Monday, 24 August 2015

Robert's Creek

Sydney and I have just returned from a wonderful four days away with our friends Angela, Elizabeth and Marcus at the beautiful seaside town of Robert's Creek on the Sunshine Coast.

Angela invited Syd and I to join her and the kids in their beautiful rental beach house right on the ocean.  It was amazing!  The kids had the best time exploring in the creek, on the beach and roaming around the back yard until they dropped into bed exhausted from all the fresh air and sunshine.

It was such a fun time together getting to know Angela and the kids on a deeper level and exploring around the area.

We took a long ride to Ruby Lake one day and had the best day swimming in the lake and having a picnic on the beach and swinging on the rope swing into the lake.

And of course spent many an afternoon enjoying the beach once the tide had gone out.

We loved the little village of Robert's Creek, especially the sweet Gumboot Cafe and the kids absolutely loved the rock and gem store there too.

Sydney loved seeing the mandela which was just freshly painted at the local park searching around for the one that her cousin Avior and his parents had painted a couple of weeks earlier when they were there.

We took the kids on a little hike in Cliff Gilker Park as well, it was so beautiful and fun to see how much of nature the kids enjoyed.

Sydney always loves the ferry rides too, such a fun part of the adventure of getting there! 

What a wonderful summer getaway that we won't soon forget!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Blueberry Buns

Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around my Grandma's baking.  I can still taste those delicious chocolate chip cookies that she would often bring over in a very special gold tin that she used for years and years to transport baking back and forth from our house to hers. 

Every year around my Grandma's birthday in October I try and bake something that reminds me of her and it has become a sweet tradition for Sydney and I together so when Sydney's Grandma, her beloved Bubbie, passed away this past fall I knew that we needed to carry on this same tradition for her birthday in July.

We are a little late in honouring Bubbie with our baking but this morning Sydney and I made a batch of blueberry buns, Bubbie's famous sweet buns filled with fresh blueberry filling that she made faithfully every summer with blueberries that she fetched straight from the farm.

With our visit to Emma Lea Farms to pick berries yesterday I knew that we were meant to make this very special treat.

Sydney was such a great helper, rolling out the dough, mixing the blueberry filling, pinching the buns shut and doing the egg wash over top before they went in the oven.  It was a very special morning together and they turned out super well, I was impressed!

Here's the recipe so that I can remember it in the years to come as pieced together by many phone calls and e-mails with Sydney's Auntie Elaine:

Blueberry Buns

Sweet Dough:

4.5 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp salt
5 cups flour
3 eggs

Mix yeast with warm water in a medium bowl and set aside for ten minutes.  In a small saucepan heat milk, shortening, sugar and salt until warm.  Pour into large mixing bowl of stand mixer.  Beat in 2 cups of flour until well mixed.  Add yeast and eggs.  Beat well, scrape sides of bowl.  Add flour in 1/2 cup increments until you've added the full five cups and a soft dough forms.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease top too.  Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.


5 cups blueberries
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Mix together in large bowl.

When dough has risen roll out and cut into circles.  Heap a bunch of blueberries in the middle then pinch bun together followed by final pinch and roll over of the dough on the top to ensure the bun is well sealed so the filling doesn't ooze out while baking.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and allow to rise for about 10-15 minutes.   Brush on an egg wash (one egg yolk with 1 TBSP of water mixed together) before baking in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Cool well before eating.

I made 16 in total this year but they were pretty huge!  The recipe should probably make closer to 20 or more even if you made them smaller. 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

August Long Weekend

We are smack dab in the middle of a beautiful, sunny August long weekend.  It feels strange, as though it should almost be Labour Day already, as the weather has been so hot for so long that it truly is an endless summer this year!

Sydney just finished up a week of Pony Camp at Southlands Farm where she does her weekly riding lessons.  She loved having her usual instructor, Sonja, as the lead this week and being with her friends Emma and Kristin was pretty special too.  The girls worked on their technique, did a long trail ride and prepared for a show for the parents which they put on for the last day.

Sydney was thrilled to get a report card, two ribbons and a horseshoe used as a frame for a picture of her and her camp horse Jesse in it at the end of the week.  It was such fun!

Sydney and I have started a round of summer piano lessons at the VSO School of Music on Wednesday evenings.  Sydney has been hesitant about piano and I am trying to encourage her to give it another go.  It's an uphill battle as is trying to get her to do her homework and practice every day!  It sure is fun getting to play on a grand piano every week though!

We have had some fun times with friends this past week.  On Thursday we met up with Christina and Jack at Pure Nail Bar and had side by side pedicures with our kids followed by Menchie's.  It was such a fun time together and so nice to catch up with them after a busy summer for all of us!

We met up with Saskia, Tracy, Alexis and Avery on Friday evening for a beautiful picnic and beach time at Jericho Beach.  The girls were so happy to be playing together in the sand and Saskia even took them in the ocean for a swim!  Love this picture of them perched atop of a log at the beach together.

We also met up with Sally and Ollie for a play at the park and coffee at Kokopelli yesterday and then Sally joined me and Susan for our weekly Sunday morning run along Jericho Beach to Spanish Banks.  It was so fun to share the run with Sally this morning and to introduce her to one of my running buddies at long last!

Paul, Syd and I had a great day together today.  Paul took Syd to the beach to collect sea glass while I was out for my morning run then we all went to Emma Lea Farms on Westham Island to catch the very last day of blueberry picking for the season, a whole month ahead of schedule!

We managed to get a big bowl of juicy, delicious blueberries and are hoping to make a batch of blueberry buns together this week.

Syd enjoyed a strawberry sundae at the ice cream stand at the farm topped with the most amazing fresh strawberries freshly picked this morning!

After the farm we came home for a little rest then headed off to Maple Grove Pool together for a late afternoon dip.  It was lovely and refreshing and such a fun time together.

Syd still had energy left after dinner so off we went to the park to play for an hour before she collapsed into bed after a full day of activity and sunshine!

It has been such wonderful summer days around here!