Watermelon Granita

This is quite the simple summer treat! Love watermelon? You’ll love watermelon granita!

watermelon granita blog (2)watermelon granita blog (1)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups roughly chopped watermelon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6-8 mint leaves and more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Directions

  • Freeze a glass baking dish for an hour
  • In a blender, puree watermelon, lime juice, mint leaves and honey until smooth
  • Pour through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids
  • Pour juice into chilled baking dish and freeze until slushy, ~45 minutes
  • Rake surface with a fork to break up ice crystals
  • Freeze 30 minutes
  • Repeat until frozen
  • Scoop into bowls, garnish with mint and serve

dit-elle-Esther

Blackberry Lemon Pudding Cakes

I made Lemon Pudding Cakes for dessert on Easter, and they were DELICIOUS!!

SO…I decided to make them again the other night when we had some friends over.  I shook it up a little and incorporate some blackberries that Maya and I picked earlier that day.Blog Blackberry lemon pudding cakes-1 Blog Blackberry lemon pudding cakes-2 Blog Blackberry lemon pudding cakes-3

What you need…

  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • large eggs (separated)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temp)
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice and Blackberry Juice ( just strained a handful of berries and then filled the rest of the 1/3 Cup with lemon juice🙂
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Teaspoons Turbinado or Some Other Coarse Sugar

What to do…

  • Heat oven to 350° F.
  • Place six 4-ounce ramekins into a 9×13 Pyrex dish.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and flour; set aside.
  • In a second medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and butter until combined.
  • Whisk in the milk and lemon zest and juice. Add the lemon mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In 3 additions, gently fold the egg whites into the lemon-sugar mixture.
  • Divide the pudding mixture among the ramekins (about 3/4 of a cup each). Dividing evenly, sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  • Refrigerate for a couple of hours if you have the time.
  • To the roasting pan, add just enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake until the tops are golden brown.  I accidentally undercooked mine at 35 minutes, and honestly the general consensus was that was a happy accident.  Original recipe says to cook for 40-45.
  • Take out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
  • Here’s what I would do again, but didn’t have time to do this time, which is why the pudding and cake aren’t as separately defined.  I refrigerated the cakes for a few hours before cooking and the pudding was creamy and the top cake was solid but moist.  Also, you can eat them right away, and it will be more like a lemon molten cake.  To each his own, but cold lemon sounded better to me.🙂
  • Can make one large cake (probably best in an 8×8 pan).  If you do that cook for 30-35 minutes.

For reference, here’s what the original lemon cakes looked like that I refrigerated for a few hours before baking.  A definite distinction between the pudding and the cake.  Blog Real Simple Lemon Pudding Cakes-3Either way…still so good!

Enjoy!!  We did!🙂dit-elle-Lauren

Balsamic Strawberries

I discovered strawberries with balsamic recently – wow – yum! Strawberry goodness with a pop from the vinegar and pepper. Try it!

balsamic strawberries blog

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar (optional, omit for paleo version)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Mint for garnish

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients and let marinade for at least an hour or up to four
  • Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

Hat + Dress + Coated Jeggings + Booties (All Black for the WIN!)

 We’ve been having really hot days here (ok, for Seattle getting into the upper 80’s and breaking 90’s is HOT!), but…randomly we’ve been having a few super cool foggy mornings!  Of course Maya had soccer camp all this week, that we needed to leave at 8:30am for, so no location shoots were possible.  BUT…one morning, I decided to run outside and try and get a few shots in the fog.  Of course it took us 30+ minutes for me to convince (bribe) Maya to go outside, to throw something on really quick, and gather all the gear and go.  By that time, most of the fog had dissipated, but…we got a few shots with it!Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-1And, when you are just running out the door without a shower, hats are an easy fix! Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-2I love wearing jeggings under short dresses!  Dresses them down a little bit, and it’s a lot easier to run around and not worry about your dress flying up and….! Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-3 Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-4 Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-6 Blog HM Hat 28Twelve Black Dress Helmut Lang 67 Booties-8Throwing her stuffy…Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-1 Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-2 Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-3 Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-4 Omg, that face!!Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-5 Blog Crewcuts Dress Naturino Boots-6

On me… (sorry, no time for links)

Hat- H&M
Top- Twenty8Twelve (old)
Jeans- Helmut Lang (eBay)
Boots- SixtySeven “Blake” Bootie (Nordstom Rack, sold out, loving these)
On Maya…

Dress- Tea Collection (thrifted)

Boots- Naturino (thrifted)

Keeping it Real…
For reference.  I took the first shot at 8:02am, and the last shot at 8:14am, then we quickly ran inside, to change for soccer that we had to leave for by 8:40 haha.
But first…let me take a selfie!  Ha!  Just kidding.  A SnapChat…
Blog Outtake-1 Oh, and…TicTac bribes for the win :)  Puffy early morning no make up eyes, NOT for the win… BUT, that’s why I wore a hat😉Blog Outtake-2I have NO idea where she gets half her bruises, but she’s COVERED in them!!
Blog Outtake-3I LOVE this shot of her, but I didn’t have time to remove my tripod, so… Blog Outtake-4
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Little Black Dress… Day to Night (Date Night!)

 Ok, I didn’t wear this to date night, but the Huz commented many times over the course of the day how much he liked the dress, so that counts, right??😉Blog Ella Moss Tiered Clara Dress Miz Mooz Clogs-1 Please excuse my blindingly pale legs!!  I keep meaning to use self tanner, and then…Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-2 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-3 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-4 We BOTH were wearing things under our dresses, which was good, because although it was 80 degrees…it was windy!!  I’ve gathered a bunch of diaper covers for Maya to wear under dresses in the summer.   Size 18-24 month and 2T still fit, because she’s not wearing a diaper!  Super cute and a lot cooler than leggings.Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-5 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-6I gave Maya the choice of what we should do.  I said I’d copy whatever she did🙂 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-7 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-8 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-9 Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-10 Attempted to get a shoe shot…haha.Blog Ella Moss LBD Miz Mooz Clogs-11I can’t even handle her….so freaking cute!!Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-1Ps-she has a mint in her mouth (bribe anyone??!), so that’s why her mouth is all puckered in all these ha! Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-2 Looooove the back of this dress!Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-3 Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-4 Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-5I was a liiiiiiittle nervous about her doing kung fu kicks in these clogs, but…not to worry! Blog Crew and Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress Hanna Andersson Silver Clogs-6

On me…

Dress- Ella Moss “Tiered Clara Dress” (eBay, similar here)
Clogs- Miz Mooz (old, but loving these here)
On Maya…
Dress- Crew & Lu Midnight Garden Tie Back Dress (scored when she had a massive sale!)
Clogs- Hanna Andersson (scored for $10!! Similar here and here)
Keeping it Real…
The remote wasn’t working at first, but I figured out it was because the grass was interfering?  So…I propped it up on my phone🙂Blog Outtake-1Popcorn and seaweed to keep her in one spot for a shoe shot, but I actually liked the one where she was lying down better!  Oh, and sports came all week equaled more bruises than normal…I edited those out🙂 Blog Outtake-2The focusing set up haha.  Blog Outtake-3
(all pictures taken with a self timer/shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Zucchini Mini Pizzas

zucchini mini pizzas blog (2)zucchini mini pizzas blog (1)

Ingredients

  • Zucchini, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • Tomato or meat sauce
  • Cheese
  • Fresh or dried spices like basil, oregano, thyme
  • Any other favorite pizza toppings

Directions

  • Heat oven to 35o*
  • Set zucchini slices on parchment paper on a baking sheet
  • Top with sauce, spices and cheese
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and toasty
  • Cool a bit and enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

A quick trip to Whistler…

Well, if you read this post, you know already that our trip to Whistler almost ended before it began!  After a whirlwind 18 hours, a shiny new passport, and a departure date 6.5 hours later than anticipated…we were off!

Since it was going to be such a quick trip (only one full day and then Sunday morning for a few hours), I almost didn’t bring my camera.  I really wanted to make sure I was enjoying the moment vs trying to capture it.  It’s a hard balance, but I also knew that I’d feel like I was missing a limb if I didn’t bring it.  So, I compromised and decided to just bring one lens.

BIG COMPROMISE!  haha.

I did take a lot of videos and linked to a few throughout.  Sorry in advance for my annoying laugh and voice!

We ended up getting into Whistler around 9:30pm.  If you’ve ever been (and come from the PNW or Vancouver), you know that while the drive there is STUNNING, the roads are very curvy, and Canadians drive over the speed limit!  And…I say this as an admitted lead foot, who’s married to even more of a lead foot!

All that said…note to self.  Don’t give your toddler a movie to watch in the back seat on a very long curvy freeway.  ESPECIALLY after she’s eaten a garlic kale salad (the one time in my life I curse the fact that my 4 year old LOVES kale salads!)… Need I say more?  ;{

Thankfully there was a washer and dryer on our floor!  And…a bath!

But…it did take a while to wind down after all that…(video here)🙂

Blog WhislterWe stayed at the Westin Resort & Spa, which is located right in the heart of Whistler Village, and as a FYI, we never once got our car out of the garage the entire time-SCORE!

The next day we got up bright and early, had breakfast at our hotel, and then walked over to the gondola that’s only a few minutes walk away.  We really wanted to take Maya on the Peak to Peak Gondola.

You catch the first gondola in the village, and then ride it up to the top of Whistler Blackcomb.  Since it was summer, and not as busy, we got a gondola to ourselves going up… Blog Whistler 8-2016-1While, there’s no snow, there are a ton of dirt trails and a LOT of dirt bike riders.  It was super impressive to watch from the gondola!  They even do lessons, just like ski lessons! Blog Whistler 8-2016-2 Once at the top…Blog Whistler 8-2016-3Full breathtaking view here.Blog Whistler 8-2016-4Then, we got on the Peak to Peak gondola, and once again…got the entire gondola to ourselves (video here)!! Blog Whistler 8-2016-5The Peak to Peak holds the World’s Record as the longest unsupported span for a lift of this kind at 1.88miles (takes 11 minutes to get across). Blog Whistler 8-2016-6 Blog Whistler 8-2016-7 And…what to do on an 11 minute ride in your own gondola?  Set up the self timer of course, haha🙂Blog Whistler 8-2016-8 Blog Whistler 8-2016-9 She wasn’t really in the mood for pictures…Blog Whistler 8-2016-11Which is just as well, because when someone generously offered to take a family picture, we got really in focus mountains, but us…not so much (I always feel weird giving a bunch of instructions before handing my camera over!).  Oh well!  Super nice of them to offer, and it’s better than nothing! Blog Whistler 8-2016-12 Blog Whistler 8-2016-13 Blog Whistler 8-2016-14 Blog Whistler 8-2016-15She LOVES her daddy… Blog Whistler 8-2016-16After that, we came home and relaxed for a little bit and chilled in our room (video here :)).

Then we got ready to go out to dinner.  Oddly, I didn’t take any pics!  SAY WHAT!???

Before that though… This little path was right outside our balcony, and there was this gorgeous trail that had the light shining beautifully through the trees before we left for dinner…Blog Whistler 8-2016-17 And…this is the only shot I got😉Blog Whistler 8-2016-18And…the only shot of me dressed up… Blog Whistler 8-2016-19After dinner, Maya got on her swim suit, and the Huz took her swimming.  She’s SUCH a fish right now (video here)!! Blog Whistler 8-2016-20Pretty sure belly flops don’t count towards “no diving”….whoops.

Honestly, one of my favorite shots!  Love that she’s looking at the Huz til the end!🙂Blog Whistler 8-2016-21 Jumping in to get rings!Blog Whistler 8-2016-22The next morning, we had breakfast again at the hotel and then walked over to the Nintendo Family Adventure Zone, which was SO COOL!!!!  It’s open from June 18 – September 5, 2016, and I highly recommend it if you are going with kids between the ages of 4-12(?).   Maybe even older!

I took a TON of videos-some of which can be seen here, (sorry about my annoying laugh and voice!).

Here’s a few from my phone…

Ummmmm, are you kidding me??!!!  She LOVED THIS, and went on it twice!

I went on, and went about half this high haha.  BUT…I did backward flips, so that counts for something, right?  At 42!  RIGHT?!  Obviously, I’m still feeling a little silly that my 4 year old bounced higher than I did… ;(Blog Family Adventure Zone-1 This…she wasn’t so great at, but this guy was super nice and rode on it with her to avoid crashing every 3 seconds😉Blog Family Adventure Zone-2Sadly, after three hours, we had to call it quits and head back.  I will also say that they have a little farmer’s market there and we got some delicious fruit before we left!

Here’s one last picture I took with my phone as we were driving home…seriously, GORGEOUS!

Blog Whistler DriveWhile it was a very short visit, it did the job of recharging our batteries a bit, and of course…celebrating our anniversary🙂

If you’ve never been to Whistler, I HIGHLY recommend it.  It’s amazing both in the winter and summer, and we can’t wait for our next trip!

dit-elle-Lauren