Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label muffins. Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Sweet with a crunch, these little gems are a satisfying snack of dried cherries, dark chocolate, and almonds. Inspired by the samples at Costco. What, is it just me who loves to sample?

Please tell me I'm not the only one delighted to eat my way through Costco on a Saturday afternoon.

I don't try every last sample [ewww protein drinks] but I can't help but give many of them a go. When my spouse was buying new glasses we were at Costco several Saturdays in a row. [Shopping, ordering, receiving, clicking, double clicking, returning for replacement, picking up replacement . . . great customer service in the Optical department.] One two of those trips I sampled some dark chocolate cherry trail mix. Crunchy-sweet-awesome! After the second sample I decided I wanted to make it into a muffin, and this is the result.

I got my start making muffins using the recipes from Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon Affiliate link) written by a couple of classmates of my mom, Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring. Over the years and the pans of muffins I've become comfortable with the muffin formula to branch out on my own. I like to make a not-so-sweet muffin--¼ cup of sugar in a batch of muffins is fine by me! Due to the added fruit and chocolate this is an extra sweet (by my standards) muffin, but it's still got whole oats and I'd serve it for brunch or an after school snack.

In fact, these muffins went to the Fisher House for a brunch.

For other recipes using dried cherries, please see my Cherry Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Honey Banana Oat Muffins

Soaked oat and whole wheat muffins sweetened with honey and a banana.

When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes whip up a last minute dessert that consisted of a bowl of sliced bananas topped with a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous splash of milk. It was fast, sweet, and used stuff she had on hand.

Making something out of nothing is a learned skill in the kitchen.

I don't mean literally nothing, this is not a Stone Soup type post. No, I'm talking about some of the items I consider kitchen staples:  bananas, oats, and baking powder*. I don't add buttermilk to this list because if you were to run the stats [I've been working on getting my info ready for my wonderful tax preparer so stats are on my mind] buttermilk cannot be found in my fridge as often as bananas, oats, and baking powder can be found in the pantry.
Once you've got buttermilk to use up, though, you can assemble several sets of the base of these muffins and store them in the fridge for up to a week. You could make buttermilk pizza dough or roasted garlic & pesto buttermilk pizza dough and store that in the freezer for a month. You could make a double batch of Butternut Squash Waffles and freeze the extras for weekday breakfasts or waffle sandwich lunches.

These muffins are my version of mom's frugal dessert. They are easy to throw together out of stuff I have on hand, sweet enough for a mid-afternoon snack at work, and healthy enough for me to give my kids for breakfast.

For other recipes using bananas, please see my Banana Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other muffin recipes check out the drop down menu on the right sidebar and let this serve as a kick in the pants to update that, or just tell me to put all the banana muffin recipes that are piled up on the dining room table into an ebook so you can grab that when you're in a muffin mood.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Passionfruit & Banana Muffins {Where Do You Get Your Food?}

Where do you get your food? 

Between articles in National Geographic Magazine about the evolution of diet and observations during the 4th annual Montgomery County (Ohio) Food Policy Coalition Summit last year, I think Michael Malone of Hungry Toad Farm sums up the answer perfectly:

"Either somebody brings it to you, or you go get it."

The theme of the summit was Distribution--Connecting Producers to Consumers. I sat in on a few sessions* and it was interesting to hear from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers as small as Michael Malone's couple dozen subscribers on up to Carl Bowman of Bowman & Landes Turkey's multi-state reach.
What I learned was there is romance in knowing where your food comes from (I agree with Dennis Chrisman of Dorothy Lane Market's sentiment). Over the past 9 years I've enjoyed meeting the farmers who grow our food. At first it was 'oh look, kids, this is what an eggplant looks like in the field' but it has morphed into wanting to understand the motivations of folks who want to work so damn hard to feed me.

Ben Jackle, together with his wife Emily, had 475 planting sessions last year at Mile Creek Farm. Holy cow! In order to balance what grows best in the climate and soil of their spread with what their customers want to buy, the Jackles must balance diversity with efficiency. It would be easiest to grow rows of the same crop and systemize the planting/growing/harvesting of a product, but as a CSA subscriber I wouldn't want to get a box of only tomatoes one week or only lettuce another week or only beets . . . ever. I appreciate the extra efforts that crop diversity requires.
Chickens go RVing at Keener Family Farm. Photo taken by my spouse.
"Convenience is a commodity itself"--another gem from Michael Malone. When he says "I don't sell peanut butter or toilet paper" he's right. I don't do all of my shopping in one place, nor would I want to do so. Everyone has skills, and while I appreciate our farm's ability to grow giant kohlrabi and my neighbor's buddy's ability to grow happy chickens and tasty beef, I also appreciate the volume discount on sharp cheddar cheese at Costco.
Keener Family Farm--photo taken by my spouse.
In addition to getting vegetables that have been grown near you by folks you've met, there are less tangible benefits to joining a CSA. George Mertz of Patchwork Gardens reminds me there's an aesthetic value of agriculture. Seeing farmland in production is pleasing to the eye, an having a box brimming with (pre-paid) brightly colored vegetables is so much prettier than a cart full of packages waiting for the final total price.
A typical late summer box: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, corn and greens.
People want local food, and according to Dan Carmody of the Detroit Eastern Market, the breakdown isn't in food production it's in food distribution. Folks all over are developing new ways to connect consumers to producers. In Seattle, Janelle Maiocco started Farmstr. Producers/Farmers can list their offerings on a central site online, and consumers can order the quantities and pick up locations that fit their needs. In Champaign County (Ohio), a Virtual Farmer's Market set up by Pam Bowshier and Mark Runyan meets in a YMCA. Folks order their items over a multiway period, then come once a week to pick up their orders.

Even CSAs are evolving. CSA models don't have to be just vegetables, or meat, or cheese. Heck, there's a beer CSA in Chicago--started by a former intern at our CSA, Patchwork Gardens. I'd love to have to empty my firkin before the next pickup date! According to a recent survey by Local Harvest, farmers are teaming up with other local businesses to sell add-on products (bread, meat, eggs) in addition to vegetables. Multiple payment options and varied length seasons are helping to reach new subscribers. Shoot, back when we started eating from a CSA we stopped getting food in late September. Now we get deliveries into December--and yes, now in February I've still got locally grown squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve as well as put up vegetables in the freezer and pantry.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Herbed Butternut Squash and Cottage Cheese Muffins

Creamy cottage cheese blended with roasted butternut squash puree for a savory muffin great with soups and stews.

What is cottage cheese to you? A diet food? A comfort food? To me, it's the base of the most wonderful potato chip dip. I haven't shared the old family recipe [can you have an old family recipe for chip dip? We do] but one of these days I'll measure the "pinch of this, shake of that" that's involved and share with the rest of the class. The key is great cottage cheese.

While living around the US (and enjoying the terrific Danish and German dairy products while stationed in Germany) I've come to realize that it is possible to find an equivalent to the amazing cottage cheese I grew up with, Nordica (purchased at High's Dairy Stores in the mid atlantic region). I've found one here in Ohio, oddly branded Michigan cottage cheese. I don't care what the name is, it is a small curd and relatively dry cottage cheese that rocks. [I'm not being paid to say that. They don't know me. I buy it--and in mass quantities when I find it marked down--on my own.]
What happens if you only have access to national brands? No worries--you're mixing it up in a muffin after all, not scooping it up with a chip. [Note to self seen by anyone else reading this blog--consider putting up the Olson Family Chip Dip recipe either the Friday before the Super Bowl or in the summer for cookouts.]

This savory muffin is excellent with soup or stew. Often I'll make a big pot of soup which we will eat over multiple meals. To keep it enticing the second or third go round, I'll serve hot muffins alongside. They are easy to throw together and bake while the soup is reheating gently on the stove.
For other recipes using butternut squash, please see my Buttercup/Butternut Squash Recipe Collection or my Winter Squash Recipe Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Squash & Banana Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Working title Asante Sana Squash Banana Muffins*, these soaked oat, wheat and flax muffins have roasted winter squash with banana and maple syrup for sweetening. Like other banana-containing baked goods these are terrific the next day and make a great breakfast or afternoon snack.

I'm not a control freak in the kitchen. I usually welcome all the help I can get [and I'm still enjoying the fruits err vegetables of my niece's and nephew's labors over the holidays when I had them chop up what turned out to be 5 recipes worth of mirepoix aka onion, celery, and carrot. Oopsie. Well, Faster Kirsten miscalculated but appreciates the effort nonetheless. Tak, Albert & Astrid.] Sometimes, though, the help is not entirely helpful. 
Unless your kitchen is populated by creatures who haven't figured out how to open the fridge door or who haven't mastered lifting the lids off containers, you've probably experienced a 'helpful' and hungry kitchen assistant 'cleaning up' the leftovers that were actually planned overs. Perhaps you intended the various parts of the meal NOT to end up all in the same container [because, you know, the light sucked at dinner and you wanted to photograph your leftover lunch for the blog].

The addition of flax into my standard soaked oatmeal muffin recipe came because of a helpful kitchen mate. My spouse dumped a bunch of ground flax seed into the container of rolled oats, thinking it would boost the nutrition of his morning bowl of oatmeal. He was not quite satisfied with the results, so I offered to take the rest of the container off his hands despite knowing I couldn't use any of the results for the blog [he didn't measure the amount of oats remaining in the container nor the amount of flax he dumped in with them]. After making muffins, waffles and more muffins I decided the combination is pretty useful, so once I'd emptied the container I played around with the amount of flax seed and came up with this version.

I've made these muffins three times now, and even shared them with the terrific physical therapists working with my son. It's been a while since I've posted a Monday Muffin recipe [like, last year, man], so I figured I'd kick off 2015 with these. Since I'm using maple syrup and a banana for sweetening, if you've made any resolutions regarding granulated sugar these would still fit in with your goals. If, like me & Meghan you've still got a pile of winter squash in your basement . . . well, here's an idea of what to do with it that the family--and the physical therapists--approve.

For other ideas using Winter Squash, please see my Winter Squash Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Orange & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Fresh citrus combined with chocolate chips in a soaked oatmeal whole grain muffin.

Do you associate oranges with the holidays? 

I do. We got tangerines in the toes of our stockings even before I'd read of Almanzo Wilder having one in his in the Little House series (Amazon affiliate link). Unwrapping a slice of orange-flavored chocolate from the orange shaped ball is something we look forward to each year. [However, I really did not care for scooping up the sticky Mandarin Chocolate Sherbet at Baskin Robbins. I don't recall anyone other than my mom eating it, but boy was that stuff gooey, and not in a good way, when it had been sitting in the case a while.]

Now that I've got kids in activities I associate oranges with fundraisers, which in my experience result in cases of citrus appearing in my house between Thanksgiving and Christmas. [Do you know how messy it is to deliver a case of fruit in a wheelchair when the sidewalks are slushy? I do, and it's as messy as you'd imagine.] We're luckier than Almanzo, however, and can enjoy fresh citrus year round. I admit that once we've eaten the Band Fruit Fundraiser order that arrives next weekend, I'll have had my fill of citrus for many months.

These muffins came about after my success with Orange Oatmeal Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies. I wanted to combine those flavors into a muffin. I had tangelos on hand, but oranges or tangerines will all work here. Remember when making a soaked oat muffin to start them at least an hour in advance (or up to 5 days, if you'd care to refrigerate the buttermilk/oat combo.

If you'd like other orange recipes, including last year's round up of 156 Recipes featuring Fall and Winter Fruits, please see my Orange Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Easy Frosted Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Tender roasted pumpkin, flavored with pumpkin spiced cheese in both the batter and as frosting, make these muffins an easy Fall treat.

I'm bursting with Fall here. As I sit writing this, I've spent the weekend visiting a Pioneer Harvest Festival, hiking with the family to see the changing leaves, and enjoying our little city's Fall Festival--complete with the high school marching band playing for the Costume Parade. [My daughter counted 12 Elsas, 6 Annas, and 3 Olafs--characters from Frozen if you've been under a rock or deployed--in the parade. Our town is only 2 square miles! I suspect I'll be overrun with Frozen characters for trick or treating, and plan to require a song in exchange for candy. I'll sing along.]
Although I hate to fill up the blog with extraneous photos, I'd like you to join me in the Fall frame of mind. Here's a few of my spouse's finest photos from this weekend:
This lovely man taught us about the Case Thresher, then we watched it in action. Wow.

With all this Fall-ness abounding, and because it's Monday and I like to celebrate Muffin Mondays, I thought it was time to share this recipe for Easy Frosted Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. At the end of the previous All Things Pumpkin season [have you seen the current Fearless Flyer from Trader Joes? Oh, my!] I picked up a container of pumpkin spice soft spreadable cheese because it had a Magical Markdown sticker on it. I make so many impulse purchases in the grocery store due to Magical Markdown stickers, like this Pork Steak, Salsa Verde and Oaxaca Cheese Pizza. The brand of cheese I used is Alouette, but use whatever you can find where you live. There's even a recipe for muffins in the package--but once I saw that their muffins contained no pumpkin, and used a box of cake mix . . . well, I decided to go in a different direction--but kept the frosting part because it's part of the fun of the cheese.

This recipe calls for pumpkin puree. My Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and my stubbornly independent garden [I swear if it could talk, the garden would say 'don't tell me what to grow--you're not the boss of me!'] provide a more-than-ample supply of pumpkins, so I rarely buy the cans of pure pumpkin but they work great as well. Here's how I process my pumpkins into roasted puree to use throughout the year. For other recipes using pumpkin, including more muffins, please see my collection of Pumpkin Recipes.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheddar Apple Soaked MultiGrain Muffins

Grated apple and cheddar cheese with an assortment of whole grains make these muffins a delicious Fall treat.

Cheddar Apple Soaked MultiGrain Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

What? A departure from my standard soaked oatmeal muffins?  Yep.  The dog woke me up extra early so before I was fully conscious I'd added oats, cornmeal, and whole wheat flour to the bowl with the buttermilk.  The dog went back to bed, and I made muffins.

When I'm solo parenting while my spouse is deployed, a favorite easy meal is apples, popcorn, and a protein. Sometimes it's popcorn with sliced apples and peanut butter, but usually it's a platter of apple slices, cheese chunks, and a big bowl of popcorn. This is easy to fix for dinner & a show treat night.

Cheddar Apple Soaked MultiGrain Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

While my kids were in braces I really missed that meal (no popcorn allowed) and I had to come up with alternatives. I'd been thinking of adding a bit of cornmeal to my muffin batter--the crunch goes nicely with the tender crumb from adding cheese--and I'm pleased with the result.

These muffins are not too sweet, and in fact would be tasty with a bowl of Chicken Cider Stew or spread with some apple butter. Multigrain and multipurpose, I'd say.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Macerated Peach Yogurt Muffins

Sugared peaches and yogurt combined in a sweet muffin for summer flavor any time of year

Macerated Peach Yogurt Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

I love the flavors of summer. Kristi from She Eats asked on her FB page what fresh item I'm most looking forward to this summer, and my answer was tomatoes. That's a no-brainer for me, primarily because my second favorite summer flavor, peaches, can be captured and frozen for later use.
True, my Fresh Tomato Pesto is one easy way to capture the flavor of ripe summer tomatoes, but I can't match that texture and wouldn't use it in a tomato sandwich. I love a good tomato sandwich more than anything else, and now that our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is providing us with ripe tomatoes I am indulging often.
Macerated Peach Yogurt Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

While I do like to bite into a juicy peach (one not packed with listeria bacteria and shipped 'a fur piece') I'm not married to the texture. I'm happy to have fresh summer peach flavor in whatever form I can put it up. Since we don't have any local peaches this year due to the extreme cold temperatures of late winter, I'm glad I put up the peaches I gleaned from a friend's tree last year.

Macerated Peach Yogurt Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Most of the peaches were put up using Carla of Chocolate Moosey's Peach Pie Filling recipe, but some I just chopped, mixed with a bit of sugar, and froze.  This method makes it easy to thaw and use in a variety of sweet treats like these muffins. Even though it sounds like medieval torture, macerating just means 'softening by steeping in liquid' so that's the term I used here.

While you have fresh peaches may I offer my Fresh Peaches and Cream Muffins? If you've got macerated peaches, though, and want muffins--do try these. Thanks!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins

Blueberries and roasted beets are sweetened with honey in a multigrain muffin

Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Blueberry muffins are one of the most iconic types of muffins.  [You won't find any icons on this blog, other than my teeny tiny social media icons next to the print button at the bottom of this post.] I was shocked to realize that of the 26 muffin recipes I've posted on this blog, only one of them contains blueberries.
It also contains beets, and it's a pretty sweet muffin what with the white chocolate chips and all (Red, White and Blue Muffins recipe here). I wanted to share a less 'treat' muffin.
Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

 I've got beets from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, and adding some roasted beets to the party in the blender [not to be confused with this party in a blender] accentuates the color of the blueberries without overwhelming the flavor.

Why do I use a blender? My son is not a big "whole blueberries in baked goods" fan, so for these muffins, just like these Sweet Corn and Blueberry Waffles, I use my blender.  We all get the goodness of blueberries without anyone biting into an undesired big fat berry.

Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm glad to announce my 27th muffin recipe, and second beet+blueberry muffin in a row, Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins.  I use honey, not sugar, in this recipe, which makes me think about how "real sugar" is now a valued item in soft drinks, yet perversely still taboo in "healthy" recipes. Whatever. While they are lightly sweet on their own, these muffins also taste delicious served warm with lemon curd.
These soaked oatmeal muffins require at least an hour long pre-preparation soak, but you can always prep a container of oatmeal and buttermilk days ahead and store in your fridge like I've shown here.

Blueberry Beet Honey Oat Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Red, White & Blue Muffins {Muffin Monday}

Roasted beets and strawberry jam provide the red, while white chocolate chips and blueberries round out the trio for a festively-colored and tasty snack

Red, White & Blue Muffins {Muffin Monday} | Farm Fresh Feasts

It always bugs me, as someone who thinks local produce tastes better than stuff trucked in from Off, to see Red, White and Blue recipes using fresh strawberries alongside fresh raspberries and fresh blueberries.  Why?  Wherever I've lived, those berries are not simultaneously in season.  Late spring is the time of the strawberry, and the raspberries and blueberries come along later in Summer.  If I'm going to combine berries, I'll need to use some that are put up (by freezing or by jammin') so that I can get the best flavor.

Red, White & Blue Muffins {Muffin Monday} | Farm Fresh Feasts

Beets are one of the vegetables that we don't devour within days of getting them in the farm share [beet greens, however, I adore and gobble up ASAP]. Beets are long-storing, though, and freeze beautifully after roasting, so in the winter I'll often grab a bag of roasted beets out to thaw and then decide what to do with them. 

Adding roasted beets to muffin batter makes a naturally vibrant result [even in savory form]. I wanted to make a colorful muffin so a beet base seemed like a good way to start. Strawberry jam for summer flavor, plus blueberries and white chocolate chips, make this muffin on the sweet side for my baking--but with only ¼ cup sugar it's still a snack I'm jiggy with feeding my kids.

For other recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection. For other recipes using blueberries, please see my Blueberry Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. After typing so much to give you A Peek into My Process I'm going to jump right to the recipe.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins

Sunny orange juice and zest, sweet dates, and a splash of olive oil make these muffins a treat made from things my grandma could have found in her pantry

Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

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This week I am in Florida, watching my son's high school marching band parade down Disney's Main Street and enjoying some warmth and sunshine. I thought a good theme for the week would be recipes featuring oranges, so I'm calling this week HashtagOrangeWeek.  See, the oranges I'm using came direct from Florida as part of the Band Fruit Fundraiser (link to my round up of 156 fruit-filled recipes from 66 bloggers). Why was the band fundraising?  To go to Disney and march down Main Street . . .

Today I'm sharing muffins, because it's a Monday and I like to share muffin recipes on Mondays.  That whole alliteration thing.  Wednesday I'm sharing Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Secret Ingredient Cookies, and Friday I've got an Orange and Pepperoni Pizza. If you are in a cold area, I can't bring you warmth but I can share some sunny citrus.  [And rub it in, a wee bit.]

Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

You ever do something just for yourself?  I made these muffins just for me.  Normally I make muffins for the kids' breakfast or after school snack, or to bring to a function, or--rarely--to eat with dinner.

Not this time.  Not these muffins.

Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

I had a hankering for Orange Date Muffins even though I'd never tried them.  Probably due to repeated exposures to the Orange Date Muffin recipe page in Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) written by friends of my mom.  Every time I'd read the recipe over the years, though, I was missing some vital ingredient [like oranges or dates].  Since the Band Fruit Fundraiser Citrus Recipe Round Up, though, I've had cases of citrus at the ready, and as it is sled hockey season I have been to Costco and have dates aplenty.

Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, February 3, 2014

Grapefruit Honey Bran Muffins

Filled with bright citrus and packed with fiber, these muffins are a sweet way to start the day

Grapefruit Honey Bran Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

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I've got so many muffin recipes piling up I'm thinking about making an ebook of them.  I've got a baker's dozen of banana muffin recipes sitting in a pile of papers right in front of me, all wholesome enough for my kids to eat for breakfast--and easy to make.  Note to self--investigate the genre.  I've seen Lydia's ebooks (like her zucchini recipes and her meatball recipes) and I'm thinking along those lines.  But first--another sunny citrus muffin recipe, right here, free, for you!

When I shared the Candied Grapefruit Peel recipe, I mentioned that it's an acquired taste.  My kids will eat it--in small doses, especially combined with something else.
Isn't it funny how sometimes a picky eater can pick out even the tiniest portion of an undesired food in a melange, and sometimes it's easier to deal with an unwanted food if it's combined with other things?  Oh dear, now I'm talking about undesirable food when I'm supposed to be enticing you. Fail (if I used hashtags, this would have been an appropriate place for one).
Grapefruit Honey Bran Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tangerine Ricotta Muffins (Monday Muffins)

Lightly sweet, brightly creamy, these tangerine ricotta muffins are a lovely winter muffin

Tangerine Ricotta Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

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When I saw these muffins I knew I wanted to try making them using one of the citrus fruits from the Band Fruit Fundraiser stash.  I also had ricotta that I wanted to use up so I could try and make my own like Annemarie does.  However, I made one of the classic blunders (no, not the "never get involved in a land war in Asia one" nor the "never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line" one):  I didn't read the entire recipe first.

So at 6:20 am, when I stumbled into the kitchen with the intent of making Tangerine Ricotta Muffins for my kids' breakfast, I was caught unawares with "1 stick of butter, softened" as an ingredient.

Oops!  I hadn't set out any butter to soften and I didn't really want to nuke one because good grief an entire stick of butter in a pan of muffins?  My kids eat 2 or 3 muffins a piece!  I didn't want them to consume 1/4 stick of butter just with breakfast--and that was before I read "1 cup of sugar".
If you've seen my other muffin recipes (muffin recipe index to your right), you know that I serve them to my kids as part of breakfast or after school snacks--not dessert--so my muffins are usually whole grain and contain less sugar and fat than what I see in many bakery muffins.
I set that recipe aside for a future dessert, because it looks so delicious and I think my family will love it for a special treat.  Instead, I took my ricotta cheese, my tangerines, and my muffin-making skills and made these muffins.  The kids loved them hot with a bit of buttery spread. I liked mine later, room temperature, with my tea.  The next day my son grabbed some to take on the road to his sled hockey tournament and my daughter spread hers with strawberry jam.  Next time, I'm thinking white whole wheat flour, honey, and tangelos . . .

For other recipes using tangerines, please see my Tangerine/Tangelo Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For more muffin recipes, look to the Recipe Index by Category on the right sidebar -----> under Muffins. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Citrus and Honey Whole Grain Muffins

Oranges and tangerines paired with honey in a whole wheat and oatmeal muffin

Citrus and Honey Whole Grain Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

When you first get cases of citrus for the Band Fruit Fundraiser, your family is gobbling up oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines as fast as you can peel them.  My family is as spoiled as the composting pig.  I peel the oranges for them as well. I have that hook thingamajig from Tupperware.  It makes it easy.
But after a while, the joy of juice bursting in your mouth pales a bit.  The palate gets a bit tired of such unrelenting sweet goodness. Like living in Hawaii with unrelenting sunshine. It happened to me!
So you get creative, and start serving the citrus as the main event at breakfast.  That goes over well, so for special people you serve salmon and oranges with dinner.  You throw orange sections in spinach salads and fruit salads. [And you freeze the leftovers of those fruit salads for smoothies.]  You buy apples.  And grapes. And you kinda forget about the handful of citrus still in your crisper.
As Norah Jones just sang on my stereo, <they're> just sitting here, waiting for you to come on home <and make a muffin>.
I wanted to make another muffin without added refined sugar, this time on purpose, so I grabbed the honey out of the pantry. Honey pairs very nicely with citrus.  Add in the whole grains--oats and wheat--and you're good to go.  This muffin is a great use for leftover peeled citrus.  Chop the citrus finely, or you will have odd lumps sticking up here and there. You'll live if you do.  I did.  Kids still ate them.
I like to soak my oats in buttermilk overnight because I like the texture of the resulting whole grain muffin, but even an hour's soak makes a difference if you didn't mix these up the night before.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Apple Pecan Tangerine Mini Muffins

Cranberry Apple Pecan Tangerine Mini Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts
These were for a gathering and I dusted them with cinnamon sugar before baking.
It's all about the leftovers, isn't it?

When I made this bread I had leftover Cranberry-Apple-Pecan mixture.  I froze it, since I am big on the "What do I do with this?  I dunno.  I'd better toss it in the freezer" method of dealing with things.

The paperwork for my taxes is not in my freezer.

Luckily, I married a wonderful man whose wonderful mom prepares taxes for a living, otherwise my tax paperwork would be in the freezer with random assorted bags of vegetables and fruits.  And Butch.

I enjoy the cranberry-citrus combination (and will soon be blessed with Band Fruit Fundraiser citrus, stay tuned for a recipe round up next month) so I decided to add some tangerine to these muffins.  I was making up a frightfully orange smoothie (Tangerine-Carrot-Banana) and since I'd gotten the blender out, I blended up a tangerine first for the muffin batter before continuing with the rest of the smoothie.  If you're not mixing up a smoothie, just chop up a tangerine and add it to the batter, or get fancy and remove the juicy flesh and toss the scaffolding* in the compost.  Alternatively, give the remnants to the composting pig as she'll eat almost anything (her late roommate would eat anything).
Don't give it to the worms--they don't care for citrus.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mini Cranberry Yogurt Oatmeal Muffins

A pretty little lightly sweet muffin with cranberries, Greek yogurt-soaked oats, and a candy topper.

Mini Cranberry Yogurt Oatmeal Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts
Note:  I am so glad to have the seasons change--I've been sitting like a swan* a bunch of recipes (because, you know, our family likes to eat each day) that were not really seasonal for posting on the blog at the time I made them.  I mean, who wants to read about cranberries in March?  I'm glad to share them now, and to give you ideas for what to do with your cranberries.  And yes, currently I'm cooking stuff that uses the last of the summer produce so I'll be sharing it next summer.  I'm starting my own personal NaBloWriMo where I plan to write up blog posts as many days as possible in order to deal with the pile of recipes and head notes that clutter my work space.  With breaks for eating muffins, pizza, and beets, of course.  Yes, I am nesting. ;)
I buy cranberries when they are in season and inexpensive, then I store them in my fruit and veg freezer (not to be confused with the meat freezer) until I'm wanting some fruit for a muffin and open the freezer up, scan the contents, and think 'well, why not cranberry muffins?'  That was an entirely run on sentence.  I see where my son gets it from.  I was thinking about my usual Soaked Oat muffins, but was out of buttermilk--though I did have a bucket of plain Greek yogurt.

A quick check of my muffin bible, Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) reassured me that it was possible to use yogurt in muffin batter, and in fact their recipe for Cranberry Yogurt muffins is very slightly adapted here.  I didn't use the entire bag of cranberries in this recipe, but don't go on a rant about it like I did, instead come on back next time, because I will share the Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy I made using the rest of the cranberries I'd chopped.

Another Note:  I made these to serve as an after school snack to a bunch of girls (who came over to unplug my fruit and veg freezer work on a school project).  I was concerned that the cranberries would be too tart, so I added a candy melt for a hit of sweetness when you popped the muffin in your mouth, and made them mini because they looked cuter (sort of like wee Oliver, our new-to-us wiener dog).  If you don't have or don't want to use candy melts, please feel free to bump up the brown sugar to 1/2 or 3/4 cup if you're concerned about the tart vs sweet level.