I love to awaken in the early morning while the rest of the household is still asleep. I didn’t even wake the puppy this morning, as I slipped out of bed and went into the kitchen. I whipped up a batch of Streuseled Apple-Oatmeal-Cinnamon Chip Muffins (recipe below), put them in the oven to bake, and made a nice pot of fresh coffee.
For the Streusel Topping:
- 4 Tablespoons butter, softenedn (I use Earth Balance spread(
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup steel cut oats
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the muffins:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs or egg substitute
- 1 cup whole milk or non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, grated with a box grater and squeezed until most liquid is gone
- lemon juice
- 1 cup cinnamon chips
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- For the streusel topping, add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mash ingredients together into crumb-like pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour,sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and oil. Combine with dry mixture until fully incorporated.
- Sprinkle some lemon juice over the shredded and squeezed apple to keep it from turning brown. Add apple, cinnamon chips and oatmeal to the flour mixture and stir.
- Add batter to a paper-lined muffin tin, about 2/3 full for each. Divide streusel evenly over the batter. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the pan after a couple minutes. They taste amazing at room temp but warm they are crazy yummy too.
I went out for a walk as the muffins baked, up to Laurelhurst Park, one of Portland’s most beautiful parks. The morning was cool and brisk. I was greeted by a local ‘resident’ who chattered above my head as I passed.
We used to live a couple of blocks from Laurelhurst. However, now, getting there by foot takes time, so I wasn’t able to stick around for long, since I had muffins in the oven. However, I was taken by this park’s beauty this morning. The colors. The huge trees. The happy people out for their morning strolls. It was all a magnificent treat!
As I walked, I thought about everything that I have to be thankful for in my life. I whispered a prayer and sent it on the wind, to someone I love who isn’t feeling well. I thought of our Maya in Seattle, of Ingrid, probably still asleep, of Kelley and Alex and of little Arlo in Texas. I also smiled to think of my little puppy at home, who was just waking up when I walked back into the house. Here she is with her favorite toy, “Baby”. She sleeps with it every night and carries it around the house with her just like my 2 year old used to carry her blankie everywhere.
The aroma of cinnamon and coffee greeted me when I got back. The house felt welcoming, and I felt gratitude. I certainly have much to be thankful for on this glorious Portland morning!
So now, I shall begin my day….with a statistics lesson, a songwriting class, a guitar class, a music theory class…a trip to the studio…a nice visit with John and with Sarah Beth, who is staying with us for awhile. But I won’t do any of it until I’ve had a cuppa hot coffee and a muffin!