Are you a fan of cooking with cranberries? I wasn’t, until the last few years. Oh, I’d make cranberry sauce for the family with Thanksgiving and Christmas’s turkey dinner because they thought it should be on the table, but then I’d usually scrape most of in the trash.
We know that cranberries are superfoods, right? And that means they are super-good for us. I tried to like them. I did. But I never quite succeeded until after my heart attack three years ago when I made a lot of decisions about my health. If you’ve read my novels, you know me as a local foodist, someone who cooks from her garden, bakes bread from scratch, and incorporates lots of veggies. All true. But since cranberries aren’t locally grown (to me), it was easy to ignore them!
My hubby, by the way, likes cranberries just fine in baked goods. He’ll eat them any which way I fix them, which is more ways in recent years, but he still loves a cranberry muffin the way I occasionally made them in the past.
Recipe: Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
• 1 cup pumpkin puree (straight pumpkin, not pie filling)
• 2/3 cup melted butter
• 1 large egg
• 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
Mix everything (above) together except the cranberries. It will be quite thick. When everything is well-mixed, add the cranberries and stir them in. Grease muffin tins or set liners in them. Dollop the batter into the 12 cavities.
Mix the topping (below) and sprinkle it evenly on top of the muffins.
• 2 teaspoons melted butter
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350º or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Why are we talking about cranberries today? When I was thinking about titles and topics for my Urban Farm Fresh Romance Christmas release, I decided these little nuggets should have a starring role since they definitely feature prominently in this season. The title Cadence of Cranberries was born, and with it, the heroine’s upbringing on a cranberry farm along the Washington coast. My husband and I drove through that area once in midsummer and found it fascinating!
Which led me to exploring and gathering cranberry recipes. For Winnie, you know. However, I don’t consume sugar anymore, along with other things, so those muffins above? I made for my hubby.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy plenty of sweets on my new way-of-eating, Trim Healthy Mama. I definitely do! I use monkfruit/erythritol sweetener blend (such as Lakanto) and a baking blend which is not a one-to-one with flour in recipes. Which means the “old” recipes are not easily converted into “new” recipes!
In case you’re curious about those recipes, here are two I particularly love and that my non-THM family cheerfully eat as well:
• Guilt Gone Cranberry Pie (which I make every couple of weeks this time of year)
• Cranberry Wassail (delicious hot or cold)
In Cadence of Cranberries, Winnie Santoro’s specialty is biscotti because, hello, she married into an Italian family, and doesn’t that demand biscotti? This is the recipe on which I based Winnie’s Cranberry Almond Biscotti, but she has a secret ingredient. Watch for it when you read Cadence of Cranberries!
About Cadence of Cranberries
Their kids are in love. Will they become in-laws… or more?
Winnie Santoro misses moments with her late husband, especially now that her older kids are dating. When her son asks her to invite his girlfriend’s dad for Thanksgiving dinner, she agrees, but is surprised to find the kind, handsome owner of her favorite coffee truck on her doorstep.
Charlie Jalonen retired early and bought a coffee roastery in Spokane. His marriage has been over for years, and he’s finally finding a place in his daughter’s life. But when her boyfriend proposes at a joint family Thanksgiving dinner, Charlie is thrust into a flurry of wedding bells, flowers, and music alongside a charming widow with vastly different ideas.
As Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas, Winnie and Charlie find they have more in common than their engaged kids. Could the cadence of cranberries be crooning a love song for them, too?
Cadence of Cranberries releases on December 8, 2020, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Interested in reading an Advanced Reader Copy of Cadence of Cranberries? I’m offering two readers an ARC copy (e-book only, worldwide). If you’d like to put your name in the hat, please comment before Tuesday, November 17. Winner will be announced in the next Sunday Edition, and the ARCs will be sent as soon as they are finalized later in November.
“Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.”
So, tell me: Do you enjoy cooking or baking with cranberries? Tell me your favorite recipe. If you’ve got a link, please pop it in comments! (Our spam filter will probably prevent you from adding more than one link, for the record…)
PSST! Just a quick heads-up. There’s a big collection of 99¢ and free Christian contemporary romance titles over on my website this weekend. The deals end late Monday, so pop on over. I’m sure you’ll find some new stories to read as we celebrate being Thankful for Romance!