Dark Chocolate Ginger Muffins (Gluten Free)

IMG_9416Going through my pantry the other day, I was looking at several bins with a half-cup of this and that. As I wrote my list for the next shopping trip, I thought about that little bit of candied ginger, and it’s neighbouring bin of dark chocolate pieces. Our mom’s favourite candy of all time was dark chocolate covered ginger. All her friends seemed to know it, and we grew up on the stuff, loving every morsel.

I finished writing the list, and got making a batch of muffins. I decided to do them Gluten Free so we could share with my celiac sister, who’s always ready to play guinea pig to my random baking wonts.   I added a bit of espresso to the batter and then mixed diced candied ginger pieces with the chocolate, to make a wonderful, very grown up muffin. Continue reading

Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

IMG_9347When our dear neighbour died many years ago, his daughters asked us to have a look and see if there was anything in the barn that we would be able to use. They’d rather us have it to use on our adjacent property, than selling it in bits and pieces to others. Our cows had run in a mixed herd with his for many years, and we’d managed them together. At some point, we purchased his animals from him, and started leasing the land. Calves were born on both properties, and grew up into producing cows on the same land.

After his death, the property was sold to a new family, and they planned on using the land for an equestrian center. For many years, our cows would walk the property line, looking for any break, or loosening of wire to get through to their known range. Finally in 2015, our herd is young enough that all were born and raised only on our side of the fence. Rarely is there an issue of a fence breach to “the other side”. Walking to check the herd takes half the time, as does fixing fences, but I still get nostalgic for the old days.

Here’s the recipe for muffins that I made to share over at the barn the day that we went through it, finding old treasures, useful bales of barbed wire, a red sickle bar mower, enough split rails to fence a large yard, and memories. Continue reading

Rhubarb Muffins

IMG_4704Having been the baker for too many events to count, I have learnt what people are happy to see offered at a breakfast buffet.  If you have 250 people to serve, the buffet will need to have significant variety of loaves, cinnamon buns, muffins, coffee cakes, and scones.  Usually I would do about 5 varieties of muffins, including these rhubarb muffins.  No matter how many were made, they would be the first to run out.  The others were fruity and delicious, or filled with a nutritional punch to start the day, but these were the wanted.

As my file recipe has the amounts for 12 dozen clearly listed on it, I’m reminded just how many of these muffins I’ve made over the years.

Make them year round, as it doesn’t make too much of a difference whether you use fresh or frozen rhubarb, they both work beautifully.  Continue reading

Cappuccino Muffins

IMG_4212Farmers Markets are a mainstay in most rural communities.  The variety of product is amazing.  Thetis has had markets for the past 12 or so years, moving between the marinas, and change with the artisans and producers that attend them.  Our community hall is going to play host to Summer Community Fairs this year.  The same group of volunteers that puts on lunches through the winter months is going to take charge of the kitchen and serve up coffee, teas and home baking.

Not sure how it happened, but I’m looking after the kitchen tomorrow morning for opening day.  I’ve made these for morning events for several years now.  They’re a nice change from fruit and earnest muffins.  Sometimes it’s nice to have something a little different.

They get their coffee hit from espresso powder, while the different chocolate bits make you think a barista has somehow made this latte type muffin for you.  Continue reading

Blueberry-Lemon Muffins

IMG_3077When we were first married, and living in a 40’ trailer on 50 acres of land, I had to cope with a very limited kitchen.  Funny, but it was that limited space and equipment that taught me to make do, creating foods by hand, with a tiny propane stove, during daylight hours, as we lit with lanterns at night.  As we only had room for the bare essentials, I learnt early on to convert what ever I was making, to fit the few pans I had.

Muffins are best made by hand.  Mixers tend to over mix, making a densely crumbed muffin, instead of a one with an open crumb.  It takes so little time to produce a dozen yummy muffins.  Continue reading