Walnut Millet Muffins

by Carlye Cunniff
( June 30th, 2015 )

Walnut Millet Muffins

I’m not really a sweet-breakfast-type of person. I prefer eggs, toast and crispy potatoes to sugary pastries. This usually means muffins are not my go-to, but these walnut millet muffins are healthy, slightly savory, and have just a hint of toasted honey flavor. If a savory muffin sounds weird, think of cornbread, or sweet bread.

I had made a batch of walnut milk at home, and wanted to use up the leftover pulp (the pulp was in fact the catalyst for this muffin creation). If you don’t have nut-pulp on hand ( I mean, who doesn’t?) ricotta would likely work just as well. Enjoy these muffins warm with some butter, or, even more delightful, butter and honey.

Walnut Millet Muffins Dry Ingredients

Ingredients

1.5 Cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 Cup raw millet

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

3/4 Cups plain greek yogurt (I used goat yogurt, any whole milk yogurt will work just fine)

1 Cup walnut pulp (any nut pulp will work equally well)

2 eggs

1/2 Cup butter, slightly melted

Juice and zest from 1 lemon

1/2 Cup honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a muffin tin, either lining it with muffin cups or buttering it.

Combine flour, millet, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, pulp, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, zest and honey.

Walnut Millet Muffins Ingredients

Add the combined wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until combined.

Add to muffin tins, the batter should come up almost to the top.

Bake walnut millet muffins

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

These muffins are screaming for your experimentation – let us know what you create in the comments below!

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Tomato Basil White Bean Dip

by Carlye Cunniff
( June 23rd, 2015 )

Tomato basil white bean dipThis month has been a crazy one for me, and having access to healthy, filling, portable snacks is a must-have when my schedule fills up. This tomato basil white bean dip made it with me on a recent trek at Mt. Rainier – it was easy to pack, filled me up for the calorie-burning ahead and was oh-so-tasty. My fellow hikers liked it too, which is always a plus. I served it with a homemade wheat bread (toasted is especially delightful). It’s also a great dip for crackers, veggie sticks, or tortilla chips if you’re feeling adventurous.

The other part about this white bean dip recipe – it’s so easy! You don’t even need to turn on the stove (though I like it better with blistered tomatoes and browned white beans). This recipe is for a fairly small amount, but double it to bring to a summer potluck.

Ingredients

1/4 Cup cooked white beans

1/4 Cup cherry tomatos

1/8 Cup chopped basil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Blistered tomatoes and white beans

 

Directions

Brown white beans and tomatoes in a large pan over high heat. I love blistering the tomatoes for this recipe, and the browned white beans are extra buttery, but it’s probably not totally necessary if you want to save time.

In a food processor, blend the white beans and tomatoes, be careful, they’re hot!

Add the basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Blend until perfectly creamy.

You’re done! It’s really that easy. Break out the bread and enjoy!

What’s your favorite white bean dip? Let us know in the comments below!

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Eating and Drinking on the Oregon Coast

by Carlye Cunniff
( June 18th, 2015 )

Oregon CoastThe Oregon coast is a destination worth saving a long weekend for – the multiple small towns, hikes and breathtaking beaches are sure to fill your days. As with any great vacation, finding good spots to eat and drink give you a real feel for the places you’re visiting.

On a recent coastal adventure we stayed in a lovely Bed and Breakfast. An aside: this spot was a relic of the B and B’s of old, where multiple people stay over, tucked into the nooks and crannies of the house, all coming together for a homemade breakfast. The best part about traditional bed and breakfast stays are getting real local input about where to spend your valuable time – our gracious host certainly sent us in the right direction!

Left Coast Siesta

Left Coast Siesta. First up? Manzanita. We heard Manzanita was the up and comer on the Oregon beach scene and it  was indeed the place to be! There is a beautiful beach (dog friendly!), tons to see and do in the little town, and, to top it all off, some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a while. Left Coast Siesta is a little, unassuming spot that boasts some of the best burritos on the coast. Order at the counter and find a spot on the patio (or inside if it’s a blustery day). Left Coast has a hot sauce bar, bottled beer and an extensive menu. Our food came out fast, the portions were huge, and we left happy. The small burrito heaven even made an appearance in Sunset Magazine in the 90’s, and I imagine it’s only gotten better since then. I would recommend a trip to Left Coast after a long morning walking on the beach, certainly come hungry!

Tillamook Cheese Factory

Tillamook Cheese Factory. Being the tourists we so obviously were, a trip to the coast would not be complete without visiting the cheese factory. We spent all morning hiking a glorious coastal ridgeline, with the intent of feasting on unadulterated dairy products all afternoon. While the Tillamook Cheese Factory offered the dairy products we so wished for, they came with a price. The price was a ton of people – hordes of people! The line for ice cream snaked around the entire building, and moving around inside the factory was no small task (especially for hangry old me). The cheese was good though – the free samples of lots of different flavors definitely eased the hunger pangs momentarily. I would suggest skipping the food – it wasn’t awesome, and was priced for tourists.

Pelican Brewery. The Pelican Brewery and Taproom is a recent addition to the town of Tillamook, though they’ve been operating in other parts of Oregon for a long time. This is the spot to go on a lazy afternoon, perhaps when it’s too cold to enjoy the beaches. Pelican brews consistently great beer; a welcome fact when traveling through small towns on the coast. The brew pub in Tillamook is incredibly casual – the seating area overlooks the brewing facilities, a shuffleboard table takes up much of the dining area. The food is pub fare, but it’s tasty all the same. Try the cheese curds, elk burger and cioppino. MacPelican’s Ale is my personal favorite, but get a tasting tray if you’re new to the brewery.

McMenamins Gearhart Hotel and Sandtrap Pub. If you’re new to the Pacific Northwest, or just haven’t visited a McMenamins before, you’re in for a treat. The local chain has spots hidden all over Oregon and Washington – each one more eclectic than the last. I’m not usually a big fan of chains, but McMenamins is an exception to my rule. Though we didn’t stay in the historic Gearhart Hotel, The Sandtrap Pub is open to the public and is a lovely spot for dinner after a day exploring the coast. Snag a window seat (or a spot on the patio if it’s nice out) and enjoy the view of the Gearhart Golf Links. The Sandtrap goes beyond pub food – you won’t go wrong with the salmon or steak. McMenamins also brews its own beer – Ruby is my favorite summer treat.

What’s your favorite place to kick back on the Oregon coast? Let us know in the comments below!

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