Celebrating a Cranberry Thanksgiving
November 22, 2011 at 6:00 am
It’s Cranberry Bread Day! It’s Cranberry Bread Day!!
You saw it on your calendar, right? Heard about it on the radio?
Uh-oh. Starting to think that Cranberry Bread Day may be an Anderson Family tradition only …
But it is so fun, and has become so much a part of what makes us look forward to Thanksgiving that I hope you will join us in celebrating!
Our cranberry bread tradition began many years ago, before Ellery was even born, when Owen and I read the book Cranberry Thanksgiving. It is such a sweet story about a grandmother guarding her famous cranberry bread recipe, but the deeper message is that you really can’t judge people based on how they appear, or even if they smell like lavender.
(This book always reminds of my grandparents who often sought out a person who was alone for Thanksgiving and asked them to be part of our family celebration. In college, they often told me to bring friends home who could not travel all the way back to their own hometowns to celebrate. My grandfather always said that we were so lucky to have so much, and to have each other, and it was our duty to share that. So reading this book gives me a chance to tell my kids that story too!)
In the back of the book is a recipe for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread, and that first year, we tried it. We got lots of recipe requests at Thanksgiving, and the following year, made it again with a few changes.
We keep experimenting based on allergy restrictions and what we think tastes good (fewer raisins, then no raisins, then adding pecans, for instance).
And what we have come up with is our family’s own recipe based on the book, but also a fun family tradition that really is one of my very favorite parts of the year.
Our Cranberry Bread
(based on the recipe from Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin, and pictured here in their muffin form)
2 cups white spelt flour (unbleached flour is fine too!)
1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals or sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp grated orange peel
3/4 orange juice
2 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Mix dry ingredients (including cane juice crystals or sugar) in a large bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in small bowl. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries and pecans, if using. Spoon into greased loaf pan, cake pan or muffin tin. Cook at 350 degrees for 22 minutes for muffins, 35-40 minutes in a cake pan and 55 minutes to an hour in a bread pan. The bread/muffins is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Note: In the spring we substitute rhubarb for the cranberries! Rhubarb and orange is so yummy together too!
Happy Cranberry Bread Day today!
Do you have a special Thanksgiving tradition? Please tell us in the comments below!
Halloween is Hallo-Over
November 8, 2011 at 6:00 am
I’m kind of over the Halloween candy. What about you?
I really do try to be a good sport about these things, but the problem with having so much candy in the house is that we eat it, because it is here. When it eventually runs out, or more often we forget about it, it stops being a problem.
But toward the end of last week, I started feeling a little over the candy. Instead of dumping treats in the trash, we started leaning toward other sweet things.
When the kids asked for a treat (or I felt like one myself) I tried offering up something slightly healthier but still sweet, like granola, muffins or homemade cookies.
How about a few of these:
Instead of a few of these:
I also made up a big batch of rice pudding using agave, which doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike the way candy does.
Our favorite recipe uses arborio rice, which makes the pudding extra smooth and creamy.
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups water
1 tsp light olive oil
a pinch of sea salt
3 cups almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
6 to 8 tbsp agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water plus olive oil and salt to a boil. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently. In a separate large pot over medium heat, warm milk, vanilla, agave and spices. When rice is cooked, add to warm milk mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until pudding thickens. Chill and serve.
How are you handling the week after Halloween at your house?
Apple Pie with a Homemade Coconut Oil Crust
October 18, 2011 at 6:00 am
Last year at this time, we were busy cooking up a lot of fall treats minus dairy and wheat.
But I couldn’t quite figure out how to make a dairy-free, healthy crust.
This year, I gave substituting coconut oil a try, and it worked really well. I also used coconut oil inside the pie where the butter is supposed to be!
This pie baked up perfectly. The crust was light and flaky, and definitely worth making again. The crust is a little harder to roll out, but putting it into two pieces of parchment paper made it easier.
Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free Apple Pie
2 1/2 cups white spelt flour
4 tsp evaporated cane juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
12 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 large egg
In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, evaporated cane juice and salt. Pulse a few times. Add in coconut oil and pulse to combine, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse a few more times. Add two tablespoons of cold water and continue to pulse until dough holds together when pinched. You may need to add another tablespoon or two of cold water, but the dough should remain fairly dry and not turn into a ball.
Fold dough into a disk and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
2 tbsp lemon juice
about 3 pounds apples (we used 6 large Jonamacs), peeled, cored and sliced
2/3 cup evaporated cance juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
Roll out half the dough between pieces of parchment paper and place in pie pan. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour apple mixture into pie crust. Dot with coconut oil. Roll out second pie crust and cover pie. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (we used Vanilla Sugar). Make a small hole to vent.
Bake at 425 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. If top crust start to brown, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.
Friday Tea: Apple Bread
October 14, 2011 at 6:00 am
And so, we wrap up the little loaves in aluminum foil and pack them in our basket and we hit the road.
It’s a mobile tea time. Because this week we are sharing it with friends and family. We visit the library, and the friends we don’t see much, and we drop off apple bread and a little good cheer.
It’s becoming a tradition now. Every year. It’s becoming one of my very favorite things.
Adapted from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
1 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups whole spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons almond milk
3 cups chopped apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
We double and even triple this recipe and it works great. This bread also freezes really well (for later distribution).
We like to make this in mini loaf pans, although round cake pans work really well when we are making it to keep.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use coconut or olive oil to grease pans and sprinkle with sesame seeds to coat.
In a very large bowl, combine oil and brown sugar and mix well. Add apple sauce, eggs, vanilla and almond milk and combine well.
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients including flours, baking soda, baking powder and spice. Add dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add chopped apples and nuts and stir in.
Fill cake pans 2/3 of the way full.
Cook small cake pans for 20 to 25 minutes or until bread is cooked through. Cook in round cake pans for up to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Warm and Cozy Oatmeal Bread for Friday Tea
September 23, 2011 at 6:00 am
There’s something so warm and cozy about baking bread — the way it warms the kitchen; the way it makes your house smell like no candle or spray freshener ever could.
And the ingredients in this Maple, Oatmeal and Wheat Bread from Mixing Bowl Kids are all so wholesome and delicious, they give you something else to feel good about.
We substituted white spelt for the all-purpose flour and whole spelt for the whole wheat flour to make this bread wheat-free.
It was perfect paired with yesterday’s homemade nut butter!
Easy, Homemade Blueberry Applesauce
September 20, 2011 at 6:00 am
I cook my apples in enough water to cover over medium-high heat until they are tender and slip off a knife. I add frozen berries (any berries work well) during the last few minutes of cooking. We like to mash the mixture in a bowl, or take it for a spin in the food processor, and serve warm.
How do you like your applesauce?
Peanut Butter Cookies for Friday Tea
September 16, 2011 at 6:00 am
Friday tea is becoming a nice new routine around here.
It seems like we all need a little something special to celebrate the start of the weekend.
And so, we make a little tea and a treat. And take a deep breath because the work of the week is almost done, and the work of the weekend is almost here!
This week, we made these amazing Peanut Butter Cookies from 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson and her blog and cookbooks are wonderful resources for healthy, whole food recipes and ideas.
Her cookbook Super Natural Cooking is one of my favorites — and often spends months at a time on my kitchen counter never making its way back to its proper home on the bookshelf.
These cookies are so delicious. But I have to show extreme self-control because the batter is really, really good too. It is egg-free, so a little taste or two won’t hurt.
That’s the other cool thing about these cookies — there are only six ingredients, and they are ingredients we almost always have on hand.
We used to the spelt flour option, and kept a close eye on them so they were still chewy in the middle. Yum. The perfect way to start the weekend!
Posted in (activities with kids
) by KaraComments (2)