The day before Easter I found myself at CVS buying the usual plastic eggs and "on sale" candy to fill 2 Easter baskets for the kids. Although I felt quite pathetic having to buy my goods the day before the big event, I was not the only one. Not by a long shot.
And a good thing I did go. On my walk back home I ran into one of my absolutely Fabulous neighbors. The neighborhood "mom" stopped me while I was walking by to make sure I knew about the annual Easter morning Egg Hunt. I indeed know about it, but it didn't really sink in. I love my neighbors and the annual events are really quite extraordinary. Since we haven't been here a year yet, I was unfamiliar with the Easter Shenanigans. So, Mom convinced me that we had time to come over at 9am and have some great food and the kids can partake in a street long Egg Hunt like no other. ... one catch, Bring a dish to share. As always, I just want people to like me. So, no, I can't just go buy something and bring and share. I have to make some high stress from scratch dish.... for breakfast!
I chose Blueberry Streusel. Mostly because I had all the ingredients. And Luckily, I found a Great Blog (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/) that linked to Food and Wine Magazine :-) with a super simple blueberry streusel.
Streusel Topping: 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Cup (4 oz) walnuts, chopped (optional - I didn't use them, maybe next time)
1/2 C canola oil
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, or mixed blackberries, blueberries and raspberries (the frozen blueberries were fantastic)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
2. To make streusel topping: In a medium bowl or a food processor, combine butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut butter in with your fingers or process until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts and set aside.
3. To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla, and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to blend. Add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk or yogurt. Beat until smooth. Stir in fresh or frozen berries. Turn into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with topping.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then remove the pan sides and let cool completely. Cut into wedges to serve.
From "Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory" by Lou Seibert Pappas
9am. An absolutely gorgeous day by any standard - and especially for Early April in Minnesota! Walking out our front door, we could already see why the kids love this day. There were huge cardboard bunnies and eggs all over the front lawn of Mom's house. And there was a 4x8 foot sheet of white washed plywood leaning up against the fence with 3 kids painting. In fact most of the decorations were set up by the local kids! Is this place real? Just give me the Kool-Aid, because I am loving it. The kids and I were in AWE. I walked in the house to the kitchen with a still warm blueberry streusel in hand. It smells amazing by the way. Gave Mom a big hug, and I got the reaction I live for. "You made this? From scratch? That's so wonderful." I was still a little nervous though. I used the frozen blueberries and per the suggestions of the blog, didn't mix them in so they wouldn't all sink to the bottom. Instead they pretty much floated on top. So, I sliced it up. YUMMY. Oh, I love coffee cake, and made from scratch is totally gratifying.
The morning continued with very gracious complements from my neighbors. The kids filled up on a smorgasbord of fruit, bread, pancakes and candy, candy, candy. The Egg Hunt was very diplomatic. All the kids lined up the door and the younger kids ran out first followed 30 secs later by an older group. You can tell a lot about the adults in the neighborhood by how well-behaved all the kids are. and WOW are they ever. I've never met a more respectful bunch. Helping the younger kids find the eggs and offering up a couple of their own so the little ones wouldn't feel bad about not finding as many.
The conversations throughout the morning ranged from business techie talk, to the economic hit on the librarians, and the local jealously about who already got a Ipad. And surprisingly, I loved every minute of it. Oh, and did I mention the mimosas and chocolate covered strawberries? It can't get much better than that.
We left with happy bellies and happy kids.