Cherry Picking (And Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts)

Cherry Picking (And Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts)

My top (J Crew, old – similar here, here, here, here) // Jeans // Sandals // Necklace // Lip gloss // Evan’s shirt (Gap, similar) // Cole’s shirt

Friday was an unusually cool summer day here in Boise (our high was mid 60s!), which I thought would be perfect weather for spending the afternoon at the orchard picking cherries! We always have an absolute blast going out to the country for a few hours and enjoying the tranquility – and my kids love getting to feel like little farmers for the day!

What is almost as fun as picking the cherries is eating them once we get home – and making delicious treats! I thought it would be really fun to make some homemade pop tarts with our harvest and found this recipe which I modified with just a few little tweaks. I’m not gonna lie…these are labor intensive and take a long time to make! (Next time I would make the crust and filling at night & refrigerate overnight, then assemble & bake in the morning). That said my husband said these are one of the best treats I’ve ever made!

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HOMEMADE CHERRY POP TARTS

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and frozen
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Assembly:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pink food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • In food processor, mix flour, salt, and sugar together by pulsing a few times. Add the frozen diced butter & pulse until coarse crumbs form. Set the food processor to low and add the water in small amounts at a time until dough comes together. Do not over-work the dough (you want to see bits of butter within the dough). Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to overnight.

Make the filling:

  • In a small saucepan, stir together the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and bubbly. Lower heat. Whisk together the cornstarch and water, and stir into the cherry, stirring constantly and slightly mashing cherries with spatula or wooden spoon, until a thick jam forms. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool.

Assemble:

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 3×4 inch rectangles. This should make a total of about 20 rectangles. Place 10 rectangles on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Whisk the egg and water together, then lightly brush the edges of the dough on the 10 rectangles. Place 2 tablespoons of cherry filling in the center of each rectangle. Lay another rectangle on top, pressing the edges with your fingers and then crimping with a fork. Continue with remaining pop tarts. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, along with the remaining egg wash.
  • While the pop tarts chill, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • When the pop tarts are ready to bake, lightly brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Use a fork or skewer to poke small holes on the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before glazing.

Make the glaze:

  • In a bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Add a drop or two of pink food coloring. Drizzle over cooled pop tarts and top with sprinkles.

*Note – I use this cherry pitter and I highly recommend it!

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Summer Camping Trip at Redfish Lake

Summer Camping Trip at Redfish Lake

Today’s post is a very photo heavy one with lots of photos of the camping trip we took last week! Several months ago we reserved a campsite at Glacier View Campground at Redfish Lake just outside Stanley Idaho (a few hours from Boise). We had some friends join us, and the kids really had the time of their lives building forts, playing at the lake, roasting marshmallows, and staying up late to make wishes on shooting stars! I confess, although I love nature and being outside, I’m not really much of a camper. But I did love seeing how much fun the kids had and camping really is such a terrific experience for them. The campsite was really nice and clean with actual toilets (a real luxury when camping!) and they also had playgrounds for the kids. It was also walking distance to the Redfish Lake Lodge which was darling (I would love to stay there one day!) and they had tons of water activities to take advantage of. We also had lunch and ice cream at the lakeside restaurant one day, which was a real treat after several days of cooking at the campsite. I still can’t get over the beauty of Redfish Lake and the Sawtooth Mountains – it is truly an incredibly stunning place. We even had a group of deer come visit us at our site one night (and the camp hosts let us know to be cautious as bears had been sighted recently!).

The kids had so much fun, and they are already asking when we can go on our next camping trip! Being prepared and having good gear also made a big difference in making the camping trip a lot more enjoyable, and I wanted to share my gear recommendations and camping tips!

CAMPING GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

Utensils // Stove // Tent

Roasting forks // Over fire grill // Air mattress

Cast iron cookware // Lantern // Percolator // Water Jug (perfect for a handwashing station)

CAMPING TIPS

  • Prep all food beforehand! I had burger patties formed & frozen with wax paper between them, pancake mix prepared and frozen, and also made an overnight breakfast casserole that was ready to throw on the stove the next morning! Having everything prepped ahead of time saves a lot of time and makes things a lot more simple.
  • Use disposable dishes. Yes I know it’s not the most eco friendly, but it sure is a lot easier to use as many disposable things as possible.
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen. You definitely get exposed to the elements, and you are going to need these!
  • Make a foot washing station to keep the tent clean. I placed a door mat placed by the door of the tent and we made the kids take their shoes off before going in. I also had a plastic pan of water by the tent door to rinse off feet that were really dirty.
  • Rinse free bathing options. I packed along rinse free shampoo and lots of baby wipes to clean off a bit in-between showers.
  • Be prepared for temperature extremes. The temperature swings were pretty wild on our trip. The days were really hot (we wore tanks and shorts), but at night it got down into the low 30s. We were prepared with really warm sleepwear, as well as warm sleeping bags, multiple blankets, winter coats, and wool socks.
  • Bring first aid supplies. The mosquitos would often come out earlier than expected, and we would get a few bites before getting bug spray on. And despite being vigilant, Evan leaned up against the fire pit and got a small burn to his leg. I made sure to have lots of skin ointments as well as Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl.
  • Pack toys and camp decorations to keep kids busy. While I was busy cooking, I had several activities to keep the kids away from the fire and busy. We had balls, frisbees, sand toys, bubbles, bug catching kits, and glow sticks. I also brought along some solar lights and tasked the kids with making our campsite “homey.” They also were given camp chores to keep busy helping out as well!

Happy camping!

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Summer Getaway in Sun Valley

Summer Getaway in Sun Valley

My Trench (Burberry – old, similar) // Top (H&M – similar) // Jeans // Belt // Boots // Necklace // Sunglasses // Bag

Last week we decided to take a quick vacation to Sun Valley for a few days! It is one of our favorite places to visit and we are so fortunate that it’s so close! (And it is truly my dream to live there one day). The weather is typically quite warm this time of year here in Idaho, but we have been experiencing a lot of cooler weather and rain over the past month. It was a lot cooler & stormier than we had planned when we booked our trip, but we still had fun and were able to enjoy spending some time outside.

Once we made it to town we went for a quick stroll and then out to dinner at our favorite place in town – Pioneer Saloon. It really is a must if you ever visit Sun Valley! The food is amazing and the ambiance is classic Sun Valley.

After dinner we went for an evening swim! Although it was cool, the hotel pool is heated so the kids were able to swim to their hearts content. When visiting we almost always stay at the Limelight. It is such a fantastic hotel in a great location in town, and it is very family friendly.

We had the most incredible mountain views from our room.

After breakfast the next morning we spent some time playing in the kids playroom! We really feel like the Limelight is our home away from home – and the kids even like to wear their pajamas down the the buffet breakfast and to play! This kids room is one of our favorite features of the hotel, and we always spent a fair amount of time playing!

After breakfast we walked over to Atkinson Park where the kids played for hours. We love this park and always come to play when we visit in the summer! It’s such a big park with a great playground – and the kids can literally spend all day there. They even have a splash pad for hot days!

We finally pried them away from the park with a promise to visit their favorite toy store (aptly named The Toy Store) and grab a late lunch. I have to admit – it really is a great toy store with some really unique toys. (They have another location at the Sun Valley resort as well which we visited on this trip too!)

While Sun Valley is known for skiing, there is quite a bit to do in the summer months. You can ride the lift up Baldy and hike, you can rent bikes from the hotel (or at other rental shops in town), you can ice skate, and a bit later in the summer they even have ice skating performances by Olympic skaters! I’m had hoped to perhaps go hiking or ice skating on this trip – but the weather was stormy off and on so we decided to head to the pool again in the afternoon while it rained. The hotel even provides kids robes – which of course the kids absolutely loved!

For dinner we headed to an Idaho favorite – Smoky Mountain pizza! They have a location in Boise we eat at frequently and it is a favorite of my kids. Evan especially loves to make his own pizza!

On our last day we headed out to the Sun Valley resort for a bit of shopping and just walking around the grounds.

My Shirt (Kobi Halperin, old – similar style) // Jeans // Boots // Sunglasses

One last game of tic tac toe at the hotel!

No trip to Sun Valley is complete without a stop at Gold Mine Thrift Shop. This shop is legendary for finding incredible fashion steals – and while 9 times out of 10 I don’t get lucky…this time I hit the jackpot! Digging through the racks I found a vintage St John jacket for $7! And I also found a beautiful Waterford crystal vase. While checking out, the cashier whispered to me that I needed to run over to The Gold Mine Consignment store across the street because she had just bought a Chanel jacket there – and they had tons of other amazing goodies! I ended up snagging a tweed, jewel trimmed Escada skirt suit as well as a Burberry tweed coat.

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A Spring Afternoon at the Orchard

A Spring Afternoon at the Orchard

My top (Zara – old, similar here, here, here) // Jeans // Boots — Cole’s sweater // Jeans — Evan’s sweatshirt (J Crew – old, similar) // Jeans // Shoes

Picnic Basket

Last weekend I talked my family into taking a drive up to the orchards because I just absolutely love how beautiful they are in bloom. I packed up a picnic and we tossed some chairs and balls into the back of the car, and drove out for a late lunch and some sightseeing. When we arrived we were greeted by a flock of wild turkeys that were running all over! The kids ended up having a blast finding sticks and playing catch, and I was able to get a few pictures of the beautiful floral foliage. Sharing pictures of this beautiful place seemed fitting for Earth Day and a reminder not to take nature’s beauty for granted!

“Time spent among trees is never time wasted”

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Spring Break in Sun Valley

Spring Break in Sun Valley

Sun Valley is one of our favorite places to visit, so we decided it would be a blast to spend part of the kids’ spring break there skiing and swimming! We arrived up there fairly early on Sunday (St. Patrick’s Day) and grabbed a quick lunch and did a bit of shopping. There is a toy store there that the kids absolutely love that we always visit, and I always love making a stop at Gold Mine Thrift Shop to check for treasures (they famously frequently have amazing designer donations!).

Coat // Sunglasses// Necklace // Bag // Bootsimg_2312

We spent the afternoon swimming in the heated outdoor pool!

Sunglasses

Headed out to dinner! We stayed at the Limelight hotel and decided to just eat dinner there that first night as they have really good food and they also have live music. It was really festive for St. Patrick’s day, and we enjoyed just relaxing in the lobby listening to music while the kids played in the kids play area. We splurged on their truffle fries (which are amazing), and I also had a delicious arugula salad.

img_2334Sweater // Jeans // Shoes // Coat (Zara – similar) // Necklace // Bagimg_2307

Monday morning we let the kids play in the kids play room at the hotel for a bit before we headed off for a day of skiing. After skiing we swam again, and took an evening stroll around town.

Coat (Zara – similar) // Sweater // Jeans // Boots

On Tuesday we had yet another full day of skiing! The hubs and I ended up trading off watching Evan on the beginner hill, so we were each able to get some one on one time with Cole taking some more challenging runs.

My Jacket // Pants // Boots // Skis img_2443

On our last night we went to eat at our favorite restaurant in town – Pioneer Saloon! It just has the coolest ambience (make sure to look for Ernest Hemmingway’s gun!), and the food is so good. I had salmon and a “Jim Spud.”

We had so much fun on our little getaway, and I always really appreciate vacations with my family. Life can get so busy, chaotic, and stressful – so getting away and just focusing on one another & having fun is just so important! Many of my favorite memories are our family adventures, and even small trips like this are such a treat for us.

Since getting back home from our trip, I’ve been trying to keep the kids occupied for the remainder of their spring break and come up with some “staycation” activities and fun for them. I’m planning on writing a post about the second half of our spring break with some staycation activities we’ve done in the next few days if you are looking for some ideas!Signature

The Pumpkin Patch

The Pumpkin Patch

My Shirt // My Jeans // My Boots  —  Cole’s Shirt (Uniqlo, also similar here) // Cole’s Vest // Cole’s Jeans // Cole’s Shoes  —  Evan’s Shirt // Evan’s Vest // Evan’s Jeans // Evan’s Boots

Is it really fall until you’ve been to the pumpkin patch?! (It’s not!) This past weekend we finally made it out to our favorite local pumpkin patch, The Farmstead. We always have an absolute blast and it is something we look forward to doing every single year. It is a tradition to walk out into the field and we each pick our pumpkin that we will carve for Halloween! A friend of mine has a really cute rule, that has stuck and become ours as well…and that rule is that you must choose a pumpkin you can carry. If you can’t pick it up and carry it to the wagon, then you can’t choose that one! It makes it a little bit more fun, as the kids will spend some time looking for the biggest pumpkin they can possibly carry!

There is so much more to do at The Farmstead than just pick pumpkins and some of my kid’s favorite activities include; Rusty the dragon, the potato sack slide, the corn maze, the apple blaster, the “corn” box, the zipline, and barnyard ball! There are so many activities to do, it really does take a full day to get to everything. This year we decided to do something a little different and go during the evening so we could watch the fireworks, and the show was well worth it. And because one trip just isn’t enough, we’ve already purchased bounce back passes (The Farmstead offers discounted tickets for a return visit!) and plan to go again one more time before they close for the season!

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Mountain Escape

Mountain Escape

One of the things I love so much about Idaho is how much there is to do! I feel like we have never-ending opportunities for fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. It’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to move here! Living in Palm Desert definitely had some perks – proximity to the beach and big cities with San Diego and Los Angeles both a two hour drive away. The desert is absolutely a great vacation destination with golf, shopping, and resort pools – but I always found that family friendly activities for year round residents were a bit lacking. Plus it was so dang hot, it was hard to be outside for much of the year. And being cooped up inside with kids for months at a time…well you get the idea!

That said, winters in Boise can be a bit of a challenge. It does get cold here & as we are in a valley surrounded by mountains we get inversions from time to time. Where not only does it get bitterly cold, but it gets really dreary. Fortunately, all it takes is a quick drive up to the mountains to enjoy the clear sky & warmer temperatures! Since we don’t have enough snow yet for skiing, this past weekend we headed 30 miles up the road to Idaho City to go to our favorite daytime retreat – The Springs.

Fun bit of trivia – Idaho City used to be the largest city in the Pacific Northwest during the gold rush of the 1800s. Now its a quaint little old-west town that has maintained its historic charm. The Springs is a natural hot springs retreat with a pool, hot tub, sauna, and small private pools. They have a little cafe and also offer massages! They limit the number of guests daily which keeps it a relaxing experience. We try to get up here at least once a month for a fun family swim that can be enjoyed year round!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

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