The Perfect Summer Weekend

What is your perfect summer weekend? Coming off of this past one I think it was pretty perfect or at least close. Some time ago I had read that to make every day a good one – eat something tasty for breakfast, read something interesting and exercise. I like that list and have actually tried to make that happen on a daily basis. I would also add – find time to connect with a friend or social group and get outside.

It started out on Friday – I was not technically off but decided to take the afternoon. Saturday and Sunday had bluebird skies which was fortunate as it was our club’s annual clambake. So let’s get into what makes a summer weekend perfect around here. Would love to hear from you on your idea of a perfect summer weekend.

The Weather

This summer the weather has been unpredictable to say the least with a lot of rain. I realize much of the country has had oppressive heat and last summer we had zero to little rain. I am not complaining. But for me, the perfect summer weekend is hot but not too hot and sunny as well as dry. This weekend fit the bill. We woke to beautiful weather starting on Friday and it just kept coming through Sunday.

Friday Afternoon + Saturday Morning

When the weekend can start a bit early then why not? CG2 has turned me onto thrifting so we headed to Goodwill. I was seriously doubting this idea but I have found some great stuff on Thred Up lately so figured why not? I really love that we are actually reusing and recyling in the most basic way. I am sold – found a Vineyard Vines shirt for $10 in perfect condition. She picked up Abercrombie sweaters.

Friday dinner I tried a new Thai marinade for chicken from Damn Delcious (it was damn delicious!) and paired it with my Thai curry but only used it for the vegetables. It was delicious and light. The week had been a WEEK so turned in early.

I love going to yoga on Saturday morning. I do some pretty intensive exercise all week – HIIT classes, running, spinning, weights – so come Saturday it is time to stretch and calm my mind. Afterwards I headed to our darling farm store at our local organic farm. I picked up some real summer tomatoes and other super fresh vegetables. Here is the entrance – like living in a postcard around here.

Farm store Connecticut
So lucky to have this organic farm nearby

We headed to our club shortly after lunch.

The Book

Ahhh summer reading. I have read a number of books this summer including Normal People, Sunflower Sisters and The Vanishing Half. I loved the first two – I found the Vanishing Half to be a bit dull although I was moved by the depiction of the transgender boy as it really brought home how important it is to try to understand. His pain was palpable and the laws at the time preventing them from being together was tragic.

While these were well worth it to read – nothing says summer like an Elin Hildebrand book! I scored The Five Star Weekend from my library and got busy Saturday on the beach digging in. I think it is my favorite of hers thus far. Since I adore Nantucket, well I can’t get enough of her descriptions.

It is easy to write her off as a beach read but frankly her character development is fantastic. Coming at her book as a mom with two college kids, well I suppose I fit her demographic perfectly. It is like she writes about me and my friends, people I know – or at least could know but all in Nantucket. I live in a historic, picturesque town with some of the same similarities as Nantucket. One likeness includes our town having some very wealthy people along with a more “normal” middle class – a theme she touches on frequently with her assessment of the “summer people” and the islanders. Highly recommend the book – for the beach or otherwise!

The Food

The original advice to eat something good for breakfast. My weekday breakfast before heading to the gym is a blueberry protein smoothie. On the weekend I prefer something a bit more decadent. I had some farm fresh eggs and my favorite Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins in the freezer. Saturday and Sunday I took one out and microwaved it with some Kerry gold butter. Delicious. Add a cup of good brewed coffee with a bit of hazelnut creamer and I am off to a great start!

Would it be summer without a traditional clambake? We are so lucky that our club puts one on – right on the beach looking out at Long Island Sound. They are old school – collecting the seaweed, building a pit, cooking lobsters, sweet corn, little necks and mussels – topping it all off with blueberry and peach pie. Of course we started out with some rose and mojitos along with a charcuterie board. This is literally my favorite night of summer.

Perfect New England Clambake
Perfect New England Clambake


Getting outside always lifts my spirits. This weekend’s perfect summer weather made it easy to do. Sunday morning I gardened and replanted some zinnias that I had planted from seed and now are ready to bloom soon. The most gorgeous butterfly landed on one.

Butterfly on pink flower in CT

Sunday night was time for a glass of wine on the deck after we had a great day sailing and beaching it at the club. We are so fortunate to have so much privacy. It is quiet and peaceful. There are so many studies that show being outdoors is key for mood – I lived in NYC for five years – even a stroll in the park is great. Just do it as they say.

Sundays Bread days on the deck

What is your favorite summer weekend? Any good book recommendations? Dishes to share? Would love to hear from you!

Favorite Frosted Lemon Tart or Bars

Summer is in full swing around here (finally) after a rainy start. We are taking the good days when they come! Two fun meals most recently included Mr. SB’s birthday dinner held at our club on the shore as well as my book group (held on our deck and dining room as thunderstorms made it impossible to have at the shore club).

Shore Menu (including lemon tart for the birthday dessert)

Last Sunday was a hot one on the shore. I was on Race Committee for the club and after a long day on the water was looking forward to a yummy dinner and at Mr. SB’s request, I had made his favorite lemon tart. As usually he loves cheesecake and is a picky French guy – a special request for lemon tart means something!

Our friends joined us for both happy hour and a dinner of teriyaki salmon on a cedar plank, caprese salad with fresh basil from my garden, mediterranean pasta salad and the tart! Good club friends stopped in spontaneously and let’s just say you know you are having fun when the club staff tell you they are closing soon and it is time to pack up!

Book Group Menu (including lemon bars)

I made two tarts actually – as this recipe works so well in bar form too – I made one in an 8 by 8 pan. My book group came over on Wednesday so I made the bars and tart on Saturday and froze the bars but did not frost them. They came out great. As we had been planning on going to the shore the rest of the menu was picnic food – but worked well for a summer book group menu. Will make these again – here is the easy make ahead menu.

Charcuterie board with prosciutto, salami, Boursin, dried apricots, nuts and grapes (enjoyed on the deck before a rain storm)

Toasted Israeli cous cous with grilled vegetables

Grilled lemon pepper chicken

Lemon bars and brownies for dessert

Super easy to make ahead and delicious! Here is the recipe for Mr. SB’s favorite frosted lemon tart or bars. Enjoy!

Frosted lemon tart

Frosted Lemon Tart or Bars

Tangy, creamy filling topped with a tart, sweet frosting. Easy to make and with ingredients that can be stored easily (so usually on hand!). Mr. SB requests it for his birthday! I have also made this for book group and two dinner parties. It comes out perfect every time.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Citrus, Dessert bars, Fruit dessert, Lemon
Servings: 8
Cost: $3


  • 1 Tart pan
  • 1 8 by 8 pan



  • 1 cup Unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup Confectioners sugar


  • 1 cup Granulated white sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tbsp Unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Freshly grated lemon zest


  • 2 1/2 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Freshly grated lemon to sprinkle on top


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center of your oven
  • For the tart or bar crust – combine 8 tbsp of butter 1 cup of flour, and 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar with a fork or pastry blender (I prefer the latter) until the flour is absorbed into the butter in a course mixture. Take the mixture and put it into your bar or tart pan. Press it down to an even layer. I like to use a ramekin to press it down. Bake until the crust is a light brown. Watch it carefully after about ten minutes (it will take between 10 to 16/17 minutes).
  • Make your filling by whisking together the eggs, granulated sugar, 2 tbsp of flour, baking powder, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and the lemon zest until combined. Pour over the partly baked crust and continue baking until the filling is firm, about 25 minutes or so. Let the tart or bars cobol completely before frosting. If freezing (and this recipe freezes really well), do not frost.
  • For beat the frosting – beat 2 1/2 tbsp of butter with 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice until the frosting is at a good spreading consistency.
  • Spread icing over the bars once completely cooled (or if you freeze ahead of time, remove from freezer and let thaw). Sprinkle lemon zest on top. Let sit for at least an hour before cutting into squares or slices of tart. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!