Cranberry Apple Bran Muffins

I felt like baking over the long weekend, so I whipped up some muffins to take for this week’s breakfast. They’re a great way to get some bran into your diet if you’re looking for more fibre.

Cranberry apple bran muffins

Cranberry apple bran muffins

Cranberry apple bran muffins
Adapted from a Kelloggs All-Bran recipe.
Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients
1 cup/250 ml All-Bran Buds or Original cereal
1 cup/250 ml light plain soy milk or skim milk
1 egg
1/4 cup/50 ml vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup/300 ml whole wheat or all-purpose flour
2/3 cup/150 ml granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp/12 ml baking powder
1/4 tsp/1 ml salt
5 ml/1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp/pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup/175 ml chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, or dried cranberries
1/2 cup/125 ml peeled and diced apples

Optional topping:
1 tbsp/15 ml granulated sugar
1/4 tsp/1 ml ground cinnamon

Directions
Mix the cereal and milk together and let it sit for a few minutes until the cereal has absorbed as much liquid as possible. Beat the egg and add it and the oil to the mixture and stir.

In another bowl, take the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix throughly. Add this to the cereal mixture and stir until combined. Add your cranberries and diced apples. (If you use fresh or frozen cranberries, your muffins will be moist. If you use dry cranberries the muffins won’t be dry, but you may want to eat them with a glass of milk to wash everything down.)

Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and temporarily set aside.

Grease or line your muffin pans and fill with the batter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar topping if desired.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until firm.

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro, Calgary

This post is about an October 2008 visit to Calgary.

I needed a restaurant on or near Stephen Avenue for a dinner with friends. A few years ago I went to Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro for dinner and throughly enjoyed myself, so I decided it was time for a return visit. The decor of the restaurant is contemporary with lots of brick; a perfect place for the young professionals in the area to unwind after a hard day at work. Not to say that you have to dress up to eat here – there were quite a few people in sports jerseys and jeans, grabbing a meal before a football game.

Some of us ended up ordering some of the same dishes, so there are actually only three photos. I also have to apologize for the blurriness of the photos; it was pretty dark in there and after taking numerous photos I gave in to my hunger instead of my need for perfect photos.

One dish ordered was the Mussels & Frites with vine ripened tomato, garlic, white wine, parsley & caper broth. The mussels were large, fresh and perfectly cooked. The accompanying broth had a strong tomato base that complimented the mussels very well. The fries were served with an addicting lemon aioli and Parmesan shavings on top.

mussels

mussels

frites

frites

Continue reading

Juice review

Today at lunch I decided to stop at the grocery store and pick up some juice. Cranberry, Apple and Ginger juiceI’m the type who usually isn’t afraid to try anything, so when I saw this carton of Cranberry, Apple and Ginger fruit juice I though, “Hey that sounds good, maybe I’ll try it today.” Produced in South Africa by Wilde, it is made with no sugar, water or preservatives added. Instead of using concentrate, these juices are made with pure pressed fruits.
I’ve had a large cup of this juice already, and I really don’t like it. The green apple taste overwhelms the cranberry and ginger. Actually, all I taste of the ginger is a slight bite without any flavour. The cranberry flavour is also non-existant, but leaves a sour taste in your mouth. This juice tastes like sour apples, but not in a nice tart crabapple kind of way. Excuse me while I go rinse out my mouth.

Trying new foods

I’m always open to trying new things. I think it’s a hazard of growing up and eating stuff like chicken feet, shredded cold jellyfish, Jello-like squares of pig’s blood, duck tounges, etc. Not that I ate stuff like that every day, but I’ve never found it unsual to try something and find out later what it really was.

So when I was offered some Grapple at a relative’s house, I was intrigued and happy to try a piece. At first I thought they were apples crossed with grapes, but from their website it seems that they’re actual Fuji apples with grape flavouring added to them. There’s a good pic here: http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/grapple.jpg.

The flesh and skin looks like they come from a regular apple, but you get an immediate scent of grape as soon as you open the packaging. And the taste. Well. I have to say I didn’t enjoy them at all. They reminded me of grape flavoured cough medicine, just without the medicine taste. Grapples definitely reminds you of grapes, but they taste somewhat artifical to me even though their site says the taste comes from grape juice. Frankly, I’d rather just eat a regular apple and drink some grape juice, or eat grapes. Grapples aren’t worth the significantly higher price tag.