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For the next three weeks, I’ll at some time during each week feature one recipe from my new book, Soups & Sides for Every Season (click HERE to order).   Make the recipe, photograph it, email the pic to me:  soupsandsides@gmail.com.   If yours is the first email with a recipe photo I receive, I’ll mail you a book!  Don’t forget to include your snail mail address in the email as well as any adjustments you made to the recipe.  Now get “cooking!”  I can’t wait to hear from you.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the book yet, it’s a soft covered paperback, 174 pages, and was a more than two-year effort that included a wonderful team:  Patricia Miller, editor; Amanda Weber, designer; Daniel Craig, artist; and Drew Robinson, CS, sommelier.  I had a dedicated team of testers and they’re all listed in the acknowledgment section.

The book itself is divided into seven chapters:  one soup chapter for each season, and then one each for Breads and Spreads, Salads and Fast Sides, and, saving the last for best, Desserts.  Today’s recipe comes from the Breads and Spreads chapter and is an original blueberry muffin recipe that was developed literally at the last minute before publication when the recipe planned just didn’t work out.  It was a mad scramble to work out another muffin recipe and to test it at altitude, at sea level, and in between.  Great thanks to Mary Ellen Harm (Boston), who tested and reported back via Facebook,

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as well as to my hub, Dave Morgan, who took the recipe (along with a small bit of stoneground cornmeal) to his parents’ house for Mother’s Day and baked up a batch in Champaign, Illinois.  Of course, even more loving thanks to my grandson, Rhyan, who was the official taste tester (above–first photo)

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This is the perfect time of year for blueberry muffins; the stores are full of organic northwest blueberries (my favorite, though Maine is a close second) and it’s not too terribly hot yet.  Do buy a few pints and freeze them to use over the winter; you can make these orange-scented muffins for Christmas or Valentine’s Day and have a mouthful of summer.

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Click HERE to order the book.

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BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

makes 12 muffins          Scrumptious for Fourth of July brunches or to go with barbecued pork or grilled chicken!

Years ago, I worked for The National Trust for Historic Preservation. I held a variety of positions, but one of my favorites was running the bookstore and gift shop at Woodlawn Plantation in Mount Vernon, Va.  Somewhere at Woodlawn, I ran across a recipe for blueberry muffins I made and adored. I changed and substituted ingredients and directions over the years until I had this orange-scented beauty complete with just a tad of crunchy mouth feel.   These are not the heavy, large, calorie- and sugar-laden muffins offered nowadays in many restaurants and bakeries, but rather small, light gems that melt in the mouth and shout for a second. They’re great for breakfast, snacks or for lunch with a chicken salad, but I particularly like them with soup. Comfort food par excellence, tuck them into a tote when you travel by plane or car so you can carry home along with you.

  • Softened butter for greasing the muffin tin
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup stoneground cornmeal
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 12- cup muffin tin very well with softened butter and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour through orange rind) and set aside. In another bowl, beat together the wet ingredients (butter – eggs). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the blueberries.

Using a greased ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the batter among twelve greased muffin cups. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the muffins are set, firm, and light golden in color. A toothpick inserted at the center should come out clean. Bang the bottom of the pan firmly on the counter to loosen the muffins and turn the pan upside down onto a cooling rack to remove them. Let sit at least two minutes before serving hot, warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well-sealed bag or storage container on the counter for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Cook’s Note: If you’d like your muffins more quickly first thing in the morning—or at night– mix the dry and wet ingredients separately the night before. Store the wet ingredients bowl in the fridge. Leave the dry ingredient mixture covered with plastic wrap or a plate and the greased muffin tin on the counter. Preheat the oven, stir together the two ingredient mixtures, add the berries, and you’re on your way.

I left this out of the book, but these muffins might be even better with a pat of salted butter and/or a drizzle of local honey once they’re broken open.

© 2014 More Time at the Table.  All rights reserved.

IMG_5691Looking forward to hearing from you with a photo!

Bake a new muffin,

Alyce