Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays

Wow!  Here it is—almost the end of 2014.  The year has gone by so fast.  So fast that I have not kept up   my blog.

Fall in Fair Play has been spectacular.   The colors in the orchards and vineyards have been absolutely brilliant.  The last storm blew off most of the leaves, but the yellows and oranges linger.  

At Lucinda’s we had a wonderful summer and fall.  We have had many “first timers” with us and hope they will return to join our Friends of Lucinda’s.  

The recipe I have chosen uses fresh cranberries so is appropriate for this time of year.  It is from the November 2011 issue of Bon Appetit.  It is excellent plain, with the lemon glaze, or with the accompanying citrus-cranberry compote,  or both.

Cranberry Spice Cake
1-1/2 C. flour                                                                             ¾ tsp. Cinnamon
¾ tsp. kosher salt                                                                       ¾ tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. baking powder                                                                  ½ tsp. baking soda
3 C. (8 oz.) fresh cranberries                                                       2/3 C. sugar
2/3 C. (packed) dark brown sugar                                              ½ C. vegetable oil
2 large eggs                                                                                ½ C. sour cream
1 T. grated orange zest                                                                2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla                                                                                ½ C. apple cider

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat bottom and sides of 8” square cake pan with nonstick spray.  Line bottom with parchment paper, coating paper with spray.  Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.  Pulse cranberries in food processor til finely chopped  but not pureed; set aside.  Stir sugar, brown sugar and oil in another medium bowl to blend.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring to blend between additions.  Whisk in sour cream, orange and lemon zest, and vanilla.  Whisk in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the cider in 2 additions and whisking to blend.  Fold in chopped cranberries.  Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.  Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of cake domes out almost clean – 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes.  Transfer pan to wire rack; let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Run a thin knife around inside of pan to release cake, turn out cake onto rack.  Peel off parchment paper, then flip cake and let cool for 20 minutes.  (You can let the cake set overnight if  you are not using the lemon glaze).

Lemon Glaze:

1 C.  powdered sugar                                                                     2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 T. strained lemon juice                                                                 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Whisk powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl.  Spread glaze over warm cake, allowing it to drip down sides.  Let stand til glaze becomes crackly, about 1 hour.  Cake with glaze can be made 2 days ahead; store airtight at room temp.

Citrus Cranberry Compote

1 orange                                                                                   2 C. (8 oz) fresh cranberries
1 C. maple syrup                                                                      ¼ C. orange juice
½ tsp. vanilla

Grate zest from orange and set aside.  Cut off peel and pith from orange.  Working over a small bowl cut between membranes to release segments into bowl.  Combine zest, cranberries, syrup, juice, and vanilla in medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened, 5-10 minutes.  Chill until cold.  Gently stir orange segments into compote.  Can be made 3 days ahead.  Cover and chill.  Return to room temp before serving.

Enjoy.  Happy Holidays.  I’ll be back next year.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer in Full Swing

Summer is in full swing in Fair Play.  Wineries have scheduled regular events through the summer, ranging from music to barbeques to concert events.  To  mention just a couple of things going on:  Always fun are the every-other-week jazz sessions at Mastroserio Winery.  Ruggero and his group play great music.  You bring a picnic and enjoy the late afternoon-early evening ambiance.  Saluti Cellars Winery hosts Smokin' Saturdays each Saturday evening, with music and food for purchase.  And, the ever-popular SlugFest is scheduled for August 2 & 3. Bring your own glass, park at dkcellars and ride the Short Bus Shuttle between dkcellars, Colibri Ridge Winery and Oakstone to taste great wine. There is no charge for this event and it is great fun.  So, come out to Fair Play and enjoy these fun happenings.  Stay at Lucinda's (book it now) and enjoy a great weekend.

I am always looking for new recipes to add to our repertoire at Lucinda's.  Recently I tried a great gluten-free muffin recipe.   I found it in a cookbook that I use all the time -- "The Big Book of Baking" by Carla Bardi.  The book title for the recipe is "Gluten-free muffins"; not very enticing.  I have changed the name to "Banana Apricot Muffins".  This is a delicious muffin for everyone.  I hope you like it.

Banana Apricot Muffins

1-1/3 C. brown rice flour
1 C. rice bran (I could not find rice bran so used oat bran)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 C. brown sugar
4 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 C. mashed ripe bananas
3/4 C. milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 C. finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 C. raisins

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a 12 space muffin pan with muffin cup liners.  (I always use muffin cup liners with gluten-free muffin recipes.  Spraying the pan does not prevent sticking.)  Stir together flour, bran, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.  Beat the egg, brown sugar and oil in a bowl.  Mash the bananas and combine with the milk, apricots and raisins and add to the egg mixture. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving. 

Til next time...


Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Blog, New Website, New Effort

I've had a make shift blog on our old website. Now, with the new website I'm starting fresh with a new blog. 

This short piece I'm writing is just to make certain I'm catching up with the 21st Century. I think I know what I'm supposed to be doing and how the blog works with the new improved, beautiful website Daryl & I have struggled to get to Acorn-IS, our web designers.  (Thanks Brandi, our Acorn assistant.)

In the near future I"ll be writing about stuff that matters to me & you. After all, I do want you to read this blog, that's why I write the darn thing. Daryl has been pestering me to write timely posts for my old blog and that didn't happen. I promise to you and him, I will post more often then I have in the past.