October is just about over – and it’s been full of apples and pumpkins and and football – oh my!
But besides the peak month of fall, October is very important for another reason – it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. Sadly, I bet a good number of us out there know someone somewhere who is living with, has conquered, or worse yet has lost their battle with this devastating disease that affects not only the person experiencing it, but their family and friends as well.
And unfortunately enough, it’s hit very close to home to us recently. Back in 2003, my Aunt Patti was diagnosed with breast cancer – and man did she kick it’s ass! By 2008, she was five-years cancer free and it was a thing of the past, never to show it’s ugly face again. Until this August, when some strange symptoms lead to the discovery that not only was it back, but it had metastasized to her liver. WTF cancer – I thought we made it clear you’re not welcome here b’otch! And while I wish that Breast Cancer was the ugly, long nailed wench with stiletto heels that I envision it being, and I could just put it on a one-way flight to Antartica, unfortunately it’s not the case.
Patti is wife to my amazing Uncle Kevin, and mother to my 3 beautiful cousins, Beth, Catilyn and Krissy, 2 sweet pooches, Maggie & Beau. Our families have always been close – growing up as an only child, Beth, Caitlyn & Krissy were the sisters I never had and still to this day, we have this amazing capability to pick right up where we left off, no matter how much time has passed, and act as silly and stupid as we did when we were 8. Patty & Kevin and the girls moved down South when we were still pretty young, so during the summer months, we would reunite on Cape Cod, making up for lost time by riding bikes, going to the beach, and spending as much time together as possible. In college, I spent one of the funnest summer’s of my life living with them at their Cape House, and this coming June, it will be the backdrop for my cousin Beth’s wedding, which cannot come soon enough! In the mean time, they’re taking things one day at a time, thinking happy thoughts, and even blogging about Patti’s daily progress which is a great idea to keep everyone informed. They even came out with a special Pink Patti Murphy Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet which are already flying off the shelves!
The Murphy’s are amazing cooks (Beth even went to cooking school – now that’s legit) and one dessert that reminds me of them and the Cape, is their lemonade ice cream pie – the simplest of concoctions that on a hot summer day is better than any ice cream cone you could buy. So while it’s fall, and the bathing suits have officially been swapped out for sweaters, today’s recipe is a summer throwback – that’s pink for Patti 🙂
Mini Pink Lemonade Ice-Cream Pies
*Adapted from Betty Crocker
*yields about 12 mini-pies, with ice cream left over
10 graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
(I used the food processor to get a fine crumb)
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
4 cups vanilla ice cream or yogurt
1 – 8oz tub of whipped topping
(I used fat-free)
4-6 individual Crystal Light Pink Lemonade packets
(depending on how ‘lemonade’ey’ you want it to be)
*red food coloring
(this is optional, in case the crystal light doesn’t give you the desired level of ‘pink’ coloring that you desire)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar together until well combined.
3) Using a 12-muffin tin, take about 1/4 cup of the graham cracker mixture and press in bottom and up the sides of each muffin slot.
4) Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crusts are golden brown. You’ll notice that the crust may rise a bit while baking. You can actually push it back down with your fingers so that it doesn’t take away space for the ice-cream mixture.
5) Once the crusts have cooled, fill each one with the pink lemonade ice cream mixture (you’ll definitely have some left over). If you’d like, you can sprinkle the tops with graham cracker crumbs or sprinkles, depending on if you like a little texture or not.
6) Let sit in the freezer for 3-4 hours until the ice cream has completely set.
7) Remove muffin tin from the freezer and let the pies sit for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you can stick a knife in to pop them out.
These are amazingly cute, pink and delicious! Something about the taste of lemonade always brings me right back to summer.
So to everyone out there who is battling the Breast Cancer, you’re in the thoughts and prayers of people all over the world, not only this month, but always.
And to Patti, Kevin, Beth, Caitlyn, Krissy, Beau and Maggie, I’m thinking of you guys everyday and very much looking forward to June, when that ugly wench is far, far away, and we’re all together at the Cape, celebrating nothing but happy times with Lemonade Ice Cream Pie 🙂
It’s the last week of summer (I know – sniff, sniff). That means there is one week left to:
1) Strut around in your bikini (or one-piece with conservative coverup) while the weather is still nice
2) Capitalize on the freshest produce of the year!
And these next recipes will be nothing but bikini friendly. In only a couple short weeks, it’ll be time to stuff ourselves in sweaters and shovel in the chilli w/ cheese, sour cream and fritos while watching Sunday football. HOWEVER, until then, let’s keep it on the skinny, shall we?
This Summer Bruschetta is SOO freaking delish, a take-off on that delightful Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad. I think I’ve made it about 7596943 times this summer. It’s easy – it’s healthy – and there’s no better way to showcase one of summer’s star veggie-fruits than with bruschetta.
1 large package of heirloom tomatoes, chopped or pulsed a few times in the food processor (about 2 cups)
(I like to use the different colored ones, but all red would do too)
1 tbsp. lite italian dressing
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese
8-10 large basil leaves, chopped
1) Chop tomatoes into small pieces or pulse in the food processor a few times until they reach your desired size. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together italian dressing, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic. Pour mixture over the chopped tomatoes and fold with a spatula.
3) Add fat-free feta cheese and chopped basil and fold into tomato/dressing mixture.
4) Let the mix sit for at least 1/2 hour. I personally like letting it sit at room temperature (cold tomatoes = yucka) but you could also chill it in the refridgerator.
5) Serve on sliced french bread or crackers!
You can adjust this recipe as you see fit, adding more/less basil & feta cheese, but the ENTIRE bowl of bruschetta (minus the bread/crackers) is only 3 WW points – 3. Whole thing. Chilli can wait!
I can smell summer – this weekend is Memorial Day, which is like the unofficial kickoff of most people’s favorite season of the year (for me, it’s a close tie with fall – and I kind of like winter too? I know – weird)
But with summer comes all this delicious fresh produce! Tomatoes yanked right off of the vine – corn fresh out of the husk – it’s the season for grilled meats, salads and salsas and cocktails served in frosty glasses with drink umbrellas by cute pool boys who spray you with water if you get too hot…
Wait a minute – I’m getting ahead of myself here. It’s pouring rain outside right now – can you tell that I’m fantasizing as I’m typing this?
Well back to the rainy reality of the moment – until the time comes that you can be waited on hand and foot by a cute cabana boy, try this Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad. It went perfectly with steak that we made on the grill, but it could also serve as a hearty salsa with salty chips and icy margharitas.
Is it Friday yet?
Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad
Adapted from Skinny Taste
1/4 red onion, chopped fine
juice of 2 limes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup fat free Italian Dressing
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup canned black beans , drained and rinsed
1 cups frozen corn (or canned, or fresh, whatever ya have)
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1) Combine red onions, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, italian dressing, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2) Add chopped tomatoes, black beans, corn and cilantro and let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour.
Perfect for your Memorial Day cookout this weekend, pool boys or no pool boys 🙂