What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Peachy Mountain Muffins | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Peachy Mountain Muffins

Cal Orey

Back in 2007, when the Angora Fire created chaos and drama on the South Shore, I chose to flee with my sibling, two dogs and one cat. A pet-friendly hotel in Reno seemed like the ideal place to go until the fire was contained and our town was calm.

Ironically, all was not serene at the temporary oasis. In the morning I ordered breakfast. A cold muffin in a wrapper was part of the bittersweet deal. Unhappy with the sterile package I let it sit. My Brittany Seth, then 1 year old, wasn’t as fussy as me. He wolfed down the entire muffin including the plastic wrap. Then, it came out. Not the muffin, the words from my brother: “I think Seth ate my ear plugs, too.” One vet visit later, Seth survived. But I have lingering memories of that sad little muffin in plastic that made our escape anything but relaxing.

So, this week I decided to make fresh fruit muffins from scratch. Using ingredients that you choose and buy yourself boasts a sense of control. No doubt, baking up a batch of home-style muffins are healthier to eat, and should taste better than packaged ones with a swirl cookie list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. So, here you go. It’s an easy and quick recipe.

1 3/4 cups all-natural 100 percent whole wheat flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

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1 large brown egg

1/2 cup European-style butter

1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, chopped

1 cup 2% low-fat organic milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

organic raw sugar

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda (I use more than less flour because of the high altitude). In another bowl, mix milk and oatmeal, soak for 15 minutes. (This is a great tip that makes the oatmeal not gritty.) Add beaten egg and soft or melted butter. Combine dry ingredients with wet and fold in peaches (I left the skins on), vanilla and cinnamon. Pour mixture into paper lined cupcake tins. Sprinkle each muffin with organic sugar for a nice crunch. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 medium-sized muffins.

The funny thing is, I came full circle. Seth, now 4, is tall and lanky so his paws were on top of the counter trying to get into the muffin ingredients. When the phone rang (I’m an intuitive and have been taking calls for an international psychic network) my pooch was busy at work, too, licking the muffin batter in the bowl. But this time around he didn’t snag a whole muffin. Live and learn.

The first warm treat out of the oven is like a first kiss – usually memorable and oh so sweet. I predict that you’ll transcend your taste buds to peach muffin heaven. The cinnamon gives these muffins a kick and the texture and lingering scent in your home will remind you of an old-fashioned peach cobbler without all the calories.

And there’s no doubt in my body, mind, or spirit that there’s no place like a calm, mountain home setting to savor a fresh home-style muffin.

Peaches are the right price (during the past weekend) this summer at South Shore. It made sense to use the fresh fruit. Each fruit is about 70 calories, without sodium, low in saturated fat, or cholesterol. Peaches are a good source of heart-healthy potassium and fiber. The downside, peaches (and muffins) do contain sugar so one mountain muffin is advised. Repeat the following day. And note, munching on a raw peach is a summertime delight. No dogs allowed.

– Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.