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celebrating freshly picked blueberries two ways

similar to myself, our pr & marketing director, sara, has a major sweet tooth and is always looking for a good excuse to bake. please enjoy the below post with two delicious recipes that she has made recently using freshly picked blueberries in vermont! they sound so amazing, i might spend this entire weekend in the kitchen trying them out! hope you enjoy and happy baking!


every summer, my family is fortunate to spend a few weeks working remotely and vacationing up in northern vermont, where i grew up spending my childhood summers at a place called willoughby lake. vermont is known as the green mountain state and our time up here is always filled with a lot of fun quality time with extended family all staying under one roof (cousins, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, parents, grandparents, etc.). besides soaking up time enjoying all of the super awesome outdoor and water activities including waterskiing, water-biking, tubing, boating, swimming, fishing etc. - we also tend to do a lot of cooking and baking! this year, we went blueberry picking a few times at a nearby organic blueberry patch, and we picked over 20 pounds of blueberries that inspired the baking of some wonderful recipes like blueberry buckle along with the classic all-time favorite, blueberry pie! the key to making the blueberry piece extra mouth-watering delicious is my grandmother's special recipe for homemade crust. please see below for these two delightful dessert recipes that can be made with fresh blueberries whether store-bought or hand-picked! 


1. blueberry pie 

pie dough for top and bottom 9-inch pie: 
  • 2 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 cup shortening 
  • 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup (130 - 150 grams) granulated sugar, adjusted according to sweetness of berries
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch 
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest 
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) fresh blueberries (about 6 cups) 
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small squares 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream 
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar, for garnish 
making the pie crust from scratch: 
cut in shortening until well mixed and grainy. add 5 tbsp ice cold water. mix well. 5 tbsp should be enough but if you need to add more, do it very gradually. separate dough into 2 balls, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerator for a while before making pie. 

preparing the bottom crust: 
roll out half of the pie dough to fit an 8 or 9-inch pie dish. to prevent the dough from sticking and to ensure uniform thickness, roll from the center of the dough outwards and keep lifting up and turning the dough a quarter turn as you roll. 

check for the correct size by inverting the pie dish over the dough. the dough should be about 2 inches larger than the dish. 

being careful not to stretch the dough, fit into pie dish then trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish. refrigerate while you make the pie filling. 

making the pie filling: 
stir sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel, allspice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. add blueberries and gently toss to combine. transfer the blueberry filling to the prepared pie crust. refrigerate while you prepare the lattice crust.

assembling and adding the lattice crust: 
roll out the second half of dough to a similar size as before. cut into 3/4-inch strips. lay five strips over filled pie, parallel and equally spaced from one another. 

carefully fold back the second and fourth strips then lay another strip of dough perpendicular to them. unfold second and fourth strips over new strip. fold back the first, third and fifth strips then lay another strip of dough perpendicular to them. unfold the first, third and fifth strips over the new strip. repeat until pie has been covered with a lattice crust.

trim dough strips to 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish. fold edges of strips and bottom dough underneath itself, creating a thicker border that rests on the lip of the dish. crimp edges.

dot the butter over the open areas of the lattice. make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together then brush over pie dough. sprinkle tablespoon of coarse sugar over crust. refrigerate pie 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking. 

to finish: 
heat oven to 400 degrees F. position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven then place a baking sheet on rack. (the baking sheet will catch any drips from the pie while baking). 

bake chilled pie on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F then continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and juices in the filling are bubbling eagerly. if, while baking, the crust begins to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake until done.

cool 2 to 3 hours before cutting to allow filling to set. enjoy! 

2. blueberry buckle
for the cake: 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) 
  • additional shortening and flour to prepare the baking pan 
for the topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup butter
for the glaze: 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon add more if needed
  • 2 tbsp honey or vanilla-flavored greek yogurt optional 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
  1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. in a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. add the egg and mix until blended. then add the milk and mix again until blended. 
  3. in a separate bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture slowly until blended. fold in the blueberries.
  4. grease and flour a 9x9 or 8x10 pan. spread the blueberry batter evenly into the prepared pan. 
  5. to make the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. with a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. sprinkle over the cake mixture in the pan. 
  6. bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes for an 8x10 pan or 45-50 minutes for a 9x9 pan (until cake tested comes out clean). other size baking pans may be used - just adjust the cooking time accordingly. 
  7. make the lemon glaze while the cake is baking, whisk the powdered sugar with the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. 
  8. cut the buckle into squares and drizzle with the lemon glaze.
  9. serve warm or cold, plain or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 


expert hair tips and beauty must-haves with jessica elbaum, celebrity hairstylist

as we kick off the month of august, we are beyond delighted to bring you this week's kai conversation with one of the most highly sought after hollywood celebrity hair stylists, jessica elbaum, who we are so lucky to call one of our dear friends and kai devotees. jess is currently stationed in hawaii, working as their hair department head for magnum p.i., and we've been drooling over her recent photos showing the stunning backdrops of the dreamy hawaiian beaches and gorgeous nature all around. jess was also responsible for styling the gorgeous locks of all the talent on modern family for over 7 years. we're huge admirers and supporters of all her incredible work, and we highly encourage you to check out and follow her amazing instagram feed which shares the behind-the-scenes of her work, hugely helpful hair & makeup tips, as well as her super fun personal adventures. we are so fortunate to have received these expert hair tips and beauty must-haves from jess to share with our community. please enjoy the post below, and stay tuned for a super exciting giveaway collaboration with jess to be announced soon!


which products do you consider your must-haves while you are in hawaii this summer? what products do you swear by? please share any/all essentials that are kai offerings as well as non-kai offerings! 

my must-have products are all about the glow! i love kai *rose body glow. i use that every time i get out of the ocean or the shower. i'm always always using sunscreen. my go-to is one made by Sisley Paris. i'm also using the Sisley Paris Lip Twist in #13. it's a perfect tropical shade for hawaii. i also can't live with out the kai shampoo & conditioner. 

what are you seeing as the most popular hair and makeup trends for this year? 

i'm loving to see people embracing their natural hair textures. using less heat on their hair and to create waves, i sleep in hair oil & two braids. i wake up with perfect beach waves. 

what has been the accomplishment that you are most proud of during your career? 

working on Modern Family will always be something i will look back on and be honored to be a part of. my current show is being the Department Head of Magnum PI. i'm very proud of this job because they moved me to hawaii & it's been a true blessing so far! 

are there any special vitamins you recommend or foods to eat that help keep hair and skin as healthy and glowing as possible? 

i recommend a daily vitamin that includes biotin. eating a lot of fish and veggies really helps my skin to glow. also don't forget to drink a ton of water. 

tell us about DIY hair and/or makeup any suggestions, which you might have currently that are fun and trending. 

getting beach waves with out heat! wither braiding at night, and also the tube sock waves. heatless styling is trending for sure! 

could you please provide us with some tips for keeping hair and makeup looking best during the summer season when people are running around outdoors at the beach & pool, and the weather is warmer? 

for your hair it's all about starting with the right shampoo & conditioner. followed by a leave-in spray & hair oil. that helps with frizz & humidity. for your makeup, i say embrace the summer glow, and to keep it from melting i always use the urban decay setting spray.

do you have any recommendations for keeping hair looking great for zoom/ video calls at home? 

it's all about the right products and spraying each piece of hair with hairspray before using your curling iron. that helps it last. also adding a fun headband or clip will help you stand out in your zoom. i also wear red lipstick too when on zoom calls! 

thank you... jessica! 


celebrity gift guide series: summer essentials

with the beach, pool, and vacation season in full swing, we wanted to highlight a few "summer essentials" product offerings that some of our beloved celebrity devotees highly recommend! we are so blessed to have the strong support of our amazing community of loyal customers and fans. many kind thanks to you all from the bottom of our hearts! we thought you'd enjoy seeing these quotes & product favorites from some of our influential devotees including oprah, naomi watts, mindy kaling and jennifer garner highlighting kai offerings that are perfect for summertime! 


oprah's pick: kai body buffer and body butter

referring to the kai body buffer and body butter found on oprah's list of favorite things, oprah says "it's clean and fresh." - oprah winfrey

naomi watts's pick: kai perfume oil

"i love kai's roll-on fragrance. it's fresh, not too strong. there's a bit of gardenia in there, which makes it lovely." - naomi watts

mindy kaling's pick: kai body lotion

"i love kai's body lotion. it's light but moisturizing and smells like summer." - mindy kaling

jennifer garner's pick: kai body glow

"i love the kai lotions, candles, and body oil... it's very fresh and clean." - jennifer garner

check back next season for the kai celebrity gift guide series: fall essentials!