On Settling In

So it’s my first week back in Berkeley and it is as though the last three weeks never even happened. It’s the same old setting, same people, same pace, same activities. While I was cavorting across Australia, life in Berkeley continued in its monotony. I can’t help but feel a bit out of rhythm with life here, because I have changed so much, but the things around me don’t seem to have changed at all. It may just be the jet lag talking, but really, I am just so out of sync with everything right now. In an attempt to cure this eccentricity, I turn to a close friend to reassure and comfort me – my kitchen. And nothing for me is more heartening than baking a tray of goodies, pulling them hot out of the oven, taking in all the aroma, masking me like a dense perfume. Sweet, intimate, delicious.

Streusel Top Blueberry Muffin
source: Gourmet via Epicurious

For batter:
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 whole large egg
1 large yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (12 oz)

For topping:
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease muffin pans.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, then remove from heat. Whisk in milk, then whisk in whole egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined well.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries gently but thoroughly.
Divide batter among 12 muffin cups, spreading evenly.

Separately, rub together all topping ingredients in a bowl with your fingertips until crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.
Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick or skewer inserted diagonally into center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

Within 5 minutes of leaving the oven, three of these muffins quickly met a devastating fate. They were so good that I devoured two in under 5 minutes, with no break in between for milk or water. Kari helped obliterate another muffin, and before we knew it, our dozen muffins were down to half a dozen. There is a reason this is our go-to recipe for Blueberry Muffins. The tops are crunchy and sweet. The muffin cake itself is moist without being wet, and just the right texture of softness. Our fresh and sweet blueberries from Whole Foods were delicious! I purposely used fewer berries in the muffin just so I could snack on fresh berries while the muffins baked. So good! We finished way too quickly…

Since coming back, I haven’t done much actually. Catching up on much needed sleep (story of my life) and working a bit on cleaning up the site and keeping afloat of the correspondences. I recently dove into Blood Brothers written by Father Elias Chacour who I had the privilege of hearing speak in Melbourne. Very inspirational and gives great insight to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. A definite recommended summer read if you are interested. The rest of this week looks relatively clutter free – a few hours at Ici and a lot of working from home. The pace should pick up a bit next week. On Monday, I will finally be hosting the much anticipated Banh Xeo Dinner for a few special people, followed by an Extended Family Dinner for my Australia family. A few birthdays are also sprinkled in there somewhere. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed viewing the pictures from my trip Down Under. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, I have 1500 pictures, so how many words is that?

Until soon fellow food enthusiasts!


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2 Responses to On Settling In

  1. Kristen says:

    What gorgeous and delicious looking muffins!

  2. Emily says:

    these muffins look delicious! i’m a public health major at cal too, that’s so awesome that you’re on tastespotting. two of my friends at cal are really into photographing food too (and baking), you guys should totally meet lol.

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