My biggest take away from blogging is the sense of community I’ve discovered. Or, really communities. I don’t live under a rock. A simple Google search for marinara sauce will show you there are infinite food bloggers out there. From the well established ones like Smitten Kitchen, to smaller WordPress blogs like my own. When I launched my blog, I sent my thoughts and recipes out to join the infinite other recipes and bloggers out there. I hoped people beyond my friends and family would take a look and maybe even comment. But when I launched my blog I found a world of other bloggers. Here in Brooklyn, across the country and across the world. And through potlucks and penpal programs I’ve connected with people beyond the keyboard.
This month I was welcomed into the Secret (Shh!!) Recipe Club. Two years ago April over at Angels Homestead and Amanda at Amanda’s Cookin’ thought it would be fun to cook something off a friend’s blog and share the results, but make it bigger with a few friends. The program expanded as a way to meet other bloggers, cook and share, thus the Secret Recipe Club was born. I learned about SRC about a year ago. Once I met the requirements of having at least 100 original recipes and a recipe index, I applied for their long waiting list. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when April welcomed me into the club!
The basic concept is each blogger is assigned a blog from which they cook a recipe. The assignment is a secret (hence the club’s name) until the reveal day when everyone shares who they were assigned and what recipe they chose to work with. For my first month I was assigned Hapa-tite. Cute name, right? Nicole is from the DC area and posts a great mix of sweet and savory recipes. Like her latest post–Double Chocolate and Espresso Cookies. Hmm, that would have been a good recipe to try…wish she had posted it earlier. Oh well, for another day.
Word to the wise, do not read a food blog when starving. You will want to make (or just eat) EVERYTHING. I was first inspired by Nicole’s quinoa experimentation. I love quinoa but for me it’s a forgotten starch. I’m much more likely to jump for rice or pasta or even potatoes, forgetting about the full mason jar of quinoa sitting in my pantry. But then I remembered the pint of blueberries I picked up a few days ago at the market. Ripe, sitting in my fridge, begging to be eaten. Nicole’s Excellent Blueberry Coffee Cake was exactly what I needed. The recipe has been in her family for years, literally a photocopy from who knows where with the words “excellent” scribbled all over it. The cake is literally packed with a full pint of blueberries. I dare you to find a bite not bursting with berries. How could you ever doubt it’s deliciousness?
Cakes for me are sometimes a bit messy to cut and eat. Though I guess anything with coffee cake crumble would be. I opted to individualize the servings by turning them into muffins. No fighting over who got the bigger slice, muffins are all (approximately) the same size. In my first attempt I found the recipe as is (minus a bit of sugar) to be a bit dense for muffins and resembled more cookie dough. A quick fix of an extra egg and some canola oil helped to thin the batter a bit and make the final muffins extra moist and fluffy. And because we like to pretend things are healthy, even if they are loaded with butter, sugar and carbs, I added some oatmeal, to make it a bit more breakfast appropriate. You know, like the way oatmeal raisin cookies are perfectly acceptable for breakfast because they’re packed with oats and fruit. Trust me, you’ll live a much more delicious life following my logic.
‘Excellent’ Blueberry Crumb Muffins (adapted from Hapa-tite)
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1/4 c unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 c oats
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/3 c flour
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 1/2 c milk
- 1 pint blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly and fully combined. I always find it easiest to do this with my fingers. Chill until ready to use.
In a small bowl, sift together flours, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add milk and oil and mix until fully combined. Slowly add flour blend, mixing until just combined. Stir in blueberries by hand with a spatula.
Grease your muffin tin or coat with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scooper or large spoon, fill tin with generous sized balls of dough. You should end up with about 10 muffins. Generously coat muffins with crumble topping.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Blueberry mini-muffins (kitchenbinder.wordpress.com)
- Blueberry Muffin Cake (tammyheff.wordpress.com)
- Streusel-Topped Cherry Pecan Muffins (ericasrecipes.com)
Yay for you! I can’t wait until I can apply to SRC. Let us know who got your blog when the time comes 🙂
Thanks! Vintage Kitchen Notes had me and did a beautiful gluten-free adaptation of my cherry crumble http://www.vintagekitchennotes.com/2013/08/cherry-almond-crumble-small-batch-src.html
I loved reading your post and the entire explanation of how the #SRC came to be. I too am amazed at the amount of food bloggers there are in the world and the sense of community we all share is really something special. Your muffins look delicious. I especially love that crumble topping.
And I feel like it’s something you can only understand as a blogger. My husband looks at me like I’m crazy when I speak of new friends–bloggers living in another city or state, that I’ve never met, maybe never even seen a photo of, but feel so connected to via word and food.
I love the food blogging community, it’s amazing most of us have never met in person but know each other through our blogs and food and we are all friends. Your muffins look great, very nice!! What fun SRC is.
Thanks Suzanne. So far it’s the easiest community I’ve participated in. While the penpal programs are great, the figuring out what to include, constant emails and deadlines can get a bit stressful. For this it’s just get a blog, make something during the 3 week time frame and post.
Those look wonderful!! What a great SRC selection!!
Thanks so much, Rebekah! I was a bit stumped what to make at first but fresh blueberries–how can you go wrong?
WELCOME to the SRC and I agree about your sentiments about a blogging community too! I LOVE the SRC and the people I have met through it……..this is also a wonderful 1st post too! Karen
Hi Karen–thanks so much for the warm welcome! I’m excited to be a part of SRC and can’t wait to meet everyone else!
Those look gorgeous. I love how you made them into muffins.
Welcome to Group D and happy first reveal day 🙂
Thanks for the warm welcome. I’m excited to be part of Group D! Can’t wait to get to know everyone in this group and beyond
Thanks for the post! I can’t believe I’ve never tried making these as muffins, I’ll have to try your version because I, too, like individual portions ^_^
Haha, it’s it funny how some things seem so obvious when put in front of you? I do that all the time. Sample a friend’s recipe of incredible complementing ingredients and just think, of course! Thanks for providing such a great recipe to start with! Truly excellent 🙂
Muffins with crumble and oats are probably my favorite. These are so gorgeous!
Thanks Paula! And I love what you did with my crumble (funny how we both went with similar recipe ideas). Glad to have discovered your blog!
Welcome to the group! What a delicious sounding recipe to get you started. Great pick this month 🙂
Thanks Melissa. LOVE your blog name by the way–too cute! I feel like I always gravitate towards the desserts, hopefully I’ll challenge myself a bit more next month.
Those look wonderful! This was my first month too!
Thanks Tara. How are you liking it so far? I think I need a strategy to read through everyone’s blogs. Eat breakfast first, then read. Reading recipes hungry is a dangerous combination.
Welcome to the club! The more, the merrier!
I love the photos you took, and your blueberry concoction would be a major hit with my husband, who never met a blueberry recipe he did not like 😉
Haha, I’m with your husband! I feel like blueberries fell through the cracks this year. I got my fill on strawberries and am enjoying plenty of peaches but not nearly enough blueberries. Hopefully I can get my fill before they’re gone!
Today is also my first reveal day! I love blueberries and crumb topping~ Your muffins look wonderful~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines
Thanks Lynn. Welcome to you as well! Your apple recipe looks divine. Perfect to welcome fall!
Welcome to the club! Great first post. Your muffins look delicious. I love blueberries and am going to be sad saying goodbye to them soon.
Thanks Emily! It’s such a fun club. I have to admit, as much as I want to make almost ever recipe I read, I tend to get distracted and forget. Love that this forces me to try something new, inspired by another great food blogger!
oh yummy yummy! These look amazing!
Thanks Kirstin! They turned out so well. Luckily I had some friends to pass them off to, otherwise I could have eaten all 10 in a day!
Reblogged this on MBSIB: The Man With The Golden Tongs.
Welcome to SRC and well done on a brilliant first post. I love blueberries and these crumb muffins look delicious! I love the crumb topping and the bright colour of the berries. Happy belated reveal day.
Thanks! The crumbs were the best part. I found myself trying to snatch up every bit from the bottom of the basket.
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