Apple-Cheddar Muffins and Little Sparrows

IMG_1706Somehow it’s muffin weather, and I have already consigned my sandals to the back of the closet (sob). So I was thinking muffins and when Jim brought back a bag of the first new apples of the season, started thinking of apple muffins. I found an interesting recipe for Apple-Cheddar Muffins in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook called Muffins & Quick Breads, and went for it. Oh, joy, they were really nice, with a fine, moist texture, little nubbins of apple and the indefinable, glowing, buttery flavor of the cheddar–you only catch interesting little hints of actual cheese. This muffin instantly won a permanent berth in my baking repertoire–they would be as at home on the Thanksgiving table as in a lunch bag or for a morning snack.

IMG_1684Apple Cheddar Muffins

12 muffins

IMG_17071 large, crisp apple
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup finely grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place paper cupcake liners in pan.

Peel, halve and core the apple. Cut it into 1/8-inch dice; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter until smooth. Stir in the apple and cheese. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Spoon into the muffin tin, using all the batter in the 12 liners–it won’t overflow when baked. Bake for about 20 minutes; cool in tin for 3 minutes, then remove.

Baking notes: When I chopped up the apple, it came to 1 cup, and that worked. But I don’t think it’s a problem if you have a little more or a little less. Also, I didn’t peel the apple.

The garden is winding down, but I keep seeing interesting little creatures, like this dragonfly. I’m calling him Old Blue Eyes!

IMG_1503 IMG_1504

I must have birds on the brain, because this cloud looks like its flying.


The hostas are in bloom . . .


and the sparrows are as sweet as ever.



Here’s a young sparrow. Love him!


and, here is the newest addition to our household–we haven’t decided on his name. Jim opts for Moose (he’s a big cat), but I like Teddy (he’s big and cuddly). So we’ll see which one sticks! We found him at the Anderson Animal Shelter, and it was love at first sight. He had been abandoned, so much of his fur was matted and they had shaved it off–so he looks a bit moth eaten. Also, he doesn’t have all his teeth and is 8 years old. But he’s ours! He’s been busy exploring the house.


Turns out he is a natural food stylist! Here he is adjusting/eating some leaves.


Peace to you. Fran




8 thoughts on “Apple-Cheddar Muffins and Little Sparrows

  1. “As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame….” Those muffins look awesome and congrats on your new furry friend. I am sure he is thrilled to have two such loving hosts. And he might also be a bird watcher as well, you never know.

  2. As Kingfishers Catch Fire

    By Gerard Manley Hopkins

    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
    Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

    I say móre: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
    Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
    Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

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