Here is how I thanked my husband for shoveling us out of the first big snow storm of the season.
These muffins are also the way in which we thanked our neighbors for saving Eric some serious shovel time by snow blowing a big chunk of our driveway. Charlie and Cathy are a couple who live not quite directly across the street from us – and they are quite possibly the best neighbors anyone could ask for.
They’re definitely better than any neighbor I’ve ever had. Chances are that they’re better than yours.
When we moved in eight months ago and they introduced themselves, Charlie mentioned their house was their starter home…it just so happens that 38 years later, they’re still there. The pride they take in their place shows and Eric and I often joke that we hate how immaculate their yard and how absolutely adorable their house is.
In reality, we’re just a little jealous.
I cross my heart and swear to you – the massive Japanese maple in front of Charlie and Cathy’s house still had all its leaves perfectly in place when everyone else in the neighborhood was raking up remnants of what used to be on their trees.
Eric and I don’t really even have any trees in our yard, yet we found ourselves doing a fall cleanup. Thanks a lot, wind.
Charlie’s yard? Spotless. Apparently, the wind doesn’t blow that way.
Either that or he’s just got this home ownership thing all sorts of figured out.
During this past snow storm, Charlie even dug out his bushes because heaven forbid they be buried.
Yeah, you read that right. Let that sink in for a sec.
I’m lucky if I get my entire parking space cleared out, so it goes without saying that I can definitely wait until springtime to see shrubbery.
I can’t remember if Charlie offered to help us out before or after his shrubs were free of snow, but I can tell you though that Eric tried to stop him from coming across the street with his snow blower. Any fight put up by Eric was instantly squashed by Charlie when he looked at my husband and said with the conviction that only a stubborn old man can: “I love this sh*t.”
Who are we to stand in the way of true love? Really.
Good thing I had a batch of these bad boys in the oven! I mean, if I can’t beat Charlie at the game of landscaping and property maintenance, the least I can do is show him I’m not completely clueless. Sure, I’m a slacker with a snow shovel, but I’m a workhorse with a whisk.
I’m thinking that trading tempting treats for good deeds done can’t really hurt our chances of getting help in the future should we ever need it. Fingers crossed.
On second thought, instead of keeping my fingers crossed, I should just keep my freezer stocked.
These Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins are hearty from the oats and whole wheat flour that run throughout, but that doesn’t mean they’re dry and dense. Ohhhh no! Thanks to the buttermilk, these babies are incredibly moist and tender.
Some people are weirded out by the word moist, so I’m sorry if you’re one of them.
The fact that they’re stuffed to the brim with blueberries means that each bite is also bursting with berry flavor, which is never, ever a bad thing. No way, no how. Does anyone dislike blueberries? That seems pretty much impossible.
In my experience, the more blueberries, the better! I pity the fool that don’t want all these berries.
Although these muffins fall into the category of foods I feel look good enough to eat before being baked, it really is best to hang tight till they come out of the oven before consuming. Besides being under the black cloud of salmonella, one might also find the mouth feel of unbaked batter to be less than pleasing. Blech.
Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins
slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
Yield: 12 standard muffins or 6 mega muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes (inactive), 10 minutes (active)
Cook Time: 16-18 minutes (standard muffins) or 28-30 minutes (mega muffins)
1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus extra for sprinkling muffin tops (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 T unsweetened applesauce
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen – dusted with a tablespoon or two of flour
Sugar in the raw for sprinkling muffin tops (optional)
Mix oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl or 4 cup measure; allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 standard/6 mega muffin cups, lined with papers.
Add egg, brown sugar, and butter (or oil) into oat mixture and stir well with whisk to combine. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl; stir into oat mixture until just moistened. Fold in blueberries that you’ve coated with a little bit of flour, which will keep them from sinking. Fill prepared muffin cups about 3/4 full. If you’re feeling fancy, top the unbaked batter with extra oats and a little sprinkling of sugar in the raw.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes for standard muffins or 28-30 for mega muffins. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
What did I tell ya? Totally worth the wait.
Just like I told you, too. These things are simply studded with blueberries, top to bottom. If you look closely, you can see my stud, warming up after his snow shovel sesh with a couple Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins.
In my book, there may be no better way to warm oneself.