Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day Photo Shoot & Gift

I did a lot of searching online for Father's Day ideas and how to include the kids in making the gift for Father's Day. I discovered many photo shoots of the kids along with prop ideas and framing ideas. You can check out many of the ideas I came upon on my Pinterest board about Father's Day. I took a few of these ideas and combined them to get what you see above.

I really liked the idea of the kids finishing the sentence I love Daddy because... and using their answer in the photo shoot. I also thought it was really cute to see kids dressed in their Father's work clothes. I think it would make a nice sequence if we did it year after year to see how much they have grown. I also really like the sign for I love you in sign language, I grew up using it with my mom and have used it with the kids so I really liked the tracing of the child's hand and having it folded to say I love you in sign language and holding a heart.

Each of the kids also answered questions about Daddy (like what is his favorite food, what does he do at work, what is is favorite thing to do, etc). I plan to do that year after year as well and see how the answers change.

I would love to hear of other ideas that you come up with so I can start coming up with things for next year or birthday which is right around the corner. :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ricotta Stuffed Apricots

The other day at the super market I saw these beautiful orange apricots and felt like I really needed to find a way to use them. I decided to experiment with making stuffed apricots with sour cream or ricotta and rosemary.

I ended up trying out both and found that I really preferred the ricotta because there is already a lot of tartness from the apricots so the sour of the sour cream did not counter that flavor enough for me. I added a little bit of finely chopped rosemary and maple syrup to the cheese, scooped the mix into the apricot and broiled it until the cheese was just lightly browned.

The combination was amazing. I tart flavor of the apricots combined with the slightly sweet cheese and woodsy rosemary was amazing. I was mostly amazed at how filling this was considering the small size of an apricot and the small dollop of ricotta it takes to fill the space where the pit was.

This recipe became my breakfast for the next few days and I am sure to revisit it throughout the apricot season.


2 firm but ripe apricots cut in half with the pit removed
2 tablespoons ricotta
1/8 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (sprinkle it in starting with half the amount and then taste to see if you want to add the full amount)
2 teaspoons maple syrup plus a slight drizzle for the top

Mix the cheese, rosemary and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup together. Scoop into the place where the pit was in the apricot filling generously. Drizzle very slightly with maple syrup. Broil until lightly browned.


My kids preferred to eat the ricotta mix on slices of apple. Another version of this uses cinnamon and vanilla in the ricotta with some maple syrup. This makes a great dip for apples. 

UPDATE: A Vegan Version I just made recently that is amazing:
 You make these the same way as the non-vegan version but I made cashew cheese to go in them instead of ricotta or mascarpone. Here is the deal with cashew cheese:

Fill a large container (that can hold at least 4-6 cups of stuff with 1 cup of raw cashews and the rest with boiled water that has cooled just for a minute or two. Allow it to sit at least 1 hour but it is even better (smoother end result) if you can let it sit all day or over night and most of the day. 

Next drain the water into a measuring cup and add to the cashews about 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 cup of the reserved water. Using a very good blender (Vitamix or that sort) or an immersion blender on high speed mix these together until smooth. If it does not seem to be blending you may need to add a bit more water but be cautious about this and take it slow doing it just a tablespoon at a time. You want this to be very smooth and thick about the texture of mascarpone cheese. 

Follow the rest of the recipe as above in the non-vegan version.