Day 9: Cranberry Pumpkin Sunflower Oats

┬áCreamy, dreamy aromas of spices and pumpkin pie. That’s worth getting out of bed for.

Cranberry Pumpkin Sunflower Oats
Makes 4 servings; reheats well for Monday through Thursday breakfasts. You’re welcome. ­čÖé

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk of your choice
Dash of salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of Allspice
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

In a medium pot on medium heat, combine the oats, water, milk and salt. Let heat until it gets bubbly, and then start stirring constantly.

Stir in pumpkin puree, spices and sugar. Let cook for 2 more minutes, or until piping hot.

Serve in a bowl with 1 TB sunflower seeds and 2 TB dried cranberries sprinkled on top (for each serving). Breathe in the aromas of fall and eat until you are full!

***Pairs wonderfully with a hot mug of chai tea…***


Happy eating!


Cranberry Lemon Muffins

Hello! My first day of freedom involved waking up at 11. Yes, I’m embarrassed. But I’m also well-rested for the month. The other night, I needed a quick breakfast treat to whip up and serve to those who came to hear my research presentation. Yes, if you participate, I feed you. Always. Joy the Baker is truly the hip Paula Deen of my generation. Her Browned Butter Cranberry Lime Muffins proved to be easy, quick, and delicious. I just changed a couple of things (for time and ingredient’s sake) and got lots of compliments on these little jewels. I know cranberries are not exactly in season right now, but frozen cranberries work wonders.

Colorful and bubbly

Cranberry Lemon Muffins
From Joy
These simple muffins are great for entertaining or for a last-minute breakfast. With a simple lemon and cranberries from your freezer, you can make this cozy, not-too-sweet treat.

6 TB unsalted butter
1/3 cup skim milk
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar (for topping)

step one: Take the cranberries out of the freezer and set on the counter. Preheat the oven to 350. Line or spray 12 muffin cups. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, melting the butter down until brown bits appear. Crackling sound will stop and butter will turn a light brown. Remove from the heat immediately and set aside. (You have just browned butter!)

step two: In a medium bowl, whisk milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest together. Add in the brown butter and stir. In a second bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir. Once combined, fold in the slightly thawed cranberries.

step three: Using a tablespoon or scoop, pour the batter among the 12 muffin cups (you might have a little extra…I had enough for 14 muffins). Sprinkle each muffin with sugar and bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Cool in the pan (on a rack) for 10 minutes and serve. (They taste good cold, room temp or warm…it’s all good!)

Hope you’re having a great middle of the week.

Happy eating!


Cranberry Apple Israeli Couscous

Preparing grains with fruit speckled throughout is pretty new to me.

I love salads with strawberries or oranges tossed throughout, drizzled with a poppyseed dressing or raspberry vinaigrettee…heck, spinach with mandarin oranges and sliced almonds was our go-to standard salad growing up.

But grains, really? Can you have fruit for dinner?

Oh, yes you can! We made Israeli couscous for the first time last week. The Whole Foods container of the stuff has been sitting in our pantry for about a year, and it was time to try it. Delicious! I love the consistency of this tiny pearl-shaped grain. Regular whole wheat couscous is our standard, but this was fun to mix it up. And adding fruit brought the dish to another level.

Cranberry Apple Israeli Couscous
This grain dates back to the 12th century and even earlier. It cooks quickly, holds the flavors of the herbs you add, and is a delicious side dish. We served this alongside baked talapia and fresh steamed broccoli.
Simplified from Giada

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup of water
1 cup broth (I used veggie)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tart apple, chopped into bits
Dash of dried rosemary (or 2 t. fresh chopped rosemary)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the water and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the  rosemary, salt, pepper, apple, and dried cranberries.

Oh, man, I am getting hungry. Happy evening, folks.

Happy eating!


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