nourishing & unapologetic
Breakfast for many is eggs, bacon, biscuits...and while I totally like those items, I tend to crave something sweet to start my day. A tender fruity or chocolately muffin fits that bill. When I was in college, I figured out the secret ingredient to making the best, most tender muffins...BUTTERMILK! I know it is a rather old school ingredient to have in a college refrigerator but I am a kind of an old person at heart who adores Southern food, so buttermilk in my fridge makes total sense.
Muffins aren't my everyday fuel; generally pastries for breakfast are reserved for weekends or traveling days. Though, when there's buttermilk on hand and it's a weekend or holiday, I'll probably break out the muffin tins. In preparation for the 4th of July, I made a batch of blueberry muffins to take for our visit with the I Family in Lee's Summit. Nick is always a skeptic when there's something sweet for breakfast. But, he definitely ate two muffins when they came out of the oven (quality control work, I'm sure).
Make these before summer escapes us. The bright blueberry flavor is a burst of the season, for sure.
Summer Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
(Makes 12-16 regular size muffins)
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or less if preferred)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon (orange is great too!)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups of blueberries (fresh preferred)
These are very quick and easy but don't let that fool you, they're quality. Wishing you muffin merriment soon! Talk to you soon.
Sunshine + sand + some of my favorite people: the perfect equation for a super vacation. We recently had the privilege to spend seven, yes 7!, glorious days in Treasure Island, FL. It was terrific!
But before I share the details, I must say I AM SORRY for my absence from my dear little blog. It's been a bit hectic around here. I was once told, you don't actually ever take vacation, you just rearrange time. If that isn't true, i don't know what is. I felt like I worked more to prepare to be gone and then I've been playing catch-up since we've got back home sweet home. Now I don't expect pity, because I got a killer tan (though I judiciously applied Bullfrog SPF 50) and some extra sleep between the two, but I wanted to acknowledge that I'd been neglecting Born Daily.
I will make it up to you in the best way I know how: all kinds of goodies! Coming soon, my pretties, coming soon... And as a token of making good on this promise, I give you the sunniest dessert I know: my very favorite lemon bars. I don't change a thing in this recipe. They're tried and true-- ooey, gooey, tart, and buttery. Make them for an instant break from reality.
Now, the details of our sunny getaway:
This trip was semi-spur of the moment. By semi, I mean we talked about it around Christmastime and then didn't revisit the thought until the end of May. But it worked out great. In the planning process, we secured surprisingly, decently cheap airfare from Allegiant and stumbled upon a quaint beach cottage, just the right size, through VRBO. We went with most of the hubby's family immediate family (we missed dear Ashton, Henrique, and our sweet niece) but had extra time with his dad (Tim), mom (Tamara), sister (Brinkley), and brother (Gage), plus Brinkley's other half (Michael).
It was our first test as a married couple with my in-laws/family and I think we all survived and thrived. Two thumbs up! It was nice to connect outside of our normal settings and enjoy the company.
But instead of muddling along in words, let's live the trip again via photos! I hope these images give you a quick escape and brighten your day. I know I'll be revisiting them whenever I need a dose of peace and Vitamin D.
Notice: lots of pictures ahead; your computer may load slowly.
It's almost the 4th of July! For me it's the unofficial high point of the summer...there is so much excitement and reverence surrounding it. It is a weekend of families, friends, and food for many, including us. But foremost, it is a day to remember why we can celebrate with BBQs, fireworks, and pool time. We are the "land of the Free because of the Brave." I am enormously grateful for those who have, currently do, and will serve in our Armed Forces. Take some time to appreciate, reflect, and honor our heroes and privileges.
We're looking forward to spending time with bestie M, her hubby J, and sweet baby C for part of the weekend and then with our families and more friends for the remainder of the weekend. I can promise I'll eat too much and likely have the remnants of a sunburn come Monday morning. As this post airs, I am in the kitchen baking some sweet treats for our festivities. Those recipes will appear on Born Daily soon.
In the meantime, I have some fast fixes you can add to your holiday spread. We'll start with one of Nick's favorite summer foods: sweet corn. Until him, I'd never seen anyone consume as many ears of corn as he can in one setting. He just plain loves it. And in true Nick style, let's cut to the chase.
Grilled Sweet Corn
6-8 ears of sweet corn
1 stick of salted butter
Nick has declared grilled corn his favorite way to eat corn on the cob. Undoubtedly, we'll be eating this on a regular basis until summer is over. And we can bet that when we have more space in a future garden, there will corn popping up in rows.
Now another quick fix for your summer meals: SPECIAL SAUCE! I know that sounds a little yucky or fast food-y, but really there's no better name. This sauce is great for burgers, brats, and fries. It's a pretty common combination of ingredients. Here's our rendition of special sauce.
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we're a Hellman's household)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 splashes Worcestershire Sauce
Celery Salt (if you have it on hand)
Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Serve in a small dish or squeeze bottle. (YES, it's that easy!)
Note: this was enough sauce for three hamburgers and three brats, but we're heavy condiment users so yours might spread a little further.
As always, thanks for reading along! May you have a wonderful 4th of July and weekend! And, may the independence we enjoy ever be honored and protected.
Talk to you soon!