Before I landed my current position in Hotel Sales, I worked as a wedding & event planner. I worked at a private club and later a hotel, planning and coordinating weddings. I worked with a number of brides and mothers-of-the-bride from the beginning phases of booking their wedding to the actual wedding day itself. This included small intimate affairs and lavish 300 person weddings, but for some reason all of the brides had one thing in common. They were all at some point, completely stressed out. And I just didn’t get it. Maybe it was the hundreds of chair covers I tied or the thousands of escort cards that I painstakingly alphabetized, but I sort of became immune to the details that stressed so many brides out. I always had the idea that when it came to my own wedding, I wouldn’t care about the details.
My philosophy has always been if I end up married to my best friend at the end of the day, the wedding will be a success. Sure, I’ve had fun planning cute little details for our big day,(I’m not letting those years in the industry go to waste!) but when it comes down to it, the only thing I really care about is the actual getting married part of the wedding day. So because of this, I always thought I would be the exception to the “stressed out bride” norm. And for the most part I have been. Even though so many brides-to-be go on some sort of crazy crash diet to look their very best on the big day, that just isn’t my style. Because it’s a wedding, not a beauty pageant. And even though I kind of hated the way they did my hair for my “bridal hair trial” I’m not too worried, as I’d much rather just do my own hair anyway.
But the type of stress I didn’t expect to take on was the guilt. The guilt of having family members and friends spending so much time to throw not one but four bridal showers for me. And the guilt of asking my best friends to fly into town and wear a dress I picked out so they can stand by my side at the alter. And the guilt of running into people I went to high school with that might possibly expect an invitation despite the fact that we lost touch years ago. So even though I promised myself I would be cool as a cucumber when my big day rolled around, certain types of stress are inevitable. And for me, this has resulted in terrible stomach aches that my doctor attributed to “wedding stress.” As a former wedding planner, I’m a little embarrassed. But I guess that’s life. So to combat my “stress induced stomach pains” I was told to relax and avoid a few food groups to see if it helped at all. And one of these forbidden food groups was dairy. And since I had just purchased some Chobani Greek Yogurt, I decided I needed to use it in a different way. And that is how this muffin recipe came to be. The muffins have a slightly tangy flavor from the key lime flavored yogurt which I think pairs really nicely with the sweet blueberries. Just make sure you add the blueberries in while they are still frozen or else they will bleed and result in some ugly blue muffins.
Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 6oz container Key Lime Greek Yogurt (or the flavor of your choice)
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
In a large bowl, beat milk, applesauce, yogurt and egg until well blended
Stir in next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) until just combined
Gently fold in frozen bluberries
Divide batter between 12 muffin liners
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle
I love the way food can induce so many different memories. Sometimes it’s an old cherished family recipe that will bring you back to a different time in your life. But sometimes it’s as simple as a childhood snack that can flood your mind with memories. This past weekend I had the urge to make some homemade blueberry muffins and I was suddenly reminded of one of my favorite childhood snacks. My mom used to always buy my brother and I those packaged blueberry mini muffins for an after school treat. Those 4 tiny muffins, studded with sweet blueberries always take me back to the days I spent in my Catholic school uniform chasing after my big brother. I remember being in Kindergarden and hating the time I had to spend without Sean. He was in the 3rd grade and went to school all day, whereas I was only in my Kindergarden class until noon. Since I couldn’t quite tell time, he would tell me he would be home right after Barney was on. And as soon as Barney ended I would run to the window patiently waiting for my friend to return home. My mom recently told me that there were a few times Sean was set to go to a friend’s house after school, but would ask if his friends could come over to our house instead because he knew how sad I would get when he was gone. And here we are, 20 years later and I still absolutely love hanging out with my big brother. My best friend LT brought Sean as her date to our friend’s wedding this past weekend and we had a blast. It’s funny, because there were a few of my old friends there who had never met Sean and I’m sure they were surprised at how different we seem. I was always known for being a bit quiet and reserved, whereas Sean is the life of the party and pretty much captures the attention of every room he enters. And though we may be opposite in a number of ways, we do have one very important thing in common. We will always be each other’s first friend. And I think that is one of my favorite parts of growing up with a sibling. It teaches you early on to make friend’s with people who are different than you. Because those are the friendships that teach you more about yourself and really help you grow.
And these were the thoughts that came to mind as I was peacefully whipping up these classic blueberry muffins. They filled the kitchen with the delicious homey smell of butter and sugar reminding me of childhood afternoons spent at the kitchen counter. These muffins pair tangy lemon juice with sweet blueberries, and the contrasting flavors pair really well for a deliciously nostalgic treat.
Ingredients: Makes 14 muffins, adapted from Forget Those Calories
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup yogurt(I used vanilla greek yogurt)
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
Beat in egg, vanilla and lemon zest and juice
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (baking soda through flour)
Slowly beat dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined (mixture will be crumbly)
Beat yogurt into batter until just combined
Stir in blueberries
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into greased muffin tins
For the streusel topping, combine all streusel ingredients (melted butter through brown sugar) and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoonful of topping over unbaked muffins
Place muffins in the oven and bake at 350 for 25 minutes
Mother’s Day is the day we get to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives, and I feel pretty blessed that all the “moms” in my life are definitely worth celebrating. I’m lucky to say that my mom is my best friend and my go to person for just about everything. (You may have noticed I talk about her a lot on this blog) My sweet Grandma Dolly is the best Grandma around, and I am so lucky to say that my future mother-in-law is absolutely wonderful as well. And since I’m sure you all have some fantastic ladies to celebrate next Sunday, I thought I would share a few of my favorite brunch recipes with all of you. Seeing as breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day, I realized I have quite a few recipes to share. From main dishes to sweet breakfast desserts, below you will find a delicious list of recipes that are sure to impress your mama next Sunday. Enjoy!
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