Tag Archives: recipes

Monday Muffins: Cranberry Vanilla Muffins


Friday I shared my recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones and today I share a different recipe for Cranberry Vanilla Muffins! What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a delicious muffin? In this recipe half a vanilla bean is ground right into the sugar to dominate the flavor of the muffin. Use those frozen cranberries in the freezer or try dried cranberries to whip up a batch of these delicious Cranberry Vanilla Muffins.Cranberry Vanilla Muffins


Cranberry Vanilla Muffins






½ vanilla bean, cut into small pieces

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 large eggs,

2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup milk

2 ½ cups fresh cranberries coarsely chopped




2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp nutmeg




Preheat oven to 375. Line 12-14 muffin cups with paper linters.

Prepare the batter. Place the vanilla bean and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until the vanilla bean is ground into tiny flecks.

Using an electric mixer, cream the vanilla sugar with the butter in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until smooth and fluffy. Fold in the cranberries.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling each one almost full. Mix together the sugar and the nutmeg for the topping and sprinkle generously over the muffins.Cranberry Vanilla Muffins Bake until puffed, light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.Cranberry Vanilla Muffins Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.Cranberry Vanilla Muffins Makes about 12-14 muffins.Cranberry Vanilla Muffins

Cranberry Orange SconesAs we approach Valentine’s Day what better way to celebrate than with these feathery light scones. Enjoy the wonderful tart contrast of cranberries and orange zest. I cut the scones into heart shapes for a Valentine’s Day treat! Plus I got to use up some of the frozen cranberries in my freezer!Cranberry Orange Scones


If you’re looking for a delicious treat for your valentine on Valentine’s Day try making these delicious Cranberry Orange Scones.Cranberry Orange Scones


Cranberry Orange Scones




2 cups flour

1/3 plus 2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped (can also used dried cranberries)

1 Tbsp grated orange zest

1 large egg

1 large egg, separated

¼ cup heavy cream




Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Place the flour, ½ cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cranberries and orange zest.


Lightly beat the whole egg and the egg yolk together in a small bowl. Whisk in the cream until blended. Add to the flour mixture and stir until ther dough begins to hold together.


Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Roll the dough 1 inch thick. Cut out with a 3-inch round or heart shaped cookie cutter.Cranberry Orange Scones Pace 1-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.Cranberry Orange Scones


Beat the egg white just until foamy and brush over the top of each scone with a pastry brush. Sprinkle the scones with the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar. Bake until puffed and light golden brown, 15-20 minutes.Cranberry Orange Scones Makes about 9-10 scones.Cranberry Orange Scones


Perfect to enjoy with your valentine and a cup of tea.Cranberry Orange Scones

Treats for the BirdsTreats for the Birds


My husband loves to feed the birds. We both enjoy sitting at our kitchen table watching the numerous wild birds come to our feeders. There are two large forsythia bushes near the feeders where the birds can take refuge. Since Valentine’s Day is almost here I decided to make some treats for the birds.Treats for the birds


I wanted to make some birdseed ornaments to hang in the trees to give the birds an extra treat. I didn’t need any special equipment; everything needed to make these I had on hand.


This is what I used:


4 feet of ¼ inch wide ribbon, cut into 12-inch long sections

2 envelops of Knox gelatin

1 ½ cups birdseed (Mixed seed works best)

Baking sheet lined with wax paper

Four cookie cutters of any shape, about 4 inches by 4 inches

Cooking spray




This makes about 4- 8 cookie cutter ornaments depending on the size of the cookie cutter.

Combine the gelatin with ½ cup of boiling water. Stir well to dissolve the gelatin.Treats for the birds

Add the birdseed.Treats for the birds

Stir well; if the mixture is too watery add a little more seed until it is stiff but sticky.

Place the cookie cutters on your prepared baking sheet. I chose heart shapes for Valentine’s Day. Lightly coat each cookie cutter with cooking spray.Treats for the birds


Fill each cookie cutter halfway with birdseed.Treats for the birds


Before the birdseed hardens push a straw through the mix to create a little hole for your ribbon. Firmly press the mix with your hands or the back of a spoon.

After a few hours, coax each ornament onto fresh waxed paper. Let dry, turning them over every so often, for about 72 hours or until hard. Hang the ornaments outside for the birds to enjoy!Treats for the birds


We often treat each other for Valentine’s Day, but it’s nice to make some treats for the birds to enjoy as well!

Monday Muffins: Roasted Banana Muffins


I have made banana muffins many times but this was the first time I’ve made Roasted Banana Muffins. Roasting the banana seems to intensify the flavor. These muffins have more of a cake-like consistency and they are delicious and freeze well. These roasted banana muffins are perfect to go with your afternoon cup of tea.Roasted Banana Muffins


Roasted Banana Muffins




2 ripe bananas

2 cups flour

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup milk

1 large egg, beaten

4 Tbsp butter, meltedRoasted Banana Muffins




Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Make a three inch long slice down each banana and lay the banana on a baking sheet. Roast the banana until the skins turn black and the juices in the bananas start to run from the slits in the skins, about ten minutes. Remove the bananas from the oven and keep the oven on.Roasted Banana Muffins


When the bananas are cool enough to handle, discard the peels and place the bananas in a bowl. Mash with a fork and set aside.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend evenly. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter. Stir in the mashed bananas. Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients with the banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to blend well.


Place a paper liner in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about three quarters full. Bake until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to let cool.Roasted Banana Muffins Makes 12-14 muffins depending on the size of your muffin tin.Roasted Banana Muffins

Indian Carrot SoupMy husband has been battling a nasty winter chest cold and this soup made the perfect lunch recently. One addition would be to serve the soup with pita bread. If you can find seasoned pita bread such as sesame or onion it would be delicious with this meal! This soup can be served hot or cold. It was the perfect to enjoy on a cold winter’s day and I imagine it would be equally as good chilled during the summer. If the soup is too spicy for your taste adding a little yogurt tames some of the spiciness. Good to know if your curry powder has a little kick!Indian Carrot Soup


Indian Carrot Soup




2 tsps olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground cardamom

4 carrots, peeled and cut into one inch chunks

3 cups chicken broth

¼ cup plain yogurt


Directions:Indian Carrot Soup


In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, coriander, and cardamom; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the carrots and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the broth into a large bowl.Indian Carrot Soup


In a food processor or blender, puree the carrots with some of the broth. Stir the puree into the remaining broth. Serve at once or refrigerate, covered until chilled. Serve topped with yogurt and garnished with a carrot curl and mint spring. Makes about 4 servingsIndian Carrot Soup


My husband said this soup felt great on his scratchy throat. It’s not a sweet soup but very satisfying and perfect for a cold winter’s day. I’m looking forward to making it again this summer, I imagine it would be equally as delicious served chilled some summer day.Indian Carrot Soup

Monday Muffins: Healthy Company Muffins


It’s Monday and time to share another delicious muffin recipe. January is the perfect time of year to make these delicious Healthy Company Muffins. We have a lot of company that likes to visit and play in the snow during the winter months. Nothing better than having a healthy, delicious muffin to offer in the morning. This recipe comes from my favorite book, Simply in Season. I love this book for the simple recipes it contains and the fact that they are geared to helping you eat in season. These muffins are perfect for breakfast or for a good snack. They can be cooked in a regular muffin tin or a mini muffin tin, which works well if you are using them for a snack.


Company Muffins



½ cup flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup oat bran or rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a large bowl combine the above ingredients. Set aside.healthy company muffins


In another bowl combine the following ingredients:

2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and shredded

1 ½ cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or flax seed meal
½ cup raisins

Add the apples, carrots, walnuts and raisins to the dry mixture.healthy company muffins Stir to coat and make a well in the center of the mixture.


In a separate bowl combine:
2 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup oil

Pour into the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Fill your muffin tins about ¾ full and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 18-20 minutes.muffins

These muffins are delicious and keep well and the muffins  remain moist for several days. healthy company muffinsYou can also pop a few in your freezer so that you can have these healthy company muffins to enjoy at a later time!Healthy Company Muffins

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