Self-Reliance Week 2 and the Best Back-of-the-Box Homemade Muffins

Well, my overnight oats and cold brew coffee are working their light’s-out-in-the-fridge magic in preparation for Monday morning, and I have a few minutes to reflect on my first week of culinary self-reliance.

I’ve been thrilled by the simple but deep satisfaction that comes from making my own food. I used to hate grocery shopping, but I find myself wandering the aisles now, endlessly inspired by the colors, smells, and flavors; the possible interplay of ingredients; the timeless alchemy of salt, fat, acid, and heat. Only one week in, I can already say: if you’re searching for something real, something human–if you spend so much time in front of a computer that you want to disconnect the electricity and go live in a cabin–go to the market. Buy a good loaf of French bread and some butter (these are essentials) and think about what to make for dinner. It’s working for me.

I’m not good, of course. I’m still making very simple dishes and relying heavily on other people’s recipes. I don’t want to post a lot of food here until my own skills are worth writing home about. I do want to highlight some of those recipes that may not be readily available on the web, though, or that I just think are unique. So here’s one: “Favorite Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins” from the back of a box of Quick Oats you can find at Family Dollar.

Favorite Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 400 deg. F. Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Mix egg, milk, and oil into dry ingredients. Stir blueberries into batter. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with batter. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

It really makes 9 muffins, not 12, if you scoop them into your muffin pan with an ice cream scoop. If you make them, they’ll come out looking something like this.

“Favorite Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins”

I love back-of-the-box recipes. They’re like this little gift attached to the box–just about as exciting as the toy in a box of cereal, now that I’m grown–but we just throw them away most of the time. That’s a shame, because a lot of them are really good. I took these to work for a birthday party last week and they were all gone by the end of the morning, so I thought I’d share them here. Try some of your own. They just might surprise you.

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