Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cafe au Lait Mitts

Why another pair of fingerless mitts? Because you can never have too many fingerless mitts in your wardrobe!

The yarn was a spontaneous purchase while visiting a LYS (Yarns on First) in Napa, California. That's actually one reason I love to visit a LYS. I often discover yarns that I would otherwise overlook.

There was a large bowl overflowing with these skeins and I immediately fell in love with the colors and feel of the yarn. It didn't hurt that the bowl was strategically position near a pair of fingerless mitt which whispered as I lingered "go on... make me....you know you want to." I'm so easily influenced.

Particulars: Free Pattern: Cafe au Lait Mitt; US 4 double pointed needles; 1 skein Classic Elite Yarns, Fresco (wool, alpaca, angora). I have been very pleased with Classic Elite Yarns in general and with how well my Cherry top (knit with Classic Elite Yarns Premiere - cotton/tencel blend) has worn. Upshot. This is a great pattern and knits quickly into a pair of soft cozy mitts.

Changes For the New Year

We have all eaten far too many goodies over the holidays. I'm not naming any names but, frankly, some more than others.

Hence, at the start of this new year I have formed the intention that we shall all eat a more healthful diet rich in whole grains. I say an "intention" because like Andrea of At Home Mommy Knits I think a resolution can feel too imposing and I would never want to seem dictatorial. That being said, I do all the shopping and cooking and as a consequence I do have a certain amount of power over the members of this household.

Since you, dear reader, might not be quite ready for the mung bean casserole I cooked for dinner last night, I'm going to share a honey soaked bran muffin recipe instead. The source for this recipe is Grains, a gourmet pantry cookbook, pictured above (which has several recipes that I enjoy). I have slightly modified the recipe to make the muffins smaller and to include honey, which is more to my taste. These are also great without the honey if you don't want a sweet muffin.

Not so Giant Bran Muffins, Soaked in Honey


3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts - toasted
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup dark seedless raisins
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar (I use brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 muffin cups (or 6 large muffin cups for giant muffins).
2. Place walnuts in baking pan and toast, shaking pan several times for 8 to 10 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted. Tip immediately onto a plate to stop cooking.
3. In large bowl, combine bran and milk and let stand, stirring 2 or 3 times for 10 minutes or until most of the milk is absorbed. With a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs, molasses, and melted butter. Stir in raisins and toasted walnuts.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to bran-milk mixture and stir until just incorporated.
5. Here's my honey part: Add approximately 1 tablespoon honey to muffin cup just before adding the batter. If you want to skip the honey just spoon the batter directly into the muffin cups.
6. Bake approximately 18 minutes (I have reduced the cooking time due to these being smaller muffins) or 25-30 minutes for 6 giant muffins. The muffins should be firm to the touch, but you don't want to overcook them or they will be dry.
7. Turn out onto a wire rack and drizzle the bottom with more honey (if you want to) and leave upside down for the honey to soak in.

These are nice warm with a pat of butter and go well with salads or eaten as a quick breakfast snack along with an apple.

Have a great week everyone and make sure to cook at least one dish that uses whole grains!


Monika said...

I saw the pictues on flickr and hurried over to read all about them. They look great, and the yarn is a lovely color. Great pictures again. So Mr. Puffy is not included in the new diet intentions? I had mung beans in my pantry once, but never knew what to do with them. :o) I like the sound of the bran muffin recipe, very yummy!
Have a great weekend!

jillian said...

Your mitts turned out gorgeous! Thanks again for the treat of that yarn :)

Willow said...

Beautiful mitts!

The bran muffins look yummy.

We would eat mung beans mixed with brown sugar and stuffed inside yeast rolls when we lived in Indonesia. Mung beans have been used as an alternative for lentils. Do you think this recipe would work with lentils?

Renee said...

You are so right, there is absolutely no such thing as too many fingerless mitts. Love yours, I'll have to make some too!
Thank you for the muffin recipe, I'll definitely give them a try.
Have a super weekend!

Anonymous said...

You reminded me of my new year's resolution to eat more healthfully! (I'd actually forgotten. Not a good beginning). Also, I love the fingerless mitts.

Yarn It said...

Thanks! Another pattern I must knit! I think I will make a pair of these for myself and my mom. I love yours and the color is fantastic.

I just looked at your Cherry post - is is so pretty!

KnittySue said...

Your mitts are just beautiful...I saw them on Ravelry and am ancious to get started on them.
Thanks...they sure are pretty.

woolywumpus said...

I love your fingerless mitts - I saw the pictures and was hoping the pattern was for a DK since I've got some great DK in my stash that has been begging to be fingerless mitts!
Tell Mr Puffy that you can't improve on perfection!

Tracy said...

So many yummy things here, Claudia! Those mitts are fabulous--love that pattern, and burnished-colored yarn. Mr. Puffy is sooo cute...I just love seeing him! Those muffins are right up my street--thanks for sharing the recipe. Happy weekend my friend! :o) I'm off to read more Pride & Prejudice while listening to Mozart. ;o) ((HUGS))

Kelly said...

great fingerless mitts but you do have me starving now for muffins. This recipe is definitely something I will eat so I'm gonna give them a go, just gotta make sure I have everything.
Thank you thank you!

Denise said...

Lovely mittens, I think I need to make myself a small pair of something. The fingerless mitts I have are the ones I made with cashmerino aran and they turned out a tad too big/loose! Love the color of yours.
We are also on a health kick right now (hubby is supposed to join the gym but so far..well he hasn't!). I joined back in October and went 3 times this week. I wanted to go 4 times but I'm suffering from more sinus headaches which is dragging me down. I actually go to see an ENT next week!
Have a lovely Saturday and say hello to Mr P for me :-)

knitting dragonfly said...

Yum,,,,thanks for the muffin recipe. It is going down into the teens here soon, I am on my way to the store, as they look perfect. Thanks for the link to the pattern, I love them and the color! Good call.

Pat K said...

I've been working on eating more whole grains and really learning to like them. I did make roast vegetables tonight, and they turned out really tasty. Eating more veggies is one of my resolutions for this year.

Channon said...

The mitts are incredible. I need my own, I do believe, despite having just knitted a pair for me last week...

Mr. Puffy almost looks contrite, but I'm sure it's just the photo.

I think I'll go make muffins...

tiennie said...

Those are so pretty! Happy 2009 to you!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Your mitts are beautiful! Since I have recently found out why everyone loves them I may have to queue that pattern up as well.

Thanks for the recipe! Nothing is easier in the morning then a good muffin and some fruit.

Hilary said...

Oooh, how pretty, Claudia! Cafe au Lait mitts...I presume they'll be perfect for sitting at one of your favorite cafes and sipping the beverage of the same name! (P.S. When I was little, I thought it was Cafe Olé, not au lait...and I thought one had to say it exuberantly whilst throwing up ones hands...Cafe Olé!! I actually kind of wish it was actually olé and not au lait. :) )

Marie said...

The mitts are so pretty. I just go head over heals for cables on mitts.

My Jake wasn't too thrilled when I started to wean him off of his daily treats. I hope Mr. Puffy handles it a little bit better.

t does wool said...

hey...how did I miss this post? and those lovely mitts? and those muffins?
love it all my friend!

t does wool said...

oh,and the Fabulous updates...you have been busy!

candlemamma said...
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candlemamma said...

Your mittins are adorable and so is Mister Puffy. Such a wonderful blog idea. I really enjoyed this blog. Thanks for sharing and best of luck to you and Mister Puffy!!!

Susie said...

I love those mitts! They may be my first mitt project.

amanda said...

Beautiful mitts! And yet again I must admire your lovely fingernails!

Sherry said...

You mitts are lovely. I can't wait to make a pair of mitts:-).

There's Mr. Puffy. I didn't see his photo on Flickr. I bet he's not very into the new diet idea.

The muffins look so good!

Knitting Supplies said...

Nice colour of the yarn. You have been pretty busy with lots of fibery goodness. And but not the least your muffins recipe :). Your colorful photos always make me happy!


Monika said...

You've received an award. Come and see on my blog.

Murielle said...

;pve;y ;pve;y!! (that's "lovely, lovely" for those of us who can't type... LOL)
I might have to knit me one of those. Or two.
Again, loved the touches of humor in your blog, and I'll be right over to help Mr. Puffy with that Gingerbread cookie...

My Last Read said...

These mitts are gorgeous, how long did it take to knit, just wondering if it's a time consuming project, right now I am working for a poncho which I started a couple years ago, sill working on it, feeling discouraged...

Katherine said...

Love, love, love your mitts and plan to make a pair very soon! Mr. Puffy doesn't look like he gained any Holiday weight. He's a handsome dude!

technology said...
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Firefly Nights said...

The muffins sound great. I can hardly wait to make them. Mosby and Roscoe send love to Mr. P.