Put a Beachy, Early Morning Twist on Your Fourth of July Gatherings

It’s July!—this month marks the pinnacle of summer and with it brings treasured family celebrations with good old-fashioned summer flare.  Put your own twist on Independence Day traditions. Since fireworks cap off the day with an evening tribute, create a morning celebration at the beach with a sun-kissed breakfast!
One of my oldest and dearest friends celebrates beach breakfasts on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I will never forget the smell of her mom’s pajama cake still hot from the oven or the sweet, plump Michigan blueberries perfectly placed in yogurt parfaits. Memories call back the early morning sun above the blues of the lake, the soft sand between our toes, the piping hot coffee warming our hands and, of course, the sound of the seagulls anxiously awaiting the spread of our beach breakfast.

So, grab a picnic basket and line it with a red/white/blue checkered tablecloth, add festive, toss-away dinnerware and plan a holiday breakfast that will awaken even your latest snoozers.  Keep things easy and portable with freshly squeezed juice from the store, a thermos (or two) of coffee, a sausage/egg casserole wrapped heavily in foil in a disposable pan, yogurt parfaits in small Mason jars and a scrumptious coffee cake.  And, don’t forget a small floral arrangement of just-picked flowers from your garden and pop in an American flag to add flare to your picnic.

As you breathe in the beachy air and feel the warmth of the sun, take a moment to celebrate our country, and enjoy your holiday destination breakfast with your loved ones.  Then, jump in the water and continue the celebration until the sun sinks into the horizon and the bonfires light the shoreline.  Boom, crack, pop—the fireworks soon light up the sky!  Happy Fourth of July, America!

Pajama Cake
Recipe from Kathy Snyder

1-1 ½ cups flour
Dash of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 stick butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup milk
Cinnamon/sugar mixture (1 tsp. cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar)

In a large bowl, mix together first seven ingredients, working just enough flour to make a thin batter—the consistency of a cake batter. Pour the batter into a greased 9x11 or 9x13 pan. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot in your pajamas!