Friday, June 5, 2009

Another Fabulous Friday

Another beauty of a day. 76 and sunny, little wind. Sounds like tomorrow will bring much colder temps and some rain. I'll be at the Chester Woods trail run bright and early (6:30 AM) to help at registration and the finish line. I'm presently making cookies ... of course. After the race it's off to a social gathering for which I made Blueberry Almond Crunch muffins. New recipe. Haven't tried them yet, but they look, and smell, very good.

Makes 12 muffins. Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

If buttermilk is unavailable, substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk.

Almond Crunch Topping
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
4 teaspoons turbinado sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), picked over
1 1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Stir together almonds and sugar in small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and ground almonds together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

4. Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle almond topping evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

The June Running Room eMagazine is now available. On the cover and pages 2 and 3, Med-City photos by Tom Woo. Also, a Med-City story on page 2. On page 3, there's a photo of 3 gals in hot pink, including bride-to-be (on Sunday!) Candy!! On page 4 is an article about Michael Torchia's transversal tour of Minnesota to take place this weekend. There was also a story on his journey yester in the Post-Bulletin On page 14, my monster cookie recipe and a $10 off (a $50+ purchase) coupon. The photo on the last page includes local runner Dave Morrill.

In Wednesday's paper, Lindy Lange did a feature on the All Comers track meets which begin on Tuesday at 6:00 PM at the Soldier's Field track. Kids of all ages are welcome to participate in the running events (50 meters through the mile) and the long jump. Everyone gets a ribbon. My son Matt lines the track with chalk. If the lines aren't straight, you can blame him. Give him a week to get back in the swing of things, though. :-)

The Rochester Half Marathon planning committee met yesterday evening.

(From lower left, Dave Morrill, Sonja Kranz, Wally Arnold, KC Reed, Judy Weller, Kevin Torgerson, Jean Murray.) And me.

We had a very productive meeting. Thank you to Dave Morrill for all the work he's done on designing the new course. We're excited about it. And most likely we will be providing technical shirts this year.

Yack and Snack met at my house on Wednesday. We had fun, as we always do.

Pictured are Andrea, Deb, Vicki, Nancy ...

Gretchen, Mona, Mary (Marge hadn't arrived yet). I worked on some embroidery that I've had sitting around for a few years.

I went to City Market for lunch with my friend Barb today. We saw lots of people we knew, including Brian Erwin. :-)

Quote for the day: "Be the change you want to see in the world." --Mahatma Ghandi


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