Monday, July 22, 2013

The Island Muncie

Have you ever been to The Island Muncie?  Its a fantastic little oasis in Muncie!

Order a cold treat, find a comfy chair in the sand to relax, and just chill out with the sound of the waterfall in the background while you wait for someone to deliver your refreshing snack.  What could be more relaxing than that?  Oh, except I was there with two high-energy boys who wanted to chase a couple bees they spotted.  Yeah, not so relaxing.  But still fun!  Plus we got to mark another item off our Summer Fun List.

We each ordered something different and they were all absolutely delicious!  I had a pineapple juice float, Rob had a root beer float, Robby had a brownie turtle sundae, and Andrew had a mango smoothie.

The Island Muncie is open daily from 5pm until dark during the warmer months of the year.  Parking is in the trailhead lot on McGalliard, just west of Olive Garden.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Tart with Lemon Whipped Cream

With the cooler temperatures that arrived today, I decided to do a little baking.  I wanted to use up some bulk blueberries I got from Marsh.  I had already used most of them to make and freeze blueberry sauce that can be used for pancakes, ice cream, cheesecakes, etc., but I had 4 cups I set aside to bake something.

Lemon is a great combination with blueberries, but I didn't have any lemons on hand.  I did, however, have a jar of lemon curd from Trader Joe's in the cupboard.  That led me to improvise this great tart that we all loved.  

Blueberry Lemon Tart with Lemon Whipped Cream

Pastry for a single crust tart, pre-baked and cooled
4 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon curd (I used Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, bring 1/4 cup water and 1 1/2 cups of the berries to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries begin to break down, 3 to 4 minutes.  

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; stir into berries in pan. Add sugar, 1 TBS lemon curd, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, stirring, just until mixture begins to thicken, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat. 

Stir in remaining 2 1/2 cups fresh berries. Immediately pour hot berry mixture into pre-baked tart shell, and smooth with a spatula.  Cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate.

Whip heavy cream until it is very thick.  With beater still running, slowly add 1 TBS lemon curd.  Whip until stiff.  Spread lemon cream over tart using an offset spatula.  

Adapted from Blueberry Tart Recipe

Heat Wave!

I apologize that my blog has been on a bit of a break lately with the recent heat wave. Its hard to find much to write about when its so hot! We haven't been going on any fun outings. I haven't turned the oven or even cooked much at all. I've basically just been hiding out in the A/C.

Andrew attended mornings at Cardinal Kids Camp all week.  It was a "water week" and he got to spend every morning playing fun water games.  He had a blast and was happy to go each day.

Robby opted not to sign up for a camp and spent much of each morning reading.  I recently signed him up for an account on Goodreads and together we inputed a bunch of books he's read recently and enjoyed.  Now, the app is giving him lots of great recommendations on other books he might like. It is so pleasant to take him to the library and let him find the books the app suggests instead of me looking for books he might like and him rejecting them over and over.

In the afternoons, the boys spent a lot of time playing with Legos.  I enjoyed seeing the Legos get so much use after months and months of them just taking up space in the living room.  Andrew built a "Super Duper Glider".

On Tuesday afternoon, I let the kids watch the original "Karate Kid" movie for the first time.  They loved it! Andrew spent the rest of the afternoon acting out scenes with a stuffed snake around his head and a rope around his waist.

Several evenings, we went to the pool after the sun was no longer beating down directly overhead.  By that time of day, it was actually pleasant to sit in the shade near the water and watch the kids play.

Even our cat, Oliver, thought it was too hot to stay outside for long!  Thankfully, this heat wave seems to be over now and hopefully we can get back to some more exciting summer activities.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

I have been on a big quick bread baking kick lately.  Its a easy and tasty way to use many of the different fruits, and even some vegetables, that are in season right now.

My kids, who will eat almost anything, are actually quite picky when it comes to breakfast food.  They are not fond of the usual (and easy) choices like cereal or oatmeal. So lately, I've been giving them a slice of quick bread, some fruit, and greek yogurt and they've been happy with that.

Last week, my sister's family came down from Minnesota to visit us for the Fourth of July week.  My kids sure had a blast playing with their cousins!  We went through a lot of food with 9 people in the house, but when they left they left us with three very ripe bananas on the counter.  So, I baked a loaf of my favorite banana bread.


• 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
• 2 large eggs
• 3 tablespoons rum (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (can substitute softened butter)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
• 1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Thoroughly mix mashed banana, eggs, rum, vanilla, sugar, yogurt, and coconut oil.  Add flour, soda, and salt and stir just until moist.  Do not overmix.  Fold in 1/2 cup coconut.  

Spoon batter into pan and sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon coconut. 

Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. 

Whisk together powdered sugar and juice and drizzle it over the warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light.