Summer's last hurrah...

Photo credit: Pink Sherbet via flickr

With Labor Day weekend just ahead, I thought it would be appropriate to indulge in some of the goodies summer brings one last time. Each season brings with it much beauty and many pleasures; I believe enjoying those unique gifts helps bring us more in harmony with nature. In other words, eat what's in season and take part in the activities each season brings. Mother Nature knows we all need beauty and a change now and then, so she brings both to us every few months.
Enjoy summer's last hurrah this month (at least here in the States) and head out to the beach one more time before the autumn chill descends. Keep cranking up the barbecue grill until you've had your fill of hamburgers and hotdogs and whatever else. Get the last of the season's fresh lemons and berries and make lemonade and a wonderful summer dessert.
I'm partial to lemons and am fortunate enough to have access to a lemon tree that produces the lemoniest lemons I have ever tasted, complete with that beautifully strong fresh lemon scent. I use them throughout the summer in water, tea and fresh lemonade. I also like to indulge in a lemon-flavored sweet or two in the summer, and thought you would enjoy this recipe from Betty Crocker for super-easy, really good cookies. It uses a mix, but hey, it's still summer and you don't want to spend all day in a hot kitchen.

Lemon Cookies
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist lemon cake mix
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container lemon frosting (or vanilla or buttercream or whatever your pleasure is)

Heat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees for dark or nonstick cookie sheets). In large bowl, beat cake mix, shortening, butter and egg on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely and frost with frosting. Store covered.

And if you want to do something the old-fashioned way, here's a recipe from Country Living via for homemade lemonade:

1 cup sugar
6 large lemons, seeded and juiced

Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves completely. Cool. Stir the sugar syrup, unstrained lemon juice and 4 cups of cold water together in a large pitcher. Chill and serve over ice.

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Living

Berries are also a wonderful summer indulgence. I particularly like the ease of this recipe from Martha Stewart Living - it makes a great dessert to try. If you don't care for raspberries, I'm sure you could substitute another berry.

Raspberry Ice Cream Cake
1 loaf pound cake, sliced horizontally into thirds (in other words, you're going to have three layers)
1 1/2 cups raspberries (6 ounces)
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Place bottom layer of cake on a large piece of foil or in a loaf pan of equal size. Sprinkle half the raspberries over cake, spread evenly with half the ice cream, and top with another cake layer. Repeat with remaining raspberries, ice cream and cake. Wrap with foil and freeze at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove cake from freezer about 30 minutes before serving. Serve dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Best wishes for a lovely holiday weekend - wring every last bit of beauty out of summer while it lasts. Happy end-of-summer, all!


  1. The wonders of lemon- love it myself, obviously! This was a yummy and refreshing post!

  2. mmmmmmmmmmm, lemon cookies, yum!!!! I really want to make those now :-)

  3. Those recipes look sooooooo delicious, thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh Bella, Thanks for sharing honey. I am going to have to try those cookies, as I know the grandkids would love them. What a wonderful recipe. It won't be long and my lemons will start to turn and we will have lemons for the Fall again. Our little tree seems to produce (2) times a year. It is loaded, and they are going to be big again. Pretty good for a tree grown from a seed, and they told us at the nursery it would never produce a lemon one without being grafted. I guess God decided to prove them wrong. I love the smell of the leaves even they are so strong and fresh. Have a wonderful day sweetie, and thanks for sharing. Please stop by and say hi. I would love to have you visit. Country hugs, Sherry

  5. Wow, Sherry, you are so lucky with that lemon tree!

  6. Oh my goodness that berry Ice Cream cake is making my mouth water.

  7. Lovely post to summer. I don't want it to end - it's my favorite time of the year.

  8. Darling I love lemon cookies and like them even more with a nice cup of earl grey tea...this is what I am going to have with my tea this weekend. Luv, have yourself a fabulous weekend!!

    Love & Hugs
    Duchess ♥♥♥

  9. This cake looks fabulous and so simple! I will have to try that. It sounds great!


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