Perhaps you can relate to the following: you have some odds and ends hanging out in your refrigerator because it is after the holidays or after a dinner party. You wonder if there is any hope that these bits of this and that can actually transform themselves and become something edible. Then, if you are also like me, you ignore the items for a while, hoping they will disappear because it seems like too much effort to try and figure out what to do with them. Just before you resolve to toss everything into the trash, you decide to see if there is a recipe that will allow you to use your odds and ends and make something tasty.
This was the situation I found myself on Saturday.
Before Christmas I purchased a couple of bags of fresh cranberries for baking and decorating purposes. I never got around to the baking part so I was left with one bag still hanging out in the crisper. Searching through my muffin cookbook, I came across a recipe for Cranberry Fruitcake Muffins. The title intrigued me. Scanning the list of ingredients, I decided to give the recipe a try. Mainly because I had all of the ingredients on hand.
I think I found a winner.
The recipe appealed to me on several levels—whole wheat flour, oats, orange juice, shredded apple, and cranberries satisfied my “healthy” criteria. The fact that I would use most of my cranberries was also a deciding factor. After the muffins came out of the oven, the warm, nutty color sealed the deal. Instead of granulated sugar, the recipe calls for honey, which gives the muffin its darker color—a perfect winter muffin.
The last two mornings these muffins have been my breakfast. On Saturday I ate them warm from the oven with a slather of apple butter. This morning I warmed them briefly in the microwave and spread some butter on them. Both ways were good.
As we head further into January, take another look at your refrigerator or pantry. What new dishes can you create from your odds and ends? Who knows? You may surprise yourself with a new favorite.
Cranberry Fruitcake Muffins
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp ginger
½ cup honey
1/3 cup orange juice
¼ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cranberries
¾ cup shredded apples
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine flours, oats, baking soda and ginger.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, orange juice, oil, and vanilla. Add cranberries and apples. Stir well. Add to flour mixture; stir until just blended.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes.