I am not a super-highway sort of person. I take detours. All projects get finished but in a zig-zag way - never in a straight line.
And so it happened that I was prepping the blog for a post on recreating some lovelies from Floriole in Chicago's charming Lincoln Park neighborhood....
A neighborhood thats speaks of a kind, gentle time...
A neighborhood which contains a Cafe/Bakery that is a destination of flavor and taste. Where you throw away all reserve about your waistline and indulge.
That was my intention. The frittata sandwich with cream cheese and smoked trout on a bed of arugula was our first course. But you can figure out the recipe from the description. And do try it - the bursts of the cream cheese with the salty-smokey trout all gift wrapped in eggs and topped with peppery arugula made me want another.
Even though the asparagus plumply sitting on toast which was generously spread with fresh ricotta was waiting.
I'm cooking some asparagus now. You can see where that is leading.
While waiting for lunch, we gave in to the charms of perfectly browned canneles nurturing a pillowy custard inside. I don't have a huge sweet tooth but if I did not throw caution to the wind and succumb to the power of sugar once in a while, my sardonic side would be much too powerful.
When I give in to the enchantment of sugar, I give it my all. I should have brought home a trunk filled with the crisp lime, cornmeal cookies. And a roomful of the peanut butter and jelly ones. I think I've kept my cynical part of my personality in check for awhile. I will need to figure these out. Not being a peanut butter and jelly eater, I was significantly wowed enough to let these cookies melt into my being and was prepared to walk another 12 miles with blistered feet to undo a touch of the damage.
My intention was to recreate those dishes. But then there was this detour. That Skinny Chick Can Bake posted a blueberry-sour cream muffin recipe. So, here I am - a person who doesn't usually bake, hardly ever makes a muffin - a person with an Italian blog and I am finding myself at the computer in a hypnotic trance - nodding and bowing to the monitor and saying, "Yes, I will make these, O Powerful One." And I did. With creme fraiche instead of sour cream. With the last of the frozen berries from last summer. With my newly-developed sweet tooth courtesy of Chicago.
That Skinny Chick Can Bake's recipe is here. My adjustments are below.
Blueberry Creme Fraiche Muffins - makes 18 muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1-1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 2 cups blueberries
I wasn't shy with the blueberries. Despite ingredients to the contrary, I like to think of this as a fruit serving.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For ease, use muffin liners. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl whisk your egg. Add sugar and whisk well. Add melted butter - and yes - whisk some more. Add creme fraiche and whisk. And berries to the dry mixture and toss. Gently fold the creme fraiche goodness into the dry. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until toothpick inserted in arbitrary muffin comes out clean). Cool on wire rack. With 7 over for dinner, these last 12 minutes. (I only ate 2.)
Working in a linear fashion has its advantages. You do get things done faster. But when you detour and zig- zag, you find things. Like Mama Duck and her babes leaving your yard to make the perilous one block journey to the pond and eventually the lake.
Or that azaleas must love cold and rain. Because they never have been so magical.