Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Night Post-Rhubarb-Raspberry Oat Muffins

Happy weekend to you!  My little family and I had a great Saturday starting with Sara and Greg rocking the Carmel Marathon Championship Weekend 8K.  Sara finished second in her division and Greg was most excited that he had a 24 minute split time after three miles.  I ran cross country in high school, and this is pretty sad, but my goal was to run miles in under 8 minutes (when I was 15!).

Sara and Greg, my champions!

I ran x-country and track because I wanted to be on a team and had no ball skills of any kind.  Back in the dark ages we didn't have girls' soccer and that might have been my only other chance at a team sport because throwing and catching were not involved.  I lettered in cross country purely because my fabulous high school was also fabulously small.

Anyway, I did not run this morning.  Who ever heard of an 8K?  I can still crank out a 5K as part of a pack in a road race, but that extra 3K is not happening.  I clearly remember my sports medicine doctor telling me at 16 before my first of three knee surgeries, "Some people are just not made to be athletes.  You should probably just sit there and look pretty."  Seeing as how I was not particularly pretty as a teenager, I had the surgery and just kept going.  I'm still not fast, but you can not wear me out easily.  Wednesday night was nice and hot, but thanks to at least 5 hot yoga classes a week I survived the heat and stayed in my singles tennis match until time was called.  I'm not fast, nor am I very skilled at winning,  but I can just keep going.  

So the family that's on this continent ran a race and I went to the Farmer's Market waiting for my runners.  Bought lovely organic broccoli, kale, strawberries, shell peas, pok choy (yep, like bok choy but with a "p", no other difference that Sara and I could tell)  and some regular rhubarb in tiny little stalks.

Later in the day Greg and I took a cool-down (for him) walk and I finally dug into a big gardening project I  dreaded.  Our Korean lilac bushes were 6 pretty little bushes when I planted the landscape 9 years ago.  Geez, they spread like crazy.   So down on my hands, knees, butt, upside down and however else my yoga body could reach the work I pulled out, pruned and chopped the invasive monsters into submission.  I've learned not to use pruning shears and iPod headphones with a few near misses, so I put the iPad's iTunes on iShuffle (it's just "shuffle", but the symmetry was too tempting) and sung along.

So after dinner I was still hungry and the rhubarb was calling me.  I did a little search and combined some good ideas into the following recipe.  I used a couple of things you might not have in your pantry:  pastry blend flour, whole wheat pastry flour and raspberry jammy bits.  The pastry flours in theory give a more tender crumb and in practice tonight that was indeed the case, but all-purpose and whole wheat flours would be fine.  The raspberry jammy bits are little pellets of dried raspberry jammy goodness from King Athur Flour's online catalog.  Just using rhubarb would be perfectly delicious.  If you don't have jammy bits (and I can pretty much guarantee that no one I know has them) and you want to add a sweeter fruit flavor maybe swirl a 1/2 tsp of raspberry or strawberry jam into the individual cups of batter in your muffin tin before baking.  Just a thought.

I have enjoyed two muffins so far.  I am no longer hungry.   They are very good!  Normally I wouldn't post on a Saturday night, but I'm watching Mumford and Sons streaming live from Bonaroo and if I'm blogging I don't feel so bad about not sitting with Greg in the nice cool basement.  Since M & Sons will not be playing anywhere near Indy this summer the streaming will have to do.  It looks ridiculously hot down in Tennessee.  So many bandanas on sweaty heads and people holding water bottles.  Still, a little jealous.  Live music is almost always so amazing.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Rhubarb-Raspberry Oat Muffins

1 C light brown sugar
1/2 C canola oil (or other light flavored vegetable oil)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C lowfat buttermilk (or 1 C lowfat or skim milk with 1 T lemon juice stirred in to curdle the milk)
1 C oats (not quick cooking, I like oven toasted oats from Trader Joe's)
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour or pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb (red parts of the stalks, preferably)
1/2 C raspberry jammy bits, completely optional
demerara sugar for tops

Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Grease 18 standard-size muffin cups in tins or line cups with papers.

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk.  In a larger bowl, whisk together oats, flours, powder, soda and salt.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir together just until combined (no longer, or your muffins will be tough and who wants a tough muffin?).  Stir in the rhubarb and jammy bits, if using.

Scoop batter into muffin cups filling about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with demerara sugar.  Place tins in the hot oven and immediately reduce heat to 400 degrees (I read this temperature drop will help the muffins rise).  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool muffins slightly in the pans and then turn to release and cool.

most of the ingredients

dry ingredients

wet ingredients

King Arthur Flour raspberry jammy bits

wet plus dry

almost ready

rhubarb stirred in and scooping going on

well-loved tins full of muffin batter sprinkled with coarse sugar

out of the oven

cooling rack right side up and upside down


muffins anyone?

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