Lemon Flower Arrangement

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When life gives you lemons, make lemon filled vases for your flowers! The saying goes something like that… right? A flower arrangement is the easiest and most elegant way to elevate your home, but most people (like us) can’t afford fresh flower bouquets every week. So when we do buy them for celebratory occasions or when we need a little cheerer-upper, they make our homes feel extra special.

The addition of sliced lemons takes an already beautiful arrangement to the next level, just in time for the warm June weather. It’s more time consuming for sure, but the result is worth it. Our lemon flower arrangement is the perfect addition to the patio table, just in time for this week’s early summer BBQs and rosé nights with the girls.


Materials:

  • Flowers
  • Lemons (each lemon makes about 5-6 slices, so the number depends on your vase size)
  • Toothpicks
  • A vase that stands straight up (the angular ones don’t work with the lemons)
  • Scissors
  • A knife and chopping board

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Slice your lemons into even circles about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. If they are too thin, you will see the toothpicks so best to stay on the thick side just in case.

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Use toothpicks to connect strands of lemons. Each strand should be the height of your vase.

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Our vase was quite tall so we made alternating strands of 3 and 4 lemons.

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Trim your flowers and arrange them inside the vase with water. Carefully insert the strands of lemons along the circumference of the vase. We used alternating lengths of strands so that the lemons filled all of the gaps.

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After about fifteen minutes of intense fiddling, you are done and your efforts will be well worth it.

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lemon flowers (14 of 20)Happy June!

-Kirby and Michelle

 

Homemade Blackberry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Alas! Summer is near and our favorite foods are once again returning to our daily lives (watermelon, gazpacho, peach cobbler, rosé anyone??). A few weeks ago when the sun was out and early signs of summer were wafting throughout the air, we caught the ice cream bug. A little too chilly for sorbet, but warm enough to daydream of tropical fruit and juicy, plump berries, we settled on this recipe. This homemade vanilla bean ice cream with fresh blackberry swirled throughout is such a special treat and one that really makes it feel like summer is just around the corner.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 small container of blackberries
  • 1 lemon

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Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large mixing bowl with water and ice, then set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, half & half, and 2/3 cups of sugar. Split the vanilla beans in half and carefully scrape away the seeds into the pan. Simmer over medium heat for approximately 12 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.

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While that simmers, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until slightly frothy.

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Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly pour 1 cup of it into the egg mixture, continuously whisking until smooth. Pour the egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, constantly stirring, until you have a creamy custard.

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Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a fine sieve, using a spoon to press it through.

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Place the bowl of strained custard into the ice bath and allow to chill until completely cool.

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Meanwhile, place the blackberries into a small sauce pan, along with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Cook on medium heat, occasionally stirring, for about 15 minutes, until the berries have broken down and the sugar is dissolved. Don’t be afraid to mash the berries as they cook.

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The result should be a thick, ruby red sauce filled with seeds.

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Press the sauce through a sieve to remove those pesky seeds.

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When the vanilla custard has cooled, pour it into the ice cream maker (or any tupperware container if your don’t have one). Turn the mixer on and allow your ice cream to freeze until it is the consistency of soft serve. Then gently pour your blackberry sauce into the ice cream, folding it a few times. Be careful not to overfold or you will lose the pretty red swirls and it will just turn pink.

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Place the ice cream in the freezer and continue to chill until it hardens to your desired consistency. Then serve with fresh blackberries!

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Happy one month until summer!

-Kirby and Michelle