It's a dark and dreary November day here. Perfect for staying in, working on a project and preparing for the holidays. Here's a little peek at part of the project I wrote about last time. It's evolving nicely although I'm investing way more time in it than it warrants. I won't be keeping it but I am incorporating a bunch of ideas I've been mulling for future projects so I'm happy to try them out now. I worked up these strawberries yesterday.
They started out as two motifs cut from this popular fabric from a couple of years ago ~ Strawberry by Hoodie, from Timeless Treasures. The berries are large (almost 2") and I fell in love with this bold, graphic print the first time I saw it. I decided to applique a couple onto my project, but the stems looked too fiddly so I chopped them off and embroidered them. 'In for a penny, in for a pound', I continued with the leaves and at the last minute, decided to embellish the little seeds as well. This is when a good stash of floss comes in handy!
I would love to finish the project up today (and I will share it as soon as it's done) but as some of you have noted in recent comments, it's muffin time! I've written about this before ~ I always bring the breakfast muffins to our annual family gathering over Thanksgiving. While everyone has their favorites (Chocolate Chip and Apricot Almond are non-negotiable), I do occasionally retire a variety to try something new. Last year's Oatmeal & Cranberry Muffins were such a hit that I'm sharing the recipe here today. Although I've made a different version in the past, they paled in comparison to this one, from the book Muffins A to Z (from which I've gotten some of my favorite recipes). Because the oatmeal is added after first simmering in milk, the resulting muffins are nice and moist. And the addition of raisins with cranberries really adds to the flavor. I made extras last year to share with neighbors who would be watching our house while we were away and they raved about them when we returned. Guess I'll be making an extra batch again this year!
* * * * *
Oatmeal & Cranberry Muffins
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup (5 1/3 TBLSP) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda, sieved
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup raisins
1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and the oats; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Cool slightly.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter 12 muffin cups. (I just use paper liners.)
3. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; stir intil blended.
4. Add the eggs to the oat mixture and stir until well blended. Add the oat mixture to the dry ingrdients, along with cranberries and raisins, and fold just until evenly moistened. Do not overmix. (This is the key to good muffins!!!)
5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. If desired, sprinkle each muffin with some dry oats. (I did this once, don't bother now.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.
6. Try not to eat them all! (Yield: 12 muffins)