Our youngest is home for a few days to celebrate her dad’s retirement. And, just for grins and giggles, I stirred up a batch of muffins for breakfast. You might like them for the Fourth of July.
On Dave’s last day at work, he, too, lit up when I asked about a little tiny sweet to start the day. Continue reading
For the next three weeks, I’ll at some time during each week feature one recipe from my new book, Soups & Sides for Every Season (click HERE to order). Make the recipe, photograph it, email the pic to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If yours is the first email with a recipe photo I receive, I’ll mail you a book! Don’t forget to include your snail mail address in the email as well as any adjustments you made to the recipe. Now get “cooking!” I can’t wait to hear from you.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at the book yet, it’s a soft covered paperback, 174 pages, and was a more than two-year effort that included a wonderful team: Patricia Miller, editor; Amanda Weber, designer; Daniel Craig, artist; and Drew Robinson, CS, sommelier. I had a dedicated team of testers and they’re all listed in the acknowledgment section.
The book itself is divided into seven chapters: one soup chapter for each season, and then one each for Breads and Spreads, Salads and Fast Sides, and, saving the last for best, Desserts. Today’s recipe comes from the Breads and Spreads chapter and is an original blueberry muffin recipe that was developed literally at the last minute before publication when the recipe planned just didn’t work out. It was a mad scramble to work out another muffin recipe and to test it at altitude, at sea level, and in between. Great thanks to Mary Ellen Harm (Boston), who tested and reported back via Facebook, Continue reading
|A gentler, kinder pumpkin muffin made with olive oil, whole wheat flour, mini dark chocolate chips and more.|
I love pumpkin. Pumpkin anything. Perhaps because I have an October birthday? (Yes, I just loved my big 6-0.) Each fall for most of my adult life, I’ve made loaves and loaves of pumpkin bread. The recipe has come and gone, morphed and morphed. 2013 is no different.
|This one, baked in my pumpkin pan, has pumpkin seeds on top.|
Below: my typical sweet muffin:
|“Get Mother to help.”|
As my family well knows, there comes a day in November (December is just too late) when I do nothing but bake cranberry bread. We have it for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, take a loaf or two to friends, and then have one squirreled away in the freezer for Christmas morning as well. I make a fun production out of the day (no other activities, favorite music on, microwaved lunch) and have nearly an assembly line in the kitchen so that loaf after loaf is mixed individually and baked on the center rack. It does require a number of pans, but I’m good at finding extras at Good Will or splurging on a great pan with a Williams-Sonoma gift card. I also bake this bread in coffee cups
for large size muffins or in tiny pans as little gifts for special folks.
|Apilco (French porcelain)–all their tableware is oven-safe.
Here’s what the production line entails:
|Grease and flour all the pans|
|Finely chop all of the cranberries (fresh or frozen) at once by hand or in food processor. Then: clean the food processor or board well; the red will color the bread you’ll mix or stain the board.|
|Peel the oranges and chop finely all of the peel in the food processor or by hand on the board.
Of course you can grate it using a rasp or metal grater, but I think it’s too fine that way.
|Set your system for GO! Everything you need is out. (Mise en place)|
about the recipe
The recipe is based on one from CRANBERRY THANKSGIVING by Wendy and Harry Devlin. Reading this book and making the bread is a fun, yearly Thanksgiving activity…..
to which children love becoming addicted. (Also adults like me. My kids are long gone and you see what I’m up to.) The story involves a fabulous cranberry bread recipe, for years kept secret, and an unscrupulous special someone who appears to want to steal it. Of course, all’s well that ends well, and the Devlins went on to write all kinds of other books about cranberries…. The book itself is again available (was out of print), but I found a couple of first edition copies at the Good Will this fall for $1.99. I can’t locate it as an ebook; maybe you can. The library will definitely have copies, but check yours out early and write down the recipe!
While I occasionally make a loaf with or without nuts, add a few tiny chocolate chips, or combine the recipe with one for bananas or apples, generally I make this bread with just cranberries.
The other day when I was buying the ingredients, the clerk asked if I was making cranberry bread–to which I replied a large, strong, hefty, happy, YES! She wanted my recipe and today I took it up to the market and left it in an envelope with her name on it:
… … …. … … .. .. ….. …… ……. ….. …………
Involving the Kids: Just do it! Don’t worry about the mess or how much time it takes. Just do it!
Little ones are great at collecting ingredients, greasing and flouring pans, measuring, mixing, and checking to see if the bread is done. Do the chopping yourself (if you’re doing it by hand) unless your older child already has good knife skills. Cranberries are not easy to chop–they keep rolling around, though the job isn’t terribly time consuming. If you have a food processor or manual chopper, this is the time to use it.
If you’d like to teach “Over the River and Through the Woods,” let them watch this youtube video.
Sing a new song; make lots of cranberry bread,
|A crispy-moist, very gingery muffin made with oats, whole wheat, and yogurt. Don’t tell.|
Somewhere on toward 6:30 and there was no light anywhere that October morning. Only the too-lazy-to-make-their-own-coffee guys were struggling down the street to the gas station where ethanol-fragranced cheap brews waited. No birds stirred. The dogs slept on. Donning jeans and t-shirt in the dark, she searched for her moccasins by sitting down and feeling around on the floor of the closet with her hands. Toddling down the hall to the bathroom, she made peace with her body, and then carefully made her way down the stairs, feeling each tread with her toes before proceeding to the next.
She approached it as she would a whole shark awaiting skinning, butchering, boning, and fileting down there in the deep, dark Saint Paul kitchen that morning. Coming around the corner, flipping on the light and the coffee maker in the same movement, she saw the big papaya waiting on the counter. The big fruit didn’t know its last minute (save the time it took to brew the coffee) had arrived. And she had no idea how she was going to kill it.
|In other words, I didn’t know from papaya. (Except all sliced up on a brunch buffet; I’m a mango girl.)|
|Looked like I should peel it, so I did.|
|Hmph. I chopped off the ends.|
|Sliced it down the middle. This thing was gorgeous! No wonder they call it “Fruit of the Angels.” A little light was peeping through the shades in the dining room.|
I sliced the papaya into moons and then chopped it up finely. Next, I mixed up the wet and dry ingredients for the muffins in the 8-cup Pyrex (my go-to muffin bowl) and spooned the batter into the greased tins with my ice cream scoop:
|These appear to bake forever and, actually, they do. Count on 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. They’ll be quite browned.|
|By then the dogs were padding around yawning. (file photo)|
|Hey, Dave! It’s breakfast!|
papaya-candied ginger muffins with cashews makes 14*
These muffins are not the biggest powerhouse of nutrition, but neither are they shirkers. They contain whole wheat, oatmeal, cashews, yogurt, and lots of papaya. They’re also fairly low in fat, using just 1/4 cup canola oil for 14 muffins, which is less than a teaspoon of oil (40 fat calories) per muffin. Not too bad! I looked at six or seven papaya muffin recipes for ideas and then used my own proportions to create this recipe using things I had in the larder.
One of my favorite Melissa Clark quotes is, “Muffins are just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.” Not so here. Enjoy!
|Background is my kitchen wall. Love the color!|
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons milk (or 3/8 of a cup)
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup whole oats (not instant)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder**
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I like Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon–available online)
- 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger (can sub 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews
- 2 cups finely chopped papaya
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease muffin tins thoroughly.
- Whisk together oil, yogurt, egg, and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
- Stir together well all of the dry ingredients (flour-cashews) in a medium bowl.
- Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and stir until just combined.
- Add the papaya and stir gently. Divide prepared batter evenly among greased tins.***
- Bake about 30 minutes until quite browned. Muffins will be moist.
- Serve hot or at room temperature as is or with butter, if desired.
*I made one 12-count muffin tin full and then greased a large oven-safe coffee cup and made one extra-large muffin. You could also use a couple of custard cups to make the extra two muffins.
**These muffins are quite dense, though not heavy. But if you’d like a lighter muffin, try increasing the baking powder to 2 teaspoons.
***I like to use an ice cream scoop, but a big spoon will do.
Papayas are available year-round (though they’re more prolific come summer and fall) and weigh about a pound each, though some grow much bigger. Wonderful as is, or with plain yogurt, the beautiful orange “meat,” is delicious and the seeds are edible, too. Full of antioxidants, along with vitamins (lots of vitamin C) and minerals, the papaya also contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins.
chart courtesy WHfoods.com–click for more information about the beautiful papaya
If I had to say what papaya tasted like, I’d wager a cross between honeydew melon and mango. And….
I can’t resist: So buya some papaya!
Join our blogging group!
I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: Read more about tasty papaya this week at these sites:
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
- We’d like to have you as part of the group. Get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits: Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
Sing a new song,