Whole Grain, Dairy-Free Coconut Cranberry Orange Muffins
I love cranberry and orange together. The flavors, colors and textures of both fruits complement each other so well. These muffins are mom- and kid-approved, too! I used whole grains and low-fat coconut yogurt and milk, but the kids said they tasted like bakery muffins. Win!
So, it snowed this weekend in the Carolinas. It wasn’t a major event, but it is rather early in the season for snow here. It didn’t really stick, so there was no snowman-making or snowball fights or driveway sledding. And (in my opinion) those are the only activities that make snow tolerable.
As you probably know, I grew up in Southern California. My parents are from the Midwest and as soon as they landed in sunny LA, they wanted nothing more to do with cold weather. As such, we never went skiing or to the mountains in winter. They stayed far, far away from the snow. So, I didn’t have any experience with the stuff until I married a boy from Buffalo. He knows a thing or two about snow.
The first year we were married, we went to Buffalo for Christmas. When we got to his parents’ house, my new mother-in-law put me back in the car and drove me to the Mall where she promptly bought me a “real” winter coat. It was a puffy, white, floor-length number that made me look like the Michelin Man. But it was so cold in Buffalo, that thing couldn’t even keep me warm.
On Christmas Eve, it began to snow. I was elated to see my first White Christmas. I thought it was right out of the storybooks! And what fun I was going to have playing in the snow on Christmas Day! I was giddy. I recall the looks exchanged by my in-laws. And the eye-rolling. I figured they were just weary of it, but I was a rookie snow-baller. It was going to be awesome!
Next morning, I bundled up in my Michelin Man coat and headed outside with a sled and a shovel. I began to shovel the snow into a pile to make my first snowman. Boy, was that snow cold. So, I abandoned the snowman and found a spot in which to sled. Their yard had a slight incline, which was good enough for a few runs.
And then I was ready to go in. I was frozen to the core. I had been outside for seven minutes. SEVEN MINUTES!
I sat in front of the fire for the remainder of the day. None of us will forget my first White Christmas!
I’ve gotten a little more accustomed to it now. I’ve learned that you just need the right equipment – layers of warm clothing, ear-covering beanies, gloves and at least two layers of socks. Wool, preferably. Waterproof boots. Hand warmers. Scarves. Whiskey helps, too.
But, I still don’t like it.
I’d rather be inside, next to a warm fire, sipping a warm (or warming) beverage and eating these muffins. I’d forget all about the cold!