Photo Journal: Summer Silver Linings

Hello, hello! Today I’m sharing a few personal updates, along with some recipes I’ve been working on that are featured elsewhere on the web. I hope you enjoy reading about what I’ve been up to this summer!

Summer Silver Linings

I’ve surprised myself, making time for another personal update here. Our summer so far has been hot and muggy (and buggy!) as it usually is in the southern US. Swarms of June bugs are flying aimlessly across the lawn like they are drunk on the humidity. It’s kind of miserable outside. But July is my birthday month. To celebrate, I might visit a gem and fossil shop and add another rock to my collection. And maybe get myself a donut while I’m in that neck of the woods.

As you can see from the lead photo, I’ve been painting again. Before baking became my life, I’d planned to be a fine artist of some sort. I haven’t made a piece of art on canvas in more than a decade. But lately, my soul has needed the kind of therapy that can only be had by putting brush to canvas. I’ve been missing my Churro so much. So I decided to paint his portrait. He loved bananas and the teddy he came with from the rescue. So I included them in the composition.

Although I’ve taken Churro’s passing pretty hard, it has made me rediscover my love for painting. A silver lining if ever there was one.

Summer Silver Linings

A new face.

Now, this seems like an opportune time to tell you about my new helper. Chico is a little black jelly bean of a dog. Cute as a button with a tail that never stops wagging, except when it thunders. My husband fell in love with him at the shelter, and although I didn’t think I was ready for a new dog, it turns out that I needed Chico very much. And he needed us. too.

He’s an older dog. It seems that’s what we’re drawn to rescue. So I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m running an old folks home for dogs. All the while following my rescue heroes with more experience than I have, Steve Greig and Peabody Johanson (of Sweet ReciPEAs).

You can read a little bit more about Chico in this Instagram post.

My work elsewhere.

A couple of months ago I whipped up some Spicy Mango-Tamarind Ice Pops to help promote Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race on social media. You can watch me make them right here on Facebook or on Foodnetwork.com. Inspired by artisanal Mexican paletas, these treats embrace sweet and spicy with a sprinkle of chile-lime seasoning on each ice pop.

Summer Silver Linings

This is another chilly treat I made for Food Network – Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake! You can find the recipe right here. It’s a lot like my Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches Cake, but with a strawberry crunch spin. I love recipes like this for summer. Some assembly required, but no cooking or baking!

Kitchen storage.

I shared this on social media a while back, but some of you may not have seen it yet. Check out this article I wrote for HGTV: Create a Chef-Worthy Kitchen With Our Storage Secrets. All of these photos are from my workshop, and are my storage methods that are easy to employ in your own kitchen. While browsing through you’ll find a couple of recipes. Don’t miss my Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Caramel and Peanuts! They taste like a Snicker’s bar in cookie form.

Southern summers force me into a slower pace. One that makes me want to recharge by spending time alone thinking, baking, taking pictures, and now painting. And so I will.

I hope summer has been kind to you so far. Onward and upward!

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Sue Sparks
Sue Sparks
4 months ago

So much to LOVE in this post, starting with your lovely tribute to your treasured, forever friend, Churro. ❤️ XO. Chico is one lucky dog!🖤
I really need to make that cake! Lastly, your storage wall just makes me happy!
I really need to try

Mariah
Mariah
4 months ago

How talented you are…

Jodie
Jodie
4 months ago

Anyone who’s loved a dog can relate to this post. I’m glad Churro has inspired you to paint again, that painting must have brought back a lot of nice memories of him.

Kari Dent
4 months ago

Wow! What a talented artist you are! And I think it is absolutely hilarious and precious that Churro loved bananas. I am sorry for your loss, but so glad he left you with the gift of rediscovering the beauty and therapy of painting.

Sarah
Sarah
4 months ago

Heather, what a sweet portrait! And Chico is a cutie pie. Glad you found a new pup to love on. <3