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Apple-packed muffins for fall on the go

Recipe: Fresh apple muffins with vanilla yogurt

Great for breakfast on the run, fresh apple muffins are packed with chopped apples.

Great for breakfast on the run, fresh apple muffins are packed with chopped apples. Debbie Arrington

Fall is apple season. For many households, it’s also the busiest time of the year with so many activities (and deadlines).

These apple-packed muffins make a quick breakfast treat or portable midday snack. They’re finely textured and don’t fall apart (good for when on the go). The key is finely chopping (or shredding) the fresh apple. Big chunks can create holes in the baked muffin.

It takes about two large apples for 1-1/2 cups of chopped or shredded. Choose a juicy variety such as a Red Delicious or Gala. The sweeter the apples, the sweeter the muffins.

Fresh apple muffins

Makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¾ cup vanilla or plain yogurt

¼ cup low-fat milk or apple juice

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted and cooled

1-1/2 cups apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin; grease or line cups. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, milk or juice and egg. Fold in melted butter.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Mix gently until batter is just blended. Fold in chopped apple.

Fill cups of prepared muffin tin about two-thirds full. Sprinkle sugar on top of batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in tin for 5 minutes, then remove.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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