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DIY: 4th of July All-American Rhubarb Pie

Every year, we look forward to Fourth of July celebrations, because any kind of potluck or fun barbecue gathering is sure to involve yummy home-cooked delights and mouth-watering fresh summer fruits. Here, we’ve cooked up an amazing All-American rhubarb pie that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. So simple, and super festive, everyone will get a kick out of your patriotic spirit, all while enjoying this delicious blend of strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb.DIY All-American Rhubarb Pie Image 02If you’re not already a rhubarb fan, you’ll be a believer after you’ve tasted this pie. Rhubarb is a short season fruit, (or more accurately a vegetable) and we were beginning to think there was a Great Rhubarb Shortage of 2015. It turned out that rainy weather delayed its availability, and it is now at area supermarkets in abundance. Paired with blueberries and summer-sweet strawberries, rhubarb is sure to win you over.DIY All-American Rhubarb Pie Image 03FUN AND FESTIVE FOR THE FOURTH

Ingredients: Crust — use your favorite prepared double pie crust to make it easy

Ingredients: Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pie filling enhancer
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups lightly packed diced rhubarb, fresh or frozen
2 cups hulled, quartered strawberries, fresh or frozen

Ingredients: Blueberry Filling

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pie filling enhancer
2 cups blueberries, washed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

To make this pie, just follow this step by step recipe from King Arthur Flour to create this flag-tastic classic. There are two pie fillings you’ll need to make. Use blueberry for under the stars, and rhubarb-strawberry for under the stripe design. Cut your ready-made pie crust top into stars and stripes, seal your edges, and that’s all there is to it! Other than the actual baking, of course. We love to finish this off with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, plus a sprig of fresh mint.DIY All-American Rhubarb Pie Image 04Your guests will be delighted with this incredible fresh fruit and vegetable combination. Since fresh rhubarb comes into season just in time for the 4th, there’s no better way to kick off your fireworks celebration than to treat your guests to this delicious taste of Americana.DIY All-American Rhubarb Pie Image 05

DIY: Self-Watering Beer Garden for Father’s Day

Surprise Dad with something unique, organic and fun for Father’s Day – a self-watering beer garden. This is a gift that keeps on giving all summer. And the cool thing is that it’s based on plants that brewers use to impart flavor to pale ales, pilsners, and other unhopped ales. The whole project is easy and quick, you could put it together the day before Father’s Day if you want. Here’s how to make it:DIY Beer Garden Image 02CHOOSE A CONTAINER AND GROWING MEDIUM

Almost anything can be turned into a self-watering container garden as long as it can hold water. All you have to do is create a reservoir at the bottom, and plant on top of it. We used packing peanuts on the bottom of our container. They’re lightweight and we love repurposing those pesky things. Our container is made of light, sturdy composite material that’s easy to drill into for drainage. Follow these simple steps to complete your garden.DIY Beer Garden Image 03

Containers dry out faster than the ground, so the soil needs to retain moisture without being too wet. You can buy pre-made soilless mixes for containers, or you can make your own. A good soil mix with additives will guarantee a lush, productive container garden.DIY Beer Garden Image 04It’s helpful when designing your garden to think up, down and all around. The black mondo grass is our “thriller” for sure, and we can hardly wait for it to throw spikes of pink flowers. Our “spiller” is alpine strawberry, a variety that produces short runners that will drape over the edge of the container. Lime thyme is a creeping groundcover that will eventually spread to fill the bare areas. You could also include juniper, sage, artemisia and yarrow for your beer garden. Lavender, mint, or rosemary are other good picks.DIY Beer Garden Image 05Whether you’re using one or many plants, the steps are the same. Make sure the plastic tube is clear of debris so water can pass through. If you don’t have a plastic tube and screen, purchase a premade reservoir online. Watering is simple, just wait until the top two inches are dry, then pour water down the tube until it comes out the hole in the side. A mulch of pine cones fills the gaps and helps the soil retain moisture.That’s all there is to it!

Watch Holly as she makes her beer garden for Dad below and shop our Men’s Collection for comfortable shoe options for every Dad!

DIY: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 

If any of you grew up in a small town on the east coast, your childhood days may have included a walk to your neighborhood drug store, or “pharmacist”, as they used to be called. Being kids, our first stop was always straight to the sweets, where we’d seek out our favorites: Yodels, Ring Dings and Devil Dogs. They were the best, not just because of the tender cake and sweet fluffy cream filling, but because they were the easiest to split in half and share.Red Velvet Whoopie PiesToday we’re baking something even better, though. A little more grown-up, a little more fun, and definitely of-the-moment 2015, we’re making little red velvet whoopie pies. A lot like Devil Dogs but in a round form, these cuties are just the right size. Oh, and did we mention… they’re red velvet? It doesn’t get any better than that. Here’s how we make them.DIY Whoopie Bars Image 03This recipe is about as easy as it gets, and there are a couple of things you can do to guarantee amazing results. The first secret to success is to measure your flour properly. Stir the flour in the bag to fluff it up, then spoon it into your measuring cup until heaping. Use a knife to swipe off the excess. This is the first step to creating airy cake-like cookies. The second secret is to make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. The butter, sugar and egg will combine better, resulting in a fine-crumbed tender cookie.Red Velvet Whoopie PiesRed Velvet Whoopie Pies—makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies

Cookie Ingredients

2 ¼ cups flour1 Tbsp. cocoa

1½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ cup butter

¼ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp. red food coloring

Baking Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Beat in the egg, vanilla and the food coloring. Scrape the bowl often to ensure everything is combined well.

5. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat on medium, scraping as needed, until smooth.

6. Using a 1 ½” cookie scoop, portion the batter about 2″ apart, 12 per baking sheet. You can buy a scooper similar to the one Holly uses online.

7. Bake for 12-13 minutes. The cookies should be set but not browned at all. Cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.DIY Whoopie Bars Image 05Filling Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese

4 Tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

Filling Instructions

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until blended and lump-free.

2. Beat in the vanilla. Using low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Assembling the Whoopie Pies

When the cookies are completely cool, use the cookie scoop or a pastry bag with decorative tip to pipe the filling on half of the cookies. Top with the other halves to make sandwiches. You can place the completed whoopie pies in cupcake baking cups to dress up the presentation and make them a little easier to pass around. Display with some freshly picked blueberries at your Memorial Day or Independence Day cook out for a perfectly patriotic dessert treat. And,  they freeze well too.Red Velvet Whoopie PiesOne bite of these and you’ll know why we’re whoopee for whoopie pies! We’d love to see your red velvet whoopie pies, share using #wewearborn @bornfootwear.

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