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Flo’s Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins

September 9, 2019
CranberryOrangeMuffins

One of my favorite simple pleasures, is to start my day with a pot of tea and one of Flo’s Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins. They are light and so incredibly tender. Sweet and tart at the same time. And, because of the oatmeal, they keep me feeling full for hours. That is quite a feat.  I also like that these oatmeal cranberry orange muffins are so very portable! Grab a couple to take to work. They are chocked full of healthy ingredients – oatmeal, orange zest, cranberries, almond milk, uh, except the butter. But, the butter is essential and besides, think about how Julia Child felt about butter. She lived until just 2 days short of her 92nd birthday.

Now I came to this recipe via one of my favorite baking blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. Every recipe of her’s I have tried has been wonderful. This recipe is based on her Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins. I made a few adjustments to compensate for our high altitude (6500 feet) and I baked these in my Breville Smart Oven. I love this countertop oven because it heats up in a jiffy, it has convection and it does not heat up the kitchen. This is key, we don’t have central air out here in the hinterlands. When this old ranch house was built central heat and air were decades away. 

Now this recipe for oatmeal muffins does use some dishes but you stir everything together with a big wooden spoon or spatula. So, get out a fairly large mixing bowl, and a couple of medium ones. I just use a large mixing bowl and 2 big measuring cups. 

You will need 3 bowls, or in my case a bowl and a couple of big measuring cups.

 

First things first

Measure out your vanilla almond milk and oatmeal. Combine the two together. These 2 ingredients need to get to know each other for at least 20 minutes, maybe a bit longer. You want the oatmeal to soften and absorb moisture from the almond milk. You can use regular milk for this if you like but, unsweetened almond milk has 30 calories per cup compared to 137 for 2% milk. Maybe I am trying to make up for the butter guilt. I also love the boost of flavor I get from using the vanilla flavored almond milk. 

The next thing you want to do is melt the butter. I do this in the microwave. The butter does not need to be completely liquified but you want it really soft so that it mixes with the brown sugar completely.  So once the butter is soft, dump in the brown sugar and mix the two together. Next, add in the egg, vanilla and orange zest. It is amazing how much flavor just a bit of zest imparts. Mix all this together.  Preheat your oven about now. 

In a large bowl  (I know another bowl, sorry about that), Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Add the sugar, butter and egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the big bowl. Stir a few times. Now add the almond milk and oatmeal  and stir to just combined. Don’t over-mix this. Lastly, fold in the cranberries. Now I used dried sweetened cranberries but come November, when I can get fresh or frozen cranberries, I am going to try this recipe with them. I’ll get back to you on how that works out. I like the idea of the tender berries, rather than the chewier dried ones. 

Now, if you want to make life simple, use cupcake liners and a 1/4th cup ice cream scoop. I used my vintage one pictured above. Isn’t it pretty? Using a scoop like this allows you to fill each cup equally and you usually don’t get as many drips. This batter is really thick. Not really pourable. I also like that the muffins are already sort of domed on top too. 

cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry orange muffins before cooking. See how they are rounded on top?

As per Sally’s instruction, to get nice high muffins, you start them out with a blast of heat. The first 5 minutes bake ’em at 450°F (230°C). Then turn them down to 350°F (177°C). Bake for a total of about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  When you remove the muffins from the oven, let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes. Then remove them to a cooling rack. 

These little gems will keep at room temperature for a couple of days. I keep mine in a Tupperware container in the fridge for 5 days or so. They also freeze beautifully. I just put them in a freezer zip lock bag.

So, the next quiet morning or afternoon you have, take the time to brew yourself the perfect cup of tea, pull one of these little treasures out of the fridge or freezer. Microwave it for a few seconds and  it’ll be just like you took it out of the oven. Now and sit down to a little piece of heaven. 

Yield: 12 Muffins

Flo's Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Flo's Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Healthy, light, tender and portable oatmeal muffins that will keep you full for hours.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (high altitude 3/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted a cooled
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries 
  • zest of 1 orange grated

Instructions

  1. In a medium size bowl, stir to combine almond milk and oatmeal
  2. Set aside for 20 minutes so that the oats absorb and soften in the almond milk
  3. Melt the butter
  4. Preheat the oven to 450°F
  5. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray or better yet, use cupcake liners.
  6. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside
  7. In a medium size bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and orange zest. Mix to combine.
  8. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir a bit.
  9. Add the oats and milk and stir a bit more. Fold in the cranberries to just combine. Don't over mix.
  10. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. I like to use an old fashioned ice cream scoop for this. Fill each muffin cup almost to the top.
  11. Bake at 450°F for 5 minutes (this is critical for a high fluffy muffin). Reduce heat to 350°F for another 16-17 minutes. You want a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin to come out clean. Total time in the oven should be 21-23 minutes.
  12. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Then remove them from the tin and onto a cooling rack to complete cooling.
  13. These muffins will stay fresh a couple of days at room temperature. They will stay good in the fridge for about a week. They also freeze beautifully.

Notes

You may use regular milk but I like the almond milk because it has way fewer calories and will give the muffins that extra vanilla flavor.

You can also substitute honey for the brown sugar.

I cooked these in my Breville Smart Oven Air using convection. I love that it preheats so quickly and doesn't heat up the kitchen.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 198 Total Fat 9g Saturated Fat 5g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 36mg Sodium 199mg Carbohydrates 28g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 11g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g

 

New Mexico Cuisine Recipes

My Hatch Chile Recipes, both Green and Red

August 11, 2019
hatch chile sauce

It’s August, which means that the New Mexico chile harvest is right around the corner. The best comes from Hatch, New Mexico! Therefore, I thought it was high time that I did a round up of my authentic Hatch chile recipes. Not that you need an excuse to eat lots of the stuff  but, did you know that chile is considered a super food? It is rich in vitamins A and C.  It helps to reduce cholesterol and increases your metabolism so it may help you lose weight. It also helps to reduce the chances of developing type II diabetes. The thing I love the most about it is that it is not just hot, (it actually can run from very mild to hotter than blue blazes) it is full of warm spicy flavor. So here we go, my Hatch chile recipes both green and red.

Most popular, I think is my Authentic Green Chile Stew. Remember, this recipe is from a native New Mexican. I think I made this the first time in college. It features ground beef, potatoes and green chiles in a warm, deep flavored broth. My twist is a bit of plain yogurt to soften and mellow the flavors a bit. Now for those of you that don’t care for yogurt, trust me on this, you will still like it. You could substitute sour cream but the yogurt is way lower in fat. 

Next is my Green Chile Sauce. This salsa or sauce for us New Mexicans is akin to catsup for everyone else. It goes on just about everything. Eggs, burritos, burgers, fish, vegetables. The list goes on. I use it in a bunch of my New Mexico Cuisine. Make up a batch on the weekend and then use it throughout the week. This is a cooked salsa with green chile and tomatoes seasoned with garlic, oregano and a touch of cilantro. I use it to slather on New Mexico Huevos Rancheros, in my New Mexico Frittata, Flo’s Tortilla Soup (made in the slow cooker) and it’s essential to my Calabacitas.

Green chile is a classic in corn bread and one of these days I’ll get that recipe done. However, I love Green Chile Cheese Scones. A hint of sweetness, a bit of heat from the green chile, and a touch of savory cheddar cheese. Sit down to one of these on a Sunday Morning with a cup of coffee or tea. Yum! I have also been known to use them instead of a regular bun with hamburgers.

So, there is the green chile, but when you allow them to ripen and then dry, you have New Mexican Red Chile. It usually is not quite as hot as the green. The flavor is more mellow. It is warm and smokey and almost sweet. This red chile is the base for red enchilada sauce. Now, I am a bit lazy when it come to this making this sauce. There are so many great versions of it on the market. The most authentic sauce I know of is Santa Fe Ole. But hang on to your hat, it is HOT. My go to sauce is the “Hatch” brand Red Enchilada Sauce. You can get it in most grocery stores. Use it for easy peasy Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken or Posole, a traditional New Mexican hominy stew.

Now I have said this before, you can used canned green chiles, but they don’t come close to the flavor of fresh roasted or frozen. I’m just say’n. If you can’t make it to the annual Hatch Chile Festival, you can order chiles directly from the chile capital of the world. Is it worth it? For those of you die hard foodies and chile aficionados, I finally made the pilgrimage to Hatch last year to see if the chiles produced down there really were better than anywhere else in New Mexico. In my opinion, the answer is YES!  And, you can mail order them and roast them yourself. It’s an all day project. Roast them,  peel them and then freeze them. They will last a year. The flavor is unmatched. 

Last year I bought mine directly from the farmer and had him roast them right there for me. While they were still hot, he put them in a big plastic bag so they could steam on the way home. Now the trunk of the car smelled like roasted chiles for a while, but is that a bad thing? For those of you that can’t make the trip, here is a link for the Ten Best Places to Buy Green Chile. 

If that all sounds like way too much work, you can get really good green chile roasted peeled, seeded and frozen through Amazon. There are also a growing number of grocery chains that carry frozen chile. The most common brand is Bueno and it is very good. If you ask, you might be pleasantly surprised that they will order it in for you if they don’t already carry it. Come September there are also more and more enterprising folks that buy a trailer load and haul it north along with a roaster, so look for them starting in September or October. 

I think that fall is my favorite season. Cooler weather, leaves turning and the smell of fresh roasted chile in the air. Ahhhhhh.

Breakfast Ranch Life Recipes Slices of Life

Why I Stopped Blogging – One of Those Life Changing Events

June 16, 2019
The Accidental Cowboy

Were you wondering why I stopped blogging? I apologize for just leaving with no explanation. It was because of one of those unexpected life changing events that knock you for a loop. One of those things that makes you have to go away by yourself for awhile to figure out. You know, the ones that cause you to make the changes that have been rattling around in the back of your head for way too long, but change is hard and it’s easier to think about it tomorrow.

So, the love of my life, the Accidental Cowboy is working through some serious health issues. We are still figuring things out. I’m not going to go into great detail because he is a private person but, some things gotta change! Like not ignoring what your body is telling you, like eating healthier and getting enough consistent rest and exercise. And, having good medical professionals, and insurance just in case. That darn check up once a year. Yup, it really is a good idea, nip things in the bud, ya know?

So, we are making changes. Now, the love of my life loves his processed, sweets and his meat and potatoes. It turns out though, that there is a reason that empty calories are such a trap. And, most importantly changes can be made that lead out of that trap. If you feed your body what it needs nutritionally, guess what, you don’t want as many calories. It’s true, I promise.

Let’s start with breakfast. Now, there is nobody on earth that is less of a fan of fruit than the Accidental Cowboy. Not even a fan of apple pie unless of course it’s drowning in ice cream and cool whip. However, we now have a fruit smoothie every morning for breakfast. We both miss it if we don’t have it. It is delicious. It’s a culinary miracle.

All you do is whip this baby up in the blender. 216 Calories, 21 % of your daily fibre, 14% of your iron and 68% of your vitamin C. That along with a dash of calcium, vitamin A and folate.

 

Print

The Accidental Cowboy Smoothie

This breakfast smoothie will convert even the most resistant fruit eater.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword fruit, healthy snack, smoothie
Prep Time 7 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 216 kcal
Author Jeanne Rogers

Ingredients

  • 2 large strawberries frozen
  • 1/4 cup blueberries frozen
  • 1 medium banana fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks canned in natrual juice
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse to break up frozen fruit then blend until smooth.

As the weather warms up, we have been having one of these in the afternoon. It is just as good as a big scoop of ice cream. I’d love to hear from you if you get a chance to try this.

Also, I hope you will bear with me as I get back in the blogging saddle so to speak. I gotta tell you, getting this post published was harder than hitting that publish button for the very first time. But, one has to start (or in my case, start back somewhere) and mighty done is often better than mighty good. Right?

 

 

 

Main Dishes Recipes

5 Weeknight One Pot Meals – My First Cookbook

January 13, 2019

5 Weeknight One Pot Meals

5 OnePotMealsCover

5 Weeknight One Pot Meals

It’s been quite a learning curve but, I am happy to release my first cookbook, 5 Weeknight One Pot Meals. These recipes are easy to prepare because they are all done in one pot. That makes them easy to clean up after and I am all about that. And, they are very tasty if I do say so myself. There are 5 recipes in this free ebook, enough to get you through a workweek. It also includes a grocery list at the beginning for everything you need to make these dinner dishes. I have to thank my cousin Barbara for that.

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Drinks Ranch Life Recipes Tea

Blueberry Tea, My New Favorite Winter Cocktail

December 27, 2018
BlueberryTea

The Perfect Warm Cocktail

As I sit down to write this I am brewing up a Blueberry Tea, my new favorite winter cocktail. It warms me all the way to the tips of my toes, and yet it is light, with just the right amount of sweetness. An expert in getting through cold winters in comfort, my brother-in-law from Canada, told me about this drink. No matter how cold it gets, this cocktail makes me feel cozy.

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Kitchen Faves Kitchen Tools Recipes Sweets

An Easy Way to Make Your Holiday Cookies Special

December 18, 2018
Nordic Ware Cookie Stamps

Now that we are deep into holiday baking season, I wanted to tell you about my latest discovery. In addition to my 5 Things Guaranteed to Make Your Holiday Baking Delightful, I want to add these Nordic Ware Cookie Stamps to the list. Such an easy way to make your holiday cookies Special.

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Main Dishes Recipes Soups

Uncomplicate Your Life This Week with White Bean Chili Verde

November 18, 2018
White Bean Chile Verde

I know, I know, almost everybody is thinking about Thanksgiving cooking right now but, I am thinking about what to have for dinner early in the week. It needs to be quick and easy because there will be enough fancy cooking for a bunch of people come Thursday. It is also nice if it can stay on the stove a bit waiting for out of town company to show up. Leftovers? Yup, this is even better the next day. So, I give you White Bean Chili Verde. One pot, mostly pantry items. Prep time is just chopping an onion, opening some cans and browning the meat and onions. About 10 or 15 minutes.

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Drinks Recipes

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte

September 30, 2018
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte

Last week I mentioned how good a Vanilla Speculoos Cookie would be with a Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte. Well I am here to tell you that it is a match made in heaven. This homemade pumpkin pie spice latte’s subtle pumpkin flavor complements the Speculoos spice cookie perfectly. I just polished off one of each on the front porch. What a lovely fall afternoon indulgence. And, it was so easy to make. With my method, it’s all done in the microwave. I think it turned out every bit as good as Starbuck’s but I didn’t have to make the 45 minute trek there. This is so easy, I just bet you’ll be doing the same thing, even if your Starbucks is much closer.

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Recipes Sweets

Vanilla Speculoos Cookies

September 23, 2018
Vanilla Speculoos Cookies

Fall is finally in the air. I think it is my favorite season. It has finally cooled off enough so that I can do some baking. These Vanilla Speculoos Cookies are perfect for fall. They are a bit lighter than my Speculoos Biscuits. A little less gingerbready, more of what you would think of with anything pumpkin. Perfect with a pumpkin spice latte.

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Main Dishes Recipes slow cooker

Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

September 13, 2018
Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken

This recipe for Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken was inspired by Fit Slow Cooker Queen’s Instagram post for Slow Cooker Cilantro-Lime Chicken.  My recipe is just for the chicken because I wanted to make a big batch to be able to freeze. You could certainly add corn and black beans like she does if you like. I like the idea of adding some onion and bell peppers to bump up the low carb vegetables. For now though, this recipe is just for the chicken.

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