Browsing articles tagged with " cranberry"

Cranberry-Pear Mini Loaves

Cranberry-Pear Bread
This bread is amazing. In fact, this bread is so amazing that I guarantee two things will happen when you make it. First, you will consume an entire loaf… by yourself. Second, you will need to make another batch because you just consumed an entire loaf. My advice to you- make two batches from the start. Or better yet, make one batch of mini loaves to give away and one large loaf to devour nibble on yourself. Go ahead, it’s the holidays, you deserve it. TAW33525

All joking aside, eating a whole loaf of this bread really isn’t the end of the world. Why? Because it’s actually pretty healthy. The recipe is based on Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flax from Liv Life (remember the ones I dropped on the floor). It includes healthy ingredients such as ground flax seed and whole wheat flour. It also has a minimal amount of oil and very little sugar. While the original recipe was pretty tasty I’ve been inspired lately by recipes that combine cranberries and pears. When I saw a recipe for Pear Cranberry Walnut Bread from Tracy at Shutterbean I just knew I had to make something like it. In the end I made a sort of hybrid version of the two recipes, and if I do say so myself- it was delicious!

Cranberries and pears hanging out together

The cranberries get chopped

The pears get grated- messy, messy

Combine the dry ingredients. Fresh Nutmeg rules!

Wet ingredients in another bowl. Don’t forget the pear.

Wet and dry ingredients combine

Fold in the cranberries

Into the mini loaf pans and pop in the oven

Good enough to eat!Cranberry-Pear Bread

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Peanut Butter Cranberry Dog Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Yup, you read it right… dog treats. What? You don’t think dogs deserve homemade treats too? Well my dog definitely does. In fact, I think he expects them. Oh, you’re making cookies…are they for me? (You have to read this sentence in a dopy dog voice) Many years ago I used to make my own dog treats all the time. I made this really complicated recipe that included things like bone meal, protein powder and all sorts of other hard to find and expensive ingredients. Then I discovered Buddy Biscuits bake at home dog treats and all that difficult ingredient collecting went out the window. Buddy Biscuits are kind of like Betty Crocker brownie mix for dogs- except they use really healthy ingredients- and the box comes with a dog bone shaped cookie cutter!

I got of out of the habit of making them though, and it’s probably been at least 3 years since I made any sort of homemade dog treat. Well, lucky for my dog about a month ago I stumbled upon this recipe for Cranberry Oat Dog Treats and decided that it was time to give them another try. Since I already had quite a few baking projects this week, and I’ve been a a roll with the human treats,  it seemed only fitting that I should expand my baking repertoire to include something special for my canine friends.

This is Phineas waiting patiently for his treat

And here he is eating his treat – he’s very gentle for such a big guy

I didn’t end up following the recipe that I had discovered exactly, in fact I didn’t really follow it at all. Instead I found another recipe from this website that was similar except that it included peanut butter. I ended up with a kind of combination of the two recipes using peanut butter and cranberries. I had my heart set on including the cranberries because I really liked the way they made the treats look. Also, dogs need antioxidants too- right?

I’ll be back in a few days
with more treats for
humans but until then
give your dog some
love and make it a
special homemade
holiday this year.

Oh, and one final note- a certain non-canine member of my household thought these looked good enough to eat. The verdict? Dry and bland…very dry and bland. For dogs only!


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Spinach, Pear & Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
This was supposed to be a post about stuffing. I had it all planned out. I would make a mouth watering Cornbread and Apple stuffing with Golden Raisins and the whole house would fill with the tantalizing smell of Thanksgiving. The preparations were made. A new sack of cornmeal was purchased and I found some lovely local Macintosh apples along with an extra-large bag of golden raisins at the health food store. I began to combine my scattered recipe notes into a single coherent recipe. I thought about the different photos that I could take for the recipe – yes, I really do plan this much for each post – I can’t help it… spontaneity is obviously not my thing.TAW02021
Sometimes though, all the planning in the world can fall apart in an instant. I was laying in bed browsing through the items in my Google Reader and I came across a post about Thanksgiving Salads from Instantly my interest was sparked. If there’s one downfall to the  traditional Thanksgiving meal it’s got to be the lack of green on the menu. Sure, we had dishes that we called salad on the Thanksgiving table when I was growing up. There was the molded Jell-O and canned fruit salad, the green bean salad with fried onions, and everyone’s favorite, the 24-hour salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon, and cheese – all smothered in a thick layer of mayo.TAW02085
This was a different idea though. An actual healthy green salad with a fall themed twist. A mix of greens, some seasonal fruit, a few nuts and creamy goat cheese. The final touch is a pomegranate infused vinaigrette that you will want to use on everything. Wow! I instantly knew that I had to make this salad. And just like that all my careful stuffing preparations were thrown out the window. Don’t get me wrong… I really like stuffing.  Believe me, I can’t wait until Thursday when I can fill myself with all that rich, bready goodness. But everyone makes stuffing for Thanksgiving, and many people have a special stuffing recipe that’s been in the family for years. You don’t need me to  bore you with yet another stuffing recipe. A Thanksgiving salad though. Now that’s a novel idea.TAW02048Of course, I ended up making a few adjustments to the original recipe. I used almonds instead of pistachios, sliced pears instead of cubed, and a mix of greens instead of just arugula and romaine. I also adjusted the vinaigrette recipe which called for pomegranate molasses. I couldn’t find this product anywhere locally (apparently it is sold at Middle Eastern stores) and when I looked up how to make it I discovered that you need 4 cups of pomegranate juice to make 1 cup of molasses (that’s one expensive molasses). Also, this is Thanksgiving and I bet you have better things to do then stand over the stove making an expensive molasses on the same day that you’re cooking a 15-pound bird, ten sides dishes and four desserts. So I substituted plain pomegranate juice and a bit of honey – perfect!TAW02036-1
Feel free to make changes of your own. Part of the beauty of this salad is how versatile it is. You could use walnuts instead of almonds, apples instead of pears, and any kind of greens your heart desires. You could toast the nuts, or sauté the pears with a little brown sugar and butter. The possibilities are endless.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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