Baked, Dairy-free, Recipe Time, Vegetarian

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry & Blood Orange

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry and Blood Orange | The Spicy Bee

Olive oil muffins with cranberry and blood orange — seems like a silly concept at first, but these dairy free, dare I say healthy, fruity muffins are a lovely way to start the morning. One of my favorite additions to what originally was a standard olive oil muffin recipe is the Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge’s Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Due to flavor strength, I like to cut mine with a non-flavored extra virgin olive oil. If you love yourself some blood orange olive oil, you’re welcome to sub in more and go down to a 1/4 c standard olive oil.

Why wait? Bake yourself up some of these delicious little fruit muffins!

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry & Blood Orange


  • 1 3/4 c All purpose flour
  • 2 t Baking powder
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/3 c Sugar
  • 2 T Maple syrup (or honey)
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2 t Lemon zest
  • 2 t Orange zest
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T Coconut or almond milk
  • 1/4 c EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 c Blood orange olive oil from Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge
  • 2 T Butter (for greasing)
  • 1/2 c Dried Cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350ºF and assemble your ingredients.

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry and Blood Orange | The Spicy Bee

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and set to the side. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, and incorporate sugar, syrup, and zests. Blend until fluffy; Add vinegar and milk slowly to the mixer, then add the oils. 2 T at a time, add in the dry ingredients to the mixer. As the batter comes together, grease the muffin pans and lightly dust with some extra flour if desired. You may prefer to use cupcake papers instead–this is acceptable practice, simply omit butter from recipe. Just before adding to the tins, fold most of the cranberries into the batter (I like to leave some extra for topping the muffins as pictured).

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry and Blood Orange | The Spicy Bee

Fill the muffin tins close to the top and place on upper central rack in oven. If you have OCD (or an old oven) be sure to rotate your muffins just over halfway through the baking process to ensure even browning. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with but a few crumbs and the tops are golden brown on the edges. Remove the finished muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Enjoy with butter or just a fresh cup of tea. this recipe makes about 12 muffins.

Olive Oil Muffins with Cranberry and Blood Orange | The Spicy Bee

The muffins store well at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Do you have a favorite muffin recipe? Share in the comments :)

Kitchen Tools, Learning, SeriesofUnknowns

9 Kitchen Habits Worth Breaking

9 Kitchen Habits Worth Breaking | The Spicy Bee

Bad habits are very easy to come by in cooking. Just the other day, I was able to come up with 9 kitchen habits that I was guilty of and set a goal to break them all. Some have been easier than others, but all have made me a better cook, which in some cases means better food! Take a look at the bad habits that might be slowing you down in the kitchen.

  1. Not Double Check the Recipe – While you may, at first, be all–“wait I thought you said before that you don’t really follow recipes–why do I have to?” Let me be the first to admit that I have ruined recipes with such oversight. Even though you might be in the throws of prep, take a few seconds, reread your next steps and recenter.
  2. Wasting Water – Having come from apartments with low water pressure, it’s been an adjustment to a brand new faucet with loads of pressure–literally. Do you ever think about how much water you’re using when you are cleaning fruit, hand washing dishes, or just washing your own hands? You may be able to ease up on the flow, and in the long run you’ll save some water (and your spouse will stop giving you expectant sideways glances).
    9 Habits to Break in the Kitchen | The Spicy Bee
  3. Making A Mess – This one is nearly impossible for me to fix because it’s really a two parter–not only clean as you cook, but also making sure that you prep so that you don’t spend the whole time cooking scrambling for ingredients and measuring implements. Measure your spices (or at least put the measuring spoon next to the spice on the counter), wash your veggies and get them cut up, and consider timing of each addition. Then you will find that you have more time to clean as you go. You’ll also be well ahead of the curve if you check your dish mat and dishwasher to make sure they have room for the incoming dishes. Look at you! You are so well-prepared for this recipe!
  4. Leaving the Oven Door Ajar - Have you ever caught yourself staring that the muffins with the oven cracked open? You’re letting out important heat! Close the door and check them through your oven window. Can’t see anything through yours either? Might be a sign that it’s time for a deep clean. If you must open the oven to check on things, wait until you are close to full baking time. Do not check things within the first 5-10 min as you are removing heat at a time that it’s crucial for rising or other early development.
  5. Not Tasting – Who doesn’t love eating raw cookie dough? Why not extend that idea to other items. Winging a recipe? So long as there’s no raw meat involved (I’m cool with raw egg), dip a (CLEAN) finger in and take a taste. You should get a pleasant idea of where your recipe is headed. It’s pretty likely you’ve under-salted too, by the way, so throw a few more pinches in for good measure.
  6. Wasting Paper Towels – The below items are my newest addition to our kitchen and they have put me over the moon. Previously we’ve always had just pretty towels in the kitchen. They don’t do too much, which increases our dependence on disposable items like paper towels. There’s a better way to do this. Order yourself some new towels and use them! Apartment Therapy just did an article on some different options available. I went with the flour sack towels through Amazon, and you could not wipe the grin off my face the first morning I used them. They are white, so they can sit right next to your pretty towels and not clash. They are faster drying, more absorbent, and easy to clean. Have I convinced you yet? How about this–they come out to about $2 per towel.
    9 Habits to Break in the Kitchen | The Spicy Bee
  7. Distractions – Turn off the TV, set the day’s events to the side, put on some light music, and become one with your meal. Trying to gather ingredients while you’re cooking also counts as a distraction! Avoid long phone calls, or guests talking to you while you’re cooking–work to get everything done before guests arrive so that you can enjoy their time fully. You will be less likely to over mix something or (oops!) drop an ingredient in much too soon (guilty).
  8. Not Having A Dinner-Ready Table – Setting the table each day will keep it from turning into a landing strip. I can tell you off the top of my head that on my kitchen table right now there are no eating utensils nor plates. It’s covered in food props (placemats), motorcycle gear, photography lighting, and magazines. Embarrassing? Yes. Easy to fix? Sure–set a precedent for keeping a clear table, set and ready for dinner (or the unexpected dinner guest). Your kitchen will thank you.
  9. Forgetting What You’ve Got – every 2-3 months I go through and clean out our pantry, veggie shelf, and fridge (or at least I start in one spot and try to make it through them all). During this time, I am purging, but more importantly I’m working to incorporate what we already have into a meal or snack. Crystalized ginger? Hmm perhaps it’s time to make some cupcakes. Lots of open bottles of vinegar? Looks like we might be doing some fun salads with oil/vinegar dressing this week. I’m sure it all makes sense–have some fun with what you’ve got! Get cooking!

What are some kitchen habits you’d like to break?

Drinks, Giveaway, Portland Local, Sponsored Post


TOAST Portland Giveaway | The Spicy Bee

Oregon beer is nationally recognized and world famous–but what you may not realize is that distilling in Oregon has been going on since Hood River Distilling’s inception in 1934 making delicious apple and pear brandies (they were in the Fruit Loop, after-all). Since that time, Oregon has become home to more than 50 licensed distilleries–and of those, 40+ will be participating in this year’s 5th Annual TOAST Event on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 4pm at LeftBank Annex in Portland.

Time for Another TOAST

TOAST Portland

The lineup of distilleries this year includes: Big Bottom Distilling, Aria Gin, Bull Run Distilling, Hood River Distilling, House Spirits Distilling, New Deal Distilling, McMenamins Distilling, and Wild Roots Vodka. See all participating distilleries here.

Participating chefs include: Elias Cairo of the recently renamed Olympia Provisions (formerly Olympic Provisions–read more about that interesting development here), Johanna Ware of Smallwares, Scott Dolich of The Bent Brick, Matthew Fields of Stella Taco PDX, and Kevin Schantz of (soon-to-open) RingSide Grill.  The video below is an artful rendering of the Oregon distilling scene.

You can purchase tickets online now! There are 3 different tickets available:

General Admission – $45
VIP tickets – $60
Designated Driver – $15

Your GA TOAST ticket would include:

  • Unlimited spirit samples from over 40 distillers from Oregon and beyond
  • Unlimited bites from top local chefs
  • A commemorative TOAST 2015 tasting glass
  • The Oregon Distillery Trail Scout bookVIP Guests also receive:

VIP Guests also receive:

  • 2 cocktails from the Bar
  • Access to the VIP area
  • Access to the after party with the distillers

Designated Driver Tickets include:

  • Entry to the event
  • Free non-alcoholic drinks
  • Bites of food from local chefs

Looking to learn even more about the event? Missy Maki just had an entire radio episode devoted to the event! Listen to her show via podcast or through KPAM’s AM 860 site.

Oregon Distillery Trail - TOAST Giveaway |The Spicy Bee

And now on to the good stuff!!


Would you like to join in the celebration for FREE!? Now’s your chance! I am giving away an entry to TOAST Portland, and you could be the lucky winner! All you have to do is enter below–it’s as easy as clicking your awesome point :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To increase your chances of winning, hop on over to other Portland Bloggers’ blogs including: Urban Bliss Life | Salt. Water. Coffee. | The Good Hearted Woman | Pechluck’s Food Adventures | those lovely ladies are giving a ticket away also!

Thanks for entering! Good luck!!