Snowflakes, wood smoke and cheater muffins

We awoke to the first significant snowfall of the season. Beautiful. Dramatic. Dangerous for driving. And as the kids found out, not ideal for sledding. They managed to squeeze in a few trial runs on their way back from early morning barn chores. Conditions were not quite right for a quick trip down the hill, although it didn’t stop them—or the kids over at the Amish school—from trying. Shrieks of glee and bouts of laughter could be heard echoing through the hills this morning, long before the school bell rang.

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

About four inches fell overnight. It’s coming down right now … a presumed white-out in our back yard, as snowflakes mingle with thick plumes of wood smoke. I love the sights, sounds, smell and resulting coziness of winter. A time to be thankful and reflective. Especially this year … for some reason, I seem to have accomplished the tasks on my list. I don’t know how, but the garden and flowerbeds are cleaned; bird feeders are filled; porches cleared; chicken coop prepped for winter winds … I think it was that extra week of 70-degree sunshine in early November. One last chance to do what needed done.

Some days you deserve a shortcut. I do believe that most things taste best when made from scratch … like brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Recently, however, I’ve stumbled upon a great recipe for muffins. It’s perfect for snowy days when you’re expecting eight children and their 16 snow boots in addition to your own three kids. While they all gather round the table to make Indian Property Sticks (it’s a Thanksgiving-Squanto-Pilgrim sort of craft), you can pull out a basket of freshly-baked muffins. And these four ingredients always seem to be on hand in our house.

Farmgirl’s Oatmeal-Chocolate-Chip-Cheater Muffins

  • 3 boxes Jiffy Oatmeal Muffin Mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bag chocolate chips

Prepare muffin mix according to package directions (milk & eggs). When all ingredients are combined, dump in a bag of chocolate chips. Stir. Coat two muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill 2/3 full with muffin mixture. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with glasses of milk.

They’re yummy, satisfying and slightly healthy (oatmeal is a good thing). The kids will eat ’em all up and you’ll be hero for the day.


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Filed under Children, Family, Homekeeping, Recipes, Rural Life

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