Monday Morning Review: 5 Perfect Summer Desserts

Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it … I have written because it fulfilled me … I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever. ~ Stephen King


I never in a million years thought I would be quoting Stephen King. I couldn’t help myself; his words express exactly how I feel (except the making a lot of dough part, sigh…) .  Seriously though, I absolutely am in love with what I do.  I get a thrill creating, gardening and taking photographs. I then have the privilege of putting it all down on paper and sharing it with you. I am pretty sure nothing I have done in the workplace has ever given me this much satisfaction.

I am thankful for the talents God has given me and watch in amazement as He brings everything together. In gratitude I desire to give back to the beautiful community I have been allowed to participate in. Starting today and continuing every Monday I will be sharing some of the things I have appreciated in the bloggy community from the previous week. Recipes, gardening, crafts, diy; everything will be on the table.  

Monday Morning Review: 5 Perfect Summer Desserts

I am excited to get started so here we go! 5 perfect summer desserts!



Monday Review: Grown-Up Mixed Berry Shortcake

Grown  Up Mixed Berry Shortcake from Erica’s Recipes is not only beautiful, it opens up new ways of thinking on what a berry shortcake could be. I love how she poaches the fresh berries in wine. Two thumbs up for this perfect summer dessert.

Monday Morning Review: Lemon Italian Ice

What could be more refreshing for dessert than a Lemon Italian Ice from three kids and a fish. Sweet and tart all at the same time. It is sure to please on a hot summer’s day.

Monday Morning Review: S'moreo Ice Cream Cookie Sandwhich

Oreo’s, chocolate, marshmallows and ice cream… oh my. Step away from my S’moreo Ice Cream Sandwich! These beautiful and tasty treats come from This Silly Girl’s Life. I think I want to hang out in her kitchen for awhile!

Monday Morning Review: Rustic cherry Tart

Cherries are in season and what better way to put them to good use then with a lovely Rustic Cherry Tart  made by About a Mom. Add a scoop of vanilla and count me in!

Monday Morning Review: Coconut Raspberry Ice Pops

No self-respecting review of 5 perfect summer desserts would be complete without an icy cold treat. What better way to represent summer than Coconut Raspberry Ice Pops from Mama’s High Strung. I love the use of coconut water and coconut milk in these pops; adding raspberries, Genius!

Monday Morning Review: 5 Perfect Summer Desserts Thanks for stopping by Pure Grace Farms today and following along with the Monday Morning Review. It’s great to see all the  beautiful things around the neighborhood. Who know’s what lies ahead in the coming week. Whatever it is I’m sure it’s delicious.




5 Perfect Summer Desserts shared with:

 *Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *The Ultimate Linky: Pinterest Party *The 21st Century Housewife: The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate Me Monday *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch * Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesday *My Paper Craze: Creative Spark  *Sweet Haute: Sweet Haute Linky Party *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *Kitchen dreaming: The Weekend Social


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Because it’s summer and the memories are just waiting to happen. ~ unknown

This weekend our four year old Grandson Edison came to play with us for the weekend. He is at that wonderful age where magic is waiting around every corner and he is bound and determined to seek it out. I love it; no guile, just wide eyed innocence and wonder. He is a joy to be around. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies Last night we took him to the fireworks display. He was happy, frightened, curious, and a bit daring all in turn and I had the privilege of remembering what it was like to be young, innocent and carefree for a small space in time. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Thankful to God for the little things in life that bring so much joy and pleasure.

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand pies are a fresh taste of summer. I envision running through tall grass in the meadows. A picnic enjoyed on a checkerboard blanket. A tall glass of sweet lemonade, potato salad, and fried chicken. All topped off with a sweet and tangy delightfully delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pie that is my own. A perfect piece of pastry that fits right in my hand! These little pies are a nod to picnics and everything summertime.

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
Serves: 6
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1½ cup rhubarb, sliced
  • 2 cup strawberries, cut in half
  • 1½ tsp orange rind, grated
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup raw sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground cracked pepper (optional)
  • 1½ tsp Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream, or 1 beaten egg white
  • pie crust (enough for double pie)
  1. Melt butter over medium high heat.
  2. Add rhubarb and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add strawberries, orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt and cracked pepper (if using). Stir gently and allow to zimmer for three minutes until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Stir in Grand Marnier (if using).
  5. Whisk together cornstarch and water. Add to simmering fruit mixture. Continue to simmer, stirring continually until mixture has thickened. (about 4-5 minutes).
  6. Place filling in refrigerator to chill.
  7. Meanwhile, roll out pastry dough to about ¼ inch thick
  8. Cut 4 inch circles, squares (or use lattice hand pie mold) from pie crust. Double pie crust should make 12 individual circles or squares.
  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  10. Once pie filling has cooled, spoon equally atop 6 of the pie cutouts.
  11. Top pie crust with filling with the remaining 6 pie crusts (optional to cut strips and make lattice to go atop the filling if pie molds are not used).
  12. Crimp the edges of the individual pies and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  13. Brush pies all over with cream or egg white and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  14. Place pies in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 375 degrees.
  15. Bake pies for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
  16. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving, filling will be hot, or serve cold.

My favorite pastry dough recipe is from Martha Stewart: Pate Brisee  It  never fails. Flaky and delicious every time. When using her Pate Brisee, chill the dough only slightly. Otherwise the dough will be a little harder to work with because of the butter content. If the dough gets to hard, let it sit for a few minutes to warm up.

Pie Mold Norpro 1042 Lattice Mini Pie Mold
 (Affiliate link from



 Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies shared with:

*New Mama Diaries: Creative Style Link Up *Mrs AOK: Mommy Monday Blog Hop *My Pinterventures: Merry Monday Linky Party *Oh My Heartsie Girl: Monday Reflections *Create with Joy: Inspire me Monday *Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *It’s a Gingersnap: Motivate Me Mondays *Plucky’s Second Thoughts *The 21st Century House Wife: The Hearth and Soul Hop *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Lou Lou Girls *Craving some Creativity: Tune it up Tuesday *Crafty Spices: Wordless Wednesday *Oh My Heartsie Girl: What I Made Wordless Wednesday *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Foody Schmoody: Wednesday Roundup *My Paper Craze: Creative Spark *Lambert’s Lately: Create it Thursday *Sweet Haute: Sweet Haute Share Linky *Momma Lews: Pin it Party *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursdays * Organized 31: Inspsire Us Thursday *The Deliberate Mom: Shine *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *The Kitchen Chopper: The Weekend Social *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *Juggling Real food and Real Life: Let’s Get Real * In the Kitchen with Jennie: Foodie Friends Friday * Coffee With Us 3: Pretty Pintatstic * The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’s * Love bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Friday’s * Creat with Joy: Friendship Friday *Natasha in Oz: Say G’Day *Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday *To Work With My Hands: Wake Up Wednesday *Pebbles and Piggytails: Saturday Dishes

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Regard it just as desirable to build a chicken house as it is to build a cathedral.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Chickens :: Pure Grace Farms I took the first step today and have decided to come clean. To say I am embarrassed, ashamed and proud all at the same time would not go too far. There will be no more sneaking on Pinterest late at night to catch a glimpse of the forbidden fruit… Google searches a thing of the past. I’m a new woman. Ready to face my addiction head on with no fear.

Chickens :: Pure Grace Farms You see, I woke up with chickens on my mind yet again this morning. Day and night these cute little feathery creatures, with antics that could make me double over in laughter, are my obsession. Today the light bulb finally came on. I see a little clearer now and I must admit it. I have a problem.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake I have begged, cried, and cajoled my poor husband to no end (with no success I might add), to bend the rules of our little community and build me a chicken coop to house a few of these little feathered friends. Unfortunately, where we live, even though the land is plentiful, there is a strict association code; no chickens allowed. The rule is archaic, biased, and just plain silly; but a rule nonetheless. I must either give up this pipe dream, head over to Chickens Anonymous or take action.

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake So, today the buck stops here (or chickens, because bucks, elk, and wild turkeys are okay with our association). I can no longer sit idly by and allow this injustice to continue. It is time to marshal a few forces and set about to change this silly rule. Stay tuned. I do have a problem…time to fix it!

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake Today’s featured recipe is a Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down cake. I searched high and low for a recipe that would pair these two Spring fruits and came up short every time. I wanted to bake something that would bring out the sweet and tart elements without overpowering either one. Most recipes called for way too much sugar, so I decided to put on my creative thinking cap and loved how this one came out. Hope you do too!

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut diagonally about ½ inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
  • 1½ cups raw sugar, divided
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter two 9 inch round cake pans.
  3. Dot each pan with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces).
  4. Toss rhubarb with ½ cup sugar; let stand for several minutes. Toss again, and spread evenly between the two cake pans.
  5. Place strawberry halves between rhubarb, cut side up, dividing evenly between the two cake pans.
  6. Once rhubarb and strawberries are prepared, make cake batter.
  7. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1½ teaspoons salt in medium size bowl and set aside.
  8. Beat remaining stick of butter and 1 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  9. Add lemon juice and zest, beat well.
  10. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl.
  11. Add flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with buttermilk, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb, dividing evenly between the two pans.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  13. Remove cakes from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto plates, being careful of the hot rhubarb topping. Don't wait until cake is entirely cooled as rhubarb mixture will stick.
  14. Optional: once cakes are cooled, cake may be wrapped and frozen.

 Inspiration from Martha Stewarts Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake Recipe was shared with:

The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’s

Juggling Real Food and Real Life: Let’s Get Real

Le Moine Family Kitchen: The Wednesday Roundup

Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday

The 21st Century Housewife: Heart and Soul Thursday Blog Hop

Living Well, Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday

Make Ahead Meals for busy Moms: Melt in Your Mouth Monday

3 Easy Ways to Freeze Strawberries

Poetry and music are very good friends. Like mommies and daddies and strawberries and cream – they go together.- Nikki Giovanni

Strawberries are a sure signal that summer has arrived and is one of the first things I harvest out of my garden.

3 Easy Ways to Freeze Strawberries I can hardly wait for those beautiful white flowers to emerge and watch closely the progression from pale green little nobs into bright red juicy gems. In the beginning only one or two are ripe for the picking, and I have to admit, I can act like a bear just emerging from hibernation after a long winter… don’t mess with my berries!

3 Easy Ways to Freeze Strawberries One of the way’s I enjoy the pleasure of these summer strawberries all year long is by preserving them in the freezer. I have tried several methods but have found three that work best for me. I use brown sugar or honey for the Lightly Sweetened Syrup Pack, and the Dry Sugar Pack methods. In my experience, I’ve noticed that white sugar tends to bleach out the berries when thawed, but brown sugar seems to help them retain their color, and as a bonus lends a fresher taste to the strawberries as well. Honey can have a very distinctive flavor so it is important to use a milder form, like Clover, Locust, or Alfalfa. Honey is also sweeter cup for cup than sugar, so use about half as much as you would when using sugar. 

3 Easy Ways to Freeze Strawberries A few tips before you start – Always choose the freshest quality strawberries available for best results and taste. Wash your berries lightly right before preparing them and then hull your berries, this helps to prevent your berries from taking on too much water which can lead to waterlogged and mushy results. Always allow berries to air dry or lightly pat dry with paper towel, taking care not to bruise the berries while doing so. Water when frozen on berries causes an icy buildup which can reduce the quality of your berries and shorten their freezer life.

Method 1 – Freezing Strawberries Whole

Freezing Strawberries Whole
THINGS YOU WILL NEED: Colander. Paring knife or strawberry huller. Baking sheet. Wax or parchment paper. Heavy duty freezer bag or vacuum sealer.
  • Strawberries
  1. Prepare strawberries by lightly rinsing to remove any dirt or debris and hull with a small paring knife or a strawberry huller (I like to remove the stem and a small amount of strawberry at the top to make an even edge so the berries will sit more easily on the baking sheet).
  2. Allow strawberries to air dry or lightly pat dry with paper towel taking care not to crush or bruise them.
  3. Prepare your baking sheet by placing wax paper or parchment paper on top.
  4. Place berries cut or hulled side down on baking sheet spaced where they are not touching.
  5. Place in coldest part of freezer and freeze until completely solid.
  6. Remove berries from freezer and place in heavy duty freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and close or use vacuum sealer.
  7. Label, date and return to freezer.

Method 2 – Dry Sugar Pack

Method 3 – Light Syrup Pack

Shared on Thank Goodness It’s ThursdayLet’s get Real and Sweet Haute Link Up Parties where you will find other great tips, recipes, craft ideas and DIY’s.