Cranberry Orange Muffin Oatmeal

Thanks to Kath, I am addicted to muffin oatmeal.

I know! It sounds disgusting! Oatmeal = oatmeal, and muffin = muffin, right?


Wrong. Together {along with a big scoop of nut butter}, they make a deliciously decadent breakfast that features the health benefits of oatmeal, sweet and buttery muffin, and amazing taste + texture from the nut butter.

Here, I topped plain oatmeal (add dried cranberries at the end!) with about 1/3 of a crumbled Whole Foods cranberry orange muffin (they’re almost as good at the Matchsticks muffins – see my review at the end of this post!),  a drizzle of honey, and a huge spoonful of cranberry sauce (cranberries, water, brown sugar, honey). Muffin oats are divine because they are sweet, have great texture, and are pretty much dessert disguised as breakfast.

Just prepare oats as usual (1/3 cup each oats, milk, water and a pinch of salt + cinnamon). Dump it into a bowl and crumble part of a muffin on top of it, then add a scoop of nut butter. I like ALL nut butters – peanut, almond, sunflower (technically a seed, so I guess I like all nut and seed butters). Here, I use a big scoop of SunButter. When I first had SunButter, I was grossed out. It tasted like liquified sunflower seeds with a funky dry, sticky aftertaste. Then, I had it a second time, and a third time, and then a fourth time. Yep – I was addicted! SunButter is just as good as peanut butter, if not better. I love the roasty sunflower-y taste and the stickiness of this nut butter. Bonus points for being organic! My aunt and uncle, however, think SunButter tastes like sunflower poo. 😉 Have you tried sunflower butter? Do you like it?

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy muffin oatmeal, guys! Also, check out my weekend post for an update on the BEST WEEKEND EVER!


Do you like nut/seed butter? Which one is your favourite? Any recommendations?

Hmmm… this is a really tricky question for me because I love them ALL. I think peanut is a true classic (great with apple slices), but almond just as delicious. Sunflower butter also has such a great flavour! Oh – and I like crunchy nut butters, except for when my teeth hurt. Okay, sorry, I can’t decide. I just don’t know because I love ’em all. Can’t help having 5 jars of open nut /seed butter in the fridge! :mrgreen:
I do know, however, that my favourite brands are Barney Butter, Whole Foods (so gritty good!), Maisie Jane’s (BEST ALMOND BUTTER, PERIOD), PC Organics, and SunButter. Maranatha is also super high on that list – every nut they grind is delish!

A Wonderful Weekend + Marvelous Monday

Hello everyone! How are you doing? Hope y’all had a great weekend because I sure did! Totally feels like spring now, as opposed to last week (super rainy). The sun is out, the clouds are gone, berries are back, we’re getting ready to dust off the barbeque… and my allergies are back. But let’s not discuss my sneeziness/runny nose/red itchy bunny eyes here – don’t want to ruin your appetite. 😉



Saturday I had a fabulous pancake breakfast. I LOVE Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix. It’s hearty, whole wheat, and has no artificial colours/flavours/preservatives. It’s basically just whole wheat flour + buttermilk powder + baking powder + salt. I sift out the salt, add a large dash of cinnamon, a tablespoon of quick oats for some fiber, and a teaspoon of flax for omega-3’s. Topped with macerated raspberries (mix with a spoonful of brown sugar, leave to “marinate” in fridge). Also spread with with almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower butter, as well as a sprinkle of chia, coconut, and lots of maple syrup for dipping!


Lunch was quinoa salad with chopped Costco rotisserie chicken, sundried tomatoes, peppers, feta, and simple EVOO + lemon + pepper dressing. With 3 unripe slices of cantaloupe. Had this lunch at Mom’s friend’s house. Not the best lunch, but I managed to reject ketchup-drenched shrimp and rack of lamb.

Had a snack of Ambrosia apple + peanut butter + cinnamon.

Dinner was lame. Dad and sister went to a restaurant (Taiwanese tea place) so I made a little dinner for one. 1/3 of a cup of Quaker rolled oats cooked with water, spinach, 1 package single-serving cheddar cheese, sautéed corn and peas. Placed a fried egg on top and topped it with black pepper. It wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty bad. I was disappointed! With a headache, I went to bed early, looking forward to Sunday.

Savory oatmeal…
… not my thing!


Sunday Funday was a much better day. Breakfast #1 was an Ambrosia apple (those are my FAVOURITES – so crunchy and sweet!) with peanut butter. Had brunch at the Rumpus Room, where I ordered the Vegan Platter, expecting a salad. I know, I know… it’s a platter. I have no idea why I thought it’d be a plate of lettuce with toppings!

My Vegan Platter: raw veggie sticks, avocado, hummus, goat cheese, roasted vegs, pickles, tomatoes, cukes, crackers
Grandpa’s Rumpus Salad with hummus, avocado, tomato, sprouts, onions, a grilled chicken breast, and more!

When my platter came, I was horrified at first. Raw carrots? Raw celery? I can’t do it!

Mom’s smoked salmon eggs benedict. I had the one on the right!
Brunch isn't brunch without creamy eggs benedict!
Brunch isn’t brunch without creamy eggs benedict!

But then I grew to really enjoy the platter. The star of the show was definitely the house-made hummus – it was rich, smooth, and chickpea-ish. The texture was great, and I even got to CHEW on some unblended chickpeas! The hummus was topped with a rich, sweet, balsamic vinegar reduction. I’d also asked for a little dipping bowl of goat cheese! Yum. There were roasted vegetables (zucchini and red peppers) as well as raw sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado slices, and the said carrot + celery sticks. I think the best dippers were the crackers. They were seedy, grainy, and topped with sea salt – and they just melted and crumbled in my mouth. Reminded me of the multigrain Breton crackers from Costco – they really do taste identical. Except for the watery cucumbers and the raw veggies that I shared with Aunt + Uncle, I sorta liked it! I’d give the Vegan Platter a 6.5/10.

Dad’s classic bacon cheeseburger, fries
Sister’s bacon cheeseburger with poutine!

Mom had the smoked salmon eggs benedict. I stole some bites ate one whole poached egg + smoked salmon + hollandaise + English muffin. It came with breakfast potatoes, which were cut thin and seasoned just right! But that benny… oh my goodness. Really, really yummy. I thought the yolk could’ve been cooked a little runnier (we asked for soft, not medium), and I sort of missed the cheese. We were supposed to have a dill caper cream sauce, but that was missing. I was a little disappointed about that, but nonetheless we left absolutely stuffed.

Granny Smith apple, dried cranberries, almonds, red onions
Granny Smith apple, dried cranberries, almonds, red onions
Thank you Mimi!

Dinner was kale salad, which my aunt had bought from Whole Foods for me. It had chopped Granny Smith apple, cranberries, slivered almonds, and red onions. The dressing was EVOO + balsamic + honey. I liked it! The kale was super raw, but not in a bad way. Very flavourful from the vinegary dressing. Dessert was a cup of peppermint hot chocolate (Silly Cow makes the BEST hot chocolate, and its ingredients are only cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint!).



Weekend news aside, I just had the best Monday EVER. After a leisurely sleep-in until 8, I washed my hair in the morning – which I never do – and headed downstairs for a quiet breakfast with Mom. Carrot + apple juice for her, fried egg + apple with almond butter + hot chocolate for me. Amazing! And miraculous considering I didn’t have oatmeal, despite having a ripe banana on the counter!

Then we skytrained to Grandma’s house, where we were picked up by Aunt Mimi {AKA best-ever-tour-guide-who-didn’t-charge-us-a-cent!}. We drove and drove and drove to Matchsticks, a well-known Vancouver coffeehouse and bakery. I bought (or, sorry, Grandma bought me) a pear + honey + almond muffin, a walnut + brown butter + pumpkin muffin, AND a cranberry orange muffin! Hint: you’ll see them all at dessert… keep reading! I am such a lucky girl! :mrgreen: Then, we drove to Granville Island. After shopping for ~30 minutes at the Public Market (and spending 15 minutes figuring out the parking meter, haha!) we had lunch at the Sandbar.


The Sandbar is a famous restaurant in Vancouver, known for its incredibly fresh seafood. It’s a 3-story building. My family dined out on the patio, where ceiling heaters warmed us up, and the ocean breeze cooled us down. Loved it! Not only was the view amazing, the food was spectacular. We got a plate of bread to start, with butter that was labelled butter. The crust was apparently very tough and chewy, and my braces were kind of hurting, so I passed. Looked and smelled superb, though!

Here’s what I ate:
My entree was the Beet & Arugula Salad with fennel, walnuts (would have been better toasted!), goat cheese, crispy brussel sprouts (!), shallot lemon vinaigrette, added 1 filet grilled salmon (the BEST salmon I’ve ever eaten. Charred and crispy but still so tender and flaky inside!)

My beet + arugula salad with lemon shallot dressing. Added a filet of grilled salmon.
My beet + arugula salad with lemon shallot dressing

Smoked Salmon flatbread (2 slices) red onion jam, capers, lemon crème fraiche. This was Mom’s entree. Apparently she “has a small stomach”, so she can’t eat too much or risk having a stomachache. That’s sorta good news for me, too, because I always get to “rescue” her by eating half her meals!

Mom’s flatbread

10 Truffle Parmesan Fries with roasted garlic aïoli (yes, FRIES. I haven’t had fries for at least 2 years! WOW! These were so worth it!)


1 of Mimi’s shrimp with red curry coconut sauce (very coconutty. Tasty!)
1 bite of Grandma’s mahi mahi with pineapple salsa (it came with kale, grilled tomato, and coconut jasmine rice).

*Sister ordered from the kid’s menu. She had creamy linguine with parmesan, and polished it off in minutes!

After a little more walking, we drove to our next destination – Mondo Gelato. This little shop on Robson had AT LEAST 50 flavours! Heaven for an ice-cream lover like me. Much pondering left me ordering a scoop of Kinder Bueno gelato (probably my #1 favourite candy bar?) and one scoop of Fererro Rocher gelato. So good! The Kinder Bueno flavour was so hazelnutty, which I loved. Wish I’d seen the strawberry cheesecake flavour – would’ve ordered that instead of the Fererro Rocher! They also had Nutella, every fruit imaginable (even lychee!), pistachio, coconut, cappuccino, tiramisu… oh my. Oh, Grandma ordered black sesame gelato! Crazy – I’ve never seen that flavour anywhere else! Very unique flavour; I wouldn’t say it was sweet, but it wasn’t savoury either. And it’s not nutty, not seedy… hmmm! :S There were real sesame bites in there, too. Give me a spoon and lock me in there overnight, please!

I was stuffed after that! Walked around the mall for a little while, then skytrained back home. Went for a 25 minute walk with Mom and the dog before dinner.


Dinner was incredible. Wow, my mom can cook! She usually cooks two to four dishes that we eat on top of rice. One dish was organic broccolette, from Costco. Have you tried broccolette? The kale/broccoli cross was surprisingly good! I expected it to be woody and chewy, but no – the florets were like “skinny broccoli” and the stalks like asparagus. It reminded me of gai lan, a Chinese broccoli that has little yellow flowers. It was crunchy and crisp yet tender (she steamed it first). On top of being packed with vitamins and minerals, we found it for cheap! Did I mention it’s organic? 10/10 for Costco’s broccolette! Woot!


… did I really write 111 words about broccolette? #crazy #passionateaboutvegetables #omg #… #whatamidoing

Moving on! The broccolette was sautéed with carrots and onions, seasoned simply with salt, peppah and a little scallion oil for me. The other dish was asparagus stir-fried with egg and onions. I love egg stir-fries! My mom makes them creamy but still chewy (not in a rubbery egg way, though!). Such a healthy, quick, and most of all, delicious dish!

We also had leftover rack of lamb (see Saturday’s lunch for deets) and leftover pork that she heated up. I didn’t have either – veggies, egg, and rice are enough for me! I had seconds, obviously, so add another scoop of each dish to my bowl. Asparagus in March is seriously irresistible! I can’t believe I used to hate asparagus. :O


Dessert, of course, starred the three muffins from Matchsticks. I topped 2.5 spoonfuls (that’s not a word? Really?) of plain yogurt with honey, chia seeds, and crumbled pear + honey + almond muffin. There are seriously no words to describe how good this muffin was. I thought Whole Foods made the best muffins. Boy, was I WRONG! These Matchsticks muffins were buttery, crumbly, and honey-sweet. I could tell that this one was made {at least partially} with whole wheat flour or bran.

DSCN6057 DSCN6056 DSCN6055
Then, I had little slivers of the other two. The cranberry orange muffin wasn’t my favourite (I’d give it 3rd place), but probably only because it had dried cranberries instead of fresh. The cranberry orange muffins at Whole Foods are always BURSTING with fresh, juicy cranberries! Still, this one was incredible. The punchiness from orange zest/juice was great – I’d love this muffin over oatmeal with cranberry sauce. The crunchy turbinado sugar on top made this muffin!
The walnut + brown butter + pumpkin muffin was untouchable in terms of ability to melt in your mouth. It literally dissolved into buttery, pumpkin-y crumbs on my tongue. I really, really, enjoyed eating slivers of this one! The crumbs on top were truly the crowning glory. I think I also detected specks of real vanilla bean in here? Oh, and the cinnamon flavour was divine.
Whoa… reading that again, it totally seems like I was paid to write that. Haha, I wish! But these three muffins were honestly the best muffins baked goods I’ve EVER had. Can I give them 12 out of 10? :mrgreen: I can’t wait to have them again tomorrow, on top of oatmeal or alone! What are/were your favourite baked goodies? Do you like muffins?
**Stay tuned for a how-to post about making dessert healthier, using what you have at home!**

Sidenote: Aunt Mimi once bought me two scones from Matchsticks – berry dark chocolate made with spelt flour and scallion + apple + Asiago. The scones were good, but not great like the muffins. Mimi, however, LOVES the scones – she bought five today! I guess it’s just the fact that scones aren’t as sweet? Do you like scones? Savory or sweet?
Lastly… another walk and some school stuff – then it’s time to read and go to bed. Have a fantastic Tuesday everyone, and I’ll update y’all again tomorrow! Good night 🙂