Thankgsiving Muffins

I hope everybody is having a Happy Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays as there is no pressure of buying gifts and making everybody happy.

There are no set expectations of “the perfect Thanksgiving.”

Because of this, I like to start off the morning making something special for breakfast – either scones, blueberry muffins, Sister Shubert’s Cinnamon Rolls – anything that’s out of the ordinary from cereal or breakfast bars.

Last week I was in World Market and saw these muffin mixes that fit the bill perfectly.

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They had two flavors, which both looked tempting – Bacon Cheddar Onion and Rosemary Raisin Pecan retailing for $4.99. I usually don’t go for expensive mixes as I can make muffins from scratch or just buy a Duncan Hines bread mix for almost half of that price. However, these were 20% off and for $4 I thought – why not?

These didn’t disappoint. The mix was simple – just add milk, butter, an egg and pour into a greased muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes and you’re done. The rosemary aroma from the oven was divine, but the taste was even better.

Do you eat these for breakfast or a dinner meal? Either. For breakfast, it was perfect with the delicate raisins in the mix, but it could be served with the Thanksgiving meal as it tends to be more savory than sweet.

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Vogel State Park – Fall Hike

Autumn:

Crisp Air.

Harvest Time.

Fall Leaves.

Time to get out of Atlanta and go “Leaf- peeping”

The Former Lumpkin County Courthouse is now home to the Dahlonega Gold Museum

First stop is Dahlonega. Flags and crosses honoring veterans line the streets leading into the town of 5,000 residents. Central to the historic downtown is the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Housed in the original Lumpkin County Courthouse – the oldest courthouse in Georgia, the museum details the history of the first gold rush in U.S. history.

 

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We stopped at The Picnic Cafe and Dessertery across from the Gold Museum to order sandwiches to go – chicken salad and BBQ Pork. While waiting for the food, I walked next door to the Dahlonega General Store filled with a collection of different gems, stones and geodes for sale. An old fashioned piano player played tunes while tourists looked at t-shirts, hats, walking sticks and candy. Scented candles, soaps and cards were in the back of the store. My mother-in-law even purchased a Santa decoration for an upcoming Christmas swap. (How she will get it on the airplane – nobody knows.)

Back on the road, which was pretty curvy, the landscape was dotted with oranges, yellows and a few reds. Despite the captivating scenery, we had to roll the windows down to help prevent motion sickness for those in the far back seat. Another 45 minutes and we reached Vogel State Park.

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At the base of Blood Mountain, Vogel is one of Georgia’s oldest state parks. A glistening lake sits to the right of the road, while cabins provide overnight accomodations. Choosing a spot near the lake pavillion, we set up our picnic at the tables. The orange and brown leaves against the blue sky backdrop were magnificent. As the sun warmed us up, we decided to hike around Lake Trahlyta. Built in the 1930’s when the Civilian Conservation Corps damned Wolf Creek, the 22 acre lake is a popular fishing spot. The one mile trail is flat and easy – perfect for both the in-laws and the children. Benches and swings bring rest to the weary.

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Trahlyta Falls – the highlight of Vogel

At the far end of the lake, we walked the short distance to Traylyta Falls. The path descends for 1/4 mile leading to the observation deck near the base of the 110 foot falls. Water rushes underneath the deck making visitors feel part of the falls.

Peace.

Serenity.

Even though we were about a week past the “peak”, the trip was well worth it. For more information, visit www.gastateparks.org/Vogel.

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