Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez, and I’m an artist and a writer. Please look around my website and make yourself at home. I post new blog entries weekly, and hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and come back often! To learn more about me, please view the “About” page…
Category Archives: baking
I opted to make muffins for this month’s recipe, and these Orange Cranberry muffins are tangy, fresh and sweet! Inspired by a muffin I really enjoyed at Panera some time ago, I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com. I particularly like that the recipe calls for dried cranberries, as it can be difficult to find fresh or frozen cranberries if it’s not fall or winter. These muffins are yummy on their own, but would also be tasty with butter or fresh whipped cream.
Orange Cranberry Muffins Recipe
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the muffin tin
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus up to 1 tablespoon for topping the muffins, if desired
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove berries from the heat, and set aside to cool and plump.
Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, orange zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.
Yield: 12 muffins
Note: I liked the dried cranberries, but will probably try fresh cranberries next time. Please keep in mind that you’ll want to increase the measurement of cranberries if they’re fresh, since fresh berries take up more room in the measuring cup than dried…
Are you familiar with Mavis at the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog? She is the Queen of Gardening and I seriously envy her yard and garden. She featured this recipe on her blog in December, and I decided to give it a try. Verdict? Yummy! The fact that it’s delicious and easy to make makes it a winner in my book.
Though Mavis dusted the top of hers with powdered sugar, I left mine plain. You know what would be yummy though? Topping this cake with some cream cheese frosting. You can find a recipe for the frosting here, on my Pumpkin Bars Recipe page. You’d probably want to cut the frosting recipe in half though.
Applesauce Spice Cake Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup of buttermilk ( I was a rebel and used regular milk)
1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter and flour an 8-in square baking pan and set aside. You’ll want to do this even if you use a non-stick pan. Trust me.
- In a medium bowl combined the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together the eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar until nice and smooth. Mix in the applesauce and buttermilk, then add in the dry ingredients and mix again until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the batter into your 8-inch prepared pan and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Happy Baking, y’all!
Have I ever mentioned that I love biscuits? Well, I do. I really really do. And, oddly enough, until very recently I’d never made them from scratch. For someone that loves to bake and loves to eat biscuits it seems unlikely, but there you have it.
Now that I have made biscuits, and know how easy it is to have fresh biscuits on hand, there could be a problem. But it’s a good problem to have, so I wouldn’t dream of complaining. Somehow I’ll muddle through. ;]
As for what one puts on the biscuits, I haven’t gotten into the gravy thing. Maybe that will come later. Thus far in my life I’ve enjoyed them plain, with butter, with honey, and with jam. Yum-yum-yum-yum! Here’s the recipe I used to initiate myself as a biscuit baker. I hope you enjoy it!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP white sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
- Refrigerate the dough for about an hour before rolling it out. This will make it easier to roll out and cut.
- Make sure your rolling surface is adequately floured or you’ll end up with a sticky mess.
- For easy cleanup, flour the inside surface of a full-size, rimmed cookie sheet and roll your dough out there. The rim of the cookie sheet will help keep the flour contained and will make cleanup easier.
- To make roughly six large biscuits, use a 3″ biscuit cutter. A 2 1/2″ inch cutter will yield approximately 10 biscuits.
How do you eat your biscuits, dear readers? Savory? Sweet? Do tell.
I was recently given a big bag of corks (Thanks, Megan!), and have started the fun process of coming up with things to create with them. My first DIY with these corks is this set of place card holders. These little beauties are fast and easy to make, and require few materials. What’s not to love?
Getting back to my bag ‘o corks, some of the corks are “natural” and some of them are made from foam and plastic. Today’s project is made with the latter – the synthetic corks. I found them to be more symmetrical, and therefore easier to wrap with the washi tape. Washi tape is easy to work with, since it’s easy to peel up and straighten, and the color, pattern, and mix-n-match possibilities are endless!
- Wrap Washi tape around the cork. The corks I used allowed for three “rows” of tape to be laid out next to each other, with a wee bit of overlap. You can use all one color, as I did on most of my corks, or mix and match, like I did on my black, white, and silver cork.
- Cut across the top middle of your cork with your Xacto blade. The cut should go all the way across the top, as shown, and should extend downward into the cork so the placecard can be slid down into the cork about 1/4 of an inch.
- Prepare the cards you’ll be displaying and carefully inset them into the cut foam slit. Make sure they’re centered so they don’t tip over.
Not only are these super fast and easy holders perfect for place cards, they’re also great for labeling food and dessert platters. You might also consider using them to hold cherished photos.
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you, dear readers. Happy washi taping!
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you, dear readers. Happy washi taping!
Welcome to a new installment of Another Look! This post is designed to share a handful of goodies from my archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries. I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before. Today’s category is Autumn - and could also be recipes! Just click on the name of the post to link over to the original post…
I hope you’re enjoying Autumn thus far, dear readers. Will any of you be dressing up for Halloween this year?
This month’s recipe is bound to be a hit with those of you that like fruity desserts. This was my first time making it, but it won’t be my last – yum! It’s tasty all on its own, but is also excellent served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I found this recipe on page 205 of the Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That? cookbook, but made a few changes. She calls it Easy Cranberry Apple Cake, but I included more apples than cranberries so I changed the name a bit for this post. Apparently her recipe is based on a recipe from Sarah Chase’s book Cold Weather Cooking. So, you’ve got options if you want some variations on the recipe. Here’s what I made…
Apple-Cranberry Cake Recipe
6 ounces fresh cranberries*, rinsed and picked over for stems
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 Gala apple, peeled, cored, and diced
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1⁄8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cranberries, apples, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.
Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1⁄8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Note: I couldn’t find any fresh or frozen cranberries at the grocery store, so I used a 14 oz. can of whole berry cranberry sauce instead. I put all the cranberry sauce into a colander, and washed away all the “sauce” until just the berries remained – this left me with approximately 6 oz. of berries.
Though this recipe is a cake, it’s baked in a pie pan, and I’d like to thank my friend, Beth, for loaning me her 10″ glass pie pan. Thank you, my friend! :) Here are some cake recipes from past months, if you’re interested: Triple Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, and Ida’s Coffee Cake! Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers. Happy Baking!