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Thankful Thursdays #77: summah!

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Every summer, I become a broken record: “It’s soooo hot,” I moan.  Me and the heat-we don’t really get along.  Especially since I love baking, and summer heat makes it very uncomfortable to turn on the oven.  I really hate sweating.  Which may explain why I don’t exercise very much. ;)

But lately I’ve been thinking about all the great things about summer and it’s actually really changed my attitude a lot.  I’m still miserably hot, but at least I’m having a great time while sweating my butt off!

Why I’m thankful for summer:

*You can hover over the photos to get a description for each.

Summer is when our crops are grown and harvested and without summer, we’d all starve to death!  Thank you God, for giving us summer, which is the perfect climate for producing delicious corn, berries, wheat for our bread, gorgeous tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and the enormous cornucopia of colorful delicious vegetables and fruits.

Which brings me to…

The farmer’s market! I rejoice every summer when it opens up for the season.

I enjoy the vibrant, happy colors of bountiful green on the earth and blue of the sky.  Every season owns a unique beauty and summer is no exception.  God is the ultimate artist.

Babies!  Baby bunnies, ducklings, and goslings are everywhere in early summer and they are just so cute you have to stop in your tracks when you spot one to “oooh and awwww” for a while.  Unfortunately, I missed any photos of them when they were really small and only caught them once they were already half-grown, but they’re still pretty cute. :)

Ever since I was a baby, I’ve spent my summers swimming in lakes and pools and I continue to enjoy it as an adult.  One of the most delicious feelings is soaking up the shimmering hot heat of the sun and then running into water that is hot at the edge and gets cooler and cooler the deeper you go.  Swimming is my favorite exercise, next to biking, and there’s no other time of year I can do it since I don’t have access to an indoor pool.  It is also one of the best exercises since it is low-impact and a whole-body exercise, so I’m thankful for summer for helping me get more active by enjoying one of my favorite things.

Summer time means extra time with the nephew, which is always a reason to be thankful.

Danielle’s eyes were closed and she asked if I could Photoshop her eyes open. Aren’t you jealous of my Photoshopping skillz? And aren’t you glad you’re not my sister? lol

The Wichita River Festival, where there are myriad outdoor activities to enjoy like paddle boating, kayaking, outdoor concerts, miniature golf, an ice cream social…

Last year Dennis went overboard in his kayak and he had to be rescued out of the river.  Not that I was thankful for that, but it was a pretty good laugh. ;)

Picnics and barbecues!  It may be hotter than Hades, but that’s OK when there’s good company and good food to enjoy.

What do you love about summer?

Cake Batter Crispy Treats

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If you’re like me and need a little help getting through your Mondays, I’ve got a happy fix right here!  I’m a fan of crispy treats, especially those that are a little different, like my favorite Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats and Gingerbread Crispy Treats, and now I have a third unique and fun recipe to add to my growing list of favorites.  Cake batter flavored crispy treats!

Come on, get up, throw your hands in the air, squeal a little “Yay!” and do a happy dance for technicolor sprinkles.  OK, now your Monday is already off to a better start!

Cake Batter Crispy Treats

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 (10.5-ounce) bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup yellow cake mix
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 (1.75-ounce) container of sprinkles

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, then add cake mix and stir until combined and marshmallows are completely melted. Stir in cereal until it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture.  Add half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a 8 or 9” square baking dish and top with remaining sprinkles.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Recipe source: adapted from Dana’s Food for Thought who snagged it from How Sweet It Is

So if you’re like me, you’re wondering what to do with the nearly full bag of cake mix that will remain after making this recipe.  Don’t fret, there are plenty of things that you can easily add it to for more delicious cake batter flavor.  So far I have made cake batter oatmeal (I subbed wheat bran for oat bran and more cake mix for the vanilla protein powder but did everything else the same and felt I was eating a fairly nutritious, not to mention delicious, breakfast), cake batter candy (stirred some mix into leftover white candy coating from a batch of cupcake bites and poured the chocolate into candy cups molds, then topped with sprinkles–tasted fantastic!), and here are a few more ways to use up your extra mix: Cake Batter Pancakes, Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls, or how about mixing some into a vanilla milkshake to magically turn it into a sprinkle-licious cake batter milkshake?  The possibilites are endless!  Wheeeee!

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