Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins and some fresh air

Yesterday balmy temperatures and brilliant sunshine beckoned us outdoors before we had a chance to busy ourselves in the normal day-to-day routine, and welcomed us there for most of the morning.

While my ever-expanding girth kept me from romping in the snow as enthusiastically as Noah would have liked, I did manage to create the requisite snowman and thus Noah had a playmate to replace me.
With false contractions seizing my belly every so often, I hauled a lawn chair out of the shed, wedged it's feet in a snowbank and sank into it to watch Noah play.
The sun shone down on me, warming my skin and lifting my spirits with it's friendly reminder of spring to come.

We spent the better part of the morning like this until I noticed Noah had been snacking on the snowman's carrot nose and had gnawed it down to a mere sad-looking stub.

Lunch, anyone?

These cornmeal muffins are a cinch to whip up, but don't expect a cake-like, sweet treat. They are substantial enough to have for lunch with a bowl of yogurt and some fruit. I imagine you can use any berries you have on hand (blueberry-cornmeal is always popular), but I just had some dried cranberries left over from the holidays and they were just fine, too.

Cranberry Cornmeal Muffins

Makes 16 large muffins

3 large eggs
1-2/3 cups vegetable oil
1-2/3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon lemon zest or orange zest
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen or dried cranberries

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare muffin tins with cooking spray. Mix together cornmeal, brown sugar and butter for topping. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients. In separate bowl mix together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and fold together until moistened. Do not overwork.

Gently fold berries into batter and fill prepared muffin tins three-quarters full. Sprinkle topping over each muffin and bake 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

What a sweetie :)

Peter M said...

I love the crusty topping the cornmeal gives these muffins.I'd even knick a muffin from your cute kid (joking)!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I'm SO excited you're almost making me broody, ALMOST! I love false contractions, and snow too!

Sorry, yes, cornmeal, cranberry muffins - delicious.

Sandy said...

It sounds like the perfect morning! We have another balnket of beautiful snow this morning, and I was so sorry to have to come to work when I really just wanted to take the boys to play in it.

Your muffins look like a welcome treat. I love lunches like that.

Hit Pay Dirt said...

Well done with the snowman! It was hard enough slogging through that wet mess without having a little one on the way. The muffins look like a well-deserved treat to curl up with. Add a nap and you've described my perfect day. :)

winedeb said...

What a great photo of Noah Aimee! Thank you for sharing that with us! Glad you were able to get out of the house for some sun and fresh air. Makes a big difference no matterd how cold it is!
Muffins sound great and I love the idea of them not being sweet! I too made "unsweet" muffins a few weeks ago and enjoyed them for breakfast with a dab of honey and at lunch with a salad!
Counting the days with you!!!!

Deborah said...

What a great lunch! I don't think I've ever had a cornmeal muffin before. I'll have to give these a try!

Michelle said...

Those delicious looking muffins are next on my baking agenda... And Noah eating the carrot nose? Too cute!

Aimée said...

Hi Valli- Thanks. :)
Hi Peter- Yea, cornmeal strusel, who knew?
Hi Amanda- Thanks for sharing my anticipation! :)
Hi Sandy- Hopefully your snow will last until the weekend....
Hi Pay Dirt-Oh, we napped, alright! It was pretty ideal.
Hi Deb- Glad you liked the photo.:)
Hi Deborah- I love anything cornmeal, but it is not everyone's taste.
Hi Michelle- They freeze well, too, which is a bonus.

Marie Rayner said...

Those are some yummy looking muffins. The angel and the snowman aren't so bad either! You make me miss snow!!! I'll trade you some rain for it!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Those are lovely muffins...I am sure my little one would love them. Thanks for for sharing :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

These would make my day so much better, Aimée! :)

Nora B. said...

how cute that Noah was snacking on the snowman's carrot nose! That photo of him is adorable. I would imagine it's tricky trying to walk in snow for you right now.

I haven't made cornmeal muffins since my college days in Michigan. Yours look so yummy...miam!

Aimée said...

Hi Marie- I'll keep my snow, thanks. I have a good excuse not to shovel, so don't mind it one bit!

Hi Cowgirl- Muffins are always popular with the children, eh?

Hi Patricia- Uh oh. What's up? Wish I could send you some.

Hi Nora- Glad you liked the photo. I don't mind the snow too much actually!

jasmine said...

I always have a soft spot for cornmeal muffins. These look yummy...


Anonymous said...

Although I love anything cornmeal (I recently made the most wonderful cornmeal lemon cookies), I confess I clicked through from tastespotting because of the pewter dish you photographed with your muffins. My grandmother bought this serving dish for us decades asgo, and it graced our dinner table every night of my youth. Memories.

Aimée said...

Hi Jasmine- Welcome back. I really mean it. Thinking of you...

Hi Kate- Welcome to UtHC! "Give us this day our daily bread" is the inscription on the pewter plate. This one was a wedding present, but my mother has one as well, which I grew up eating off of. Good memories indeed.

Zaak said...

Folding berries eh? Sounds hard. Cornmeal stuff is some of my favorite food. So satisfying and simple and simply satisfying.

Shayne said...

I love Noah's coat, that is too cute.

Nina Timm said...

I've made a similar muffin with polenta, but yours look good with the crusty topping. My first stop to your blog - I like!!!!! will be back.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I am sooooooooooooo making these very very soon!
They look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I just made these this afternoon and they are wonderful! Not too sweet at all. Great combination - the cornmeal, berries and hint of brown sugar.


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