The Foodie

Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

OrangeCranberryWithWriting e1353119365692 Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

OrangeCranberryII1 e1353119565898 Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

OrangeCranberry e1353119616258 Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

OrangeCranberrySingle e1353119657841 Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

Oh, yeah.  They taste as good as they look!  I found this recipe for Orange Cranberry Muffins after googling “What to do with cranberries?”  I’ve never cooked or baked with them.  Ever.  But I got them in my weekly Bountiful Baskets order and didn’t want them to go to waste.  Thank you Google Search, and thank you Bakingdom.com!!!  Hubs is hard to please when it comes to food, and he LOVED them.

Just a suggestion… I doubled the glaze recipe after a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be enough. My gut was right.  If you don’t want to have to skimp on the glaze, make double.  And in an effort to try to be healthier, I used whole wheat flour, and, as always, organic, fair trade cane sugar, which always pleases with the chunky sugary crystals!

Feeling nostalgic, Sinead O’Connor’s “Am I Not Your Girl” album was the soundtrack to my baking : )

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The Pioneer Woman's French Toast
share save 256 24 Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins

The Pioneer Woman’s French Toast

pioneerwomanfrenchtoast The Pioneer Womans French Toast

I’ve been to her blog from time to time, but after recently finishing her book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels“, I’ve totally fallen in love with The Pioneer Woman!  And her French Toast.  Her book was the funnest diversion from real life I’ve had in a long time.  I found myself cracking a smile on nearly every page, and laughing out loud every few pages.  She is funny!  And I wouldn’t mind having a cowboy now, either.  Well, unless of course if I didn’t already have my hubby.

The French Toast:

“It was so good I forgot to thank you,” hubby said.

“This is damn good,” I said over and over in my own head as I ate every bite.

~ 4 whole egg yolks (yolks only. trust her on this.)
~ 2 Cups of half and half
~ 1 Tablespoon of sugar
~ 2 Tablespoons of vanilla (I like just 1 better)
~ Zest of 1 lemon (I didn’t use a whole lemon…)
~ Maple Syrup (May I *highly* recommend a berry syrup?  Hubby and I tried both, and both agreed our neighbor’s homemade boysenberry syrup was better than maple syrup for this recipe.)
~ Sifted powdered sugar

~Mix the egg yolks, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and put in a wide bowl or shallow pan to dip the bread in.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat (this requires patience, but resist the urge to cook on higher heat).  Slather in butter.  I mean slather.  Add your powdered sugar and syrup, and be amazed.  You might transcend into higher realms.~

I followed the Pioneer Woman’s French Toast recipe for the most part the first time I made it (What?  I can make it twice in three days.  pffft.), but I didn’t have any lemons, so I substituted all natural lemon extract for the lemon zest.  I also soaked the bread in the mixture for several minutes before putting in the pan.  It was real good.

This morning, I used half the vanilla called for, and I used lemon zest.  I also did not soak the bread before putting it in – just dipped it and moved it around for a sec and then put it in.  This morning’s breakfast was divine.  In making it again, I would be sure to use lemon zest (it made an amazingly decadent difference), half the vanilla again (the first time it was just slightly overpowering), and not soak the bread for any length of time.  Soaking it for too long made it take extra long to cook and left it a little bit soggier than I usually like.

Hubby likes his french toast soggy.  I like mine crunchy.  This was a perfect combo as it was soggy on the inside, and crunchy on the edges.  I used a sourdough french bread, which  I would definitely keep using ~ I think it was a perfect choice for this recipe.

The Pioneer Woman makes hers with a Berry Butter, so be sure to check out her original recipe on how to make the butter.  That was way too much energy for me, but may explain why I loved the berry syrup with it.

“‘Twas a lemony berry delight!”

If you make it, let me know what you think!

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Zesty Orange Cranberry Muffins
share save 256 24 The Pioneer Womans French Toast