Almost two weeks ago, I hopped on a train and headed south to Seattle. I was visiting my very good friend who had moved back to the West Coast after a 3 year stint at library school in Durham, NC. While away, she had a baby and I was excited to meet the latest addition to her family, as well as catch up on all that easy talking that comes with hanging out with an awesome friend.
Since my train was to leave Vancouver early, I decided the night before that I’d pack along breakfast for the trip. So I dug around for a good recipe and found one on epicurious that seemed like it could do with a bit of tweaking. I really was in the mood for ginger and decided that adding dried ginger wouldn’t be enough – so I threw in some diced candied ginger as well, along with some dried cranberries because sometimes I just want to shove a bunch of things in my baked goods. I had a muffin before I left for the train station and it was delicious and I packed a few to take along with me, so I’d have something to nibble on during the way back the next morning.
Meeting in sunny Seattle was fun. We ate Salumi sandwiches with house-made prosciutto and sauteed pink apples along the waterfront, we poked about in shops and drank a delicious white ale at the Oddfellows Cafe. We also stumbled into the Cakespy shop and it was there that I remembered I had delicious muffins and figured I’d share. Unfortunately, as I pulled them out of my knapsack, they were totally smooshed. Jessie, ever gracious, accepted one despite appearances and I felt silly having brought the whole thing up.
Smooshed or not, I can vouch for these muffins. They are gingery without the darkness of gingerbread and the flavour was outstanding. However, next time I make these, I will lighten up on the oil or sub in some mashed banana as a replacer. And as for the rest of my Seattle trip, I have another serious recommendation: go to the Twilight Exit on a Wednesday night with your best friend. You should order the tater tots, drink an ipa or two, and hopefully you will not get snubbed by the 70 year old magician. That’s all I’m going to say – well, other than make these muffins.
Elsewhere: Want to see where the magic happens? Check out my tiny, ugly kitchen on ReadyMade and pointers on how to make your runt-sized space work for you! Leave a comment or two! Also, over at Poppytalk, last week I messed with a warm cabbage salad recipe and found a new fall favourite.
ginger cranberry oatmeal muffins
(adapted from epicurious)
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c buttermilk (or 2 t vinegar + enough milk to equal 1 cup)
1 large egg
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c roasted walnut oil (or any oil/melted butter of your choosing)
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
large pinch each of cardamom, nutmeg
1/4 c candied ginger, cut into bits
1/2 c dried cranberries
1. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal and the buttermilk, and let sit for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare 12 muffin tins (grease them lightly or use muffin liners)
3. Lightly beat the egg, oil and sugar into the oat mixture. In another bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices and add to the oatmeal mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the candied ginger & cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins 3/4′s full and bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.