By LYN VANDEBRAKE
STORY CITY - Expecting house guests and wanting a great hot winter dessert to serve?
SUE DEIBER fills the oatmeal cups with the sauteed apple mixture.
Sue Deiber, of Story City, said she has the perfect treat - caramel oatmeal apple tarts.
"I never have thought of myself as a great cook or a wonderful baker," Deiber said. "But this recipe is so easy, it is almost a no-fail. If they slip right out of the muffin cups you've baked them in, great.
"And if they fall all apart, they will taste just as good, and can be used as a crumble over ice cream," she added. "Either way, they make a delicious hot dessert. They also present well, in that they look nice when served."
Finding the original recipe, or a version thereof, on Facebook, Deiber did a little customizing of her own. She also has some tips for making the baking project easier and more foolproof.
When not baking, friends will usually find Deiber in her horse barn with her 2-year old gelding, Mie Colt. Accompanying her will be Eddie the German shepherd, Jaxson the yorkie-poo and several barn cats. A few laying hens round out the menagerie.
Living on a small acreage suits Deiber, who said she thinks of herself as a farm girl, even from her very beginnings.
"My mother worked cattle on a ranch when I was growing up," Deiber said. "I think it was from this beginning, in my childhood, that I learned compassion and a love for wildlife and all animals.
"From my earliest childhood memories, I remember wanting to work for a veterinarian. I didn't want to be the vet, I wanted to work for one. I envision myself the Tonto of 'The Lone Ranger' team," she said with a laugh. "I'm more the support staff, making the workplace a structured organized environment, being dependable, responsible and helping to make things happen."
Today, Deiber works for Forthman Veterinary Clinic, in Roland, with veterinarians Dr. Donald Forthman and Dr. Jennifer Arnold, as a veterinary assistant and front desk secretary.
The Forthman Clinic is a large and small animal veterinary hospital, serving clients with companion animals, livestock and farm pets.
When asked what her favorite thing about working for the Forthman Clinic is, Deiber was quick to say assisting in surgery.
"I love surgery. It is fascinating to me," said Deiber. "I like to see the intricate workings of the body, whether it be human or animal. I like to see how the organs function together, the biology of the whole being.
"When it's working like it should, the body is like a machine, a system functioning in sync."
She recalled one particularly memorable surgery.
"I remember one time Doc was doing an emergency C-section on a dog. As he delivered a pup, he handed him right to me," said Deiber. "We had hot dry towels waiting.
"We rubbed each pup down, then blew into their mouth and nose to get them breathing. Then Doc would deliver another one."
The puppies all lived.
"It is work like this that is exhilarating, that really means something," Deiber said. "To see a life saved, to help living things, that's what is the most important to me."
Tip: It is recommended to use the mini muffin baking cups, but the larger size muffin pan also works with this recipe.
3/4 cup real butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups quick-cooking oats (uncooked)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Thoroughly mix shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients a little at a time.
Drop by tablespoon into greased muffin cups, or use paper muffin cup liners.
Using a sanitized shot glass, press center of spooned mixture down, making an oatmeal cup, later filled with the apple mixture.
Tip: if the shot glass bottom is too large, use the lid from a sanitized pill bottle.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be baked until done but not overly browned.
2 medium-sized apples diced. Leave the peel on for more nutrition.
3 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
Enough to drizzle
While oatmeal muffin cups are baking, take a medium-sized fry pan and saute diced apples in real butter, adding the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon.
This takes about 7 to 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
When oatmeal cups come out of the oven, let cool briefly, then remove them with a fork from the muffin pan and place on serving plate.
Fill each oatmeal cup with a spoonful of the apple mixture.
When all are filled, drizzle caramel over the top.
Serve hot, either by themselves or with ice cream.
Oatmeal blueberry muffins
1 cup quick-cooking oats (uncooked)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients.
Mix in egg, milk and oil.
Fill greased- or paper-lined muffin cups with batter 2/3 full.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12 muffins.
This recipe can also be used for one loaf pan (9-by-5-by-3-inch size). Bake until knife comes out clean when inserted into middle of bread loaf, usually 30 to 35 minutes.
Tip: Though the recipe calls for mixing the blueberries last, Deiber said she finds it is better to add them with the dry ingredients, as they are better coated and tend not to sink to the bottom of the muffin cups.
2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (uncooked)
1/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
Grease loaf pan (9-by-5-by-3 inches)
In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and warm water.
Mix flour and oatmeal in separate bowl and set aside.
Add buttermilk, half the flour and oatmeal mixture, shortening, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping the bowl constantly.
Beat 2 minutes on medium.
Stir in remaining flour-oatmeal mixture. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
Turn dough onto well-floured board.
Knead 5 minutes or about 200 turns.
Roll dough into rectangle, about 18 x 9 inches. Press each end with the side of hand to seal. Fold ends under. Place seam down in loaf pan.
Brush lightly with melted butter.
Let rise in warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. The dough in center should be about 2 inches higher than pan.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Oven rack should in lowest position or top of bread will brown too quickly.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pan.
Brush loaf with melted butter, sprinkle with dry oatmeal.
Cool on wire rack.