Friday, January 1, 2010

Be Good to Yourself

When I asked my chiropractor what he had lined up for New Year's Eve, he told me that he skipped parties so that he could get up early on New Year's Day and go cross country skiing. He loves to be the first one out in the snow, breaking a trail through the pristine, sparkling landscape, having quiet time to think, review the year, and talk to God about what was coming up in the New Year.

I love that idea. Not enough to actually do it, though. I'm not a nature girl and being cold makes me cranky. But I love the mental picture of being alone and quiet, taking some time to reflect and plan, and setting goals for the new year.

That's why I got up early this morning. To be alone in nature - well, looking at the tropical beach calendar my husband got for Christmas - and to bake these muffins.

After the glut of Christmas and New Year indulgences, this muffin calls to me. It's my favorite bran muffin recipe with the twist of apple chunks and cranberries. I recommend that you bake a batch and then sit down with a cup of tea or mug of coffee to write up your aspirations for the coming year. Whatever your goals are, I wish you a happy and healthy 2010!

Apple Cranberry Bran Muffins

2 cups All-Bran cereal (the kind that looks like twigs)
1-1/4 cups milk
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks*
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, halved

1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. (Your muffins will climb higher if you don't use cupcake papers)

2- In a large mixing bowl, combine bran cereal and milk. Let stand for about 2 minutes to soften the cereal.

3- Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

4- Into the softened bran mix stir the egg and oil. Beat well. Stir in the apple and cranberries. Add the flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Divide the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups.

5 - Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm.

* I'm really lazy and when a recipe says to peel, core, and chunk an apple, I skip the coring step and just cut hunks off the apple and then chunk it up. Saves having to wash my corer.

Baking Notes: If you go overboard on the apples and cranberries, you'll add a lot of volume to the batter and might end up with enough for more than 12 muffins.


kd said...

I am so baking these when I get off my mini-retreat. That will be Sunday or monday. Thank you for this recipe!

natalia said...

Nice and needed muffins !! Happy new year !!

Bellini Valli said...

Looks like 2010 is starting off well Lynn.

Grace said...

yep, given the choice between frolicking in the freezing snow or hovering near the warm oven baking something delicious to eat, it's a no-brainer. great muffins, lynn. :)

Aimée said...

Happy New Year, Lynn! Looking forward to all 2010 holds for you and I! ;)

Abby said...

I love baking with cranberries. Happy New Year!

Barbara said...

A lovely muffin, Lynn!
I am looking forward to a day like yours- to reflect. All my out-of-towners will be gone tomorrow so hopefully on Tuesday!
Happy New Year!

tracieMoo said...

this is perfect. I have a whole lot of all bran cereal sitting down in my kitchen for awhile now. I've got to make this. thanks for sharing!

About The Beardslee's said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe...they were wonderful!

Elle said...

Happy New Year Lynn! I suspect that with these I would go overboard with the apples and cranberries...but that's just more great muffins! Thanks for the of 2010 so far :)

Rose&Thorn said...

Happy New year Lynn.
Thanks for the bran muffin, I will definitely be making a batch to take to work (once I go back).
During our holiday we get up at 4.30am and go play golf at 5am. We are the first out on the course and watch the sun rise while playing.
Being in nature first thing in the morning is truly spiritual.
I think it helps that it is not cold, don't think I would be up at dawn if it was snowing:)

Debbie said...

Looks delicious Lynn, and I wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!!!

About The Beardslee's said...

The muffins were great- thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!