cranberry orange scones

Let’s see a show of hands: who here is having a craptastic week? (I’m operating under the assumption that anyone reads my blog.)

Sometimes getting out of bed is a challenge, when you know you’re facing a putrid garbage fart of a day.

Based on the weather alone, I’d say at least a few folks out there need a pick-me-up first thing.

Starting off the work day with a cocktail is generally not advisable, so I suggest, as an alternative, a freshly-baked scone.

The dough can be rolled, cut, and frozen in advance, then thawed and baked in about 20 minutes as needed.

These cranberry orange reasons-to-live are not too sweet, and not too tart.

They’re softer and fluffier than regular hard, dry, crumbly scones. Which is fine by me.

If you’re truly inconsolable, and even warm, buttery baked goods can’t salvage the day, perhaps Professor Meowington can bring you a little comfort:

Do you need a hug?

Recipe below the fold

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orange cranberry sauce

This week I’m posting Thanksgiving recipes, most of them on loan from my mom, who rules.

Along with my irrational childhood contempt for stuffing, I wasn’t really crazy about cranberry sauce as a kid, either. Granted, we used to eat the canned cranberry jelly thing, served in the shape of the can, but still.

As I recall, I didn’t really care for any Thanksgiving food, other than mashed potatoes and gravy.

My deep and passionate love of mashed potatoes has only grown over the years. But so has my appreciation, and yes, love for all the beautiful dishes served side by side with the gallant potatoes.

Mom and I have been tweaking our cranberry sauce recipe for the past few years, and we’ve finally settled on a winner. The recipe below is perfect – it’s just sweet enough and just tart enough. The port makes it rich, and the orange keeps it from being too rich.

Recipe below the fold

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Apple Cranberry Crostata with Mascarpone

Hey, y’know what’s great about the crostata recipe I posted last week? It makes two crusts!

Last month, the Fare for All groceries I share with Mom included three golden delicious apples. You can tell just from the name – golden delicious – that these apple suck. It’s like people who tell you that they’re funny. If you were actually funny, you wouldn’t need to tell me.

These apples are so happy to not be golden delicious.

The craptastic texture of golden delicious mushballs made them excellent candidates to fill that second crostata crust in my freezer.

This recipe is adapted only slightly from Yankee Magazine, and it’s ridiculously good. The mascarpone melts into the apple juices, and makes a tangy, gooey sauce. The sugar hardens on the crust, creating a satisfying crunch. And the tart cranberries and lemon juice keep it fresh and light.

Professor Meowington says: Don't forget the lemon juice!

The only thing I didn’t love about this crostata was the sugar cinnamon mixture. It didn’t completely incorporate into the apple and cranberry filling. Next time I’ll toss the apples in the sugar and spices, rather than sprinkling the mixture on top.

Recipe below the fold

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