Thursday, January 2, 2014

Carry the Best of Times Forward

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season! It was a time to spend with my loved ones... so, very special for me.. Lovely to get away from the daily grind and just 'be' for a change... the following are just a few vignettes from my holiday cheer and a recipe for you to try out... Love to you in this New Year.. xo 
Morning is a favorite time of day for me... and a day that has time for Breakfast ...well, all the better :) I spent my holiday mornings with my Grandsons... enjoying the Christmas tree and making our boys awesome 'Gammy' made Breakfasts.... Try my ..
Cranberry Orange Muffins
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup All Purpose Flour
( You can do entirely with All Purpose, but I used some whole wheat to unobtrusively increase the nutritional value..... shhhhhhh.....don't tell my boys...  :)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
1 egg
2 Oranges
1/4 cup Canola Oil
Slivered Almonds for topping

Mix together Flours, Baking Powder, Baking Soda. Set aside. Into a Medium sized mixing bowl, microplane or finely grate 1 teaspoon of Orange zest from the oranges.  Cut the Oranges in half and juice them into a measuring cup.( You should have 3/4 cup of juice for this recipe. If you need, you can add a bit of water to the correct liquid level. ) Add the 3/4 cup Juice to the mixing bowl. Scoop out as much pulp as you can from the oranges ( little pulp pieces only!) and include this in the bowl. Add in Sugar, Egg and Oil. Whisk or beat the wet ingredients together. Then add in the dry ingredients mixture. Stir until moistened. Fold in the Fresh Cranberries. Spoon the batter into a greased Muffin pan. ( Fill each muffin slot about 3/4 full). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with slivered Almonds. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

Drizzle each muffin with a simple glaze... I make mine with Confectioner's sugar, Vanilla extract and water to a consistency that 'drizzles' off of my spoon. Enjoy!

No greater joy at Christmas time
than excitement in our Children's eyes
The days become the more sublime
Play, Laughter and Song!! ..and our Spirits arise.

I recall the days of Childhood anticipation.. of singing Christmas carols as we put up the tree....of gazing into the Christmas balls with my Sister, and making funny faces... of reveling in the unknown of what was beyond the wrapping paper...

Oh Santa! Be good to us... or We won't add 'nipp to your nogg! ...  :P

New Years eve at home with an intimate dinner and wonderful music to ring in the New Year...   
We generally do Lobster Tail ... and I have come up with a nice Seafood side dish. I hope you will try my Stuffed Chayote Squash...The usual breading... that I infuse with Bacon bits, grated Asiago Cheese and Cilantro... did I mention Bacon?! :P  it goes so well with Seafood! ( Separate blog to follow)
The best meals, I find are those made by our hands... at home... no amount of money can buy that in a restaurant... an important ingredient is missing there... 
The greatest gift of any holiday is time spent with loved ones... making special memories... reviving cherished traditions... and if we can carry the best of those times forward... insert the joy into our daily living.... the gift just keeps on giving.... xo  

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