April 29, 2014

Menu Tuesday


Weekend update:

TGIF!!!  Friday afternoon was spent swinging, playing and helping dad in the yard.




Saturday we were all up bright and early for the Lake Minneola 12K.  My mom came along to watch E while we ran and we ended up running the gorgeous route (literally around Lake Minneola) in my fastest time.  Now, before you get excited, I will add a disclaimer that I.AM.NOT.FAST. 

But…my time, for me, was my fastest yet; especially for a distance of 7.4 miles.  I was pretty stoked and glad that Mike kept pacing me to go above and beyond what I had planned to do (even though I hated it while it was happening!).






The sunrise was gorgeous and the lake was beautiful.



We loved having a cheering section at the end as well, even though they weren’t actually at the finish line.  Oh, Gransie.



Check it out – I finished 34 overall…that’s huge for me!  And my friend Kaia (whom we didn’t even know was running finished 6 overall – soooo cool!)


After finishing the race and getting rejuvenated with water, fruit and coffee, we headed for more blueberry picking!  We met my friend Kamrin along with her kiddos and parents at Lake Catherine Blueberries in Groveland.  Our original plan was to head back to Southern Hill Farms, but the location for our meet up made more sense to go to Lake Catherine

It was super packed and they were hosting a festival, but the blueberries were delicious and the live music was great!  We totally enjoyed our experience and recommend both places for a yummy experience!




The kids couldn’t get enough!!!




We ended up picking 7 pounds of blueberries and loved listening to some good old folk music.  Their rendition of Rocky Top had everybody tapping their toes.




After getting our fill of berries we headed back to Howey-in-the-Hills for the rest of the afternoon.  Kamrin’s parents still live the in the small town and invited us over for lunch and an afternoon swim. 

We picked up lunch from the Howey Market and I have to tell you…it is ADORABLE.  I would shop there everyday if I lived close by – soooo cute and quaint.  The food was delish (we all ordered some of their specialty sandwiches) and they even had cheese curds!!!





The rest of our afternoon was spent relaxing with this spectacular view of Little Lake Harris, swimming and playing in the sandbox.  The three little ones were pooped after all of the days’ events!



Even though the water was cold, Everett actually loved it and couldn’t get enough.  I think he has some of his daddy’s polar blood in him for sure.  This Florida girl would have been freezing in there!




We finished our day with a delightful dinner with my friend Noelle and loved catching up.  We feasted on Pasta Fagiole al fresco and enjoyed every minute of our patio dining.




Sunday was spent planting new plants (thanks, mom!), playing outside, bike riding and park playing. 







We were ALL so exhausted and couldn’t wait to eat (outside again) and get some sleep…it was definitely a packed weekend!!!




This week is back to work for me (ugh), but I am looking forward to only 5 more weeks until summer break (yippeeeee!).  We are also excited to welcome our Wisconsin friends, Brett and Lora, to town this weekend for a visit.  They will be staying with us and we have another weekend packed full of funsies, as well as a Lingerie Shower for my friend Lynn!  This kicks off many fun wedding shindigs for the bride to be and we couldn’t be more excited!!!


Here’s to a great week of eating!

M:  Black Bean Pizza

T:  Creamy Veggie and Wild Rice Soup

W:  Napa Salad w/ Grilled Chicken

Th:  Chicken Pesto Paninis w/ Sweet Potato Fries

F:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches w/ Chopped Salad

Sa:  Dinner out!

Su:  Steak w/ Grilled Veggies and Homemade Steak Fries

April 22, 2014

I Pick, U Pick, We Pick


As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had a blast picking blueberries over the weekend with the folks at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont. 

The owners were so hospitable, the land was sprawling and gorgeous and the blueberries were literally the best we have ever had. I’m not even kidding.  Just ask Mike, he is STILL raving about it.



Southern Hill Farms is a family owned and operated u-pick and commercially harvested blueberry farm, as well as a wholesale ornamental tree farm. We are located atop one of Central Florida’s rare and picturesque rolling hills in Clermont, FL, just southwest of Orlando. We planted our first crop of blueberries in 2010 and currently have 40 acres of blueberry bushes on our 120 acre farm. We welcome guests to our family friendly blueberry u-pick farm when the blueberries are ready to be harvested at the peak of their ripeness, usually during the months of April and May.


We arrived around 1pm and the weather was overcast and breezy…almost a little cool.  I had never been blueberry picking before – at least not that I can remember – and didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t really even know what blueberry bushes looked like and was hoping that we wouldn’t be doing a lot of bending over like with strawberry picking.

Well, we hit the jackpot.  The blueberry bushes were tall, almost like small trees and there was hardly any bending at all.  Score.  The top of the bushes were perfect for the adults and the bottom was the perfect height for E.






After a quick introduction (Everett goes to daycare with the owners’ grandchildren) and a short how-to lesson, we were off and picking. 

The rules: 

  1. Do not cut through rows (to protect the plants/fruit).
  2. Only pick the dark blue berries.

Simple enough.

We kept E in the stroller in the beginning (the rows are very stroller accessible), and just kept feeding him the goods.  He loved it and couldn’t seem to get enough.  He and Mike were in blueberry heaven.



The bushes were full of berries and we honestly didn’t see one bad berry.  There were some that weren’t ripe yet, but none that looked rotten or spoiled…I’m telling you, the blueberries there are GORGEOUS (and huge!).





I couldn’t even believe that the blueberry glasses stayed on the whole time!  Yessss!


Blueberry Picking–Southern Hill Farms 4/19/14



Straight from the bush directly into the mouth – you can’t get any fresher than that!  Forget farm to table – that is farm to belly!





We left with $7 worth of blueberries that in a grocery store would have cost us about $20 without all of the memories.  I encourage all of you in the central Florida area to go check out Southern Hill Farms.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Here are the specifics from the Southern Hills website-

2014 Blueberry U-pick Season Information

We will begin our u-pick on Saturday, April 12, 2014 for our grand opening at 9 am! We will be serving blueberry pancakes from 9 am to 12 noon for you to enjoy, free of charge. We will be open on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of May, however we will be closed on Sunday, April 20 in observance of Easter. We are looking forward to picking blueberries with you, your friends and family soon!

2014 Pricing
  • $4/lb u-pick blueberries.
  • Free parking.
  • Concession snacks and drinks available for purchase.

Please remember to bring a hat and/or sunscreen. There is a barn with seating available for when you need shade. We will provide you with a bucket to pick your blueberries, as well as a clamshell to take them home in. Please see the Blueberry U-Pick tab on the left for more information.


Click here for your coupon!



So then, the question becomes, “What do you do with nearly 2 pounds of blueberries?”.  Well, blueberry danish of course!

Here’s how:


Blueberry Danish

Click here to print!


  • 1 box puff pastry {2 sheets}, thawed to room temperature


  • 2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream (or milk)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of salt
  • chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)



Lay one whole pastry sheet onto a greased cookie sheet (or Silpat lined).  Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together until well blended.  Spread on top of pastry sheet.

Top with blueberries.


Cut second puff pastry sheet into 10 long strips.  Weave strips on top of blueberries.

Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.



Pipe or drizzle the frosting to be fancy schmancy and sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired (I totally forgot to add the fanciness to mine – we were too excited to try it!).