to chase away the blues

Just the other morning I woke up in the mood to make muffins. Fresh, hot muffins to bring to my coworkers to brighten up the day and make the morning a little more bearable. I searched all over for a ‘quick, easy muffin recipe’ and realize that the time it was taking me to look one up (and then to make them) wouldn’t fit into my tight-due-to-alarm-snoozing morning schedule. I grabbed my ‘add water!’ packet of blueberry mix (bought in a fit of bogo maddness) out of the pantry and realized I forgot how strange it is to have people compliment you on something you stirred water into with a spoon for 2 minutes. And though great for a quick muffin emergency—what, you don’t have those now and then?–the look of those small round polka dot like blueberries that came out of the packet reminded me more of large poppy seeds than those wonderful, plump things that actually grow in fields and burst when they bake. So the next morning I was at it again, blueberry baking the way Martha would have wanted, with sugar and butter and a carton overflowing with sweet, tart blueberries. It made a thick, doughy batter that only gets better as it bakes. There’s something wonderful about messy purple swirls in a homemade blueberry cupcake, something lovely and wild. Top with a lemon glaze to put these over the edge—enjoy!

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not so coffee cake

Coffee cake walks a fine line between breakfast and dessert. This is not your typical coffee cake, with fluffy vanilla-flecked cake, the topping crispy and sweet, and the center full of fresh, tart cranberry. I served this for breakfast, but would just as quickly scooped a bit of vanilla ice cream on top and enjoyed a late night movie. This recipe can be easily altered to include blueberry or cherry or a dash of cinnamon. Anyway you want it, enjoy it—morning, noon, or night.

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