Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dune Rides

As I mentioned in my latest muffin recipe post, Rob and I went on a mini vacation recently. Every year, for the past four years, we have gone to Saugatuck Michigan. It's a really easy trip, only about a two and a half hour drive from Chicago. It's a great place to get away from the city and just relax. Ahhhh.

I've blogged about Saugatuck before. The most recent post was about our Fenn Valley Winery tour. That was amazing! It was a perfect autumn day. This time around it was hot and sunny. We hung out at the beach, went on a sunset cruise and went on a dune ride. I just had to blog about the dune ride because it was just so much fun and not at all what I was expecting. It's fast...very fast! It was also educational. The dunes actually formed because of The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The land was originally thick with trees and after the fire, the town of Singapore Michigan was almost completed deforested for the wood. The lumber was shipped to Chicago and used to rebuild the city. After the trees were wiped out, the wind off of lake Michigan blew sand inland and created the dunes at an alarmingly fast rate. The town of Singapore was eventually evacuated and is now buried deep under the dunes. And now it's a perfect place for a dune ride. Whooohoo!

So here are some pictures from the ride. We had a really fun and funny tour guide/driver named Joey. He told us that the last row of seats was the bumpiest so we took on the challenge.

You can't tell, but we were actually going really fast when Rob took this picture. I am gripping onto the seat with my left hand...yikes!

Our fellow co-riders:

Our tour guide/driver:

I think his hands weren't on the wheel. He did that a couple times to scare us. Ha!

So purdy!

Construction? It's like being back in Chicago.

Our driver tried to convince us that a worker was buried in the dune. If you look closely you'll see feets sticking up. Something tells me he's lying...

Can anyone say, workers' compensation? Haha.

He took us up to the highest dune and we had some time to stop and get out to take pictures. Here I am on the dune:

This is a better picture of what was behind me. It's quite breathtaking:

If you are ever anywhere near Saugatuck, you must go on a dune ride. It was tons-o-fun.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

Wow, I have so much to blog about! Rob and I went on a much needed mini vacation last week. I have a lot to share but I wanted my first post to be a recipe post since it's been a while. On our drive home we stopped at a Earl's Farm Market, a U-pick fruit farm. We loaded up on raspberries and blueberries. We picked 3 pints of raspberries and 10 pounds of blueberries. Yes, 10 pounds! It was quite a process picking them and even more of a process washing them and packaging them for freezing. But now I have a lot of frozen fruit for future baking.

I wanted to start out baking with the raspberries. I found an easy recipe online so I couldn't resist. They are yummy!

Printable Recipe

Adapted from AllRecipes.com


2 egg whites
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh raspberries*

*If using frozen raspberries, allow to thaw before using.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs whites, yogurt, vegetable oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and lightly mix until blended. Fold in the raspberries.

4. Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin tins. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Cool for one hour before eating.

6. Eat 'em up!

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