Tag Archives: Seinfeld

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

Red (White) and Blue Muffins ~ Happy 4th of July!

Phew it’s been a while since I’ve whipped up any Martha Stewart treats in the kitchen, but last week I was inspired by the start of berry season, so I turned my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook open to blueberry muffins.

Have I mentioned that I’ve been working in a bakery for the past 5 months? Mostly helping customers up front, but it’s afforded me the opportunity to sample some delicious cookies, quick breads, brioche and blueberry muffins.

At the bakery, our muffins typically turn out huge with tops that far exceed the size of the rest of the muffin. And that’s pretty much everyone’s favorite part anyway right, so what’s not to love? (My mind is jumping to Seinfeld: “It’s not, ‘Top of the Muffin TO YOU!'” with flamboyant Elaine hand gestures and then later, “I gotta haul some stumps”…such a hilarious episode.)

ANY.WAY.

In pursuit of using up some strawberries from the fridge, I decided to make a batch of mini blueberry muffins and a batch of mini strawberry muffins. PS I only own a mini muffin tin. New York apartment and all that. PPS I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a strawberry muffin before. Have you? I was really quite excited at the prospect!

I’ve never really made muffins before, but I’m not sure why not since it only calls for very standard ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and eggs. I think I’ve always been scared that my muffins will stick to the tin and I’ve been too lazy to purchase those little paper cups, which also seem sort of a waste to the environment.

So with this, I made to sure to super duper butter the muffin tin, not only in the wells but all along the ridges too because I knew I wanted to try to “overstuff” them to create the large muffin tops. Then I dusted the whole tin with flour and scooped in heaping spoonfuls of batter – first up was blueberry.

Since I was using a mini tin, I thought the cook time should be decreased but I wasn’t sure by how much. So I started with 15 minutes, they were clearly not done, so I turned the tray and put them back in for another 10.

They seemed to be slightly browned on top, so I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes and then flipped them over and banged the tray a few times (a new trick I learned at work) so that the muffins slide right out. I only had to manually pull a few out and they ended up breaking, mostly because the berries were at the bottom of the well and had melted and stuck to the pan.

blueberry mini muffins
blueberry mini muffins

I rebuttered, refloured and did the same with the strawberry batter, although I had even more batter to use, so I cooked for 27 minutes instead of 25.

folding strawberries into muffin batter
folding strawberries into the batter

The strawberry muffin tops were much wider than the blueberry ones and they had kind of baked into one another so the flip and tap method didn’t work and I had to use a little knife to help pop the muffins out, but none of them broke.

the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins
the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins

Some tips:

  1. Toss the fruit with flour before folding it into the batter to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the tin.
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top of the raw muffins before baking for an extra sweet crunch. I did this on the strawberries but not on the blueberries.

    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
  3. Bake the muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet (especially with a mini muffin tin) so that you have a wider tray to handle. It’s hard to grasp narrow edges of a muffin tin with oven mitts on.

These muffins were quite addicting and I ate at least 4 warm ones straight away. The blueberry ones were tart (small blueberries) and the strawberry ones were pretty sweet. I LOVED the way the strawberry ones smelled in the oven – like strawberry shortcake – and just like summer.

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin
one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

How perfect for July 4th to have some summer berry muffins that are red and blue and white (the muffin part?) – yum!

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Spring is here so I guess I’ll get off the couch now

The “when it rains it pours” saying is so spot on and applicable to all kinds of situations.  Apparently for me, when it rains, it pours jobs. I went from having two volunteer jobs (plus this blog that’s not really a job but can be rather time-consuming) to having two volunteer jobs and two real jobs.  Part time jobs.  But still.  This is putting a damper on my do-as-I-please-all-the-time lifestyle I was starting to heavily embrace.

So what are these high-powered career-advancing occupations you might ask?  Writer and yoga teacher.  Two things I was already claiming on my Instagram profile but am now actually getting paid to do.  Or at least should be getting paid to do once the direct deposits are set up.

Back in January, I submitted some writing samples from this blog to various local writing outlets, including eCurrent, an online Ann Arbor journal chronicling art, music, food, theater and book happenings around town and Eater, a national food blog with dedicated sites for large cities like Detroit.  Never heard back from eCurrent 😦 but after a few months, the editor of Eater Detroit contacted me about coming on as a freelance contributor.  Woo woo!  Could I write about Ann Arbor?  Not so much as that is technically outside of their coverage zone.  But what a great opportunity to explore and learn more about Detroit.  (And perhaps write off some meals on next year’s tax return?)

So I EXCITINGLY present to you my first contribution to the site, which was published yesterday afternoon!!!

Then, more recently I was fired up about some poor gym/yoga etiquette and feeling all “Ugh these peeeeeople!!” as well as some: Elaine: “I will never understand people.”/Jerry: “They’re the worst.”  

It’s really bad news when pet peeves are riling you up during the meditation part of a yoga class, so I marched right home and applied for a yoga teaching position, as if one new job wasn’t enough.  If you want something done right….and all that good stuff.

Shockingly, the gym peeps emailed me same day and whaddayaknow I’m picking up two classes per week starting in May.  Talk about quick turnaround.  Now I’m getting nervous.  *Nervous laughter*  What if the students don’t like me?  Ironic given my impetus to apply in the first place.  Lol.  No I’m sure it will be fine and we will all get along swimmingly and we’ll do some yoga along the way. If you’re in Ann Arbor and are interested, I’ll let you know when and where I’m teaching and maybe you can come and stock the class with some friendlies.  😉

Okay on to some job-related prep work here!