Red Doors

There are a lot of things I love about our yearly week at the beach.
Seeing my Grandpa would certainly top the list, along with taking pictures of my family playing.

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And it does my heart good to soak up  a lot of this.

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I love to watch the ocean.  It is continually changing, and I find that I learn many things about life while I watch the waves and allow my heart to be still.

I also love to look at the beach houses.  Many of them seem to have such personalities.  I love it.

This year my fascination was with doors.

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Let me be more accurate.  I loved many doors, but what I REALLY loved were the RED doors.

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Wow.  Red with blue trim.  Love it.

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This was taken from the car.  Not the best shot, but still a great door.

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This might have been my favorite, but the traffic wouldn’t allow me to cross the street and get a shot without the car.  Bummer.  I love the double doors and the blue awning.

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This one might be my favorite, too.  Red door, white trim, blue house.  Can’t get much better than that!
I love the windows on it.

There’s just something about red front doors.   Especially at the beach.
I might have to paint my own front door red.

Fourth of July Muffins

These muffins were a hit at our annual 4th of July breakfast.
Full of fresh blueberries and raspberries, they were the perfect muffin for a festive morning.
They are also a delicious way to enjoy the fruits of the berry season.

Start by mixing together 4 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.

Rinse 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries.

Add the berries to the flour mixture.  Gently toss until the berries are mixed in.

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In another bowl, crack 4 large eggs.

Beat them gently.

Add 2 cups sour cream to the egg mixture.

Mix together, then add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.

and 1 cup vegetable oil.

Mix well, until smooth and the oil is fully incorporated.

Pour egg mixture into the bowl of flour and berries.

Stir gently, until the dry ingredients are moistened.

You want to keep the berries intact, if possible, although the raspberries may come apart a bit.
The batter will be colorful and moist.

Fill 24 muffin cups with the batter and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Mix well.  In a separate bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter.  Pour the melted butter over the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Mix together until it looks like this:

Gently spoon some of the sugar mixture over the top of each muffin.

This mixture will result in a slightly crisp topping, and some of it will cook down the sides of the muffins for a yummy, sticky candy-like taste.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes.  Remove from pans.

You can cool the muffins or serve them warm.  They are so tasty!

Very moist, and every bite has plenty of flavor thanks to the fresh berries.

They’ll be going, going, gone!

4th of July Muffins

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
4 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil

topping:
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Rinse berries and add to flour mixture.
Mix gently.  In separate bowl, lightly beat 4 eggs.  Add sour cream and mix well.
Add vanilla and oil, and mix well, making certain that oil is fully incorporated.
Pour egg mixture into dry mixture and gently mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
Scoop batter into 24 muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.

To make topping:  combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.  Melt butter and add to sugar.
Stir until crumbly.  Spoon sugar over muffins.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove.  Serve and enjoy!

Hopeful Homemaker

Happy Independence Day!

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I must admit, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.
It has been for many years.  I love decorating for it, cooking for it, planning for it, getting ready for it.

This year my plans were a little overshadowed by 2 things:
returning from vacation to cherry trees that needed to be picked and preserved right away,
and being 7 1/2 months pregnant.  I’m slowing down more than I’d like.

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Still, it’s always fun to do as much as I can to make the day special.
Of course, today is about a whole lot more than colors and food and flags and spending time with family and friends.
It’s about a generation of men and women who pulled off one of the greatest miracles in the history of the world.
They gave us the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Remarkable documents.
Have you read them lately?
I highly recommend it.  You might be surprised to notice how much our government today resembles that of King George and how little our government today adheres to the Constitution.
But that’s another discussion.

Today I celebrate George Washington, who gave so much of his life to the cause, who was, as King George said, “the greatest man in the world.”  I celebrate John Adams and his wife, who sacrificed so much of their married life to the cause of liberty.  I celebrate Henry Knox, whose persistence and determination in hauling 80 cannon to Boston inspires me.  I celebrate John Glover, who led the men that so many times ferried Washington’s army across rivers in the night at pivotal points in the war, arguably saving the revolution on multiple occasions.  I celebrate the men who left bloody footprints in the snow as they suffered for a principle that burned deeply enough in their souls that they stuck around.  And I hope, how I hope, that I am a person who is prepared to stand, to honor by my own actions, all that they stood for.  I hope I can teach my children these same things.

So in the midst of the festivities, I hope we spend some time really considering what it means to be the beneficiaries of that founding generation.  THAT is why we celebrate, after all.

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Happy Independence Day!

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