Our trek begins in Manhattan, where we cross the 59th Street Bridge. Yes, the same span on which Simon and Garfunkel were "feelin' groovy," all those years ago. Click on the arrow in the window below to watch them sing the classic tune in Central Park. If you need a pick-me-up, this should do it.
Are you "Feelin' Groovy" yet?...
Click on the map to learn more
about Long Island, New York.
Map courtesy of Loving Long-Island.com
On the Manhattan end of Long Island sits Queens, one of New York's five boroughs and the place I (and the Mets) call home. Driving east, toward the rising sun, apartment buildings and row houses gradually give way to middle class homes. We're now leaving New York City and entering what we locals think of as "Long Island" proper.
A fun summer read,
Murder Most Frothy takes
my coffeehouse manager
and amateur sleuth,
Clare Cosi, to New York's
Hamptons, the fabled seaside
playground of the rich and
famous on the "South Fork"
of Long Island. To learn more
about this frothy culinary
murder mystery, click here.
If strolling through historic villages floats your boat (as it does mine), then you should be buoyed by the many quaint towns along both shorelines.
National landmarks are worth a look, too, like Teddy Roosevelt's stunning Victorian home, Sagamore Hill (aka his "summer White House"), near the scenic town of Oyster Bay on Long Island's North Shore.
|Teddy Roosevelt's Victorian home,|
near Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Continue driving east and the Island takes on a much more pastoral complexion. At the end of the island, the land splits into the "North Fork" and the "South Fork," the latter is where you will find the famous Hamptons, a collection of seaside villages where rich and famous folk, especially those who live in New York City, have summer homes.
Although you will find uber-rich people out here with their yacht clubs, stables, and summer houses, you will also find families who've been here for many generations, along with working vineyards and farms. Touring around this area is a beautiful way to spend a day (or two or three)...
Strawberries are one of the big crops of their summer season. In fact, many of the farms feature pick-your-own strawberry patches.
I didn't pick my own today, although picking your own is a fun outing for young and old...
Okay, now you're ready for a snack, right?
Full disclosure: For today's recipe, I got my strawberries the old-fashioned way, at the grocery store, where the sign next to the stacked containers of bright red berries declared: "Buy 1, Get 1 Free!"
and I'm sure most you will agree...
Nothing says summer like a stop
by a local farmer's roadside stand.
To check out New York State's
Cleo Coyle has a partner in
Learn about their books
This is one of my favorite summertime muffins. It has the taste of a strawberry shortcake but with less fat and calories, making it a lovely breakfast or coffee-break snack. If you should want to make it richer, simply replace the low fat milk with whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream. However you decide to bake them, I hope you eat them with summertime joy! Love...
To download a fee PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.
Cleo's Strawberry Shortcake Muffins
Makes 6 standard muffins
or 3 large, or 8 small berries. Or about 2/3 cup when chopped.)
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1/4 cup white, granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola (or vegetable or cold-pressed virgin coconut) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup low fat milk (2% milk gives great results; for a richer tasting
muffin, use whole milk, half-and-half, or cream)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
|Batter before flour is added.|
Step 3 - Add dry ingredients: Measure flour and pour into the wet ingredients. With a spoon or spatula gently mix dry and wet ingredients to form a lumpy batter. Do not over mix at this stage, but be sure to blend the raw flour completely into your batter.
|Never over mix muffin batter or you'll develop|
the gluten in the flour and your muffins
will be tough instead of tender.
Step 4 - Bake: This batter will make 6 standard muffins so divide it up evenly among your paper-lined cups. I use the two tablespoon method, scooping up the sticky batter with one spoon and scraping it off with the other. Bake in a well preheated 350º F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The muffins are not done until the tops have turned golden brown (see my photos)...
For a free PDF of this recipe,
click here or on the image below.
Summer is here, with all its