I may have squealed when I found frozen cranberries at the co-op a few weeks ago. Cranberries are my favorite fruit. It sucks they are only available for such a short time each year and my tiny freezer can only hold so many bags of frozen cranberries.
Since I am really into Beatrice Ojakangas’ cookbook, Breakfast With Beatrice, right now, I decided to adapt and try her Oat Cranberry Muffin recipe. I think I have found my second all time favorite muffin recipe. (In case you are wondering, all time favorite muffin recipe is Mollie Katzen’s Chocolate Ricotta Muffins. ) So many times people who write cranberry recipes, sweet or savory, add so much sugar they completely destroy the tart bite of the cranberry. Mrs. Ojakangas doesn’t do that, she adds just enough sugar to sweeten the muffin but allow the tart cranberry to shine.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 6 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cranberries. In a small bowl, beat the milk, canola oil, and egg together. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just blended, about 20 strokes. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin come out clean. Cool 1 minute and then move the muffins to a wire rack and cool.
Perhaps looking for new cranberry recipes isn’t the best thing to do when you are on day 3 of your Whole 30. Way to much sweet cranberry stuff out there. But what am I supposed to do when pumpkin spice everything is everywhere? You know I gotta try a cranberry recipe for every pumpkin recipe I see.
Fortunately, I can try many of the savory cranberry recipes I find even when I am on round thanks to the juice sweetened cranberries I found at Natural Grocers. I tried this recipe because it combines two of my favorite things, Brussels sprouts and cranberries.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Shred the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the ends off the sprouts and slice them in half lengthways. Slice each half into thin strips. Add to the onion together with garlic, salt and butter. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times, and then add the pepper, vinegar and cranberries. Stir through and cook for a further 2 minutes. Serve while warm.
This recipe isn’t Whole 30. This recipe isn’t Paleo. This recipe is good, old-fashioned baking and it has cranberries. Win and win again. This week’s recipes are all courtesy of Christina Lane at Dessert For Two. You already know how much I love Dessert For Two. I have posted many of her recipes over the years. Christina Lane is my favorite blogger ever.
What you don’t know is if I had never come across Dessert For Two there would be no A Solitary Feast. It was never my intent to start a food/recipe blog when I started adapting recipes for one or two. My intent was to adapt some recipes for my friend, Steph, who was moving out on her own for the first time and I wanted to encourage Steph to cook.
When I gave her the recipes, Steph started telling me I should start a recipe blog. I kind of blew her off because 1. I didn’t really know what a blog was. 2, I didn’t really think anyone outside my circle of friends and, maybe, my mother would be interested in the recipes. The idea of recipe blogs intrigued me enough I wanted to check it out, though.
The very first blog I found was Christina Lane’s Dessert For Two. I love to bake as much as I love to cook so I tried her recipes right away. I fell in love. I have made dozens of her recipes over the years. As I watched Dessert For Two bloom and grow, I started thinking there might be some place on the internet for my dinner recipes. Three months later I posted my first recipe on A Solitary Feast.
Christina is not only my cooking and baking inspiration she also inspires me as a person. In a world that seems to take pleasure in tearing you down, Christina has taken time to build me up and encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone. In a world full of negative, she is a bright and shining positive.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper hanging over the sides to help remove the bars after baking. In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar and salt. Add the diced butter to the flour. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour. You will know when the butter and flour are mixed well when it sticks together when you lightly squeeze it in your fist. Spread the flour/butter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. You want to press relatively hard so the flour/ butter mixture sticks together to form the crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the vanilla into the leftover cranberry sauce. When the crust is done baking, spread the cranberry sauce over the crust. Bake another 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool in the pan before slicing.
Good grief!!! How did it get to be Saturday and I haven’t posted anything? It isn’t that I haven’t been cooking. I think the problem is most of what I have been cooking isn’t mine to share. I was picked to help recipe test for a cookbook that is coming out in the fall. Since the cookbook isn’t small batch I have sooooo many leftovers. I will share more with you when I can. For now I will tell you it is going to be an awesome electric pressure cooker cookbook when it comes out.
In the mean time, I am going to tell you about another cookbook that is already out and you should have in your cookbook library. On Sunday, I picked up a copy of Mark Bittman’s 10th anniversary edition of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. My love for Mark Bittman is no secret so it was no surprise, I love this book. The book isn’t just a reprint of the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. The majority of the recipes are new. The recipes have also been revised to rely less on dairy and cheese to fill out the recipes so many of them can easily be made Whole 30 compliant, which has become important to me. As usual, Mark Bittman’s recipes use ingredients you probably have on hand already.
I noticed two things about this book that are different from his other How To Cook Everything books. First, there are absolutely gorgeous food photography. Mr. Bittman”s other How To Cook Everything books have line drawings. The second thing I noticed about this book is the recipes don’t have as many variations to each recipe as the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian does. I think this is in line with Mark Bittman’s adoption of a simpler style of eating and in no way detracts from the loveliness of this book. `
Adapted From The 10th Anniversary Edition How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts
2 1/2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
Using a paring knife thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Transfer the sprouts to a medium bowl. Add a pinch of salt and gently work the salt through the sprouts with your hands. Just left, separate the strands while rubbing the salt through it. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, cranberries, and nuts. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
The good news is we are finely to the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, dessert. The bad news is the dessert is not Whole30 compliant. I was going to try some desserts that were technically compliant, remember desserts wouldn’t actually be allowed on a Whole 30, but my friend, Heather, and I paid our first visit to the new Aldi grocery store in Moorhead Monday night. They had fresh cranberries for .98 cents a bag. I bought one and Heather gave me hers because she didn’t know you had to cook cranberries to make them edible. I have to find something to do with the 24 ounces of fresh cranberries I have.
I dug this recipe out of the recesses of my draft pile where it had been hiding for at least 2 years. It is super easy because there is no pie dough to make and roll out. Instead you make a batter and just spread it over the top of the cranberries. Serve this pie warm.
The cookbook I adapted this recipe from came from the library and I can’t remember the name of it.
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup honey, divided
6 TBS all purpose flour
4 TBS butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 5 inch deep dish pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add the cranberries and pecans. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the cranberries and pecans; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the egg until the white and yolk are well combined. While still beating, add the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, flour and melted butter; mix well. Spread the mixture over the cranberry pecan mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is lightly toasted brown. Let cool 5 minutes and serve warm.