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Strawberry Basil French Toast by @UpsideDownPear

It’s my birthday week and I’m starting it off with a bang! I am so in love with this french toast, I don’t think I can have it any other way. Ok, now I’m just getting ahead of myself, but this is seriously good. We’ve had it twice this week, and I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow.

Strawberry Basil French Toast by @UpsideDownPear

It all started with a loaf of bread and some basil that my parents gave me. I’ve been wanting to make another type of french toast for a while now, but haven’t been sure what exactly I wanted to do. We had a loaf of the fluffy white bread from the Japanese market in our freezer when my parents gave me some fresh basil from their garden. After remembering that we had frozen strawberries in the freezer, I knew what I wanted to do.

Strawberry Basil French Toast by @UpsideDownPear

The beauty is that you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries. If you’re using frozen, you’ll just have to heat them up a bit in the microwave. It’s so easy to put together, and has a super fresh flavor from the basil. I got the idea from seeing so many balsamic strawberry recipes. I didn’t want to get that crazy, but I did want to put the two flavors together. This french toast couldn’t be any more perfect for summer. I’m not sure why it ever took me so long to try this before. What a great way to begin the birthday week!

Strawberry Basil French Toast by @UpsideDownPear

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Strawberry Lemonade by @UpsideDownPear

The weather report finally has some good news for us! There will finally be a warm sunny weekend ahead, and it’s right in time for the holiday!! Last year was perfect. It rained during the work day, and as soon as you got home (plus the weekends) were sunny and gorgeous. This year has been a whole other story. Now it rain as soon as you get out of work and on almost all the weekends.

Strawberry Lemonade by @UpsideDownPear

Luckily, rain or shine this strawberry lemonade is a great way to cool off. Just because it’s been raining doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hot. I really dislike the hot muggy weather. It brings out all the flying bugs for some reason…and I can really do without those.

Strawberry Lemonade by @UpsideDownPear

This lemonade is a great sweet and tangy drink and it makes up quite a bit. Perfect for those summer get-togethers. Plus your wallet will thank you. It just takes water, lemon juice, sugar, and frozen strawberries. Mix it all together and that’s it! It’s so simple that it’s almost crazy easy (don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret).

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Zucchini Sandwich by @UpsideDownPear

These sandwiches definitely take me back to my childhood. We used to eat these just about once a week or more during the summer time. My parents usually had a decent sized garden, and we’d get tons of zucchini coming in. We tried to keep up with it by grilling the zucchini and topping it with some cheese. Usually, we’d eat it between toasted bread, but sometimes, just the filling was good enough.

Zucchini Sandwich by @UpsideDownPear

I haven’t made a zucchini sandwich in a looong time. Mostly because I don’t have mayo in the house. You don’t really need the mayo, but it does add a nice zing and some extra flavor. All you really need is some seasoning and cheese and you’re all set to go. We always had a bottle of Spike in our cupboard, but it’s been getting harder to find lately. I used Lawry’s seasoning salt and dill for the flavoring in these sandwiches.

Zucchini Sandwich by @UpsideDownPear

Between the mayo and the cheese, I wouldn’t exactly call this a healthy sandwich. But it is packed full of zucchini, so it can’t be too bad…or at least that’s what I tell myself. You can use whatever bread is your favorite, but I decided to treat myself to a very flaky almost pastry like bread when I made these. I’ve seen the loaves at my Japanese bakery and have always wanted to get them, but never got around to it. It’s a bit more expensive than the typical loaves I pick up there. It was the perfect combo with the grilled zucchini as the flaky pastry melted nicely together. I’ve forgotten how easy and filling these are on those warm summer nights.

Zucchini Sandwich by @UpsideDownPear

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Summer #Sangria by @UpsideDownPear

This summer sangria is a perfect way to kick back and relax this summer! I’m always drawn to the fruit in sangria most. There’s just something about the fruit that makes me keep coming back, especially since I’m not really all that into wine. I think the first sangria I had was a red wine base with apples, oranges, and a few other fruits thrown in. A college friend served it at her final showing for her art degree at college. She mentioned that she’d made it from a family recipe. If only I knew back then that I was going to be a food blogger…I’d definitely have gotten that recipe. It was amazing!

Summer #Sangria by @UpsideDownPear

Since it’s summer, I decided a white sangria would feel more refreshing. White wines are much more popular in the warmer months since they’re lighter and chilled. Reds tend to be heavier and better suited for winter. For this sangria I chose to use a Sauvignon Blanc and add strawberries and mangos to compliment the grapefruit notes. Whites are usually a bit too dry for me, but I like Sauvignon Blancs for their citrus notes. I also added a bit of triple sec and peach schnapps for a bit of sweetness and to round out the fruit flavors.

Summer #Sangria by @UpsideDownPear

Now all I need is outdoor furniture for our patio! Right now it’s just a gray slate, and when I go outside I sit on the concrete. We’ve sort of glanced at some chairs and a small table (there’s not that much space outside) but everything is super expensive! I couldn’t believe how much just one chair could be. They’re easily over $50. That’s just crazy. I don’t want to have to take out a mortgage just to be able to sit outside and drink my sangria in the sun. I guess until we can find something in our budget, we’ll just have to try and sneak these into the pool area and confiscate some of those chairs to relax on.

Summer #Sangria by @UpsideDownPear

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Cherry Banana Bread by @UpsideDownPear

I wanted something new for breakfast. Lately, I’ve been boring eating buttered toast for breakfast. Though to be fair, I haven’t been terribly hungry in the morning. I figured a banana bread would be a good change for breakfast. It’s something that I don’t need to prepare, just slice and eat! There’s nothing better than breakfast that’s ready for you.

Cherry Banana Bread by @UpsideDownPear

It’s been a while since I’ve made a banana bread. For the last one, I used applesauce in the batter. I decided not to use it this time, and went with butter instead. Mostly because I didn’t have any applesauce in the house, and was too lazy to go to the store. I will say that when you substitute the butter for applesauce, you have to be careful of the batter being too liquidy. To keep it simple for multiple reasons, I just used butter.

Cherry Banana Bread by @UpsideDownPear

To spice up the banana bread, I decided to add some fresh cherries. Pitting the cherries is a pain, but not hard (just messy). If you can find pitted cherries, I highly recommend paying a bit more. It’ll save your clothes from stains. The cherries give a nice burst of tartness, but baking them takes any bit out of them. Cherries and bananas are a great combo! Next time you see some cherries on sale, you should pick some up and try this.

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MeHi! My name’s Alexis and I finally took the leap into blogging after reading so many fun posts by other food bloggers.  I’ve always had a passion for eating, but have never really felt comfortable in the kitchen.  There are so many drool-worthy recipes out there, that I wanted to document my musings in the kitchen both following others’ recipes and becoming brave enough to create my own.  Please take a look around! I really want to hear from you! If you make something, like something, don’t like something, please comment or use the contact form!  Reading your comments really makes my day!  If you’re looking for an easier way to get my recipes, you can sign up for my email and get them directly to your inbox.  I hope to hear from soon.

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