Back to Basics in the New Year and Simple Blueberry Muffins.
By Karen Milling on January 03, 2012
I used to enjoy grocery shopping. I loved taking the time to plan a week’s worth of meals and think about what I would feature on my blog. I would spend an hour or two searching for recipes and perusing cookbooks to find the perfect things. Then I would head to the store and wander the aisles, choosing the best produce and reading labels. It was meditative and fulfilling for me. It got me excited about cooking and eating and blogging.
But somewhere along the way, I lost that joy. In an effort to maximize my time off, also known as “my time to take photos, edit photos, cook food, write blog posts, manage social media, watch tutorials, advance my photography skills, etc., etc., etc.,” I started going grocery shopping after my work day ended on Wednesday afternoon. That way, I had three full days “off” to do all of the abovementioned things.
But the grocery store is inevitably jam-packed with people on Wednesday afternoons — I have no idea why — which makes shopping frustrating and hurried. And because that’s when I’ve just completed my work week at a physically demanding job, I’m often too exhausted to do the recipe searching and planning that I should, resulting in not only half-baked (ha ha) cooking and photography plans, but also a tendency to forget certain things on the list or buy things we don’t need.
So, enough is enough. It’s time to get back to basics.
Don’t get me wrong; I love what I’m doing. I have been working very hard to improve my photography skills. I’ve started taking portraits and headshots. I’ve been researching photographic technique and lighting tips and applying them to my food photography. I’ve been cramming Photoshop skills and tutorials down my own throat. Basically I’ve given myself a second job, so although I’m extraordinarily fortunate to have three days off, I spend much of them working. And although it is tiring and sometimes difficult, I love the momentum I’m building and the direction I’m heading. It’s just time to rebalance.
The start of a new year is as good a time as any a time as any to rethink how and more importantly WHEN I’m doing things. I need to keep myself focused on my photography goals, but get back to enjoying the planning, cooking and shopping aspects again. That means making some meaningful time for them. Some simple reorganizing of my schedule ought to do the trick. That, and reminding myself that doing things differently doesn’t mean they’re any better or any worse, just different.
So in the spirit of simplicity and getting back to basics, I give you these blueberry muffins. That’s about as basic as it comes. Simple and sweet.
Happy New Year! Here’s to finding balance for us all. To see some of the portraits I've been working on, check out our other blog: Composing Kitchen.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 375˚. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well to combine. Mix in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour and milk alternately to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix carefully until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.
Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners. Fill tins with batter.
In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of muffin batter in tins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.