Category: Brunch

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Orange Cranberry Muffins

To make these muffins you need to find sun-dried cranberries, not the fresh ones sold for cranberry sauce. The dried berries, like raisins, make a nice snack all by themselves, and they are a great addition to cookies, muffins, and sweetbreads. Combining them with orange juice makes for a festive muffin, something you might want to serve for breakfast on Christmas morning; if you have the right muffin tin, you can also make little one-inch muffins to serve with big roast beef or turkey dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. low sodium baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsps. honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Directions: Put the cranberries in a small bowl, cover them with water and allow them to soak until softened (at least an hour; more if possible). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine the oil, honey, eggs and orange juice and stir to blend. Add the cranberries and the water in which they have soaked and stir. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently only until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon the mixture into cups of a muffin tin lightly greased with butter, oil or vegetable shortening; the cups should be nearly full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick or knife blade inserted in a muffin comes out clean; this should take about 15 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool a bit before serving.

Spinach Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

The cranberries and toasted pine nuts add flavor that elevates spinach to a memorable plane.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 cups fresh spinach washed
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

Directions: Rinse and dry the spinach and add to a large salad bowl. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the pine nuts. Cook, shaking and stirring, for several minutes, until the nuts begin to brown. Remove the nuts from the skillet and add to the greens, followed by the cranberries and toss to distribute. Combine 1/2 cup of oil, vinegar, and pepper in a bowl and stir vigorously to combine. Pour this mixture over the salad and toss; then sprinkle with the sprouts.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Here’s another great use for pureed pumpkin, a touch of maple syrup turns these into a great treat on a cool autumn morning.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons low-sodium baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Sift the flour together with the baking powder and dry spices and set aside. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Add the milk, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla and stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture and stir only until it is completely moistened. Do not over mix.

Heat a buttered non stick frying pan until the butter is melted. To make pancakes, drop generous spoonfuls of batter into the pan. When bubbles form on the surface of the batter, turn the pancake and cook for a couple of minutes or longer until cooked through. Serve immediately.