Summer's Time & the Livin is Easy

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Snow and Bread

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 4, 2014 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Snow Days are baking days!  I was so excited to bake something again!  After not being able to eat any carbs or sweets for the last half of my pregnancy this bread was so amazing!  I picked the easiest recipe in the book since I had to do this one handed and between the little ones naps, but it turned out well and was a great gateway drug back into the world of baking.

I slathered mine with nutella because... well why not!

Simple Farmhouse White Bread 


1 cup warm water

1/3 cup white sugar

1 and 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups (plus a little more for kneading) white flour

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1tsp water


Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and let sit until foamy.  About 10 minutes.  mix in canola oil and wheat flour.  Then add the white flour and salt and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  form risen dough into a loaf and put in a well greased loaf pan.  Let rise for another 30 minutes then cover with the egg wash and bake for about 30-40 minutes until hollow sounding and slightly browned on the top.  Remove from the pan and let cool... or don't and serve and enjoy!

Get Out!

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on February 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Everyone will tell you different things about what you should do with your newborn baby.  Most people say you shouldn't do too much ith them during the first month, but I say, you have to get out of the house!  Not only will this get your baby used to their carseat and being out and about, it will also get you out of your house and prevent you from going completely stir crazy!  Here are some of the places we've taken David these last two weeks!

First trip to Tech's Campus, Go Hokies!

Soon we'll be sending that application to Burrus Hall!

First Hokie Bball game!  We lost, but he may have to get used to that!

his very first trip outside!

First big snow!

No we're headed out for lunch!  

Life Changes

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on February 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey Everyone!  

It was been a LONG time since i've posted anything here!  Hopefully that will change, but today we're just going to do a little update.  A lot has happened in our lives this year.  Justin changed jobs, we are in the proccess of buying another house, we got pregnant, and we had our adorable baby boy David Allan Summers on February 8th, 2014!  Talk about a whirlwind!  It has been a great ride and we are so looking forward to all the adventures that having a baby will bring!  In the first week it has brought joy, tears, excitement, not a lot of sleep, and so many new experiences!  It's amazing how much you can love something you know so little about!  Here's to many more adventures!

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 24, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)


I am going to dedicate this post to Justin.  He is very patient with me in the kitchen and lets me try out all these healthy recipes on him all the time!  Sometimes they are very good and he is a lucky guy, and then other times... well they could have been better we'll just leave it at that.  So for dinner last night I decided to do a good old fashioned Sloppy Joe Casserole.  I don't even like Sloppy Joe's and I thought it wasn't bad!  The cornbread and cheese layers probably had something to do with that...



1 pound ground beef

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons mustard

2 tablespoons white vinager

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon (or to taste) of Sriracha

1 teaspoon Worstershire

2 cups of cheddar cheese

1 box Jiffy Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup milk


Saute beef until browned seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

 Mix all the sauce ingredients together then add to the meat.  

Spread meat in a 9 inch pie pan

then add the cheese layer. 

Meanwhile mix the Jiffy mix, egg, and milk together

then pour the batter on top of the cheese layer and spread to coat.

 Don't worry if it doesn't go all the way to the edges, it will spread out in the oven.

Cook the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes.


Earth Day!

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Today is Earth Day!  Or in Disney Terms, Animal Kingdom's Birthday!  yay!  Now I didn't visit Animal Kingdom today, but I did spend a lot of the day being outdoors.  Justin had to work in Lexington today so I went with him and he took me to the property!  I ran, explored the creek, took a nap, and read some Harry Potter.  It was a fabulous day!  I also took some pictures!  Enjoy!

Go out and explore your outdoors!  :0)

Kumquat Tart

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 15, 2013 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When I lived in Florida we had all kinds of citrus trees in our backyard.  We had grapefruits the size of beachballs and oranges the size of softballs.  But my favorite one of our fruit trees was the kumquat tree.  You could just run by the tree and pop one of these orange beauties in your mouth.  It was the perfect on the go snack right in your yard!

When I went to the Fresh Market this week and found them selling the golden gems and had to find a recipe to use them in.

I found it at An Adventure in Cooking.  They have a recipe for a Kumquat Tart.  This recipe calls for candying the kumquats which was something i've never done before.  Challenge Accepted!


Tart Crust


1 Egg

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Butter, frozen

1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Sweet Cream Cheese Filling


1 Egg Yolk

1 Cup Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Ricotta Cheese

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Orange Blossom Water (can substitute rose water)

1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Candied Kumquats


1 lb Kumquats, sliced 1/8 inch thick (use a very sharp little paring knife for this)

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


First make the crust.  Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt.  Then cut the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter.  Then incorporate the almond extract and egg wit the dough hook of your mixer.  The dough will take a while to come together, don't be afraid and add water or anything, it will come together in time I promise!

Once the dough is formed cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes while you candy the kumquats.

The next step is to Candy!  This sounded intimidating to me, but it really was easy.  The hard part was breaking down all the kumquats into 1/8th inch slices.  

A labor of love though I assure you.  Combine the sugar, water and vanilla in a wide shallow pan.  Bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves.  Then add your kumquat slices and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the slices with a slotted spoon and lay them to rest on a drying rack.

Then to make the filling combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth.  

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll the dough out to fit your tart pan.  Make sure all surfaces are well floured so they don't stick to the dough!

Prick the dough with a fork.  Bake the dough initially at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then add the filling and bake until the crust is golden brown.

When the tart comes out of the over decorate with the candied kumquat slices then serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

Enjoy!  :0)


Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday  I love Saturday's when i'm off work!  They are this magical gift of a day when I get to enjoy being off when everyone else is off too!  This Saturday definitely did not let me down.  We started the morning with the 3.2 for 32 Run in Rememberance which was a great experience.  I enjoy this run so much because I always run it with a lovely group of people.  This year was no exception!  Here is the group for this year.

and of course the lovely balloon release!

This, plus all the great food I hauled from Fresh Market yesterday led to an amazing lunch out on our deck.

I got my hand on some baby zucchini, they are so freakin adorable!  I mean look at them!

I was inspired by them and the Pappardelle Pasta, to make pesto pasta with Zucchini and Broccoli, and of course some crusty bagguette peices, for my saturday lunch.

First order of business is to make Pesto.  


1 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup parmesan cheese 

1/3 cup nuts

1/3 cup olive oil


Super easy.  Put it in the blender and push the button.  It will go from this....

to this...

Then boil yourself some pasta, sautee your veggies with a little salt and pepper and voila! Lunch!

 Then of course you chow down.  This was all that was left on my meal...

It didn't stand a chance.

Do something awesome with your Saturday! :0)

Spring is in the Air

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi Guys!

Long time no blog, I feel like I write this intro way too often.  I am so terrible at being consistant on here, and i'm going to try and do better I promise!  This week has been an amazing weather week here in Blacksburg.  It's rejuvinated my creative juices and I am so ready to start cooking with lovely summer veggies!

I have been spending the winter months stalking my favorite food blogs and gathering inspiration from there recipes, stories, gorgeous photos and blog stylings.  I totally admire these women and I am excited to continue my adventure on this blog!

Here is my list of daily blogs I stalk (in no particular order).  

1. Tracy at Shutterbean always has AMAZING photos and recipe that think outside the box!

2.  Karly at Buns in my oven has recipes so mouthwatering that I sometimes drule on my keyboard.   No lie.

3.  Cassie at Witty title here puts up stories some from pretty inspiring people that I always end up envoius of at the end of her articles

4.  I just started following Laura and The first mess and she has photos of food that I cannot tear my eyes away from!

5. Missy at a little bolt of life often write about my favorite subject, DISNEY!  So how can you not love that right?

Those aren't all the blogs I follow, but they are defintiely my favorites!  Hopefully one day, I can be inspiring to people like these ladies are inspiring to me!

Here's to more frequent posting and more delicious food this summer!

Bonus!  I'm on Instagram now!  @lsummers12 and here are some things i've been able to capture this spring!


Reese's Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on February 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (3)

Reese's Hearts are great.  They are een better on top of a peanut butter cookie.  They are even better on top of the easiest peanut butter cookies EVER.

Seriously I looked up a recipe for peanut butter cookies and this was the first one to pop up.  3 ingredients ya'll and you are on your way to awesome peanut butter cookies! 

mmmmmm don't they look awesome!


1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

18 Reese's Hearts


1.  Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

2.  Combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg until dough forms

3. Roll into balls and bake for 10 minutes. 

4.  Let sit for about 5 minutes and then press on a Reese's Heart

5.  Enjoy!

Homemade Pretzel Bites

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on February 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I know this is late, I mean football season is over so you won't need tailgate food until August (sorry to bring this up, but it's true)  But if you feel like busting out "We Are Marshall" or "Remember the Titans" and need a snack, these are for you!

They were pretty easy to pull off and they tasted exactly like pretzels you get at the mall.  Genious.



1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

2 tbsp butter, melted

Pretzel or Kosher salt

Cheese Sauce

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (not package pre-shredded cheese – shred your own)

Kosher salt



1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the water, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed for 10 seconds.  Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter.  Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

3.  Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an wide 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

4.  In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Slice each rope into 1-inch pieces.  Place a lightly damp towel over the pretzel pieces to prevent them from drying out while you roll and cut the other pieces.

5.  Using a slotted spoon lower a handful of the pretzel pieces into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds, flipping them around in the water with the spoon a couple of times. Remove the pretzel pieces from the water using the spoon, drain as best you can, and place them on the baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with the pretzel/Kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter before serving. Serve warm.

Cheese Sauce

1.  In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.

2.  Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps of flour remain.  Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted.  Add a pinch of salt, if needed.  Serve warm.  Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals.

Enjoy!!!!!  :0)