Strawberry, Cucumber, and Mint Pimm’s Cup

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If you’ve dined at a restaurant that is even somewhat trendy over the past few years, you know that Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is everywhere. You’d think that the Pimm’s brand is relatively new given its recent popularity, but as it turns out, Pimm’s has made a pretty impressive comeback. The company, and Pimm’s No. 1 Cup specifically, dates back to the 1800s!

While cups 1-6, each based on a different varietal of liquor, have existed at one point or another, No. 1 Cup is the only cup to be mass produced to this day. And for good reason. It’s a gin-based liquor infused with a complex variety of herbs, spices, and liquors.

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is largely appealing due to the fact that it is almost always paired with citrus-infused sparkling water and an interesting combination of fresh fruit, resulting in an extremely refreshing cocktail. Further, the different combinations of fruit that can be used are endless. 

At this point, I think it goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. While it is great year-round, I particularly love it in the summer, when fresh fruit is abundant. Thus, with summer’s end right around the corner (*sigh*), I thought I’d share one of my favorite preparations with you guys. Happy Friyay!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 lime slices
  • 5 strawberry slices
  • 5 cucumber slices
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 oz. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
  • Sparkling water

What you’ll do:

  • Place the lime, strawberry, cucumber, and mint in the bottom of a highball glass; generously muddle
  • Next, place the the ice cubes on top of the aforementioned ingredients; pour the Pimm’s, followed by the sparkling water, over the ice
  • Stir and garnish as desired

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Nature-Inspired Gallery Wall

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Hey, y’all! I had so much fun putting this gallery wall together, and I am so pleased with the results that I couldn’t help but share. Of course, there are countless ways in which a gallery wall can be put together, but I will at the very least share the thought process behind mine.

Personally, I think that gallery walls should share both a color scheme and a common theme (shout out to my poets who don’t know it). As you can see from the photos, I went for both vibrant and muted earth tones, with turquoises and greens taking center stage. Furthermore, I went with a nature-inspired theme, with some pieces being straightforward and other pieces being abstract.

I love gallery walls because they say so much about who you are and completely set the tone of your space. I also love photo ledge shelves in particular, because they allow you to switch up your gallery as often as you’d like without having to potentially put new holes in the wall. I purchased mine from IKEA, which offers two different sizes: large (pictured) and small.

While I typically love symmetry and perfect alignment, Dan dared me to step outside the box and stagger the shelves, and I’m so happy that I did! I think staggering them adds a certain element of interest. As it turns out, perfection is often quite boring. ;)

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Top shelf, left to right: 1) frame from World Market and art print by TheClay Play via Etsy // 2) frame from World Market and postcard print a freebie in an Anthropologie shipment // 3) frame from West Elm and art print by Cat Coquillette via Society6 // 4) tile gifted from Dan via Moravian Pottery & Tile Works in Doylestown, PA // 5) frame from Michael’s (old) and photography by yours truly

Bottom shelf, left to right: 1) frame handmade by Dan and antique map from MySunshineVintage via Etsy // 2) frame from World Market and art print by TheClay Play via Etsy // 3) frame from West Elm and art print from Amy Sia via Society6 // 4) frame from World Market and card from my ABM Happy Mail subscription // 5) frame a hand-me-down from my mom and photography by yours truly

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Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding (V, GF)

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I get it. It sounds crazy and maybe kinda gross, but don’t knock it until you try it. In fact, I would argue that I enjoy avocado pudding more than actual pudding. With it tasting better and being a much healthier option than the real deal, what’s not to love?

Be warned: avocado pudding is decadent and a little goes a long way in the satisfaction department. I topped my serving with vegan chocolate chips, but nuts, berries, and shaved coconut are great options as well. This recipe yields enough to feed two really hungry people, but is probably better suited for four people after a healthy dinner. :)

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 large avocados, pitted and skinned
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. sprouted chia seed and flax powder (or something of the like)
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Vegan chocolate chips for garnish

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients, minus the chocolate chips, in a food processor; blend until smooth
  • Spoon into serving bowls (or in my case, mugs) and top with desired amount of chocolate chips

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Fig & Balsamic Preserves (Pectin-Free and Sugar-Free)

 

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I love love love figs, but sadly, their season is so short. That explains why, this season, I had my heart set on making fig preserves the second I saw fresh figs on grocery store shelves. After recently learning just how simple it is to make small-batch preserves/jams, I’m all about prolonging the life of my favorite fruits – particularly, those that are highly seasonal.

This particular jam features balsamic vinegar to add the perfect amount of acidity. Meanwhile, fresh lemon acts as a natural source of pectin and a small amount of raw honey acts as a natural sweetener. Any cheese lover knows that fig preserves make for an incredible addition to any cheese plate, which is the means in which I first gave this recipe a taste test and decided it was a keeper. I mean, what’s not to love about gourmet cheese paired with sweet jam paired with fresh and dried fruit paired with delicious gluten-free crackers paired with crunchy and salty nuts? Nothing, I say!

Pictured in the post is one of my all-time favorite cheeses, Trader Joe’s Creamy Toscano Soaked in Syrah. This cheese is the best of both worlds: top-notch and highly affordable. TJ’s describes this cheese as combining “the robust nutty characteristics of aged Parmesan with a creamy farmstead cheddar.”

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Clockwise: TJ’s Creamy Tuscano, pink lady apple slices, gluten-free caraway crackers, Medjool dates, creamed local honey, fig preserves surrounded by fresh figs, macadamia nuts, pistachios, crumbled goat cheese, and golden raisins.

Being that I’m in the midst of a stretch of weekend night shifts as I write this, and being that Dan and I leave for our long-anticipated road trip in a little over a week (eeek!), I thought the tea towel that I used in this shoot was more than fitting. Aside from spending quality time with my extraordinary friends and family, enjoying an incredible meal (eating well) and exploring the world around me (traveling) are the times in which I feel most fulfilled. While it’s important to work hard, it’s infinitely more important to take the time out of your day-to-day and do what makes you tick. On that note, Happy Weekend. :)

Note: Makes enough to fill one half-pint (8 oz.) mason jar.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. brown turkey figs, de-stemmed and chopped into eigths
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

What you’ll do:

  • Combine prepped figs, lemon juice and zest, and honey in a medium pot
  • Turn the burner to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often
  • Once 10 minutes have elapsed, stir in the balsamic vinegar
  • Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often and using a masher to ensure that all large pieces are broken up
  • Spoon into a mason jar and refrigerate

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