Buttermilk Bran Muffins

The first time I had these I was 9 and staying at someone’s house. When the lady said she was making Bran Muffins for breakfast I was pretty sure I was going to have a miserable meal. Boy was I wrong!! These are fantastic! I usually cut back on the sugar as they are a bit on the sweet side if made according to the original recipe, which called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar. If I am using all oil, I use 1 cup. If I use half oil and half unsweetened applesauce, I use 1/2 cup sugar.

The batter keeps very well in the refrigerator, for a week or so, so you can bake fresh each morning as many muffins as you need.

Please note that the first ingredient is wheat bran, which is NOT Bran Cereal. Wheat bran looks like sawdust and is usually sold in the health food section or at a bulk food store.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup sugar
2 1⁄2 cups flour
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup oil (I use half unsweetened applesauce)
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons molasses

 

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. If you wish, you can also add chopped apples, raisins or other dried fruit at this point.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 16-18 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.

Best served warm with or without butter.

 

Trump Winery – Charlottesville, VA

Last week, we decided to visit Trump Winery in Charlottesville for the first time. We had done a tasting at a wine festival about 5 years ago shortly after Donald Trump purchased it from Patricia Kluge’s bankrupt estate. We didn’t care for any of the varieties they offered. We saw a news story a year or so later regarding their new French vintner’s intentions of improving the quality. Recently, we had a few friends say they had visited the winery and enjoyed the selection. We felt it was time to give them another try.

The weather was gorgeous, especially for February. With temps in the upper 60’s, we enjoyed our drive past Monticello and Ash Lawn as we wound our way through the back roads of Albemarle County to the estate. Because it was so warm, they had the patio tasting room open as well as the lovely one inside.

The $15 fee including a tasting of 5 varietals as well as a souvenir wine glass. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed each one. We rated each of the following a 4 out of 5.


Sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2010 – a champagne-style Chardonnay, which is bright and crisp.

Viognier 2015 – Virginia’s signature grape. This one is similar to a Riesling.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – This is my husband’s favorite wine. The Trump version is blended with 25% Merlot, which made it smoother than a traditional Cab Sauv and easier on the palate.

New World Reserve 2014 – A lovely complex, well-rounded blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.

We finished off with the most amazing dessert wine we have ever tried. I think the best way to describe their signature fortified Chardonnay, Cru, is a white port. “Cru is created by blending Chardonnay juice with grape brandy in lieu of a traditional fermentation. This fortified wine is then aged for over a year in American bourbon barrels.” No matter how it is done, the end results are phenomenal!

We then enjoyed a glass of wine with their diverse cheese tray ($20) while relaxing on the patio. All the cheeses and fruit spreads were excellent. Our overall favorite was the espresso encrusted cheese.

The expansive views certainly add to the experience. Even in late winter, they were impressive.

We can’t wait to visit again in the summer and try out the Adirondack chairs!

 

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