Friday, February 1, 2013

mid-winter blues & blueberry muffins

January is over and I for one am happy to see it gone.  January is just one of those months where I seem to feel down in the dumps.  Cold, dreary weather and lack of sunlight leave me feeling sluggish and longing for spring.

The weather has been all over the map these past couple weeks.  We went from -16 frigid deep freeze temps to +14 with thunderstorms in a matter of a week and today, it's wintery outside...again.   I'm sure I'll be seeing much more of fluffy white stuff this month.  

But I won't let that get me down.  Spring is coming and before long I'll be making these muffins with fresh local berries, but for now, store-bought ones work just fine.   I found the recipe on where else...Pinterest.  It was another one I can say was a success.  So much so that I can't wait to make them again.  They were that good.  If you love muffins, and who doesn't, then these would be a perfect addition to your morning coffee. 

Have a fabulous Friday!

blueberry streusel muffins
recipe adapted from: a cook's quest

streusel topping
3 tablespoon white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
5 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups blueberries
1 1/8 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make steusel, combine ingredients and mix in a bowl until it is the size of peas. Set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or liners.

Bring 1 cup blueberries, water,  and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook, mashing the berries with your potato masher or fork several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced by about half.  (about 6 minutes).
Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes).

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
Whisk remaining sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and well combined.
Slowly mix in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla.
Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)

Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle streusel evenly over muffins.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
Beun appetito!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

virtual coffee date

It seems like we were just celebrating the New Year and here we are half way through January.  We stop for a season to celebrate and then life just moves on.  The weeks are busy and seem to fly by.  I don't take the time to write here often.  It's not that I don't want to.  Sometimes there just isn't much to say and all I could do is share pictures or a recipe with you.  

Today, I'm going to have a virtual coffee date with you. I'm going to share what's on my heart and mind.
If we were having coffee on this cold, blustery January morning, we'd sit in the living room, I'd serve one of these blueberry muffins to enjoy with that coffee.  I'll share the recipe with you this week.  I'd tell you I gave some to my mom and she almost didn't believe me that I baked them.  They are that good. 

I'm sure we'd have these three waiting at our feet for a crumb to drop, begging with their sweet, beautiful dark eyes.  

If we were having coffee this morning, I'd tell you how happy I am that Michael will be starting a new job in a week.  No more long commute to work.  That in itself is a blessing more than words can express.

If we were having coffee this morning, I'd tell you how I attended the funeral of Michael's uncle this past week.  The stories that were shared of Lino were a testament to the wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend that he was.  He was a man who truly lived life to it's fullest.  He leaves a legacy to all to do the same.

If we were having coffee this morning, I'd probably complain about the weather and tell you how much I long for spring. I'd also tell you that that I've been looking up flights to anywhere warm and my feet just may be in some warm sand before long.  

I'd tell you that I've finally committed to running a half-marathon and will be running the half in Niagara Falls in October.  I know it's a long ways a way, but I for one will need this amount of time to train and will likely join a running group in early summer to prepare.  

I'd thank you for stopping in and tell you your friendship means the world to me.  I'm already looking forward to our next coffee date.  Have a great Sunday.