What a winter! Growing up in Ottawa really teaches you to embrace the snow in Toronto. This snow has not slowed us down at all; Lily and I are as adventurous as ever with the outdoors.
During our winter promenades, we have witnessed some odd behaviour in our Toronto neighbours. I think they need a crash course in snowy winters.
Brushing the snow off ones vehicle is apparently limited to the windshield and the side windows. I see ridiculous cars with piles of snow on their hood and roof; perhaps they enjoy leaving a cloud of white behind them? Like a cartoon?
There are several neighbours that insist on using a broom to clear their walkways and driveways. Not the heavy duty brooms you might see a janitor use; the brooms you see witches ride. in movies. kid movies.
Even when I see a proper shovel being used, most of the time the snow is being shovelled directly onto the street. Yesterday, I wanted to tell a man that if he was going to shovel onto the road (which he shouldn't, but that's besides the point), he should at least shovel to his right and not his left. Everyone in Ottawa knows that the plow is just going to push it right back onto your driveway in the form of solid, icy, igloo chunks.
But it all just adds to the entertainment this snowy weather brings.
Lily is really loving this weather. When she isn't outside enjoying the brisk, fresh air, she stares longingly out the window.
For those who don't share Lily's enthusiasm of the cold outdoors, my suggestion to you is to go and brown some butter. That's right. Melt better in a pot, then keep warming until it gets golden brown and fragrantly caramelly and nutty.
My sister in law baked us up some delicious brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies a few weeks back. They were so delicious I decided to try one of Joy's recipes from her new cookbook that I got for Christmas.
The cookbook is pretty great. Her blog is fantastic, but sometimes you just want to flip through a physical book. I have dog eared several recipes and this browned butter blueberry muffin recipe shot to the top of the list.
Look at that golden-brown butter. Delish.
As usual, I mixed it up a bit. I substituted 1/2 cup of all purpose flour with 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup of quick cook oats. I also used frozen blueberries. In her book, she recommends that if using frozen blueberries, you should thaw and drain the liquid. Who has time for that? I threw it in frozen and it turned out great (I never seem to mind the purple hue that engulfs the muffin when using frozen berries). I realize that fresh blueberries work best, but in the middle of winter, I prefer frozen Canadian blueberries (PC has a great product) over berries picked and flown in from Chile.
I also opted to skip the streusel topping, much to my husband's disappointment, but purely out of laziness, not concern for the size of my waist/hips/bottom/cheeks. Next time, I promise him some sugary, crumbly topping.
The muffins are quite magical -- even with my substitutions and instruction disobedience. The inside is light and fluffy, the outside crisp. And standing over the stove, browning the butter will warm any cold hands and windburned face. Promise.