Monday, June 15, 2009

Willoughby's War And A Delicious Blueberry Muffin Cake

I didn't spend much time on the computer yesterday because I was busy doing yard work. It was a beautiful sunny day and perfect for working in the garden. I don't mind watering the flowers or doing some pruning and dead-heading, but I do hate weeding. I don't hate it a little, I hate it a lot! This year, the weeds are getting the best of my flower beds. The clover and grass, especially, have it in for me. We're not talking about a measly dozen weeds or so, but a full out attack on my garden and my sanity! If you listen closely, you can probably hear them laughing and mocking me.

I have several strategies to keep myself from going insane while I spend countless hours on my knees pulling weeds. I try to visualize the ocean, or mentally work on that book I'm supposed to be writing. Sometimes I'll think of a song I like. No such luck, yesterday, though. I couldn't seem to get the ocean on my mental viewing screen, I had writer's block with the book and the only song playing in my head was "Crimson and Clover". I don't care much for that song to begin with and the only words I know are the chorus, so that's what played on my internal radio for several mind-numbing hours. I guess I should have gotten out the ipod.

I've heard of some different ways to deter weeds, but I'm not sure they would work for me. My Mom talked to her landscaper who told her that he never pulls weeds, he instead, sprays each one individually with weed killer. It sounded like such an easy way to go that my Mom tried it. RIP, ivy! She wiped out an entire patch of it with a few squirts.

My neighbor swears by adding about 3 inches of mulch every year. It works for her, but I've got hundreds of feet of flower beds and gardens and it would cost me a small fortune for that much mulch. My mulch is only an inch or two thick and it's not stopping the weeds one bit.

I do find that Preen is effective, but you have to get in on the soil before the weeds emerge. I have a whole container of it in the garage, but I didn't get it applied soon enough. The war rages on!

I did find the time to do a little baking, though. I made this wonderful Blueberry Muffin Cake. It's delicious and easy to make. I had it ready for the oven in less than 15 minutes.

The streusel topping is outstanding!

Blueberry Muffin Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch square pan with cooking spray.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl, set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine milk, oil, egg and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour into prepared pan.

In another small bowl, combine dry streusel ingredients. Cut in butter with a knife or pastry blend until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over top of cake.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool before cutting.

~~One more quick note, if you know a thing or two about birds and haven't seen my post from Saturday, please take a quick look when you have a chance. We still haven't identified this guy and we would value any input you may have. Thanks! ~~


doggybloggy said...

nice cake!

Purple Flowers said...

We must have been on the same wavelength yesterday, because I was out there pulling up weeds. I laughed when I read your "crimson and clover". Now I hope I don't think of that song on my internal radio. Our mulching didn't help much w/the weeds. I just think with all the excessive rain we are having in the northeast, everything is growing in leaps and bounds. Even the flowering plants and rose bushes are bigger than normal for this time of year. Yea, I'm blaming it on the rain.
Yesterday am, my Hubby made delicious homemade blueberry muffins. :)

ChristineM said...

Mmmmm...That cake looks gooooood~!

ChristineM said...

Oh, I posted a comment about the bird on your other post....not sure if I'm right, but it kind of matched images I found of a juvenile Merlin. (Which is cool, cuz my DOG's name is Merlin! Never heard of the bird before...)

5thsister said...

At least you had cake to comfort you after your garden warfare!

Chicago Mom said...

Maybe you could hire a neighborhood teen looking for some extra pocket money to pull those weeds? Good luck!

Denise said...

Damn those weeds. your cake looks really good.

Gracey said...

I have no advice to give you for the weeds. :( But I have to say, this cake is mouth-watering!

Liz said...

I've been looking for a recipe for a luscious coffeecake to take to work to thank co-workers. This one sounds fantastic. And blueberries make it elegant.