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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quiet Mornings & Muffins

You know, I do love a quiet, relaxed morning with nowhere to be, nothing to do... just us relaxing and doing as we please.  Just being together.  It's wonderful to have those moments in the middle of all the "doing" that happens in life.  Especially life with two boys.

So this is what we did this morning.

Watched the sun rise together from the living room window.  Sorry, yard's a mess.
Made & ate too many Blueberry Oatmeal muffins.  Recipe follows.
Yep.  Absolute Heaven.  Our new favorite recipe.
Watched the boys play while I flipped through old recipe books.
Turned on the sewing machine but never did actually sew anything.
Sat for a minute, coffee mug in hand, and just looked at the beautiful pile of scrap fabric I have.
Indulged myself with not one, but two mugs of coffee! The boys had cocoa.
Since the muffins were so good, and we're not doing anything this morning, here's the recipe.  Just because I'm nice like that.  :)

Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins

1 2/3 C. quick-cook oats
2/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. whole-wheat flour
3/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon (I do 3 tsp's & use saigon cinnamon, it's sweeter)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. low-fat buttermilk
1/4 C. canola OR vegetable oil
Grated rind of one small lemon (about 2-3 tsp's)
2 large eggs
1 pint OR 2 cups fresh blueberries**

Preheat your oven to 400*.  In a large bowl, mix together oats, flours and brown sugar until well combined.  Add rest of dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Form a well in bowl.  Combine buttermilk with oil, lemon rind and eggs.  Mix vigorously until emulsified (oil is mixed in and does not sit on top of buttermilk).  Pour into dry ingredients and stir just until combined, don't overmix!

Add blueberries and gently fold in just until berries are incorporated.  Taking care not to squish the berries will insure they don't sink to the bottom & keep the batter from turning purple. 

Spoon about 2 TB's batter into greased muffin tins (I use Pam spray) or use paper liners.  Muffin wells should be only about 1/2 full.  If desired, sprinkle a little granulated sugar over tops of muffins at this point.  We skip this step for our muffins.

Bake in preheated 400* oven for approx. 18-20 minutes.  When done, the muffins should spring back when gently pressed with your finger.  Remove from muffin tins immediately and cool on wire racks until just warm.  They are delicious as is (which is how my boys eat them) or slathered with butter (which is how the hubs and I eat them).

You should get 24 muffins from this recipe if portioned correctly.  The muffins will be a little bit on the small side.  We like them this way since they're just the right size for smaller fingers and mouths to handle.  If you'd like to make your muffins "normal" muffin size, fill muffin tins about 2/3 full instead of 1/2 full.  You'll get about 16 muffins this way instead of 24.

** If you can't find fresh blueberries you can use frozen blueberries instead but don't thaw them first! You can also substitute any other berries in this recipe.  It's also really good made with raspberries & chopped strawberries.
Before placing frozen berries of any kind in the batter, mix them in a small bowl with 2 TB's flour until coated.  This will help the frozen berries to float and not sink to the bottom.

Let me know if you try this recipe! I'd love to hear your take on them.  Enjoy!

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