group of family here at our house tomorrow in honor of my dad’s birthday, and I’m feeling excited but also a little overwhelmed. I’ve never hosted this many people in our home before (really, it’s our first official party ever), so it will be a big learning experience. Luckily, everyone is family so they won’t judge us too harshly, but fingers crossed that all goes well and that we have enough eats and drinks for everyone!

Speaking of buffet goodies, one of the main things I am especially hoping to nail at our mini family reunion is the wine selection. John and I are big wine drinkers, and I know my family is as well, so we’ve been collecting bottles for weeks now. My mom is planning to bring a few of dad’s favorites as well, so I’m sure we’ll be set, but these below are a handful of the wines we’re personally loving this season. The best part? These wines are $10 or less per bottle.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For $10 Or Less:

  1. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio ($9.99): One part Pinot Grigio and one part Chardonnay, this citrusy wine is a great one to serve at dinner. It’s ideal for complementing fresh fish or light pasta dishes, so plan your menu accordingly.
  2. Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (on sale for $9.99): I can never, ever resist a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and this version from Dark Horse is one we almost always keep stocked. Even though it’s totally budget-friendly, it feels like such a treat to enjoy a glass (or two) in the evenings.
  3. Chateau St. Jean California Pinot Noir ($8.99): The spice and vanilla finishes make it tough to settle for just one glass. Although we love it during the summer, it’s even more of a mainstay at our house throughout fall and winter.
  4. Bogle Chardonnay ($9.99): Bogle is a family favorite. It’s my parents’ go-to and their love for it has made me come around to the fruity, buttery notes of Chardonnay in general.
  5. Carayon La Rosé ($4.99): Note that we stock up on this simple Rosé from our local Trader Joe’s since it’s a little hard to find online. Can you believe that price?!
  6. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99): We grab this almost weekly from the grocery store. The light, lemony flavor is easy on the taste buds, and it’s often on sale for just $7.99.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

Did I miss any of your favorite wines? Do share in the comments below because, even after years of enjoying wine, I still feel like I know next to nothing about the fine art of wine tasting. I’m just a novice, but I sure am an enthusiastic one. Share your top picks (whether budget-friendly or worthy of a splurge) below. Cheers!

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

P.S. Looking for more wine chat? Revisit this past post all about how to host your own wine and cheese party at home (including a video!).
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A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

Muffins…Is there anything cozier or more satisfying then biting into a still-warm muffin straight from the oven? Okay, yes, there probably are a few cozier things that come to mind, but muffins certainly rank pretty high on my personal list of ultra-nostalgic comfort foods.

To inspire your own need for this fluffy, tasty treat, I’m sharing yet another recipe from our friends Bethany and Aaron Mallory of The Farmhaus On Main fame. This local speciality coffee shop and café serves up seasonal baked goods each week, and it turns out that fresh dried lavender has provided the inspiration for their summertime fare as of late.

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

You may remember their recipe for Honey Lavender Lemonade that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. Well, now it’s time to teach you how to bake up a batch of The Farmhaus’s Lemon Lavender Muffins. Scroll on for all of the DIY kitchen details.

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

Lemon Lavender Muffins:

*Yield 12 muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar for 7 minutes in a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Add dry ingredients and yogurt alternately, and mix until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and zest. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and gently fold in dried lavender. Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with baking cups and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

Easy Lemon Icing:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Lemon juice, to consistency
  • 12 fresh lavender sprigs

Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, and whisk together. Drizzle the cooled Lemon Lavender Muffins with icing. Top with fresh lavender sprig​s, and serve.

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

I can personally attest to how delicious these muffins are, especially when still warm from the oven. The lemon adds the perfect hint of tartness, while the lavender gives the treat a savory finish that goes way beyond run-of-the-mill muffins. At least in my opinion! If you give this recipe a try sometime this season, don’t forget to tag @dreamgreendiy and @thefarmhausonmain on social media so we can sink into a state of envy over your plate of fresh muffins.

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Lemon Lavender Muffins | dreamgreendiy.com

*Recipe by The Farmhaus On Main, photography by Carrie Waller
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DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Labels

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Remember that time I covered a clearance grocery store cake with edible flowers? And how I mentioned that I wanted to find a couple of other ways to put those flowers to use? Well, this post is the first of two extra crafts that I came up with to make those pretty blooms last. And since it’s a Friday morning, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The goal? To create simple flower-embellished wine bottle labels fit for your next gathering.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

The first step in this process is to dry a handful of blooms. Grab a heavy hardback book, like a nearby coffee table book or encyclopedia, and open it up to a random page toward the back. Lay wax paper on either page of the open book, and then place the blooms face-down on one of the pieces of wax paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Lay the opposite piece of wax paper on top of the flowers, and gently shut the book over the blooms. Place the book in a cool dry place (just put it back on the coffee table or bookshelf), and allow the flowers to dry for at least a week in the closed book.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

After a week’s time, download one (or both!) of the free printable wine bottle labels I created—“Welcome Home” (for a housewarming gift) or “Thanks For Having Us” (for a hostess gift) —depending on your needs, and print them onto heavy cardstock paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Use a ruler to figure out how big your label needs to be in order to cover the wine bottle’s original label, and trace light lines onto the cardstock using a pencil. Cut the label out, and lay it across your wine bottle so that it covers the old label.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Now it’s time to retrieve your dried flowers. Grab the book they’re drying in, and choose a few favorites. They should easily peel off of the wax paper if you do so slowly. Gently lay them on the label to test different arrangements, and when satisfied, attach them to the paper using a small dot of tacky glue. Finish by using clear packaging tape to firmly attach the flower-embellished label to the wine bottle.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Although this project requires a bit of preparation and hands-off time to complete while you wait on the dried flowers, the label prep and finishing phase take just 20 minutes or so. Stay tuned later this month for the third and final DIY flowers project—I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

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Done In A Dozen: Picks For Your Summer Cookout

Everything You Need For Your Summer Cookout | dreamgreendiy.com

There are so many things that I love about summer—driving with the windows down, picnicking, sundresses—but probably my absolute favorite thing about the season is the food. John and I love paying homage to summer with cookout style food, and tend to pop the top on our grill weekly this time of year, so I thought it would be fun to share a collection of cookout-inspired goodies to get you thinking ahead to your own outdoor dinner party.

  1. Apron ($7.99)
  2. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill ($29.99)
  3. Patio Pizzeria: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads on the Grill, by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig ($17.26)
  4. Slotted Turner ($15.69)
  5. Professional Spatula Set ($25.55)
  6. 16-Jar Revolving Spice Rack with Free Spice Refills for 5 Years ($25.65)
  7. Grilling Plank Variety Pack + Recipe eBook ($19.99)
  8. Grill Master Platter Set ($49.90)
  9. Grill Master: The Ultimate Arsenal of Back-to-Basics Recipes for the Grill, by Fred Thompson ($18.46)
  10. Turning Tongs ($14.18)
  11. Grate Cleaning Brush ($17.15)
  12. Meat Shredder Claws ($7.99)

Another accessory not to be missed (and one that gets used over and over again in our house) is a Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket. John and I are big fans of roasted veggies, and tend to stock way, way up at the Farmers Market in nearby Staunton, Virginia. We love grilling corn, asparagus, zucchini—you name it!

What are a few of your favorite grilling recipes? We’d love to add some newbies to our list, so if you have any simple cookout meal ideas—aside from the requisite hot-dogs-and-hamburgers go-to—please do tell in the comments below.

*My promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

If I had to name the official taste of summer, it would be an easy answer for me: lemonade! Since I’m not a soda drinker (or, really, anything carbonated for that matter), I tend to stick mostly with water throughout the day—aside from my morning cup of coffee, of course, and the occasional glass of wine in the evening. Lemonade, though, is a favorite speciality drink of mine. I feel like it’s one of the few drinks to actually quench thirst, and there’s something oh-so-nostalgic about sipping on a glass of it any given summer afternoon.

One of my very favorite iterations of this citrusy drink comes from The Farmhaus On Main, a local speciality coffee shop and café run by our friends Bethany and Aaron Mallory. They serve a Honey Lavender Lemonade that’s out of this world, and since I tend to slurp it down within minutes, I asked if the Mallorys wouldn’t mind sharing their secret recipe for the drink. Happily, they were willing to oblige, so scroll on to get all the details.

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Honey Lavender Lemonade

For the lemonade:

  • 24 oz. lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Hot water
  • Filtered water

Pour lemon juice into a gallon-sized container or pitcher. Next, dump sugar into a bowl and stir enough hot water in to fully dissolve the sugar. Add the sugar mixture to the lemon juice and top with filtered water, up to the 1-gallon mark (you can eye-ball it or taste-test if you’re not using a marked commercial container like the Mallorys do). Stir to combine.

For the honey lavender simple syrup:

  • 1/4 cup dried lavender
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups filtered water

Bring ingredients to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove the dried lavender. Add 1 ½ oz. (or your preference) of the honey lavender simple syrup to a glass of prepared lemonade from above.

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

The savory, herby flavor of the lavender-infused syrup is the perfect complement to the tartness of the citrus drink, making it difficult to enjoy just one glass. After snapping these shots of the finished Honey Lavender Lemonade, I gulped the entire drink down in a matter of minutes. It was an especially toasty afternoon in the shop that day, but the cool crispness of the lemonade immediately made that heat bearable. It’s the type you’ll find yourself drinking with eyes closed, it’s that good.

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

What are your favorite summertime flavors? Are you as big a fan of lemonade as I am? I think this recipe would be perfect to serve in a big pitcher at an at-home brunch or bridal shower this season. Can you picture it, too? If you give this recipe a try sometime this summer (or beyond), don’t forget to tag @dreamgreendiy and @thefarmhausonmain on social media. Cheers!

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Lavender Syrup For Lemonade | dreamgreendiy.com

*Recipe by The Farmhaus On Main, photography by Carrie Waller
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5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I don’t entertain all that often, so on the rare occasion that I do host a group of people, I like to keep things simple. First of all, I cut down on tabletop styling time and effort by having a collection of neutral party supplies stored at-the-ready in our china hutch. Things like linen napkins (even mismatched napkins work as long as they are neutral colors!), white serving dishes in all shapes and sizes, and pretty coordinating vases that I can fill with clippings from the yard for a last-minute free centerpiece.

The second thing I do to keep things simple when entertaining is having an arsenal of super easy recipes on hand that I can make in a matter of minutes to feed a crowd. Today’s recipe for a 5-minute fruit salad honey drizzle is my new favorite, especially now that summer is almost upon us.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I know this next statement is such a cliche, but the concept for this recipe (if you can even call it a recipe) truly couldn’t be easier. All you need to recreate it is 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 of honey. That’s right—it’s really just an easy alternative to your go-to simple syrup! Just combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork until smooth, then pour over your pre-chopped fruit salad.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I love that you can control the texture of the drizzle (add more honey if you want it thicker, or less if you want it thinner), and that you can skip sugar. I always try to pick up 100 percent pure honey whenever possible, and love to choose locally sourced honey when I have time to. Going organic is another priority for our household when we head to Fresh Market or Trader Joes.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

If you want to up the flavor ante just a bit, try adding a few tablespoons of lime juice to the drizzle, or you can make a honey ginger simple syrup for iced coffee or cold brew using fresh ginger over a little heat on the stove.

I experimented with our own simple honey drizzle over chopped fruit for John’s lunches, and it was a hit. We both really love the way this drizzle adds just a subtle hint of extra flavor, and made the fruit in our salad feel a little more special in comparison to plain cut produce. We plan to reuse the idea for gatherings and packed lunches all summer long, and if you do the same, make sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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Make Over A Clearance Cake With Edible Flowers

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I’m the first to admit that baking isn’t really my thing. I can do it, but I just feel like I’d rather prioritize other projects (think: hanging new art in the bathroom, painting the sunroom, hitting the antique store to find the perfect vintage desk for my office). So, instead of spending an hour or two over measuring cups and canisters of flour and sugar, I tend to be a regular at the bakery section at our local grocery store.

The only problem with that mentality is that you do give up a certain level of control. I’m pretty stubborn about my aesthetic, and tend to want things to look a very certain way, so having to pick pre-baked cakes off the shelf at the grocery store is a struggle for me. Oftentimes, I just make it work and choose the simplest white-frosted cake I can find (unfortunately, it’s usually the most expensive of the bunch), but I recently had the idea to do a little bit of DIYing to a pre-baked cake in order to make it worthy of our next soiree.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The idea was to pick up a clearance cake from the bakery, and then transform it into a Pinterest-worthy masterpiece using edible flowers. I ordered a 50-count box of pastel Viola blooms from this online shop, and then (not so) patiently waited for the flowers to arrive. After they did, I immediately tucked the flowers away in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible (they should last about a week if kept cold), and then hit the bakery in search of the perfect cake.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Although I’m sure many of you will think the original cake was cute as could be, it personally wasn’t really my style. The bright sprinkles and frosted peaks were a little too whimsical for me, but the $5 clearance price tag was perfect. So I whisked it home, and then set it on my work table to get it looking more like the pretty pastry I had in my mind.

The inspiration was a “naked cake” type look, with just subtle swipes of frosting around the edges, so I used a flat knife to remove most of the original frosting from the cake (which, don’t worry, didn’t go to waste as John scarfed it up quickly from the sidelines), and then stepped back to survey the results. Although a little bare looking on its own, the simplified silhouette was just what I was hoping for. Plus, I knew it wasn’t done yet.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The final step was to decorate the now-naked cake with a handful of the pretty edible flowers I had ordered. In this case, less is more, but you really can’t mess it up. To create the look you see above and below, I gently pressed the flowers onto the cake form, allowing the light frosted finish to “grab” the petals and keep everything in place. I situated a few of the prettiest blooms on top, then added a small asymmetrical border around the bottom edge. There was no rhyme or reason to my design—I just kept adding the edible flowers until I felt like it looked done.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I think the finished cake feels just a little more mature than the original, store-bought look. It’s the perfect semi-DIYed treat to serve at a girl’s night in or even Sunday morning brunch with friends. And to those of you wondering how a cake actually tastes with edible flowers, I can honestly say that it’s delicious. These particular Viola blooms added a super delicate crunch to the cake, and the sweet, herby flavor of the flowers themselves gave it a sort of fruit cake vibe. I think this new pastry process might just be my new brunch-time go-to.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

So, what do you think? I know it’s not for everyone. In fact, John thought I was nuts when I first explained the concept to him, but once it was done and he had a chance to try it for himself, he admitted that it was kind of a cool transformation.

The only thing I will say is that the edible flowers ended up costing a little more than I would have liked once shipping was factored in. So, I think if I did this again, I would try growing my own blooms for the project. The good news, though, is that I figured out several other ways to make the most of the leftover flowers (of which there were many), so stay tuned for more DIYs to offset this one later this month. I can’t wait to share!

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!

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5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire

*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Okay, so technically summer doesn’t officially commence for another week, but it sure feels like we’re ‘in the heat of things’ now. Our AC units have already been turned way up, we’re chugging fresh citrus-infused water daily, and outdoor activities have become the weekly norm.

Our fire pit, for example, has been working especially hard for our benefit as of late. Since kicking off a range of partnerships with the team over at Duraflame last year, we’ve become die-hard fans of the brands’ product line. Sure, it’s a professional collaboration, but that relationship has organically turned us into life-long users. Now every time we have a slightly overcast day, we race to the back yard to fire up our little DIY flagstone fire pit, and luckily, our stockpile of  Duraflame logs allows us to pull off these on-a-whim fire fancies whenever the mood strikes—in less than 10 minutes flat.

All this to say that, sponsorship aside, we really couldn’t recommend their stuff more, and to inspire your own spontaneous fire pit fête, John and I spent a little extra time around the fire last week to come up with a list of activities to do around a summer campfire. Read on for our top five takeaways and please weigh in with your own ideas in the comments after the story!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

1. Roast Marshmallows

This one, of course, is a given, but don’t feel like you need to stop there. John and I keep skewers handy in a kitchen drawer by the front door so that we can grab those and our favorite fire pit foods whenever the weather allows for a campfire. We’ve cooked hot dogs, bacon, shrimp, pineapple, and even grilled cheese sandwiches over our flaming Campfire Roasting Logs, so feel free to get creative and go beyond the standard s’more. If you want to stick with marshmallows though, at least consider giving our recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores a try!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

2. Host A Tasting

Our home is always stocked with wine and beer, and if your fridge sports the same type of inventory, a campfire gathering is the perfect time to host an impromptu tasting. Gather some friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine or a 6-pack of their go-to beer. Then allow everyone to try a taste while comparing notes around a roaring fire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

3. Have A Jam Session

This one might sound a little cheesy, but summer is the perfect time to embrace the ‘cheese’ and pretend like you’re in a music video—so go old school and break out the acoustic guitar. There’s something extra magical about the sounds of a summer night accented by strumming guitar strings and murmurings around a crackling fire. Go ahead and act like you’re 16 again! We won’t tell.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

4. Exchange Ghost Stories

Another blast-from-the-past activity that’s practically required for a bonfire gathering, whether you’re young or old, is a round of ghost stories. Pull up a list of tales on your phone or tablet, and take story-telling turns around the fire. They don’t need to be long—even the short ones garner the desired effect. If reading isn’t your thing, pull up spooky YouTube clips instead, or go all out and set up a screen and projector outfitted with a full-length scary film for everyone’s viewing pleasure around a campfire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5. Game Night Challenge

Instead of gathering around the same dining room table you have been for the past 12 years, go ahead and take things outside for your next family game night. Play charades while the audience kicks back in camp chairs around a low fire. Or allow the fire to be a backdrop for games like Taboo, The Mouth Game, or DIY giant Jenga.

Although you don’t really need an excuse to gather around a campfire (watching those curly, crackling flames is often all the activity I need!), the idea of building and maintaining a fire can seem like it just isn’t worth the effort. So start the season right with our list of fun motivators that will have you just going for it rather than giving in to those excuses. If all else fails, you’ll get a cool Boomerang out of it!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

P.S. For more inspiration, check out our breakdown of 5 precautions to take at your next fire pit party and my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores here.
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