Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just the Girls

 

 

 

We have always set aside a morning or afternoon, while on vacation, to find a place to do a little shopping; just the girls on the trip. This year's vacation was no exception and we discovered a delightful little side street with some unique shops, in the town of Oscoda, nestled right on the shores of Lake Huron.

 

 

There were shops surrounded by blooming flowers, benches and chairs designed for taking a rest and just down the street, a gorgeous view of the lake.

 

 

The shops contained the kinds of things I like to purchase when I'm on vacation. There were local crafts and many items unique to the area. There were the cutest pillows stitched with gingham letters, naming all the lakes in the area; perfect for cottage decor. I came home with a scented candle and some homemade apple butter; both in pretty mason jars.

Discovering new things while on vacation is always fun and the fact that this lovely side street was an unexpected find, made it even more special.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Low Sugar Cherry Coffee Cake

 

 

Michigan cherries are in season and if you are lucky enough to be in the Traverse City area, baskets full can be found in abundance at every farm stand. You will also see cherry trees as far as the eye can see, since that area of northern Michigan produces 75% of the word's cherries.

 

 

To celebrate Michigan cherry season, I decided to make something using this beautiful and delicious fruit that would show off its vibrant color and taste. I found an old Martha Stewart Living recipe for Cherry Coffee Cake that I have adapted to suit my needs, by making a couple of changes. Instead of using tart cherries, I am using sweet Michigan cherries and as usual, to fit my diabetic standards, I have used Splenda white baking sugar, as well as Splenda brown sugar, for the crumb topping.

 

 

The sweet cherry taste was a perfect coffee cake flavor and this would be pretty enough to serve when entertaining. Fresh, local, in season fruit, makes any recipe better!

 

Low Sugar Cherry Coffee Cake


For the topping:

4 T butter, melted

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup Splenda baking sugar

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup Splenda baking sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup low fat milk

2 cups sweet cherries, pitted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9 inch round baking pan, dust with flour and tap out excess.

In a medium bowl, stir together topping ingredients; butter, flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon. Set topping aside.

In another medium bowl, using mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and milk. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with spatula. Dot top with cherries and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting. Enjoy!


{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

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Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

The Dedicated House

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Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Mom's Test Kitchen


Made From Pinterest

Coffee With Us Three

Gooseberry Patch

Mostly Homeade Mom


 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Two Lakes

 

 

 

In Michigan there are two kinds of lakes; inland lakes and of course, the Great Lakes. On my recent vacation with my extended family, I experienced a little of both.

 

 

It was a different vacation for me, a causality of an empty nest, with the added problem of a husband who had important meetings at work, he couldn't miss. So, it was just me, setting out on this trip to northern Michigan to join my parents, sister's family and brother's family at a cottage, near Lake Huron.

 

 

It was a quiet vacation and very relaxing. The weather was cool, rainy and alternated sun and clouds within minutes. Not exactly boating weather, but we took advantage of the time to read, shop, play cards and explore the many unique shoreline landscapes of Lake Huron. We cooked delicious meals at our cottage and I made breakfast for the whole group one morning that included strawberry shortcake waffles, with lots of whipped cream.

 

 

As is our tradition, we ended each day with a happy hour by the shore of the lake. On the last night, this lovely sunset gave us photo opportunities galore, as the clouds reflected on the lake. I missed my husband and daughters, but was thankful for the time spent with aging parents and nephews and nieces, all grown up. There were memories of other trips when the cottage was filled with small children and chaos and fun ensued daily. There are new memories to be made now; different, but just as special.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, July 18, 2014

What I Read on Vacation

 

 

 

I just returned from a vacation where the weather was cool, rainy and better suited for inside activities, like reading. Luckily, I had downloaded the new JoJo Moyes novel, One Plus One. I am a big fan of all her novels, especially Me Before You, and had very much anticipated this one.

This new book tells the story of Jess, a single mother who struggles with making ends meet and protecting her two quirky children from the neighborhood bullies. She throws caution to the wind and embarks on a cross country journey filled with hilarity, a bit romance and ultimately disappointment and sadness. The story is quite moving and the characters are vulnerable, learning to rely on each other throughout the course of their trip.

I read this book over 3 days and was unable to stop reading, until I finished it one night. And, like any good book, was sad when I did finish it. If you are looking for a good summer book to read on vacation, or next to the pool, this is the perfect choice.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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