I was poised in front of the kitchen window this morning drinking in the sunlight spilling in. I've been a bit blue this week. It's been cold, dark, and rainy as of late, not really a combination I enjoy one bit. Maybe it's all the work I did over the holidays catching up to me or finally having a few quite moments of reflection.
I'll heard good news and it brings my smile back quickly. Then I hear bad news and it rips off the band-aid to a wound that hasn't quite yet healed. It's been a tremendous year of loss for my own family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. I try not to let these things keep me down, but sometimes I just need to stop for a moment and really let it all soak in.
I let this week be a blue week, but next week I'm bringing back the sunshine. I'm looking ahead and switching course. It's a new year and it's time for new memories, hopefully more new friends and who knows what else is possible.
I for one have so many things already on my want-to-do list. Furniture yet to find and redesign, recipes already sketched out in my mind, parties I want to throw, crafts to glitter and bedazzle, places I want to visit. (Seriously, you have no idea how bad I need a vacation? In fact so much so I've solicited a Heavy Metal band to be their roadie just so I can get a free European vacation.) (You thinking I'm kidding here, huh?) I find looking ahead is my way out of where I'm stuck at.
I decided to change up this coffee cake recipe from Sunset just for kicks!
12 ounces frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut up into 1/2" sized pieces
Zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 large eggs
Cream cheese mixture:
5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted, salted almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1) In a sauce pan over medium heat bring blueberries, sugar, and water to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. In a small bowl blend cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stir until thickened. Let cool.
2) In a food processor add flour, sugar, butter, and lemon zest. Pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup; pour remaining into a large bowl. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. If you don't have a food processor, a pastry blender works great.
3) Add yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice, and eggs; stir into flour mixture until incorporated.
4) Use a muffin pan with 12 cups, line the cups with paper or aluminum liners and fill the 12 cups with the batter mixture evenly divided. Make a slight indent in the center with a spoon.
5) In a food processor (or bowl) mix together cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Divide this mixture evenly over the batter.
6) Divide the blueberry mixture over the cream cheese layer.
7) Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top of the blueberry layer.
8) Divide the nuts evenly over the 12 muffins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Do you have any big plans for the year ahead?
p.s. Don't worry I'll still blog while I'm on the road.