Wednesday, November 18, 2009


True confession: I bake breakfast almost every day. I do it because it's less expensive, because I know what goes into the food, and because it's a lot easier to rouse kids from bed when the house smells like something tasty. But the real reason I do it is because when I was a teenager my dad got up every morning and made me breakfast. He baked cornbread, gingerbread, made real rice cereal (not from a box), or mush of some kind. He rarely said anything in those early hours (my school bus left at 7:05), just sat there with his cup of coffee, quietly, while I ate.

Once I asked him why he got up so early to do it. His reply: "It's the one time of day I know I can be with you. Even if we don't say much, I enjoy that."

It made an impression!

November means clementines and cranberries. Today's breakfast is cranberry-orange muffins, and lemme tell ya, they're good! The bag of clementines that I bought yesterday afternoon was devoured by the evening. I put a limit of three per person, but one was used to create a lunar landing module:

Three guesses who had that idea!


  1. That's a lovely moment your father gave you.

  2. I think I can smell your muffins from here. I love your blog, Julia.
    xo Mary Beth

  3. Hi Julia,

    I love your blog. I went to it tonight after reading your entry in today's Daily Guideposts.

    Here's a muffin recipe for you. I first tasted these at the Tidewinds Restaurant on the dock in Ilwaco, Oregon, in July of 2003. Carrie, who was baking them, was kind enough to tell me the ingredients from memory while she worked.

    Thank you for everything that you share.

    Sarah in Portland, Oregon


    Oven 350

    Makes 6 giant plus 4 regular size muffins or about 18 regular.

    2-1/4 cups flour
    1-1/4 cup brown sugar
    3 t. cinnamon
    2 t. soda
    1/2 t. salt (a little bit heaping)
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup applesauce (chunky is nice)
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 t. vanilla
    2 cups grated carrots
    1 - 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (OPTIONAL)
    1 t. orange zest (OPTIONAL)
    1/2 cup flaked coconut
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup nuts

    granola and cinnamon sugar for garnish

    Mix the first five ingredients together. Add the carrots, coconut, raisins, and nuts. Mix them all up. Then add the wet ingredients and mix just til everything is wet.

    Fill canola-sprayed muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle some granola and cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.

    Bake at 350 for 22-24 min. BIG MUFFINS 27-29. Do not overbake. They bake a little more in the pan when you take them out to cool on a rack. Wait 15 minutes to serve.