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Carbondale Farmer's Market

We are so fortunate to have such a vibrant Farmer's Market for still being in s pretty small city. I shot these photos in late May. It's interesting how some produce is only available a week or two, and I am sure even a few weeks later, the market looks completely different. It's definitely my goal to visit the market as many times as possible this year, especially before those mornings are a balmy 95 degrees with a very high % of humidity. 

Also, this year, our weather has just been kind of odd, so I believe that growing seasons for early growing produce was severely shortened and stunted. But, now, the weather has gotten a lot warmer, it's not raining excessively, and the sun is definitely shining and feeding all of those plants! 

Here is a sneak peek of the Market, I will share lots more photos later. 

gold and purple Irises
strawberries

An Elegant Red White And Blue Party With SVEDKA (And A Color-Changing Drink Recipe)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #SVEDKASummer #CollectiveBias

Today marks the first day of summer, and it's time to get festive get together with friends and family to celebrate the beauty of warmer weather, more opportunities for adventure, and of course delicious summer drinks! I always love inviting friends over for a few summer sips, and we always bounce recipe ideas off of one another.

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

For this beautiful party setup, I wanted to stick with a sleek, bright, and inviting aesthetic. Mostly white with the pops of red, blue, and silvers. I am seriously over the moon about being able to create a festive party for such a well-known vodka brand, like SVEDKA! It's always my first choice when deciding upon either unflavored or flavored vodka. I know it's always going to be delicious!

I have TONS of great party decor ideas and several recipes for you, just in time for 4th of July Celebrations! If you wind up recreating anything from my post, I'd be honored if you shared a link with me in the comments below! What plans do you have this year?

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

I always love using paper straws in my party decor, they're so festive and cute! I even added in a cute red glittered star pick, and thought it complimented the SVEDKA pretty well :)

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

CHERRY RED GELATIN SHOTS RECIPE

I really felt like these had sort of a retro vibe that I just love!!

- 1 Package of red gelatin (I used the SVEDKA brand red strawberry).

- Maraschino Cherries

- SVEDKA Vodka

- Optional: Amaretto and Grenadine

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) If using the SVEDKA Gelatin, prepare as directed on bow, which is 2 1/2 Cups boiling hot water, 1 package of gelatin, and 1 1/2 C. Vodka. 

2.) Pour into small, shallow plastic dessert cups, and top each one with a cherry! 

3.) These will take a couple of hours to set up, and are so tasty!

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer
Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer
Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

COLOR-CHANGING DRINK RECIPE

- Red Rock Candy Sticks

- SVEDKA Vodka

- Blue Curacao

- Lemonade

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) In a large pitcher, combine 1 part vodka, 1 part Curacao, and 2-3 parts traditional lemonade (until you are happy with the taste).

2.) Optionally, serve the drink in a large carafe with a pour spout. Always serve over ice!

3.) To see the color-changing magic, stir your blue drink with a red rock candy stick, and instantly see the color begin to change to a purple! It's so delicious!!!

5DB_7563.jpg
Cute Glasses (so easy to decorate!)

One way to make your glassware more unique and cohesive is to simply add stickers to the glasses. They should stay put until you wash them, so you can basically interchange them to match any season.

Cute drink stirs
Red Drinks
Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

Find SVEDKA Vodka at retailers nationwide!

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

I absolutely LOVE how these Buzzed Cherry Bombs turned out!

They're super simple, too!

1.) Soak maraschino cherries overnight in SVEDKA Vodka. 

2.) Next, melt white chocolate chips (not the melting wafers) in a double boiler method or in the microwave until smooth.

3.) Taking one cherry at a time, dab onto a paper towel to remove excess juice, and dip into white chocolate, which is deep enough to dip the cherries into completely. A circle should form at the top, leaving a little bit of the red cherry peeking through.

4.) Wipe off excess white chocolate, and then dip into a mound of metallic blue sprinkles. Set onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and let cool about 15 minutes. Refrigerate up to one day ahead of time.

Buzzed Cherry Bombs #SVEDKASummer
Cute Summer Party Ideas! #SVEDKASummer

Fire Up Your Grill with Smithfield® Craft Collection™ Yuengling® Brats!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield®. The opinions and text are all mine.

I love the taste of a rich lager beer during summer, and I have been on a real grilling kick lately. When I learned that Smithfield® came out with a new product, brats that are infused with Yuengling® beer, I got pretty excited! Bringing my love of good food together with tasty beer is a specialty of mine, and I wanted to share a way to grill and serve these brats that you’re going to love. I wanted to added lots of vibrant color to this meal with fresh toppings and flavors you and your guests are going to love. Learn more about my experience with Smithfield® Craft Collection™ Yuengling® Brats, they’re such a great excuse to celebrate summer!

I found my Smithfield Yuengling Bratwurst at my Kroger. You can purchase your own by shopping at your local Kroger or Kroger banner store like Ralph’s, Smiths or Food 4 Less!

- Smithfield Yuengling Bratwurst (Make 1-2 per guest, I always make extras to have as leftovers)

- Colorful Bell Peppers

- 1 package of Pearl Onions (I fit about 12 per skewer)

- At least 1-2 (12 oz) Beers (for boiling brats) – Try Yuengling Lager for extra flavor!

- Buns

- Condiments (see below for ideas)

- Small, Colorful Heirloom Tomatoes or similar

- Olive Oil

- Seasoning of choice for peppers

Checking labels and ingredient lists is really important to me, so when I looked at the back of the brats packaging and found only two ingredients – pork and beer, I was sold That shows you how fresh and natural these brats are. The casing stayed together very well during cooking, and the taste of Yuengling was definitely present. Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery (located in Pottsville PA) and Smithfield (located in Smithfield, VA) is the ham capital of the world.  Both come from towns with a slower, more thoughtful pace – grounded in tradition with a pride for their heritage.  With that heritage comes an appreciation for quality, flavor and family; why Smithfield & Yuengling make the perfect pair.

I also love incorporating as many fresh ingredients as possible into each recipe as side dishes and toppings, so I wound up doing 4 skewers on the grill as well, along with  slices of colorful bell peppers.

FOR THE SKEWERS

These turned out absolutely beautiful! I am learning that a bit of “char” to the veggies enhances the taste so much, and adds a certain rustic appearance to the food that I just love so very much. It’s so visually pleasing, and can take almost any variety of pepper, onion, or garlic, and transform it into a delicacy with very little oil or salt. These flavors compliment the brats extremely well.

I like to add a seasoning mix and olive oil to most veggies I cook, and this time, I peeled the sin off of each little pearl onion by slicing off the bottom, and just doing a twisting motion, until the top of the onion skin came off. These were so darn cute :) I skewered everything.

I thought the little pearl onions would be a cute and clever take on grilled onions that are traditionally served on a brat or hotdog. And they were so cute! The brat I made with stone ground mustard and pearl onions was delicious!

** Note – to prepare bell peppers for grilling, slice a couple slices from the middle part of the peppers to get the prettiest cuts before chopping up the rest of the peppers to boil with the brats.

FOR THE BRATS

These brats are made with premium cuts of pork and a special blend of sweet and savory spices. There is no MSG added, they were tasty and super easy to work with! All you need to do is pour your beer into a pot and turn on the stove to medium high. Chop up the remainder of the 4 bell peppers, and ¼-1/2 of a red onion, and add those to the beer. Once boiling, carefully add your brats to the hot liquid, and boil with a lid on for about 10 minutes. Make sure the internal temp is around 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, add skewers to your hot grill which should be sprayed with non-stick spray. Also, add bell pepper rings here too. These will take about 6 minutes to cook.

After your brats are boiled, add them to a hot grill. You’re basically looking to get those beautiful grill marks here, not really cooking them. They get such a nice flavor from the grill too!

It was so fun to dress up these Smithfield ™ Yuengling Brats with fresh ingredients I grilled myself! This would be a great way to get kids and possible picky eaters to enjoy more veggies, too. Everything is more fun in bright colors, and the peppers look stunning served with these brats. Bring everything in from the grill on a sheet pan, and it’s quite a beautiful display!

Have you ever cooked brats before? This was my first time, and had no problems at all – things went so smoothly, that I know you can do it too! What will you be grilling this summer?

Right now, you can save $1 when you purchase Smithfield Yuengling Bratwurst at Kroger! Stop by your local Kroger to grab some today!

Pinterest Trend: Strawberry Season

I went all in yesterday, and bought my first flat of strawberries. Can't wait to share photos and recipes, but for now, I could not wait to share a few of my favorite strawberry-related pins on the blog today. We prepped all the berries a few hours after market, because they were so ripe and ready, and if we weren't making so many smoothies lately, and freezing them, they would have all gone bad. A flat contains 8 pints of strawberries, and while I did not save but a couple of dollars buying them that way, these Farmer's Market strawberries are so much more of a vibrant red color, and they have way more taste than those we have bought in the grocery stores lately. 

From that flat, we basically set up with two cutting boards, both Bobby and I cut off al the green tips and the bruised or super soft parts of the strawberries, and then placed them cut end down on two baking sheets atop parchment paper. This way, they do not get all frozen together. We could have used 3-4 sheet pans, but I on;y have room for two pans in our freezer. 

After they froze overnight, we stored them in two gallon-sized Ziplock bags, and then ate out first smoothie, it was amazing! 

Elegant Way To Plate A Strawberry Dessert

Elegant Way To Plate A Strawberry Dessert

Strawberry Greek Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Strawberry Greek Frozen Yogurt Recipe