Holiday Recipe Extravaganza – Xavier Axelson
Dec 7, 2011 Filed under: guest blogger, holiday, Holiday Recipe Extravaganza, m/m, recipes, sweet treats
Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly write ANY more about The Birches. Here I am. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. Maybe I should and could talk about muffins instead. It’s the holidays and what’s better than big breakfasts during the decking of halls, fa-la-la-laing and jingling your bells? I can’t think of one single thing. Muffins do play a part in The Birches. They pop up, more than once. There is the promise of blackberry muffins using the berries Dock picks from nearby bushes and assures Leo he will indeed show him how to make said muffins. But, and come on, is there really a bigger star in breakfast breads than the blueberry muffin?
It’s breakfast royalty, plain and simple.
So I’ve decided to share my favorite recipe for blue-blueberry muffins I found online years ago and have made a million times since. Now, as the recipe states, these really do turn a “shocking” blue color. Don’t be scared. We all know with every recipe there is a moment when you think, “Am I doing this right?” Well, this is that moment. Be brave, I promise you will endure.
The blueberry muffin really is something special when eaten on the East Coast. They do something truly special to the muffin. They throw it on the grill. If you have ever had a grilled blueberry muffin, I salute and congratulate you. You know exactly what I am talking about when I describe the transforming magic that occurs when muffin meets buttered grill.
If you haven’t well, it’s something to look forward to and you can certainly attempt it at home. I trust you. In the meantime, read The Birches, make these muffins, and eat til you turn blue. Very simple, very good, very blue.
I got the recipe off food.com and the person who posted it said it’s from the The Blueberry Murder Mystery by Joanne Fluke.
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups flour, plus
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line muffin tin with paper liners.
- Melt butter.
- Mix sugar into melted butter and then add beaten eggs, baking powder and salt.
- Mix well.
- Place fresh/frozen blueberries in a bag with 1 tablespoon flour and toss until coated and set aside.
- Add 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of milk to sugar mixture.
- Mix well and then add last of flour and milk, again mixing well.
- Add blueberry pie filling (it will be blue).
- Fold in fresh/frozen blueberries.
- Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full and then set aside.
- -CrumbTopping- Mix flour and sugar together.
- Cut in butter and mix until crumbly.
- Place topping on top of muffins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack for 30 mins and then enjoy.
Read more here.
The Birches by Xavier Axelson
Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner. That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches. Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.
He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him.
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here. I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off. Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and–”
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?
“You coming?” Dock asked.
Dock laughed, “You coming inside or you just gonna stare at the ground the rest of the day?”
Leo was still staring at the spot where Dock had been standing. Something was happening inside his head. He felt spellbound and excited. He didn’t know where this sensation came from, all he knew was he wanted more of what he was feeling. He followed Dock, who was still talking about black berries, the sun and something else that sounded perfect, into the restaurant. When Dock stopped suddenly by a booth at the back of the restaurant, Leo almost crashed into him.
“Take a seat. I’ll be right back with some tea.” Dock said, a smile lingered on his lips.
He knows he makes me uncomfortable, Leo thought once Dock left and was sitting down. It was this realization that held him glued to the seat. He wouldn’t give this man the satisfaction of getting the better of him.
“So, what’s your name?” Dock asked when he reappeared and set a jam jar full of iced tea in front of Leo, there were several blackberries floating in it along with some ice and a sprig of mint.
“Leo,” he replied, taking a sip of the tea.
“You know we’re closed, right?” A woman’s voice called from behind Dock’s perfect shoulders. Leo decided right then and there he would trade his ability to beat an egg for a chance to touch those shoulders and kiss the freckles that lived there.
What was he thinking?
He wasn’t thinking, that was just it, there was something about the place and, more noticeably, about this man that seemed to block Leo’s ability to think rationally. Where there was once thought, there was now an incredible amount of feeling. He was stunned into a stupor by this realization.
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