Cranberry Orange Muffins

I just realized that I have two cranberry posts in a row…….. I probably should have thought that through a bit better.

Yet……….I didn’t.

Considering that’s the biggest issue I’m facing right now (and it is, believe me), life is PDA – pretty dang awesome.

In all seriousness, I have followed through my resolution to make some serious changes to my life, and I’m very happy about that. Because, and I quote:

“A girl should be two things: who and want she wants.” ~ Coco Chanel

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One year ago: Maple Oatmeal Scones

Cranberry Orange Muffins – adapted from Williams Sonoma

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cinnamon Sugar, for sprinkling on top (mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, egg, orange marmalade and cranberries. Gently combine the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with about a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a tester comes clean from the center.

Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins

Ahhhh, Saturday morning……perfect time for a pop quiz….

Which of the following activities did NOT occur in my house this morning?

A. sleeping in, B. laundry, C. organizing my travel kit, D. polishing my extremely tarnished silver jewelry, or E. cleaning up the backyard……

tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…..

If you guessed “A”, then move to the head of the class.

Some things never fail – on the days when you’re able to sleep in, you find yourself wide awake and ready to take on the day…. but on the days when you really really want to stay in bed, you can’t (i.e. work, school, a dog scratching the side of the bed because she wants to eat…..)

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Blueberry Muffins – adapted from Wiliams Sonoma

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup blueberries

Oatmeal and sparkling sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter 16 standard muffin cups.

In a bowl, stir and toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, butter and eggs until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Add the blueberries and stir just until evenly incorporated.Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the tops with oatmeal and sparkling sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan. Makes about 16 standard muffins.

Fresh Ginger Lime Muffins

I had the best of intentions…and a genius plan…… I really did.

But Mother Nature wasn’t having any part of my forethought and planning…..

I called the landscaper early Thursday morning and asked him to blow out the backyard during their weekly visit – there have been a few windy days lately, and I wanted the yard clean so I could utilize it over the weekend. It was going to be hot, so I figured there would be plenty of pool/BBQ time involved.

Well, long story short, we had a huge storm Friday and Saturday, complete with thunder, lightning, hail, rain, flash flooding and 45+ mile per hour winds….

sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Sure, if you consider the fact that the wind tore a hole in the new canopy (not to mention flipping it over and bending the frame), pulled a couple of end caps off the shade cover, my pool was thisclose to overflowing, and last, but not least, completely annihilated the clean yard.

Huge mess.

Tons of debris – everywhere – from my neighbors evil pine tree, broken branches, leaves, palm fronds….. ugh.

Better luck this week.

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Fresh Ginger Lime Muffins – adapted from williams sonoma

1 piece unpeeled fresh ginger (4 to 5 oz.)
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. finely grated lime zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat an oven to 375ºF. Butter standard muffin tins.Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process until it is finely minced. You should have about 1/4 cup.

In a small saucepan, combine the ginger and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture is hot; this takes only about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool until tepid.

In a small bowl stir the lime zest and the 3 tablespoons. sugar. Let stand for a few minutes, then add to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir and toss together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Then add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the ginger-lime mixture.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tins for 1 minute, then remove.

Banana Apple Muffins

So here I sit, sipping my mocha latte, obsessing pondering contemplating overthinking driving myself crazy trying to narrow down what to make for the company holiday party next week.

The first problem I’m facing? My contribution (what a surprise, I was assigned dessert) should be something that doesn’t require a plate/fork – it needs to be portable. It’s an “open house” style party, so people will be filtering in and out for a few hours.

The second problem? Hmmmmmm……… how do I say this nicely……. well, let’s just throw it out there. While I’m imagining something like Torta di Castagna e Cioccolata (a showstopping chestnut and chocolate torte), this is more of a “Twinkie” crowd.

I think I’ll go buy a tray of cookies from Costco and save my time,effort and money for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day………

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Banana Apple Muffins – adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)

Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

To make the apples:
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat until bubbling. Add the apples and cinnamon and sauté until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To make the muffins:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Stir in the mashed bananas until combined. Then stir in the reserved apples.
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.