Caramel Apple Star Oats

Do you have a favorite fruit? 
I go in phases…blackberries, apples, bananas, pineapple, and mango, usually. Well, my favorite fruit is the beautiful, tasty, in season (and that means affordable!) variety. But apples are great all year. I love that about apples. My favorite is jazz or pink lady, but that’s probably because I haven’t branched out to many types. I usually don’t do green without a mixture of red, because I prefer sweet and crisp over tart and tangy. But we had green so this is what happened.
((2 tb white sugar*1 cup of water*1 tart apple*1 cup oats*2 cups water*Dash of cinnamon, drizzle of caramel or honey))
2 servings

I put 2 tb of white sugar in a pot and heated it on medium for 2 minutes, shaking throughout. This toasted the sugar.
Then, I added 1 cup of water. Then, I added in about 10 “star” slices of apple rounds, slicing horizontally. They boiled for 5+ minutes, until they got a bit tender.

Then, I cooked some oats on the side. I often use water instead of milk to cook oats because the water causes the oats to fluff up bigger than with milk. A dash of cinnamon. Poof!

Then I assembled a couple of slices of apple with the oats in between. I drizzled with a little caramel from my pantry, the Starbucks kind. This was a treat. Honey works, too. If you have pecans, they’d be lovely on top. Your apple stars will thank you. And I will come over for breakfast.

Pardon the Interruption (PTI): I just turned in my big research project. I treated myself with blogging to you. Now it’s time for a few hours of sleep before morning class. I think I just lost 25 pounds of stress. Happiness and apples to you.

Happy eating!


Favorite Blueberry Muffins

Have you ever made something that surpassed your expectations? Well, it doesn’t happen all that often in my kitchen, but it did yesterday. A lady from work is leaving for a new adventure, and we worked morning shifts together on her last day, so why not have a little breakfast to celebrate her? But I needed something most people would like (none of my vegan tofu delights, sigh) and something easy to grab and pop in your mouth. We are working, after all.

So blueberry muffins with a bit of a twist in a caramelized top and served mini size, along with mini pigs in a blanket were about as all-encompassing as I could get. I mean, I love plain old vanilla ice cream, but this breakfast was not winning any awards in the creativity department. However, all 30 pigs in a blanket and 44 muffins were devoured by the time I left that day. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just because they were starving, although that’s def part of it.

Favorite Blueberry Muffins

Makes 48 mini muffins or 20-24 regular sized

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

1/4 cup oil 
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 TB margarine/butter

step one::: In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients (flour to salt). In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients (oil to sugar).

step two::: Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk. Stir until all is mixed well together. Gently fold in the blueberries. 

step three::: Spoon into mini muffin cups (I almost fill them so the muffin tops will be enlarged when baked.). In a coffee cup or small bowl, microwave brown sugar and margarine for 35 seconds, or until melted. Stir and spoon 1/4 teaspoonful onto each muffin. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, or until muffins have risen and caramel has bubbled.

These muffins were inspired by Lou Seibert Pappas’ streusel coffee cake, so thanks!
Freeze half of the dough to use another time…this makes a pretty large batch!
The muffins freeze well, too. For an on-the-go breakfast, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy with your coffee. 
Happy Friday!



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