Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fuarag - a new Hallowe'en tradition?

Fuarag - a Gaelic Hallowe'en dessert


A ring, a button, a coin and a thimble....

What do those four items have in common?

You need them to make Fuarag (pronounced FOO-uh-rack), a Gaelic Hallowe'en dessert.

If you'd like to try a simple, fun Hallowe'en tradition with your kids, check this post from last year.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Maggie's Lemon Loaf

Maggie's Lemon Loaf

Today's baking was good motivation...

... I cleaned six pantry shelves while it baked!  ; )

After making Cranberry Orange Loaf this week, I had a "What if... " moment and decided to try using lemon juice...  

Hmmmm.... not bad!

Lemon Loaf

1/4 cup softened margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
juice of two lemons plus water to make 3/4 cup liquid

Grate lemon rind and set aside.
In mixer, beat margarine, sugar and eggs.
Continue mixing as you slowly add liquid.

2 cups all purpose flour
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
grated rind of two lemons

Sprinkle dry ingredients evenly over liquid mixture.
Mix slowly until just blended.
Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Yes, this loaf has two eggs.  The Cranberry Orange Loaf has one.

Can be baked in two small (half size) loaf tins about 45 minutes.

OPTIONAL:  Make a lemon glaze and spoon over cake before removing from tin.

Lemon Glaze

1/4 cup sugar
juice of one lemon

Heat and stir until dissolved.

Friday, October 18, 2013

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan

Before I tuck it away, I just want to share a children's book I purchased recently in Ottawa.  I chose this book for one of my granddaughters.  She's expecting a little brother in December and this book, I'm sure, was written just for her!

You Were the First is a brand new (2013) picture book written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin.  Patricia MacLachlan has published many books over the years, including Sarah, Plain and Tall which won the Newbery Medal in 1986.

This heart-warming story reminds a firstborn of all the special "firsts" a family enjoys...

"You were...

... the first to smile.

... the first to lay your head on our shoulders to sleep.

... the first to bundle up in the red snowsuit and make snow angels.

... the first to teach us how to be parents."

What a lovely snuggle time a parent and child could enjoy as  they read this story and remember all their own "firsts"!!

Best of all, the book finishes with a gentle reassurance: 

"One day there may be a second - or a third - to sleep in the basket with the yellow ribbon wound round. But you will always be the first."

I can't wait to give this book to a very special "first" grandchild in my life!

Happy reading,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cranberry Orange Loaf

My goodness!  It's been ages!  Sit down and enjoy a slice of Cranberry Orange Loaf while we catch up.

Not only is this a tasty bit of sweetness, it's NOT made with milk, so a perfect solution if you're expecting a visitor who is lactose intolerant.

Credit for this recipe goes to Company's Coming cookbook author, Jean Pare, who published a great little book Muffins and More in 1983. You can tell my copy is well used!

I have simplified the directions (I'm a bit of a Lazy Daisy...) as I'm not into washing a lot of bowls after I bake.

Cranberry Orange Loaf
Muffins & More by Jean Pare

Cranberry Orange Loaf

1/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup liquid (juice of 1 orange plus water)

Grate rind of orange and reserve.
In mixer, thoroughly beat softened margarine, sugar and egg.
Slowly add and beat in juice/water mixture.

2 cups all purpose flour
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
grated orange rind

Evenly sprinkle dry ingredients into bowl.
Beat on low speed until just mixed.

1  1/2 cups whole cranberries

Fold in cranberries.
Bake in a greased loaf pan (350 degrees for 1 hour).


Normally, dry ingredients are mixed first in a separate bowl, however, if you evenly sprinkle each ingredient over the liquid ingredients, you can make the whole loaf in one bowl.

Also, Muffins and More suggests adding 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts with the cranberries.  

If you decide, like me, to bake your loaf in two smaller 1/2 size pans, allow about 45 - 47 minutes baking time.