jewelry and dates

Last night, I went to a Lia Sophia Jewelry Party.

Honestly, I’ve never been much one for jewelry.  I’ll throw a necklace on here or there to glam up a plain jain t-shirt.  My Pandora bracelet is special, thanks to all the memories that are tied in with it.  I’ve never had my ears pierced.

But I love trying jewelry on.  Even more than that, I love trying jewelery on other people.  Colors that pop.  Circles that claim confidence and personality.  Jewelry says a lot.

Twas a fun night.  I saw friends I haven’t seen in ages, and really, nothing gets women chattering more than a jewelry party.  Except maybe, for a tupperware party, which I don’t personally think I could ever have enough of (this does not give any future boyfriends the excuse to buy me a load of tupperware, although in all honesty, I don’t think I’d complain. 😉 )

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I consider us friends.  And friends should know their friends’ deepest secrets.  Deepest thoughts, dreams, ambitions.  Deepest loves.

Have I ever shared my deep love affair for the Date Square?

This recipe was handed down from generation to generation.  My Memere would always bring these to baby or bridal showers, and she would always return home with an empty plate.  They stand their own against the rich chocolate cakes.  The lemon meringue pies.  They can even stand strong against a rustic homemade apple pie.

Even people who claim to not like dates, love these squares.  You can only imagine how the people who love dates must feel.  Yeah, I know.

Date Squares

This is one of those “special occasion” desserts, as they are not light or healthy, but they sure do make a beautiful entrance at family gatherings and special holidays.

Feel free to add cranberries to the dates, thereby turning these into a cranberry date square.  And make a glaze if you want a sweeter than life kind of dessert (which I highly recommend!)  A basic confectionary styled glaze goes wonderfully.  You can easily get creative by simply adding lemon or orange peel to the glaze for some extra zing if you like.  Just have fun with it!  This recipe is pretty fool proof. 😀

  • 1-3/4 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. crisco
  • 1-1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix above ingredients together and place on bottom of a square pan.  Save a little of the oatmeal mixture to place on top.

  • 1-1/2 c. dates
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar

Add a little cold water and boil on stove so that dates melt.  Put on top of crust.  Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture on top.

Bake at 350-375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely and ENJOY! 😀

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(p.s. Highstreet wanted to come home with mom and I after the jewelry party, but he was snatched away just in time.  Maybe next time. 😉 )

Question: What is one dessert that you would feel confident in bringing to any family gathering or social event?  Aside from these date squares, I have a recipe for espresso brownies that is a guarenteed people pleaser. 😀

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hiking & summer

This morning demanded a filling breakfast.  This morning demanded oats. 

Same ol’, same ol’ as yesterday, except with the substitution of walnuts for the coconut.  I absolutely love this summery combo!

The reason I needed such a filling breakfast, you ask?

This:

That would be Mt. Monadnock.  It’s not a 4,000ft mountain, but I definitely find it to be one of the more challenging hikes in New Hampshire.  Personal experience.  But this mountain also rewards you with a fantastic view from the top, which makes it all so worth it.

This is what I call lunch with a view.  I would love to be up here at sunset someday.  Maybe I should add that to my Life’s To-Do’s. 😉

My parents and I had such an awesome time, but were completely zonked from the sun by the time we got back to the bottom.  Some of the trail was in the shade, but a lot of it (at least 1-2 hrs. worth of hiking time) was spent in the sun.  Dad was smart to bring a hat.  At least I loaded up on the sunscreen to keep my skin protected. 😉

And, when all is said and done, all I want is pizza (or anything with salt!!) after a long day of hiking.  My parents agreed.

Tomatoes.  Broccoli.  Mushrooms.  Onions.  Peppers.  One deliciously doughy and flaky crust.  Three hungry hikers.

What.  A.  Day.

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These past three days have been filled—-absolutely FILLED—with summer.  I almost don’t want it to end. 😀

Campfires.

Cookouts with Family.

Corn on the Cob.

Being Silly and Laughing.

Berry Picking. 

Berry Eating. 

Visiting Farms.

Fresh Strawberries.

Homemade Strawberry Desserts.

Flip-Flops.

Family.

Fourth of July.

Playing volleyball in my bare feet.

Watermelon.

Relaxing.

Peace.

Question: Have you ever gone hiking?  Do you enjoy it?  Where would you go hiking if you could go anywhere?