Monday, June 17, 2013

Inspiration Mondays: Where I Am Inspired by Milk

I elected to buy a gallon of milk at the grocery store last week. They had them on special, and it was much cheaper than buying the two-litre (two-quarts) I usually buy, and I was pretty sure I'd get through it all before it expired. That was eight days ago. As of this morning, I still had another half-gallon to go, and it expires tomorrow. That's a lot of milk, even for someone like me who usually keeps stuff like that after the expiry date... until the morning I take a mouthful of it and think to myself, "Well, that's not like milk at all."

I hate wasting food, and so this excess milk inspired me to get out my recipes and start baking. I like to use baking to extend the shelf-life of my food, because I usually make things that can be frozen for later. It's like turning back the food clock for just a while longer... cue Cher music here...

I thought, I know, I'll make those lemon poppy seed muffins we like so much. Except, I didn't have any poppy seeds. I really wanted to use that recipe because it uses a good amount of milk. I thought about tweaking the recipe and just adding some frozen blueberries instead, but I used those to make these scones earlier today (which also used up a bit of milk):

I browsed through my recipe books and through my Pinterest boards (I am a closet Pinhead, you know), and couldn't really find anything that satisfied my using-up-my-milk requirement, so I took a look at the muffin recipe I was originally going to use, made a few changes, and made these apple oatmeal muffins instead. When I make muffins, I always remember my Home Ec teacher in high school, a lady from England who tsk'd a lot and who always said things like, "Back in the Dark Ages when I learned how to cook, we didn't have pastry blenders/electric mixers/egg separators/insert-your-cooking-item-here." She taught me about the Muffin Method (dry ingredients first, then add the wet stuff, which is kind of redundant, since every single muffin recipe I've ever read is written exactly like that. At least I know the Method, with a capital M). Anyway, I thought of her while I mixed up these muffins.

And they were darn good.

In the midst of all this experimentation, I stepped back from the kitchen and realized the chaos I had created. Thank goodness I have a dishwasher now, or else I'd be super-grumpy by now.

And after all that baking, and after eating a bowl of cereal for lunch and drinking a cup of milk with my afternoon snack, I still have about a litre (quart) and a half left to use up. Tomorrow, I will be experimenting with making yogurt, just after I have sterilized the necessary tools. Thank goodness, again, for the dishwasher.

Anyway, I have included the recipe I created today below this post, for those of you who wish to use up some milk. I have called it, "Turning Back Time Apple Muffins." Enjoy!

Turning Back Time Apple Muffins
Makes 12


For the muffins:
2 cups white flour (I use unbleached)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or margarine, cut into cubes
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup quick oats
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt (I use fat-free yogurt, but you can use whatever you want)
1 cup milk (I use skim, but again, whatever you want)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 apple of your choice, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes

For the topping:
½ cup quick oats
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar (I had two packets stuffed in my purse, so I used them here. You could probably skip it if you used sweetened applesauce, or use some other brown sugar)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. Grease or butter a 12-cup muffin tin. 
  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Using a pastry blender, two butter knives, or your fingers, blend in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the sugar and oats and combine thoroughly.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla and whisk together until combined.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the bowl with the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a few strokes of a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the ingredients together until all of the dry ingredients are mixed into wet. Do not overmix.
  7. Fill each cup in the muffin tray evenly until you use up all of the batter. They will be full to the top!
  8. Divide the apple pieces evenly into each cup and push them in with a butter knife or whatever utensil you have handy.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping. Sprinkle it evenly over each cup.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!


YarnKettle said...

Your baking always looks so good. Way to use up that milk. Only a few more days till hubby and I sit on the deck and have scones and tea too.

AdrieneJ said...

I have a great abundance of baked goods right now. I wish you could come over and have a cuppa and a muffin with me!

YarnKettle said...

So do I. I swear if we're ever on the same coast I am going to try very hard to meet you. Don't be afraid though I will most likely be carrying yarn with me.