Rob accompanied me to our local Chapters store on Sunday morning so I could pick up some birthday gifts for my niece. The roads were slick with snow and slush, and given my current condition he thought it best if I didn’t venture out alone. Of course, I could have managed just fine on my own, but his thoughtfulness was too sweet to overlook so I happily allowed him to chauffeur my beach ball-sized belly and I around that morning.
When we walked into the bookstore we immediately bolted to the cookbook section, a new routine we put into practice back in November when my book was released. We like to take stock of how many copies are still in the store, and if the book has been placed on the shelf or if it’s sitting propped up on display somewhere (I know, so lame!). Happily, this week the book was out on a large wooden shelf beside popular names like Ina Garten, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Jamie Oliver, but what thrilled me even more was to see it resting two rows over from a stunning new publication, Brown Egg and Jam Jars, written by one of my oldest food writing friends, Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, of the popular blog Simple Bites.
It’s no secret that I absolutely adore cookbooks, but when I come across ones that are written by people I personally know (and like!), it’s such a treat to finally flip through the pages of their passion project and see the months of hard work come to life. Aimée’s book was certainly worth the wait, and her captivating stories are accompanied by many must-make recipes and flawless food photography, making this a book that will spend just as much time on my coffee table as it will on the kitchen counter.
Divided by the season, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is a love letter to Aimée’s family-focused urban homesteading lifestyle. The book features a variety of seasonal events her family celebrates over the course of a year, each of which is accompanied by her simple yet seductive recipes, nostalgic family memories, and tips and advice for building your own homestead, while keeping kids at the centre of it all.
I’ve been reading and cooking my way through the pages of this top-notch family-friendly recipe collection, and my boys have quickly decided that the one-bowl carrot-spice oatmeal muffins are a new favourite snack to have hanging around the house when they come in the door after school. They’re made with wholesome and hearty ingredients, and are perfect for pairing with a glass of milk or mug of hot cocoa on a dark and damp winter day.
Aimée has generously agreed to let me share her muffin recipe with you, and is also offering one reader a chance to win a copy of her fabulous new book, courtesy of her publisher, Penguin Random House Canada. How lucky for all of us!
To enter: simply leave a comment telling me what cookbook you’re currently cooking from.
Additional entry #1: feel free to follow me over on Instagram. I’m @jannisescott1!
Additional entry #2: Like Family Bites on Facebook.
One-Bowl Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins
The beauty of this recipe is its versatility, as it can happily accommodate almost any substitutions you like, and believe me, with the picky eaters around my table, I’ve tried quite a few variations. Oatmeal is one of the constants in the recipe and provides, in my opinion, necessary texture. Other than that, try grated zucchini in place of the carrot. Leave out the cranberries and toss in raisins or chocolate chips in their place. Go nuts with chopped pecans, walnuts or sunflower seeds; you’ll only further add to the flavor and great texture of this popular snack. The oats need to soak in the milk for 1 hour, so take that into consideration before getting started.
Makes 12 medium or 24 mini muffins
- 1 cup (250 mL) milk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) white vinegar
- 1 cup (250 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (280 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) freshly ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) grated carrots
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1. Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a twelve-cup muffin pan or 24-cup mini muffin pan with cupcake papers.
3. Crack the egg into the oat mixture; add sugar and beat with a whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter.
4. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to overmix.
5. Sprinkle grated carrot and cranberries into the bowl and combine muffin batter gently but thoroughly. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3-cup (75 mL) measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins.
6. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool in pans for a few minutes, then transfer muffins to a rack to cool completely.
Storage: These muffins will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Published with permission from the cookbook Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
Update: Winner has been notified via email. Thanks to all who entered!