Friday, May 18, 2012

So Simple Strawberry Shortcake

The other day, after going on about fresh local veggies and produce, I mentioned that I was going to try out a very simple shortcake recipe.  Let me tell you, it was so easy.  And, it was devoured within minutes...maybe seconds.  The best thing about it, was that it took me about 10 minutes total to get it in the oven, and about 10 min. to bake. So, even though I hadn't planned on having Strawberry Shortcake until I was posting about it right before dinner, it still happened, and was a very delicious ending to our dinner.

Here ya go!  Super fast, and super yummy strawberry shortcake!

simple strawberry shortcake

2 1/4 cups All Purpose Baking Mix
5 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk

strawberry mixture:
4 c. strawberries sliced
4-5 tbsp. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Stir together ingredients until well blended.

3. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

5. While shortcakes are baking, mix strawberries and sugar together. Chill until ready to serve shortcake.

6. Slice cakes in half and strawberries (or your fruit of choice) and top with whipped cream.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Good Earth

"When we change a person's relationship to their food, 
we change them and their world together."

For a long time, I've wanted home grown vegetables on my table.  Not just from the store in a bag that says, "Farm Fresh". The real kind that come straight from your own garden.  We love going to the local Farmer's Market, and to pick our own strawberries, but there's always been a part of me that longs for the farm life on a daily basis.

While my desire is completely sincere, my available time to plant, weed, and tend to a garden is pretty much non-existent.  Maybe some day it'll be a reality, but right now, it's a faint notion of a grand idea.  A while back, I was reading in Organized Simplicity and I loved this quote...

"Growing a vegetable garden can be a cheap way to fill our bodies with good things, but who has the time to weed and hoe and water and fertilize when there's dry cleaning to pick up?  Simplifying your life is meant to make things better, not worse.  It's about choices - about saying no to the things in your life that aren't the best so that you are free and available to say yes to those things you truly want." (Tsh Oxenreider)

I can't tell you how freeing those words were.  I felt the freedom to say, "Ok, I don't have to have a garden to live simply!"  One day, I might be able to, but for now, a huge garden just isn't a reality.  For some reason I'd always struggled with this picture of "One day, when my life is simplified and wholistic {and basically perfect in every way}, I'll have a garden and grow my own food." Now, yes, in a perfect world that would be wonderful.  But, with a full time business, and my sweet family needing my time and energy, the gardening goes out the window.

However, eating home grown food doesn't have to.

Some friends of ours that go to our church have a family owned and operated farm, and this year, we have begun being a part of their CSA, or community supported agriculture .  Each week, it has been so neat to have their produce that they have grown on our table.  We are supporting their business, and their family, as well as having fresh, locally grown food each week.  It fulfills both needs beautifully, without feeling the frustrating shame of not getting to a garden, one more year.

It's such a small way to feel connected to our community and our local farms, but it feels right.  It might be partly because of what my husband has been studying and supporting for the last several years, but I've loved knowing where my food is coming from, and feeling like there's a point to why I'm not the one growing it, though it's still straight from the ground.

I think the point of what I've been feeling is to simply be connected to one another, and to what is going on around you.  It sounds big and lofty, but I've found more and more how it really is quite simple.  I've been wanting to write a post for a while about it, and haven't known how to put it all together.  But, it seems like the more that we are involved in our own communities, the more we are compelled to play a part of something bigger.  Something more real, and forgive the pun, but organic.  I love seeing how we each have a part to play, and a story to share.

This is a great time to see what farms you have in your own area.  Check out your local farmers market, or go online to Pick Your Own and see where you can pick your food straight from a local farm.  Sometimes you might have a little drive out in the country, but it's well worth the distance.

Saturday we went to our favorite spot for fresh picked strawberries (Rudd Farm) and picked our first batch of berries for the year.  Tonight I'll be making a super easy Strawberry Shortcake for dessert...I'll be sure to share the recipe if I like the way it turns out!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Now Featuring...Jo and Rob!

Well...where have I been lately? All I can say is that it truly is wedding season.  A great one, but yes, definitely in full swing around here!

One of my cute as pie couples just got hitched a few weeks ago, and they were such a blast to work with. You might remember them from way back last fall, when we were searching for venues.  After months and months of planning, their day came off splendidly.

People always ask me if I'm so relieved when the big day is finally over, and the answer is not always a rushing, "YES!" The reason?  I love being able to develop a relationship with my clients, and through doing so, I'm able to find out exactly what they need to make sure their day comes off perfectly.

The flip side of it, is that often times, through the months of planning, we work so closely that we become friends.  Good friends.  I know their families on a first name basis, and they know all about mine.  We know how each other likes our coffee (or tea), and usually greet each other with hugs.  By the time the "I do" comes around, we've got each other on speed dial and are chatting almost every day.  So, while the wedding day is a huge success to all who are involved, there is also a tinge of sadness that comes with sending my brides and grooms off into happily ever after.  However, it doesn't stay for long...there's always too much celebrating!

From the centerpieces we designed that incorporated Jo's grandmother's china, to the bright colors they chose to reflect their vivid personalities, this wedding could not have been more perfect for this sweet bride and groom.  I love this slideshow, because in every shot, you can see the love and enjoyment Jo and Rob have for one another.  Totally in love...completely happy...and absolutely enjoying every moment of their day.

I couldn't have been more thrilled with how it turned out.  Special thanks to Micciche Photography for this peek into their amazing day, as well as Farm & Filigree (florist), Savory Street (caterer), Carolina Theater (venue), Wally West Music Resource (DJ) and, last but definitely not least my awesome team here at Relish for making their wedding day a beautiful one!