Oh finally, summer is here and I for one am ready to play. For the first time in my adult life I plan to take at least half the summer off. As you may know, we have closed our beloved Lanie Lou’s. I thank you all for your patronage and friendship these last five years, and I am grateful to still have this lovely way to keep in touch.
So, now on to the business at hand.
Nothing says summer to me as much as fresh, sweet, delicious berries. I remember as a child falling head over heels for just-ripe, freshly picked berries. There is really nothing quite like them and they can be used in countless ways—both savory and sweet.
For example, this simple berry compote: Try cooking a mix of berries—about 3 cups, in a saucepan over medium heat until they begin to burst and release their juices. Turn down to low, add 2 Tablespoons of pure vanilla extract and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in juice of half a lemon. Now let your imagination take over. Pour the compote over waffles, French toast or pancakes for a special breakfast. Spoon it over grilled chicken for a nice healthy lunch or dinner. Or, be really decadent and pour it over ice cream. YUM! Whatever you do, make sure you take advantage of the inexpensive, amazing summer bounty.
Here is my favorite and most popular muffin recipe in case you prefer a baked treat. Enjoy!
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ pound butter softened
5 ½ oz. sugar
8 ½ oz. all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350º
Mix together 2 Tablespoons sugar and
1teaspoon cinnamon & set aside.
Blend remaining sugar and butter together with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and mix until just absorbed.
Stir in milk and vanilla by hand to ensure you do not over-beat.
Stir in blueberries—also by hand
Spray 12-cup muffin pan liberally with cooking spray including the top surface of the pan if making large muffins, as the blueberries like to stick.
Divide batter into either 12 small or 6 large muffins (fill every other cup)
Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake 15-20 min. for small, 20-25 for large.