Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quilting and Baking - How Sweet!

Hi everyone:

I've been busy working on a retirement gift for one of my co-workers at the school, as well as completing samples for some upcoming pattern releases and have been feeling very productive. It really helps when you turn off Facebook and email for a few hours :) I'll post pictures of the gift once it's finished (still have to do the binding) and will, of course, be announcing the new patterns once they're available. 

I couldn't accomplish all this intense quilting without some sustenance. I always have my tea with me in the studio (usually I have to re-heat it several times) and I like to have some muffins or cookies with me when it's time for a break. One of my favourite muffin recipes and one that I've been whipping up lately is for Pumpkin Cranberry muffins. 
Pumpkin Cranberry muffins
I'd like to say that this is my own recipe, but that wouldn't be the truth. This recipe was given to me by one of my close friends, Cheryl, and it's wonderful - moist and flavourful and healthy as well. I usually make a double batch of these and freeze them so I can enjoy them for several weeks. They're perfect because my kids aren't keen on the cranberry thing - raisins, dates, anything dried up and shrivelly - so I have them all to myself. Occasionally I will throw in some butterscotch chips for some extra sweetness. 

I find that the best recipes are typically those that I get from my friends or family. You can't beat an old family favourite when it comes to cooking or baking. If you're like me you have recipes written down on recipe cards or pieces of paper and they're stuffed into a file folder or binder. I can spend quite a bit of time sorting through these when I want to make a recipe and think that it would be a good idea to create a cookbook with my family's favourite recipes in it. 

Currently Blurb is offering a 15% discount on creating your own cookbook. Using their free software and many templates, you can upload your own recipes and photos and create your own family cookbook with all your special recipes. 

In addition to creating your own book, you can also browse through Blurb's bookstore where you can find many cookbooks created by wonderful cooks just like you. 
Favorite Cookies by Susan M. Schroederfrom the Blurb bookstore
We've already made two books using Blurb and were very happy with the results. One book was a collection of my daughter's stories and poems and the other was a collection of family photos for the grandparents as a Christmas gift. I was impressed by the quality of the books and liked the fact that there were many options to choose from, allowing us to personalize our books. 

If you want to make a cookbook for yourself or for a gift, why not take a look at Blurb? At 15% off, it really is a sweet deal. 

Speaking of sweet, don't forget to throw in some butterscotch chips when you make your batch of Pumpkin Cranberry muffins. 


1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar (I usually use half white sugar and half brown sugar)
1/4 cup oat bran
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of cloves and nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, but real pumpkin)
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I usually use vanilla yogurt as this is what I have on hand)
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 - 1/2 cup butterscotch chips (optional, but yummy)


Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, yogurt and oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in cranberries and butterscotch chips, if adding. Bake in 400 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Try not to eat all at once!


Lee D said...

I am hoping there might be a muffin or two left tomorrow!!

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Remember how I said they freeze well? Just took some out for us for tomorrow :)