Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beach 2010

So, this family vacation started way before I was born. My mom used to pack up all 11 of us and take us to Carlsbad state park and camp for 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks. My dad would join us for the last week. My parents grew up in California and love the beach and the same love was born in to the rest of us. Well, most of us. My oldest brother got married and brought his wife along. Then my oldest sister got married and brought her husband along and so on and so forth. Now about 50 of us plan a week long trip to California every year. We outgrew Carlsbad state beach and we only go for one week instead of 3. This year as I watched my neices and nephews body surf and sit out by the fire and play games I wondered if they will continue the tradition and bring their spouses and children. Technically we could get like 10-15 camp sites in the area we go to now as long as the KOA sticks around. We'll just have to see.

This is our youngest baby right now. Cassie's youngest girl, Laney. She LOVED the ocean.

Even in freezing cold, body numbing water, this girl was in the water and loving it.

I'm sure Cassie's feet went numb several times. She's get knocked over and head right back in with Cassie chasing after her.
She'd get so excited and flap her little hands in an excited dance. So cute. I have a video but I can't figure out how to upload it.

Isn't she so cute?! A bit cranky at times but super cute. She liked my flip flops.

The teen girls. I got Danica to look at me by aiming the camera and then calling her name. Smart right?

Ike, happy to be at the beach. Yes, blankies make it to the beach as well. There's still nap time you know.
Brianne with Ryker. (sp?) He was a bit sick and cranky too sometimes but so sweet. I got to hold him one day for like 3 hours and he just snuggled. I think it was a day he didn't feel well. I knew the feeling and I think we bonded over our misery.
Jannalee with Laney in the water. Giving Cassie a break from freezing feet.
So, I'm reading a book and my mom is sitting next to me and says, "is that us", while pointing out to the ocean. Normally 'us' is my brother in laws and sisters. But I looked around and noticed they  were all still on the beach. Turns out the 'us' was my nieces and nephews. Check them out. They're the little huddle of tiny black dots in the distance.
Next generation body surfers right there. Last year I saw the 12 year olds out there in the very deep water of the ocean and thought, "man, what are we thinking letting them out that far". Then I reminded myself that I've been going out that far since I was around six. My dad or a brother in law would hold me on my belly as a wave was coming and would yell, "kick kick kick kick" and that was how I learned to body surf.
And now the next generation is out there doing the same thing. I treaded water back then and I tread water now. I'm 5'2" and rarely reach the ocean floor. Beyond the break is one of my favorite places to be. Most comfortable and secure places and I am so glad that feeling and love has been passed to the next generation and I hope it continues on into the next generation.

The yearly California trip is probably my favorite thing ever. Oh, and we just sit on the beach all day. None of the, we have to be here and then we have to be there and make sure your here at this time, kind of things. We pack up lunches, cabanas, beach blankets, towels, chairs and kids and sit on the beach for about 6 hours. We read books and watch kids and snack and watch the new babies learn all the new joys that are the beach. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to pass the love onto to my own offspring. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Strawberries and cream muffin tops

So, how many of you get a nice scrumptiously delicious muffin and only eat the top with the crumbly part? I don't. I actually enjoy the whole muffin. In fact I generally prefer the bottom part. I tend to not be the norm however. My husband especially just loves the top with crumbly stuff on top. Therefore I have been toying with the idea of Muffin Tops. That's right. Just the top part WITH the crumbly deliciousness. I am happy to say I have now PERFECTED my idea. Including the yummy crumbly deliciousness. It is my pleasure to introduce to you the Strawberries and cream Muffin tops. Ta Da!

Like I said, even the crumbly top.

It took me 3 tries to perfect this idea. First there were, blueberry white chocolate muffin tops. They were good but too big and too sweet for my taste. The consensus from my salon, however, was that they were delicious. Even the pregnant coworker who didn't like much of anything liked them. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist though. Then I tried banana chocolate chip muffin top. That one failed miserably, but I am determined to try that one again. And then strawberries went on sale and I thought it was time to try again. I have to say that these are absolutely fabulous and sooooo scrumptious. I used strawberries but you could pretty much use any fruit.

Strawberries and Cream Muffin Tops
1/2 Cup softened Cream Cheese
6 Tablespoons of butter
2 eggs
whisk these 3 ingredients together until creamy
2 1/4 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cup chopped strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/blackberries/mix of all.
mix together thouroughly in a large bowl. Then add creamed ingredients and fold together. Add just enough milk to make all ingredients moist. Your dough will be lumpy. This is a good thing. Do not over mix.
1/8 Cup to 1/4 cup milk or evaporated milk.
CRUMBLY TOP-(I don't know how I feel about sharing this secret)
2/3 Cup white chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons butter
Melt. Start with 30 sec then stir. If not smooth heat for an additional 10 sec at a time. If it start to get grainy to not heat anymore just add flour.
3/4 cups of flour.
cut flour into butter and chocolate with knifes until crumbly.

drop muffin batter onto greased cookie sheet in 1/8 cup or 2 Tablesoon lumps. Kind of like cookies but a little bigger. Top with good amount of crumble. Bake at 350 for 15 min.