As I was packing up my car to head home after spending Thanksgiving with my family, my mom asked if I wanted to take Louise’s old stand mixer back with me. I was floored. Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother’s vintage, yellow Sunbeam Mixmaster from the 70’s had been sitting in our garage for many years collecting dust. Even after a couple years of cooking under my belt, I’ve never taken the plunge to buy a Kitchen Aid stand mixer — now the holding out seems worth it.
Now a little piece of Louise’s old kitchen sits inside mine. It’s not a fancy appliance by any means. An old mixer that is somehow still in good enough shape to help me make cakes and muffins. What I love the most is not the mixer itself but the nostalgia I feel about having a small heirloom of Louise’s in my kitchen. Since I was never old enough to learn how to cook from her while she was alive, having her recipes and tools are some of my favorite parts of my kitchen.
Not much about my kitchen or the tools inside of it are flashy — similar to the recipes we make and post. I use what I have, what I’m given, and what’s in front of me. I love cooking with this mentality as well. I made these muffins because I was only short one ingredient from having a full recipe.
I hope you have some oats and cranberries close by and can make these hearty muffins one morning this Christmas season. You don’t have to have any fancy ingredients or kitchen tools. Just start with some oats and a spoon and follow along until you’ve got something you can share with friends and family. They won’t care what you mixed the ingredients with or how gracefully everything came together — I just hope you'll spend some time in the kitchen making recipes you love this holiday season. We will be doing the same. So stay tuned until you’ll hear from us again on January 12th!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, buttermilk, orange juice, and the orange zest, mix well then set aside for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse your cranberries and pulse a few times in your food processor.
- Place the chopped cranberries into a small mixing bowl and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of sugar, mix and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- In your mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar — mix lightly.
- Slowly add and combine the wet oat and buttermilk mixture.
- Add the eggs and oil and mix until combined.
- Gently stir in the cranberries until incorporated.
- Evenly fill your greased muffin tins with the batter (I like using an ice cream scoop!) about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown and until a tooth pick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let sit in tins for 5 minutes, then move the muffins to a rack to continue cooling.
* To freeze muffins: cool completely and store in a freezer friendly plastic bag or container. If taken directly out of the freezer, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds to defrost and warm.