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summer bucket list

Can you feel in in the air? It's almost summer! For me, this time of year always brings me back to the carefree feeling of having endless days filled with possibilities. Growing up in Southern California, I was fortunate enough to live within driving distance to the beach, so my friends and I would get in one of my friends' cars and drive over to Huntington Beach or Newport Beach, excited about our new swimsuits and lazing the days away at the beach.
As an adult, I love summer activities that bring me back to that carefree time. Since there is less structure with kids being out of school, I usually create a mental bucket list of things I'd like to do for the summer. Here's this year's Summer Bucket List. Let's see what I can tick off my list this year. What items are on YOUR Summer Bucket List? 
Summer Bucket List

photo credit: InStyle magazine
Beach Picnic- since we live in a beach town, it is easy to get to the beach and set up a sunset picnic. My son actually suggested this a few years ago and we haven't done it since. We just brought a few provisions, a blanket, and a couple of beach chairs and watched the sun set.  I've got to remember to also bring outdoor games (frisbee, smash ball, football) for the kids!
photo credit: One Kings Lane
Backyard Camping- I've always thought it'd be fun to camp out in our own backyard, make S'mores and pretend we are in the wilderness. My kids may have outgrown this by now (ages 9 and 11) but I haven't!
photo credit: Virginia.org
Drive-In Movie- My very first Drive-In movie was terrifying. My parents took us to watch Amityville Horror. They had no idea how scary it was (clearly), but I still remember how cool it was to drive up and put the speaker into our car and cuddle up with blankets to watch a movie. There are less and less drive-in movie theaters around, but I would love to find one and share that experience with my own kids.
photo credit: Viking Village Foods
Learn how to grill- I have gotten better on the grill; but I'd love to get better at grilling fish and seafood. I want to get so good on the grill that I can do all the dishes for an outdoor dinner right on the grill, down to dessert.
photo credit: Marthastewart.com
Clambake- This may be more of an East Coast thing, but I love the idea of a clam bake either at the beach or at your own backyard.  Looking for an easy one-pot clambake? I'm trying this: https://www.marthastewart.com/907436/one-pot-clam-bake
Summer Reading- As much as I love to read books that make me think, I also enjoy the easy summer read. I'd love to compile a list of great summer reads to take on the beach or on the plane. Any suggestions welcomed! Here's the complete Oprah summer reading list. You know I'm down for whatever Ms. Winfrey's suggesting! Which ones have you read? http://www.oprah.com/book/oprahs-book-club-an-american-marriage?editors_pick_id=26790
photo credit: Halfbakedharvest.com
Cobbler Creativity- My go-to summer dessert is my Nectarine-Blueberry Oatmeal Cookie Cobbler. I love getting perfectly ripe nectarines and blueberries from the Farmer's Market and making this amazing cobbler. My cobbler recipe is below!  The topping is not doughy- it is more like a cookie consistency. Served with ice cream it is divine. I'd love to use other fruits and combinations to make this cobbler. Any ideas, send them my way! Here's a link to more amazing cobbler and crisp recipes: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/fruit-crumbles-crisps-cobblers
The Frosé (Frozen Rosé). Photo credit: Bon Appetit
Summer Cocktail Recipes- I want to compile some favorite summer cocktail recipes, especially those I can put in a pitcher and have ready to serve at gatherings. I love drinks that are quintessentially summer, like white sangria,  Aperol spritzes, and any refreshing cocktails! The Frosé intrigues me. I'd like to try that too. Here's one I'm gonna try:
**Nectarine-Blueberry Oatmeal Cookie Cobbler**


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

8 cups sliced peeled nectarines (about 4 pounds)
1 pint blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare topping, place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Weigh or lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup flour, oats, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes.


To prepare filling, combine sliced peeled nectarines, blueberries,  1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and fresh lemon juice in a bowl; toss to coat. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Dollop 12 mounds of chilled dough over nectarine mixture at even intervals.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serves 12 (1 cup servings)



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