Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Whenever I go to the market with my children I try to get them to pick a new fruit or vegetable. This tactic seems to work just a teeny tiny bit better for getting them to try new things and have healthy options. So one day, not too long ago, my daughter started jumping up and down and begging for the blueberries. They looked good. The price still wasn't that low. But....

Me: Will you eat them?
Danielle: Yes!
Me: Promise?
Danielle: Yes! I love them!
Me: Are you sure?
Danielle: Mommmmmmyyyyyy... I want blueberries. They are sooooo yummy and I am going to eat all of them all up as soon as we get home.
Me: Okay then. You better eat them!

Flash forward an hour or so. Danielle eats one. She makes a face and pushes the basket away. I throw back a few. Nicholas wouldn't try them. And forget my husband. He is the worst!

You see last summer in Vermont, Danielle at a gazillion blueberries from a wild bush but the commercial variety do not seem to appeal to her too much. They are plump and pretty but do not have that same sweet and sour taste. So they sat in the refrigerator. And sat. And sat. And finally... there was only really one thing to do with them!

The problem was. I am not the biggest fan of muffins. They always taste just okay to me and after eating them I feel more bloated than if I ate a whole pizza! And YES, I have eaten a whole pizza once or twice in my life! The muffins just seem to sit in my stomach like a ton of bricks. But others like muffins so I could always bring some to my mom, grandmother, kid's teachers etc... Right?

WRONG! These turned out sooooo good that a couple made it to my mom's house and that was it! We gobbled them up for 2 days and then I froze just a couple for some special morning when I really wanted a sweet confection. Really these are probably THE best muffins I have ever had. You must give them a try.

Blueberry Muffins Recipe
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Greek style yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp flour (if using defrosted frozen berries)

cinnamon sugar mixture

1 Adjust the oven rack to the middle-lower part of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

3 In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each one. Beat in the grated lemon peel.

4 Beat in one half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Beat in one third of the yogurt. Beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in a second third of the yogurt. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the remaining yogurt. Again be careful to beat until just incorporated. Do not over beat. Fold in the berries. If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, drain the excess liquid, and then coat them in a light dusting of flour.

5 Use a standard 12-muffin muffin pan. Coat each muffin cup lightly with oil using a pastry brush, or with a little butter. Or use one of those convenient vegetable oil sprays. Distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and serve slightly warm.

Just perfect! And soooo moist. Delish!

P.S. If you think I am missing or MIA recently and possibly continue to forget to visit or post now and then it is just because with the warm, summer-like weather we have had here in So. Cal., I have been inspired to get off the computer and play with the kids, go for long walks, go to the pool (our community pool is now heated again), exercise, take the kids to Disneyland (with our passes), go to the pool, go out to eat, make margaritas, drink wine outdoors, go skating, go to the pool, make black bean soup, make cilantro pepita dressing, make cocktails, go to the pool, go to the beach, make more play dates, sign the kids up for camp, go to the pool, watch movies, have friends over for dinner, make food out of nothing, teach a friend from Romania how to make Mexican food, go to the pool, help plan a cousin's wedding, make birth announcements, go to the pool, go shopping, go to sushi, buy clothes, go to the pool, make mini tuna crab cakes in little mini tortilla bowls and take them to friends at the pool (I am so mad I didn't take a picture of this yesterday! They were GOOD, cute and I didn't even think I had anything for lunch before envisioning it), meet up with old friends you now talk to on FB, go to a museum, order pizza with friends, have more friends over, did I say go to the pool?

Needless to say my kids are progressing by leaps and bounds in their swimming skills. They are great. I am proud. We are fat, VERY tan and happy. So if you do miss me... I think you know where to find me! AT THE POOL! So come on down and join us! Bring some sunscreen.