Friday, January 4, 2013

Ice Houses and Warm Oatmeal Muffins

According to Wikipedia... Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and hooks through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Some anglers may sit on a stool next to an open spot on a frozen lake but most opt for a heated cabin. And I can add with certainty they can be moved to a different location at a moment's notice.  
As I look out the window first there was one...
Then there was two and then right before my eyes a whole village began to spring up throughout the day and well into the evening.  House locations seem to change frequently. Lights shine out on the frozen lake all through the night. It is hard to imagine this as being a fun sport but for some who are fortunate to have a lot of amenities its a stress free life. How about these guys in their upscale model in northern MN?
But one pitfall of not paying attention to temperatures and ice thickness is...
 Well I did feel a bit guilty looking out the window and not sharing my warm oatmeal muffins with the devoted ice anglers. I'm sure my popularity would surge if I cruised up to their door in my ATV or snowmobile (if I had either) and passed them out.
Research has shown that oatmeal is a good source of protein and iron. Health benefits are attributed to regular intake of oatmeal including lower blood cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease, healthier metabolism and weight control. When I read through these ingredients I knew this was just the recipe for a healthy January start to the new year.
Oatmeal Muffins
makes 18 muffins
cook's notes: using dried fruit worked better than using fresh berries for me. In this batch pictured I used blueberries.
recipe adapted from January/February 2013
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2-1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup boiling water 
  • 1 cup dried blueberries or cranberries or 1 cup raisins  
  • optional ingredient I did not have on hand but was a suggested addition 2 tsp. wheat germ 
  • Use cupcake paper liners that are in foil and place in muffin pan
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oats and walnuts
  • Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla and oil and mix just till combined
  • Pour in hot water mix again briefly and set aside for 5 minutes
  • Stir mixture by adding in dried fruit
  • Spoon batter into cupcake liners about 2/3 no more than 3/4 full
  • Sprinkle a little of the dry oats on top of each
  • Bake 20 minutes and cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes 
  • Invert muffins and cool on a wire rack

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