June 11, 2015

Blueberry and Almond Puff Pastry Pies



One way to win your man's heart over and over again is through a delicious blueberry and almond puffy pastry pie.  I'm telling you-it works.  Every time I make these I get a bunch of extra kisses and hugs from Matt.  He gets pretty giddy if I tell him I'm about to make the "pastry pies!"  So, if you are looking to impress your significant other, these will do the trick.

This recipe is easy breezy.  Someone who knows nothing about cooking or baking could make these and wow their family and friends.  It take such little time and even less effort.


I can't keep these in the house for long.  They are gone within 24 hours- I mean, can you blame me?

I have tried this recipe with apples too, and even though it turned out great, the blueberry version takes the cake.  That's because, in the hot oven, the blueberries pop and release all of their aromatic juices which mixes in with the rest of the ingredients and creates a flavor explosion in your mouth.  O.M.G.


I like to put almonds on top of mine but they are also amazing with some vanilla ice cream (Matt's favorite way) or fresh whipped cream as a topping.

Now that I think about it, I don't think you can go wrong with putting all 3 of those toppings on.  Almonds plus vanilla ice cream plus whipped cream.  Yummy!  I'm making a mental note of that for the future.

I hope you enjoy these!! 


BLUEBERRY AND ALMOND PUFF PASTRY PIES

Ingredients

1 small container of fresh blueberries (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp. white granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed at room temp for about 20-30 minutes (will still be cold when you use it)
1 Tbsp butter
confectioners sugar for sprinkling 
extra sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a small bowl, stir together the blueberries, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 10-inch square.  Cut the pastry into four quarters and place each piece on a well sprayed cookie sheet.

Divide the blueberry mixture between the 4 puff pastry squares, dot with butter, and fold the edges of the pastry about 1/2-inch over on all sides.

Sprinkle with some extra sugar!

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm.  Garnish with almonds and confectioner's sugar or your favorite topping.  Serves 4.

ENJOY!!

May 22, 2015

How to Grow A Lemon Tree From a Seed // Part 2: Planting Your Seeds!


Hey everyone! Today is part deux of my 'How to Grow a Lemon Tree from a Seed' tutorial.  Part one was covered last week.  This has become a really fun post for me and I am really enjoying teaching you how to do it. 

Let's get right into it, shall we?

To to pick up where we left off, your seedling bag (that you have kept in a warm dry place) should be moldy and gross by now.   Don't freak.  Remember, I said this would happen. 

Open it up and take a look at your seeds.  They should be sprouting by now (day 7-9ish).  If they are- great! They are ready to be planted.  If there are any that have not sprouted, just throw them away.  They may not have been viable. 

Aren't they so cute?!

Okay.  One of the most important things you need is a good citrus friendly soil.  Regular potting soil isn't going to cut it.  Citrus plants are picky!  I recommend this Miracle Grow potting soil, specifically made for citrus, cactus, and palm plants.  You can get it at Home Depot or Lowe's in the garden center for less than $5.  

This soil is perfect because it's fast-draining (you don't want your citrus plants sitting in saturated soil) and it is made specifically for citrus plants.  

Now it's time to plant your seeds.  I like to use these small plastic cups because they are cheap, easy to work with, and I can throw them away later down the road once the plants get bigger. 

It's also easier to sit small cups on my window sil rather than large pots.  I feel like I can manage them better this way.

*Cut a small hole in the bottom before you put in your soil so the water can drain out properly!

Fill your cups up with soil.  You don't need to fill them all the way to the top.  Just leave about an inch or so of space.

Label each cup with the name of the plant (lemon, tangerine, etc...) and the date so you can keep track of your progress over the next few weeks and months. 

Dig a small hole with your index finger.  Just about an inch deep is all you need, nothing more or it will not grow correctly.

It's time to plant your seeds! Yay! Place one seed in each cup until all seeds are planted.  Gently cover each seed with soil so that no seeds are visible.   Note: Do not pack in the soil tightly! Just lightly cover. 

Your citrus seeds want slightly moist soil.  They do not thrive in a heavily saturated environment.  They need to be watered every other day.  Only give them about 2-3 tablespoons of water at a time.  That's all I did and it worked great!   

SUNLIGHT! BRIGHT SUNLIGHT!  Keep your seed cups in a place that gets maximum sun exposure! I keep mine inside my apartment on a window sil.  They have done perfectly there.  On warmer days (70-80 degrees) I will put them on my porch to get some fresh air.



Your seeds will start growing in a matter of days! It's so exciting!

Next week I will be back with Part 3.  I will share some of my before and after pictures and finally show you what my lemon and tangerine trees look like by now after many months of growth.   I will also offer some more tips on how to keep your plants thriving once they get bigger.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! 

May 21, 2015

MATRICK & EVE DESIGNS: Lovely Feminine and Fun Stationary + GIVEAWAY!

I was recently contacted by Matrick & Eve to do a review of some of their products for my blog.  I was SO excited about this opportunity as I love fun and feminine stationary designs and sharing my favorite things with you. 

Matrick & Eve is a wonderful brand.  They have such an amazing selection of beautiful products with bright fun colors and unique designs.  I love that there are still companies out there who create and sell stationary.  Writing hand written cards is something I often do, especially since we live in such a digital world now.  Sending a 'Thank You' card or a party invitation in the mail is often overlooked nowadays as it's much easier to do it via email or other social mediums.  But in my opinion, there is something special about getting a personalized greeting card or invitation in the mail.  It's exciting and always appreciated! 

You may have heard of Matrick & Eve or ran into some of their products unknowingly.  They sell a lot of their beautiful stationary designs in countless boutiques and retail stores around the country, even in the popular women's clothing store, Franchesca's


Look at how chic and feminine these designs are: polka dots, pinks, hearts, golds....just absolutely lovely.  They sell greeting cards, party invitations, coasters, note cards, recipe cards, book marks, and more!  

Stylish bookmark for your favorite reading material. 

I love to cook so when I saw these sweet recipe cards, I was immediately giddy.  So pretty! I keep all of my hundreds of recipes in a box on top of my refrigerator.  It is very unorganized and messy and it drives me crazy because I can't grab what I need to without having to sift through a million papers.  However, since I got these recipe cards, I have been using them to slowly transfer my recipes over so they will be more organized and easy to find.   

Being organized in the kitchen is really important as it makes cooking less stressful.

A sweet greeting card that is blank on the inside for your own personalization.  I love the gray and white polka dots.  This would be perfect to send to a family or friend who lives far away that you want to catch up with. 


This white and pink Hello Darling greeting card set comes with matching envelopes with a black and white striped design on the inside.  This is such a hot trend right now and I hope it never goes away.   My wedding invitations had a really cool design on the inside of the envelope, kind of like this one- it was my favorite part of the invitations by far. 

The Best Ideas Ever book is a small white paged booklet that you can organize your daily thoughts in.  It is absolutely PERFECT for all you bloggers out there who need to write down blog post ideas in.  Keep it in your purse and when you think of a post idea, jot it down so you don't forget! 

Can we talk about how adorable these party invitations are?!  I'm gushing! I love the combination of pink and gold here.  Gold is SO in right now and isn't going out of style anytime soon, if ever.  The polka dots give it such a fun and flirty feel.

I think I will have to host a cocktail party soon just so I can use these invitations. :)


And my favorite of all the designs has to be these simple gold and white North Carolina celebration party coasters.  So adorable.  I'm a North Carolina girl at heart so these were an insta-fav.  They are lightweight and reuseable.  Perfect for any occasion!  

Visit the Matrick & Eve website for more amazing products!

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!
Today I'm giving away Matrick & Eve products to one lucky Buttergirl Diaries reader!
 RULES: YOU MUST ENTER BELOW THEN LEAVE A BLOG POST COMMENT, TELLING ME WHICH OF THESE ITEMS YOU WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE MOST AND WHY! :)

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON FRIDAY MAY 29th! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 18, 2015

Weekend. Link. Love. (#2)

I love this new little Monday series, Weekend. Link. Love.  It's all about my weekend happenings, my favorite links, and new things I love.

Over the weekend I really ramped up my fitness.  I let it go for a little while but I am determined to get back into the grind of constant running and working out.  I ran almost every day last week, 3-4 miles a day.   For intense leg exercises, I have been running up and down the stairs at the nearby lake.  It hurts like hell but it is so worth it in the end.  These activities combined, make for an amazing workout routine.  You should definitely take up running if you need to get in shape.

Saturday night called for some healthy treats.  I made a bunch of my almond meal snicker doodles.  They are amazing guilt free snacking!!! Matt loves these.


Sunday was beautiful so we hit up Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh.  It was so hot outside that I had to wear double the amount of sunscreen.  But I didn't get burned thankfully.  #SPF100


This is the ONLY picture I took at Artsplosure.  Bummer.  I planned to take a ton more but I realized shortly after getting there that my wedding band was missing, aka, not on my finger! *Cue complete and utter panic mode!* I freaked out and was so anxiety ridden for the following 2 hours, wondering where it was: if I lost it at Artsplosure or if I left it at home somewhere.  Luckily when we got home, Matt found it laying on the kitchen floor.  OMG!  Huge sigh of relief.  How it got there, I do not know.  My wedding rings are irreplaceable.  I will never let that happen again.  


Here are some photos I took around the house this weekend.  I did a small food styling shoot with some of Matthew's Grandmothers old pottery and dishes.  Pretty cool, right? 

I also took some great natural light shots of the animals on the porch.  Here is Trucky sunbathing and trying not to fall asleep.  He looks warm and cozy.  I totally understand now why mom's take SO many pictures of their kids.  I do the same thing with my pets.  It's an addiction.  I have to capture every single funny thing they do.  Have to!  Natural light is amazing, isn't it? 


Are you a fan of Instagram? Me too.  I really like this video tutorial from The Wonder Forest on Tips for Editing Pretty Instagram Photos.  It's really informative and I definitely picked up some great tips that I will be implementing right now.

I am literally salivating at these ridiculously good looking Mango Chia Popsicles!

My love for this week is definitely the new Taylor Swift video for Bad Blood.  Have you seen it? O-M-G!  Such a great song and video.  Tons of celebrity cameos in it.  L-O-V-E!! 

            


May 14, 2015

How to Grow A Lemon Tree From a Seed // Part 1: Prepare Seed for Germination


Citrus plants can easily be grown inside your very own home.  As they grow they become beautiful home accent plants.  The best part? They smell amazing.  It takes years before a citrus plant will produce fruit but the process to get there is so worth it. 

I have been growing my first ever baby lemon trees (and baby tangerine trees!) since January and they are thriving so well that I can't even keep up with them.  I never thought that my tiny apartment would be suitable for growing lemons but it is and I am so thrilled.  Today I'm going to show you how you can do it too! 

A few weeks ago I showed you how to start growing your own avocado tree from a seed(PS: My avacado is ABOUT to sprout!! Soooo super duper excited!!) This week we are going to talk about how to grow a lemon tree from a seed.  Please note that this is a multiple step process and requires a lot more effort than the avocado so I am presenting it to you in three different parts.

Today I will be sharing part one: germination, the process where the plant grows from a seed.

Enjoy the tutorial!

 How to Grow A Lemon Tree From a Seed // Part 1: Prepare Seed for Germination

Gather one lemon, a sharp knife, and a cutting board.

Cut your lemon in half and remove 5 or 6 seeds.  Set them aside.  Once you are finished, put your lemon back in the refrigerator.

Sometimes (not always!) certain seeds don't make it through germination for various reasons (ex. if the seed gets cut with the knife during slicing) so you want to have a few back up seeds just in case.  That is why I recommend starting with 5 or so.  It's just better to be safe than sorry. 

Dry off seeds with a paper towel. 

Now the tedious part.  Using your finger nails, carefully pull the outer white shell off of each lemon seed.  It's not that bad, I promise.

They can be slippery suckers so if the seed keeps slipping out of your fingers then hold it with a damp paper towel for extra grip.  This worked like a charm for me and helped the process move along a lot quicker.   

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Once you are done your seed will look like this.  Repeat this step for the remaining seeds.

Next, get a fairly wet (not soaking) paper towel and lay it on a flat surface.  Carefully set the seedlings on the paper towel so that they are nicely spaced out from one another.  

Fold the paper towel up so that the seeds are nicely secure inside.  Make sure it stays flat.  You don't want to ball up the paper towel in any way.  The seeds need to be sandwiched inside of the paper so that they are completely surrounded by moisture.

Put the moist paper towel into a zip lock bag and zip it so that no air can enter.  Label it with the name of the seed and the date.

Important!  Store your seedling bag in a warm area of your home!  Citrus plants are grown in warm tropical climates so it's important that you mimic this environment as much as possible.  I like to keep my bag in the kitchen on top of my refrigerator.  It gets really warm in there from all the cooking and bright lights so they thrive exceptionally well here. 

In about a week (7-9 days) the seeds will sprout and will be ready to plant.  It's so exciting.  Please do not freak out if you see scary mold spores growing in your bag.  This is normal and expected!!

Next week I will share Part 2: Planting Your Seeds!