Miffy's scratch cooking skills can benefit your family too

Success often springs from the most ordinary beginnings. You do something well; people appreciate your talent, and one day it becomes evident that you ought to pursue this avenue.

That’s what happened to West Linn’s Miffy Jones, leading to the creation of Miffy’s Marvelous Muffin Mixes.

Miffy has always enjoyed cooking. She learned to cook from scratch at her mother’s side. Her mom was ahead of her time and cooked with “brown foods” — whole wheat flours, bran and other healthful ingredients.

“I used to beg for white bread and chips like the other kids had in their lunches,” said Miffy. However, the nutritious lessons stuck. She had a knack for baking and became known for her delicious and nutritious muffins. They are not too sweet, with just the right amount of staying power to fuel a person for the morning. For the next few decades she would treat friends and coworkers to fresh, warm batches of her muffins. Of course they would ask for the recipe, to which Miffy replied, “Oh, I’ll just make you some.”

When Miffy’s second child was born, she knew she had to streamline household chores, muffin making included. So she made up multiple batches of muffin mix to keep on hand, which shortened the time from cracking the eggs to pulling fresh muffins from the oven to about 22 minutes. She began sharing the mix with friends with instructions for baking.

“I believe people really prefer to eat healthful and nutritious food,” she said. “And these mixes make it easy to make a better choice for breakfast or snacks.”

All of Miffy’s Marvelous Muffin Mixes are made using organic Bob’s Red Mill ingredients, whole wheat flour, oats and oat bran. To those you add one egg, 1/2 cup milk, 3 tablespoons of oil and 2 to 2 1/2 cups fruit. An amount of crunchy cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top of the muffins is also included.

“It’s a perfect use of those grumpy bananas,” she said. “I’ve never seen a grumpy face after eating a Miffy’s muffin.”

Miffy tested her muffin mixes on a select group of friends for eight to 10 months before she began commercially packaging the mixes in April 2012. The flavors include whole wheat and oat, banana chocolate chip, pumpkin spice, apple spice, gluten-free banana and gluten-free spice. Each 17-ounce package makes 18 3-inch, cupcake-size muffins or 48 mini muffins. The cost is $6 for regular and $7.50 for gluten-free mixes. Each package has suggestions for optional flavor twists, and more ideas are available on BARB RANDALL - West Linn resident Miffy Jones launched Miffys Marvelous Muffin Mix in April 2012. The mixes allow you to prepare healthful and delicious muffins in about 22 minutes.

“I will do free door-to-door delivery for orders of four bags or more (in West Linn and Lake Oswego),” she said. “And as a summer special I will continue my friends’ pricing of four bags of the whole wheat and oat mixes for $20 and three bags of gluten-free mixes for $20. “

Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your order and variety choice. Check and for more details. You can also buy the mixes at Dragonfly and at the Saturday Farmers Market in Willamette in West Linn and at Ruby Fresh Market in Beaverton.

For those wanting to bake lots of Miffy’s Marvelous Muffins, you can buy regular whole wheat and oats or the gluten-free mix in 10- and 20-pound bags, which would be perfect for bake sales or that weeklong vacation.

The muffins are delicious and moist. They get their sweetness from fruit you add, not from sugar. They can be made gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, milk-free and vegan.

“Basically we make the mix, you make them fresh. ... You make them your own,” Miffy said.

As it says on the package, Versatile + Easy + Yummy = Miffy’s Muffins. Share in Miffy’s success by serving her Marvelous Muffins to your family. They would go great with these poached eggs with tomato cilantro sauce. Try them both this weekend.Bon appetite! Eat something wonderful!

Poached Eggs with Tomato Cilantro Sauce

Servings: 4

In Mexico, this breakfast dish is called huevos ahogados, meaning “drowned eggs,” because the eggs are served in soup bowls with a lot of sauce.

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 small fresh green serrano chile, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

1 cup water

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling

8 1/2-inch-thick slices of baguette

8 large eggs

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 F.

Fill a deep 12-inch skillet with 1 1/2 inches cold water. Add vinegar and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, purée tomatoes, garlic, chile, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 cup water in a blender until smooth, then pour through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then carefully pour in tomato sauce (it will splatter). Stir in cilantro and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and sugar to taste, then reduce heat to low.

While sauce simmers, put baguette slices in a shallow baking pan and brush with remaining tablespoon oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until just crisp on top, about 10 minutes. Keep toasts warm in turned-off oven.

Meanwhile, break eggs, 2 at a time, into a cup, then slide eggs into simmering water, spacing them in skillet, and poach at a bare simmer until whites are firm but yolks are still runny, 4 to 5 minutes.

Gently transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to soup bowls and season with salt. Spoon sauce generously over eggs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with toasts.

Cook’s note: The eggs in this recipe will not be fully cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area. Cook eggs until fully set if desired.

(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, August 2005.)

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 100, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

26 of 52 Sunday Dinners

In our lineup for special Sunday dinners this exotic dish will become a family favorite. It’s easy enough to serve mid-week, and because it is cooked on the grill in a disposable foil pan, cleanup is a snap. Grill your favorite vegetables and slices of baguette. For dessert, serve crispy, cold chunks of watermelon or cantaloupe garnished with mint. —BR

Grilled Clams with Lemon-Ginger Butter and Grilled Baguette

Servings: 2, easily doubled or tripled

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature

4 teaspoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

6 1/2-inch-thick diagonal baguette slices

2 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed

Prepare barbecue (high heat). Using spatula, blend butter, minced shallot, minced fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, minced fresh ginger and finely grated lemon peel in small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Thinly spread lemon-ginger butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange clams in single layer in disposable aluminum pan. Place pan on grill, cover barbecue and cook just until clams open, 8 to 10 minutes (discard any clams that do not open).

Using slotted spoon, transfer grilled clams to 2 shallow bowls. Grill bread until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add remaining lemon-ginger butter to juices in pan; stir on grill until melted. Pour juices from pan over clams. Serve with grilled baguette.

(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2009.)

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