South Fork Eagle River Trail

South Fork Eagle River Trailhead

South Fork Eagle River Trailhead

Even though we had a pretty gloomy 4th of July holiday weekend last week, It was still decent enough to venture out into the wilderness for a nice long hike.

The South Fork Trail in Eagle River is a fairly easy, and relatively level, trail that winds through some very beautiful alpine and mountain scenery. Wildflowers were everywhere the eye could see, and the teal color and gently flowing waters of the south fork of Eagle River was so lovely.

There were many other hikers on the trail that day, so I wasn’t really worried about running into a bear – although I did find myself scanning the area frequently, so as not to have any surprise encounters. I did see quite a few moose though, including a mamma moose with a calf. The photo I took of them, seen below, was taken from a long distance away. You’ll find yourself in big trouble if you get between a mamma moose and her calf, so I always treat them with respect and give them a wide berth, when at all possible.

Sorry some of the photos are a little dark, but as I mentioned, it was a pretty gloomy day. As is typical on many of my hikes though, the sun started to emerge just as I was returning to the trailhead. (Note: you can click on any picture to view a larger version)

~Enjoy~
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Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

Happy Independence Day! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday so far.

We woke to grey skies and rain this morning, so it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a damp day here in our neck of the woods. It’s a little chilly too, only 48 degrees here right now, and I noticed that there’s even a dusting of fresh snow at the top of some of the mountain peaks. I sure hope the temperature rises and the rain lets up this afternoon though, so the hamburgers don’t get too wet on the barbecue grill.

But even if it is a gloomy day and we may have to eat soggy hamburgers, at least this festive red, white & blue Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake will brighten up the dessert table. I’ll just have to be sure to keep it out of the rain. It’s a moist cake already, so it doesn’t really need added moisture. :)

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!

~Enjoy~




Patriotic Coconut Bundt Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 cup milk
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the coconut extract. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth.

Pour 1 cup of batter into a bowl and add a few drops of the red food coloring, mix well. Pour 1 cup of batter into another bowl and add a few drops of the blue food coloring, mix well.

Pour the red cake batter into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan. Carefully pour the white batter over the red batter, and then pour the blue batter over the white batter.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and cool completely. Drizzle with Glaze and decorate with Red & Blue Coconut. (recipes below)

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon milk

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, coconut extract and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Red & Blue Coconut:
1/4 cup shredded coconut, divided
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring

Directions:
Place 1/8 cup coconut in one zip-top plastic bag, and 1/8 cup coconut in another zip-top plastic bag. Add 2 to 4 drops of red food coloring to one bag and 2 to 4 drops of blue food coloring to the other. Seal bags shut. Shake and massage the bags to coat all the pieces of coconut with coloring. Add additional food coloring if the color is not dark enough.

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