On the Goodness of Summer

I don’t know about you, but I feel like this summer had me running round like a chicken with it’s head cut off. In other words: it was crazy. Between baking, blogging, cookbook reviewing, giving birth, helping my hubby out with his graphic/web design business, and doing the daily normal mom stuff, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed

Somewhere during all that I actually had time to read a book – gasp – and a book on marriage, no less. And somewhere in that book the author (Francis Chan) said something about how life is like running a marathon. I’ve definitely been feeling that lately! When I was younger the years seemed to go by pretty slowly, but the older I’ve gotten, the more quickly the years go by. Now that I’m in the 30’s life seems to be swooshing past me! It seems like summer just began last week, and already school’s started up again!

So I decided to take a little from my regularly scheduled programming posting and look back on the things that have made this past summer special. Blog posts, snippets from my life, great finds from around the gluten-free/real food webbernet… those sorts of things. Hope you enjoy all my ponderings on the goodness of summer as much as I’ve enjoy digging them up for you. 😉 

Let’s start with this little bundle of joy. She swooshed into our lives one night in May in the peace, comfort (if there is such a thing during labor!), and darkness of our living room. And I literally mean swoosh. She came so fast the midwife didn’t even make it in time. My husband barely walked into the door in time to catch her! Yeah, that was probably more than you wanted to know… But hey, it’s life! 🙂

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comMy Corner of the World Wide Web

If you been around the blog very long, you’ll know that two of my favorite things (edible, of course) are chocolate, and breakfast. But over the summer I found the nerve to branch out and try a few new things, like a Cranberry Coconut DaiquiriCreamy Parmesan ColeslawElderberry Kefir, and Easy Homemade Bug Spray.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comI couldn’t stray too far from the chocolate, though, as I’ve thoroughly been enjoying these Death By Chocolate Blender Brownies I shared over at Delicious Obsessions – I seriously make them about twice a month. Other fun things that went on were Bacon Cheddar Scones, and The Ultimate Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Round-Up.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comI also spent a lot of time not baking, but rather sticking things in the freezer. ‘Cause you know, down here in the south, most of the year you don’t want to turn the oven on – no matter how much you love brownies (though I did turn it on for these delicious Chocolate Brownies). Between my kid’s popsicle fetish, and my husband’s love for ice cream (which I share, of course), I whipped up these Strawberry Coconut PopsiclesReal Food Fudgesicles with a secret ingredient, Honey Kiwi Soft ServeHomemade Mint Ice Cream with Fudge Swirl (again with a secret ingredient), and these German Chocolate Freezer Cookies that almost didn’t get shared with the fam. 😉

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comLest you should think all my summer kitchen experiments turn out lovely and delicious, let me share a picture of my second oldest’s strawberry birthday cake that I made in early July…

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comJust kidding.

Sort-of.

That’s actually pretty close, mine was just pinkEven though it was a soupy cake, she was a great sport about it and declared it delicious. 🙂 Such a merciful child. And after I stuck it in the freezer overnight it stayed together pretty well – and tasted even better. Strange cake.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comMy 3-year old’s birthday is also in July, and her cake went soooo much better. She asked for a watermelon cake, and thanks to the above pictured 4th of July Watermelon “Cake” from Fork & Beans, I knew just what to do. 😉 I shaped mine into little hearts, covered them with honey-sweetened whipping cream, shaved chocolate, and blueberries, and it was a huge hit. My husband said it was the best cake he’d ever eaten, and my 7-year old who doesn’t really like fruit even liked it!

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.com

Around the Web…

As I already mentioned, my kids were all about popsicles this summer. These Rehydrating Electrolyte Popsicles from Raising Generation Nourished are what really started things off for them.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comI also took this Watermelon Rind & Apple Pie from Poor & Gluten-Free and this Gluten-Free Plum Cobbler from Recipes to Nourish and used up the leftover rinds from my kids’ other summer obsession – watermelon – to make a delicious watermelon rind cobbler.

Don’t laugh, it really was good! My husband’s only complaint was that it wasn’t sweet enough.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.com

A few fun things I found over the summer that I’m still waiting to try are these No-Bake Coconut Cookies from the Frugal FarmwifeVegan Meringue Cookies from A Little Insanity (made with the starchy water from garbanzo beans!!! genius)Creamy Strawberry Poppyseed Kohlrabi Slaw from Healthy Helper, and Whiskey Salted Caramel Milkshakes from Wheat-Free Meat-Free. I also wouldn’t mind trying out this Bourbon Vanilla Fudge Swirl Ice Cream with Toffee Bits from Only Taste Matters and every single thing on Recipes to Nourish’s list of 70 Refreshing Summer Drinks.

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comAnd yes, I do look at things online that don’t involve food. Here’s few that I loved this past summer, just to prove my point:

10 Ways to Act Like A Grandma and Save Money from We Got Real (pictured)
The 10 Item Wardrobe from Modern Mrs. Darcy (pictured)
7 Huge Benefits of An Undisturbed First Hour After Birth from BellyBelly
Making Homemade Potato Starch from Penniless Parenting (pictured) (oh, wait, that has to do with food…)
3 Superfoods Made from Bees Other Than Honey from Grounded Approach (pictured) (that probably counts as food too, huh?)
Holistic Vaccine Detox Protocol for Babies & Children from Holistic Saffron
My Homeschool Attitude Plan from Joy In My Kitchen (pictured)
Easy DIY Calamine Lotion from the Soft Landing (pictured)
Is Fermented Cod Liver Oil the Real Deal or A Sick Hoax from Modern Alternative Mama
Friends, Don’t Let Friends Drink Essential Oils from the Barefoot Dragonfly

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.comAnd now… on to Fall!

Yes, I know there’s still technically a few weeks of summer left… 

On the Goodness of Summer | RaiasRecipes.com


This is shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays, Foodie FriDIY, From the Farm, Gluten Free FridaysRaising Homemakers, Real Food FridaysWelcome Home Wednesday.

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8 thoughts on “On the Goodness of Summer

  1. Hi Raia,
    I love your pictures of your kids. What beautiful children you have. This is really a good post filled with some many healthy delicious recipes and I love when bloggers share their pictures of their personal lives and you can see first hand the results of what they do. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.