Harvest Muffins

No, our tradition has to do with skiing. (Almost) Every year for the past 12 years, we’ve headed up to Whistler, BC for the week and enjoyed a couple of days on early snow followed by apres nachos and beers. Dinner on Thanksgiving day will most likely be sushi.

The fact is, I’m so far removed from thinking about food and Thanksgiving, that this post was going to be about a couple of cookbooks that I’ve been enjoying and this amazing breakfast pizza that I’m in love with. But then, it dawned on me that maybe I should step back for a moment, and do something a bit more fitting for the season. Because, in reality, I really like all the foods that we celebrate at this time of year and I also think it’s a great idea to take the time to recognize those things that I am thankful for. So, this morning, I switched gears and made these harvest muffins which reminded me of a couple of things that I am particularly thankful for.

First, is my work. Every shoot I’m on, I find myself thinking how lucky I am to have the privilege of doing something that I love to pay the bills. It let’s me do things like edit and shoot the updated version of the The Best Places Northwest Cookbook where I found this terrific little muffin recipe that is packed with cranberries, raisins, oats and carrot and sweetened with a hint of molasses. The perfect thing for the 5 hour drive, or to munch on the way to the lifts. (The peanut butter pie recipe has also come in handy on more than one occasion).


And that carrot? It was plucked from my garden just moments before being grated and swirled into the batter. I’m so grateful to have a place to grow things and the amazing help of Amy to help keep it all growing. Maybe one day my thumbs will turn green and I’ll be able to keep it growing myself (I think they just might with all the kale that is out there now), but in the meantime, Amy & I have a blast playing with new things to grow and seeing what happens.

Mostly though, I’m incredibly thankful for the people in my life… of course, my family and friends, but also all of you readers! This blog would be a pretty boring little place without you, and I still get a happy little thrill whenever I get a new comment… even after 4 years! Thank you so much for your thoughts, encouragement and kindness.

I hope you all have a lovely week, wherever you are and however you choose to spend it. Now, the snow is calling me!


Harvest Muffins

This recipe comes from the Best Places Northwest Cookbook, but originated at The White Swan Guest House in Mount Vernon, Washington. I love the combination of the cranberries and molasses which are add nice sweet-tartness, especially when served with fresh, cultured butter or a smear of maple-sweetened cream cheese. The gingerbread crepe recipe on the next page of the book, is a real winner too!

2 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable or nut oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a muffin tin, or fill with papers or parchment (like this).

Combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until the batter is still lumpy but basically wet throughout. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Makes 12 to 15 muffins.