I'm still warbling Christmas carols, thinking about posting my Christmas lunch & New Year dinner recipes, and looking guiltily at our Christmas tree that really should come down… so can somebody please explain to me how it got to be almost halfway through January 2009 already??
Yikes. Tempus fugit indeed.
I believe I'm up to host Waiter, There's Something In My… at the end of January, so anytime soon would be a good time to get my umm, December entry up so that I can announce the next theme, right?! For December, host Andrew decided that the blogosphere is already overpopulated with events, so to make things easier on everybody we did a mini-WTSIM just for the 3 of us (reader participation optional!). Each of the three hosts (Andrew, Johanna and me) selected one of the past WTSIM themes and challenged another host to make something from that event's roundup. It's a great excuse to go trawling through all the great recipes we've received over nearly 2 years that this event has been running. For Johanna, Andrew selected Berried Treasures. For Andrew, I selected Topless Tarts. And for me, Johanna selected Breakfasts.
Breakfast is such fun – you can go savoury or sweet; simple or grand; healthy or artery-clogging. But with the Christmas season barely behind us, my arteries felt quite clogged enough, thanks, so I thought something less extravagant would be in order – like these muffins from Sandy at Eat Real. Her site is full of great recipes – go and check out her eggnog pancakes! These muffins caught my eye because I knew I still had some cranberries left over from my cranberry & pear upside down cake, and because I find it hard to resist a good muffin. I left the recipe unchanged apart from substituting dried craberries for fresh, and pecans for walnuts. Turns out the muffins were a huge hit – even Nick who's usually reserved with his praise was raving. They are moist with a great citrus tang and really quite addictive. Thanks Sandy, and thanks Johanna for reminding me of our great collection of breakfast recipes from May of last year
CRANBERRY, ORANGE & PECAN MUFFINS (makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo)
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
2 Tbsp sugar (if using fresh cranberries)
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sunflower or canola oil
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
whole pecans to decorate
Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan or 12-cup standard muffin pan (or line the pan cups with paper cups as I did).
If using dried cranberries, measure out and soak in a little orange juice for 20 minutes or so. If using fresh cranberries, roughly chop them and place them in a small bowl, sprinkled with 2 Tbsp sugar and the orange zest. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a smaller mixing bowl, lightly beat the two eggs. Add orange juice and oil and stir to combine.
Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in cranberry mixture and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. and top each muffin with a whole pecan.
I'm also submitting the first photo in this post as my entry into this months's edition of CLICK, the photo event hosted by my fab friends Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi. The theme this month is red and you have until 30 January to participate, so get snapping!