Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Month of Summertime Fun and Baking!

Where has the time gone?? I can't believe it has been a month since I have posted on here! This past month has been crazy with double my usual work hours, but in turn I have saved a lot for my upcoming trip to Italy in January!

During the week of my last post, my boyfriend and I celebrated both of our birthdays.  For my birthday, I got so many great new baking things! My best friend, Anna, bought my a pretty floral apron and some silicone baking cups.  My boyfriend bought me a Better Homes and Garden's Stand Mixer.  I used both right in time to bake some yummy Chocolate Oreo Cheesecakes for my boyfriend's birthday!

These worked perfectly!! The cheesecakes popped right out after they cooled.

I used half of an Oreo as a base for the Chocolate Oreo Cheesecakes.  I can't seem to find the site where I found the recipe... but those Chocolate Oreo Cheesecakes were SO delicious, and everyone loved them! I don't even usually like cheesecake.

July is the perfect time for berry picking, and you can bet that I obviously had to take advantage of that!  My boyfriend and I went berry picking for raspberries and blueberries.  I made some fresh blueberry pancakes, then baked a pie with the rest of them.  I'm not really sure what to do with the raspberries yet, but for now they are just waiting in the freezer.

Mmm sugar and butter deliciousness haha.
I had quite a difficult time making this Blueberry Pie.  I used a recipe found in a 1978 copy of Reader's Digest Creative Cooking given to me by my grandmother.  I realized as I started that it only had one crust on top.  I personally love the crust, so I made the last minute decision to make a classic crust for the bottom.  The recipe found on Betty Crocker here.  Baking in a hurry never works out that well, but I always find myself rushing  within a limited time frame.  Neither of the crusts were working out properly! Finally I managed to get one into the pie pan, and I barely got the Reader's Digest one on top.  It looked like a mess, but it still ended up tasting ohhh sooo goooood. 

Recently we have gotten TONS of blackberries out of the field behind our house.  So far, I have made two pies for my mom.  I worked 40 hours each of the past two weeks, so I have not had much time for baking.  I ended up using two pre-made pie crusts for the first one, and only one for the second.  I decided to try out a crumb topping with oats for the second one.  Both were very yummy!

It was all I could do not to eat JUST the topping.
In other fun updates --- I went to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 midnight showing! IT WAS SOO GOOD. I just love the books and the movies. I have learned to separate them from each other, because movies always end up being different than the original books.

Of course my best friend and I had to get the 3D Harry Potter-shaped glasses :)
For my boyfriend's birthday, I bought him tickets to see Stephen Marley.  He ended up taking me, and it was so awesome.  I love live concerts.  I had also heard that his brother, Damian Jr. Gong Marley would be in town performing with Nas for their Distant Relatives album.  I was back and forth, but I finally decided to buy tickets for my boyfriend and I to see them too.  We just went to the Nas & Damian Marley show last Friday and it was by far one of the best concerts (after Paramore!) that I have been too.  I am not as familiar with Nas as I am with Damian, but both were extraordinary.  They performed Road to Zion and multiple songs off of their album including: Nah Mean, Land of Promise (love it!), As We Enter, and Dispear.  They both performed some of their own songs, and of course they ended with Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley.

Nas & Jr. Gong

Can we just talk about how long his dreds are?? Down to his ankles!
All in all, I would say this last month has been absolutely fantastic! Now, I am going to go try to recover from getting my wisdom teeth out yesterday (and eat some mashed potatoes and ice cream --- my fave!) and enjoy what I have left of my summer in Vermont!