So a few weeks ago, an old college friend messaged us out of the blue saying that she wanted to come visit this summer. That took us by surprise and left us with a little bit of trepidation. Not that we didn’t want to see her, but it had been 6 years since we graduated and we’d only chatted on birthdays or when she had a computer question. We weren’t really sure what to expect from her visit. But I was just telling a friend the other day how I need to work on being more hospitable, so we agreed to it and started planning. And guess what… this is the weekend that she came!
Last week, we started finalizing plans for while she was here. She wanted to see the Creation Museum (our church has free passes…woohoo!): Check! She was interested in visiting the Cincinnati Zoo (despite the recent gorilla incidents): Check! But what about food!? That’s where I always struggle. Meal planning is not my forte. So over lunch one day, my husband and I sat down (or rather stood in front of the refrigerator) and started planning. Saturday after she arrives, we came home and make pizza for old-times’ sake (when we were in college, we would always go to the on-campus restaurant for pizza, and somehow my husband always managed to convince her to pay! Lol). Sunday afternoon we threw a roast in the crock pot. Not a big deal… unless I forget to start it… again! 🙂 Sunday night after church we took her to Skyline (you can’t visit Cincinnati without trying Skyline). Monday (zoo day) we took lunch with us. A friend gave me a recipe for ham and swiss croissants that would make a nice, somewhat “fancy” bag lunch. The Creation Museum’s “Noah’s Cafe” would be lunch Tuesday. Since we would be getting back from the zoo and museum a little late, we wanted something that was easy and quick but that would still give you that “homecooked meal” feeling. So one night we planned for burgers and my favorite summer salad: Grilled corn, avocado and tomato (I’ll have to share the recipe on a future post). The other night we planned for this simple, yet super tasty pasta dish. That left breakfast. My husband was of the “let’s just have cereal” persuasion, but that seemed a little boring for every single morning she was here. So for Wednesday before she leaves, we planned a big brunch: eggs, bacon, biscuits and chocolate gravy (something my Georgia-girl pastor’s wife used to make for us growing up), and fruit. Then, for whichever day we chose, I decided to dig up an old recipe that my mom used to make for us when we were kids. We were homeschooled for most of my grade school days, and I remember her baking this and all of us enjoying them over our math lessons. I went ahead and made them a few days early then popped them in the freezer to take out and thaw the night before we decided that cereal was getting boring. 😛 These muffins are amazing! The soft, tart raspberries and the sweet, crispy streusel combine, making this everything a well-balanced muffin should be (culinary-wise, not necessarily nutritionally)!
Raspberry Streusel Muffins
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2t baking powder
1 c unsweetened raspberries
1/2c butter or margarine melted
1 egg beaten
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease or paper line 12 muffin cups. Prepare pecan streusel topping and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. In small bowl combine milk, butter, and egg until blended. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened.
Spoon 1/2 of batter into muffin cups. Divide raspberries among cups, then top with remaining batter.
Sprinkle pecan streusel over tops. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan.
Pecan Streusel Topping:
In a small bowl combine 1/4c each: chopped pecans, packed brown sugar, and flour. Stir in 2T melted butter or margarine until moisture resembles course crumbs.