Monday, May 14, 2012

Blueberry Muffins and Spring Cocktails

I hope everyone got to celebrate the mothers in their lives yesterday! It was such a beautiful weekend. I saw a lot of moms doing yard work (eh hem, where you at on that one, dads?). Mother's day here was celebrated by a homemade brunch and dinner, and the building of a chicken coop. Hopefully that made up for the tattoo I got the day before. Moms aren't usually thrilled when their children come home with tattoos. Poor timing on my part. Lucky for me, I have the nicest mom in the world.

My dad and brothers took care of brunch while Mom and I went to church and enjoyed a run together. They did an amazing job! Spinach quiche, potatoes, bacon, fruit salad, even homemade ketchup. I was able to squeeze in making some blueberry muffins before church, since they're Mom's favorite. And she contributed some chocolate chip banana bread (made the day before so it doesn't count as making her work on Mother's day). Dinner was a winner too! Rib-eye steaks with crab, asparagus, fried onions, and roasted garlic and chive mashed potatoes. We decided that only two meals need to be served every day if they're like that. As in large. And fattening.

A celebratory day isn't complete without some celebratory cocktails around here. A few years ago Dad came up with a Chive Blossom Martini. It's such a pretty and refreshing cocktail for spring, especially if you have chives growing around that you can pick right from the ground. We also made Hummingbirds, a drink that's ordered quite a bit at the bar where I work. It's floral and bubbly, and slightly sweet. It's made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and if you haven't tried it yet, you should! Or just buy a bottle of it to display somewhere in your home. It's really fancy. 

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

6 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries 
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners (makes about 9 jumbo muffins or 12 standard-sized muffins). Cream butter, oil and sugar in mixer. Mix in eggs one at a time until combined, then add vanilla. Add one cup of flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix in milk until just combined, then add the remaining flour. Gently fold in blueberries. Prepare streusel topping: mix all ingredients together with fork, pastry blender or hands until all ingredients are incorporated and texture is crumbly. Divide batter among muffin tins, top with streusel topping, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center (20-25 minutes for standard size, 25-30 minutes for large).

Chive Blossom Martini

3 oz. gin
0.5 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur 
3 oz. club soda
2-3 chives, chopped into one-inch pieces
1/2 tsp. sugar
Chive stem and blossom, for garnish

In a shaker, muddle chives and sugar with a splash of water. Fill shaker with ice. Add gin and St. Germain. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a chive stem (as a straw! How clever!) and blossom. 

From St. Germain

2 parts brut champagne or dry sparkling white wine
1 part St. Germain
2 parts club soda
Lemon twist, for garnish

Pour all ingredients over ice in a Collins glass. Top with a lemon twist. Drink. Then make another one.

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