I love this time of year, the crisp cool morning air, the leaves change colour, the approaching holidays. What’s not to like, well aside from a bitter Canadian winter? I’m not quite sure if it’s embedded in our human genetic makeup passed down from the caveman, but as soon as the temperature dips slightly I feel the need to eat everything around me as if preparing for a long hibernation.
Here’s where it gets tricky for me. It’s been about a year now that I have been watching my weight, and I’m proud to say I have lost a significant amount. Funny enough I started this endeavour during the fall of last year, Halloween was difficult and then came the holidays. I told myself that if I can make it past the holidays and not give into temptation then I can really do this. And I did. You may be asking me, “Anna, why have a blog about baking, or how can you even bake at all?” Well the answer is actually pretty simple, I do it to test myself and oh yeah I love baking & cooking.
Here’s another confession I’m going to share with you….but don’t hate me….I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I’d go for a bag of chips over a chocolate chip cookie any day….yet another confusing factoid. But like I said, I love baking, I love creating and I enjoy baking for others. I also find it very therapeutic, a soothing way to start a lazy Sunday morning and a relaxing way to distress after a long day at work. Yesterday was one of those days for me….a hectic day at the office.
When I came home I made dinner and had no intention of whipping out my whisk. Then staring me in the face was the fresh package of cranberries I bought over the weekend. While I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to collapse on my couch, I knew I couldn’t let the cranberries spend another lonely day on my counter. Also I had never baked using fresh cranberries before. So behold Lemon Cranberry Bread, sure by the time I was done in the kitchen it was 11:00PM but I slept like a baby when I went to bed. And if you’re wondering what I do with all the goodies I bake, I bring them into work and share with others naturally. But I will have a little taste here and there ….shh that’s my secret.
This recipe is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook published in 2000. The original recipe calls for walnuts or almonds which I substituted for cranberries. I also made a double batch, the recipe below is for a single loaf.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup cranberries tossed in 1 TBSP of sugar (to cut the bitterness a bit)
2TBSP lemon juice
1. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of 8x4x2-inch loaf pan; set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture; set aside.
3. In another medium bowl combine the egg, milk, oil, and 1TBSP lemon juice. Add the egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in the cranberries and lemon peel.
4. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 50 to 55 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile stir together 2 TBSP of lemon juice and 1 TBSP sugar. While bread is still warm in the pan, brush lemon-sugar mixture over the top of the loaf. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan; cool on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before serving (honestly who can really wait?).