Tag Archives: Ginger

Limitless

Pancakes were the winner for breakfast with the strawberry + ginger sauce.

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It was like eating dessert at 8am.

The rest of Saturday was pretty random.

A friend’s baby shower for twin boys took up most of the afternoon. It was  super cute and they had the best looking cake I’ve ever seen at a shower but I didn’t snap any pictures because I was about 1 of 2 people there not part of the family and it just felt weird. People probably would’ve been wondering who the strange girl with the camera was.

I’ve always been amazed at how much stuff one baby “needs” but now after seeing the amount of gifts for twins I’m in pure shock. All I could think about was this Netflix documentary I watched recently called “Babies”. It chronicles the lives of 4 babies born at the same time in different countries (2 of which were the United States and some country in Africa). The African baby literally has nothing. Barely any clothes. They showed the mother wiping it’s butt on her leg at one point. And yet, they were all happy. When you see the amount of stuff at a baby shower in juxtaposition to that, it’s just kind of shocking. Not that I’d want to live like African family but it’s just an interesting comparison. That’s all. I realize that’s probably an odd thought during a baby shower but somehow it popped into my head.

Ulysses got home early from work so we all hopped in the truck to go mow the lawn at our rental property. Well Ginger and I went for a walk, Ulysses mowed the lawn.IMG_0757

Ginger has a weird obsession with pick-up trucks. She hates jumping in any other kind of car but any truck Ulysses brings home she’s in within a second of the door opening.

This is our seating arrangement in the truck.

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I get bitch and Ginger gets the entire passenger seat. Seriously.

It’s actually because Ginger had gone to work with Ulysses a bunch of times before I ever needed to sit in the truck and by then the passenger side was covered in dog hair to the point that had I sat in it I would’ve emerged a weimaraner. So instead of putting a towel down, I just sit in the middle. Smile

After all the mowing was done, we decided to try out this cheap theater nearby that plays movies that are a few months older than the regular theater. It’s $3 a ticket so we figured if it was gross and disgusting we could always just leave.

First, dinner at Panera.

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I have to get their lobster sandwich at least once in the summer. It’s expensive for Panera, but pretty cheap in the world of lobster considering how much you get and it’s really good.

My smuggled-from-home movie snacks.

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Who brings fruit to the movies?

And then 2 hours with my man Bradley.

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Honestly, when Ulysses said he wanted to see Limitless, I had no idea what it was about but, the second he said “Bradley Cooper and DeNiro are in it” I had no more questions and it wasn’t because of DeNiro. His character makes him even hotter than usual in this movie. If you’re a Bradley fan I suggest checking this out. Winking smile 

The movie itself was actually pretty good too. It was one of those movies that have just enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes and interested but still understanding. Not one that’s so freakin confusing you have no idea what’s going on or what’s real or not (Inception anyone??). 

$6 movie total + 2 hours with Bradley = one good night!

We’re off to the lake for the first time this summer for some sun and jet-skiing. Can’t wait!

Favorite actor to stare at for 2 hours?

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Filed under Around the house

Strawberry ginger sauce

I feel bad for ginger.

No not this one,

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she’s got quite the life.

This one.

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It’s kinda ugly with it nubs and wrinkled skin and people tend to ignore it because they don’t know what to do with it or think it’s too strong.

I’m not afraid to use ginger and I actually like it a lot but, I have to have a reason for buying it. It’s not something that I just happen to have on hand at all times. So, when I walked past it in the store yesterday and looked down into my hand basket to see the 2 lbs. of strawberries I was purchasing, it was an instant light bulb moment. I think I may have even let out a little “oh!” as in “oh!, I can use it in a sauce”.

Best idea ever.

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Fresh, in season, sweet strawberries + spicy ginger is a match made in sauce heaven.

Oh, and this doesn’t hurt either.

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I have a liquor cabinet full of obscure liquors that I needed 1 oz. for at one point in time for some recipe, usually a holiday cookie or cake, and then never use again. Anytime I can use these orange liqueurs & apricot brandies I get super excited, maybe by the time I’m 50 they’ll be gone.

I added orange juice, the orange liquor and the chopped up strawberries to a sauce pan and let them come to a boil.

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Then I added some brown sugar, a cinnamon stick and minced ginger and let it boil away for about 30 minutes until it reduced and thickened. I stirred it frequently to kind of break down the strawberries even further.

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The end product was somewhere between a sauce & jam consistency. Barely sweet, slightly spicy. And, totally delicious.

Want to know what torture looks like?

A near empty container of vanilla ice cream when you thought it was at least half full.

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I was nice, we shared. But for the record, I didn’t want to.

Over ice cream, it’s like a sundae topping gone gourmet.

Do it.

And if you need a back-up plan, there’s always lemon rosemary olive oil cookies for dunking.

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I dare you to try and have just one.

I haven’t decided on breakfast yet but, I can assure you whatever it is, it will be topped with this.

 

Strawberry Ginger Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 lb. strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • splash of orange liquor (optional)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch nub of ginger, minced

Directions:

Combine chopped strawberries, orange juice and liquor in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add remaining ingredients and boil on medium for about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces. Serve warm and then keep refrigerated.

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Filed under Recipes

Mud, grass, sauce & sprinkles

How do you like that randomness for a title?

After leaving Ginger at home on Sunday for 9+ hours I felt like I owed her one. So after work I sucked it up and put her in my car for the 2 mile drive to the bike trail. I had done a quick 25 HIIT run on the treadmill earlier and wasn’t feeling much else besides a walk.

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Doesn’t she look thrilled? For 2 miles I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other keeping her wet little nose from touching my dash everywhere.

The damage:

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And I thought I lost a lot of hair! You can bet I wiped that off within 2 minutes of being home. I kind of have OCD tendencies with keeping my car clean. It probably stems back to my childhood and a father that wouldn’t let us eat in the car or get in with dirty feet. I blame you, dad.

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Ginger enjoyed the hour walk minus the bikers. She’s a little skittish around them. Not sure what a bike has ever done to her but she apparently found them scary enough to hide between my legs anytime one would pass. Wuss.

We stopped by the creek that runs under the bike path at one point to let her have a drink since it was kind of hot out and she was panting like crazy.

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And this is the payback I got.

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A bike went by on the bridge above us while she was drinking and rang it’s stupid little bell horn which freaked Ginger out and she jumped out of the creek, flinging mud all over me. So then I had a wet, muddy dog and muddy sneakers going into the car! We both got hosed down when we got home.

Oh, but the fun did not end there! Fast forward about an hour and I’m outside grilling dinner when Ulysses comes home and Ginger runs onto the deck to see him. That’s when he points this out.

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Can you see it? ASS GRASS!  And yes, I’m holding her tail up so I can get a better picture. Wouldn’t you? This has happened before so Ulysses knows full well I draw the line here. Ass grass removal is his job. I just take pictures and blog about it. That piece of grass ended up being a good 6 inches long (guess we don’t mow the grass often enough). Perfect dinner time entertainment.

Speaking of dinner, we had roasted vegetables and tofu on the grill with Mmmm Sauce. I’m starting to think I should rename the blog to “Running to Mama Pea’s Kitchen” considering how many recipes I make of hers. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it though, right? I actually saw Caitlin post about it yesterday and finally decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself instead of drooling over everyone else’s.

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There’s a reason it’s called “Mmmm Sauce”. It is tasty! So tasty that I was lamenting the fact I couldn’t get it all out of the blender without risking some digits.

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Does it drive anyone else crazy that you can’t get the stuff under the blade out?

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I pretty much slathered it on everything. This was the first time I grilled tofu and all I did was season it with olive oil, salt & pepper. I purposely kept it simple because I knew this sauce was going on top of everything anyway. It reminded me of a sauce you’d find in an Indian dish. Loved it. Glad there is at least a cup left in the fridge.

And since it was the first day of summer and all, this was necessary.

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And promptly devoured in about 3 minutes.

Happy Summer!

 

Sprinkles or Jimmies? Sprinkles!!!

Would you pull grass out of your dog’s butt? Heck no, that’s what husbands are for!

37 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Around town, Dinner

A fabulous Friday

It started with an amazing bowl of oatmeal on a sunny deck.

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An impromptu lunch time tanning session. These pale legs need some sun!

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A kicking lunch. First time I put avocado in a tuna salad. Best idea ever! The avocado makes it creamy. No need for mayo here. Pepper, tomatoes, avocado & a peach #projectvegup!!

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An after work 4 mile run. This was a tough run! I got to the parking lot of the trail, turned on my Garmin and it said “batteries low”. I took that as a sign to just ditch it and go with the flow. Definitely glad I did because this was a slow run with a couple of untimed walking breaks. I am so sore right now from the lunges in workout 1B of NWOLFW that my legs just did not want to go fast. The type A in me would’ve been staring at the Garmin the entire time getting pissed at myself for my average pace. Without it though, I was able to think about why it was such a hard run and realize it’s probably all my body can handle right now. I still ran 4 miles. 1.5 years ago I would’ve laughed at the thought of that. Smile

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An absolute gorgeous day.

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The new trail even has signs about the area. This makes me feel better about my taxes, at least I know all about the creek I’m running over for our $8K a year. photo 4

We actually had intentions to go hiking early in the evening but I got hit like a freight train with a wave of exhaustion around 6:30 and it just wasn’t happening. Almost gave up on dinner, but then got my second wind.<—No idea what was going on!

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Beer helps.

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Last 2 chicken sausages!

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Then things got wild.

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Sweats and flip flops. Living the dream.

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And even wilder.

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Since our Friday night was so riveting, I’ll leave you with a video of Ginger trying to channel her inner Mishka.

She needs some work.

Can your dog/cat/furball of any sort do any cool tricks?

6 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Running, Videos

Berry almond walnut protein cake bars

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Apparently the whole veggie craving was short lived. Not even a week after being back from vacation and I’m baking cake bars. Notice the first 2 words of these bars though. That’s my excuse.

In the spirit of amping up my protein intake a little as I embark on the NROLFW plan, I decided to bake. I wanted something snack like, high in protein and of course tasty. I remembered a recipe Mama Pea had done awhile back for high protein cherry berry cake and used that as inspiration but made quite a few modifications/additions based on what I had in the house and what I wanted in these. At approximately 10 grams of protein and 250 calories a bar, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

Best part about this recipe is that it took a total of 20 minutes of prep work before it went in the oven and that includes pictures. Normal people don’t take pictures of their food. Winking smile

The least stressful way to bake in my opinion is to get everything out before you start mixing and measuring things. Messy hands + cabinet handles = dirty kitchen. I didn’t always do this and would run back and forth between the fridge, pantry and spice cabinet like a lunatic.

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No rocket science going on in this recipe. Mix together all wet ingredients in one bowl, mix all dry in another, combine. If Ginger had opposable thumbs I’m pretty sure she could do it.

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Are you talking about me woman?

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Doesn’t that look appetizing? I promise it tastes good in the end.

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Here’s a do as I say, not as I do warning. If your frozen berries have a bunch of ice on them try and actually have the foresight to thaw them out unlike what I obviously did. I’m pretty sure this made the batter a little more watery than it should’ve been. My solution was walnuts. I needed more of something dry and since I had already put the flours away at this point I went for the nuts (TWSS).

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And into the oven it goes…

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Am I the only one that still flips the oven light on and stares at their baked goods as they bake? Please say no. When I see that baby rising, I get this feeling of pride that it actually worked! (again TWSS…couldn’t resist, sorry)

In seriousness though, the house will smell amazing while this bakes. The almond extract and almond butter in this recipe make for some delicious aromas. Almond extract is hands down my favorite. Vanilla pales in comparison to the flavor of almond. Don’t skip it if you have it.

About 30 minutes and a toothpick shellfish fork check later they’re done.

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I bought flat toothpicks by accident last time and they are completely useless. I’ve been using these guys for bake checks ever since. They work just fine!

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I hate that my kitchen doesn’t get good sunlight in the late afternoon/early evening. So yes, that is my dining room rug. I run around the house chasing natural, diffused sunlight. Our deck is actually the best place for photos because it’s almost never in the direct sun but is still bright enough for good pictures. The only problem is, the way our property is situated we have 5 neighbors. Yes, 5. I didn’t even know that was geometrically possible before we bought this house. Our lot is like the shape of Nebraska but turned on it’s side. I’ll wait until you have that visual…

That’s at least 5 sets of eyes on me taking pictures of my food. It’s awkward. I’ve already caught one of the kids staring through the fence of his pool at me while I snapped away at the coconut carrot salad. Right now I still only have a point and shoot. I’m eyeing up a DSLR so I can only imagine the awkwardness then when it’s REALLY obvious that yes, that is a camera in my hand and yes, that is food I’m photographing.

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Want to see the whole scene?

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Somebody’s no dummy. Sunshine and proximity to cake. She’s tempting me to leave the room with those eyes. “Go ahead, get another prop, see if those are still there when you come back”.

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Berry Almond Walnut Protein Cake Bars

Adapted from Mama Pea’s High Protein Very Berry Cherry Snack Cake

Makes 9 bars (depends how big or small you cut them Smile)

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup regular milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I can never find WW pastry and always use regular WW, if you have pastry go for it. It comes out fine with regular)
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (I used whey)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup frozen berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until mixed thoroughly. Combine next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Carefully fold in berries and walnuts. Grease a cake pan (I used 9X9) and pour batter in. Bake for about 30 minutes. let cool before cutting.

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Filed under Baking, Recipes

Things that made me happy this weekend

Lazy mornings that allow for breakfasts like this. Homemade blackberry waffles with yogurt and fruit on top.

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Hot summer spring days that make a root beer float an acceptable treat. Smile

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3 consecutive days of running. More to come on the book behind the Garmin tomorrow.

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A dog that always makes me laugh. Her water bowl was about 20 feet away. I guess the fountain was more intriguing.

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A man and his lawn mower. Seriously how can this not make you laugh? Headphones that look like he should be on the tarmac doing ground control at JFK, rain boots in case the floods come, and a big goofy grin. Besides golf and his dogs, tending to the lawn may be his favorite pastime.

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Icy cold drink on a hot day.

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First cherries of the season.

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Grilled corn on the cob.

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This guy preparing said corn.

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Grilled eats. Side note: these chicken sausages from Sam’s Club are amazing!

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Bright flowers. Sometimes I feel like an old lady by how happy I can be just sitting on the deck looking at potted flowers.

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A good book. Picked this up after one of Jenna’s book reviews and am loving it so far.

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Back to the grind…

What’s something that made you happy this weekend?

15 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Family, Meals

Cranberry orange walnut bread

While we’re off exploring the Emerald Isle, this girl will be heading to her favorite place on earth.

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My parent’s house.

3 other dogs, a fenced in 1 acre yard, extra treats, wet food added to her dry food, and a plethora of comfy dog beds to choose from. What’s not to love?

I don’t think my parents however are nearly as excited for Ginger’s arrival as she is. She can be a little special. At home she’s an angel. Sleeps all day, plays with us when prompted, and aside from her occasional moments of remembering she’s a bird dog and needing to “cover her scent” with any and all decaying matter outside, she’s really well-behaved. At my parents house though, I think she goes into total freak-out, over stimulated mode. If she could talk I’m pretty sure it would go something like this:

“Omg, omg, omg. Dogs. Other dogs. 3 of them! Must play. Now! Come on guys, let’s play. If I bite your neck and paw at you this means I’m PLAYING! Come on!!!”

She goes a little nuts. So for the first hour she’s usually quarantined outside to let some of this energy out. Then there’s the whole night-time issue of not sleeping. Again, at home she sleeps through the night no problem. 8 or 9 hours and wakes up when we do. At my parents house surrounded by 3 other dogs, it’s a different story. If they so much as stretch in the middle of the night she’s up, at their bed, and poised to play in about 1 second flat. As you can imagine that gets old real quick at 2am. And lastly, there’s the whole part about her needing to be let outside alone. Ginger tore one of her ACL’s when she was 1. We’re pretty sure she did it by chasing my parent’s greyhounds around the yard. Suffice it to say they’re a little faster than her. You know, with that whole racing thing and all. Since that lovely vet bill we don’t take our chances anymore. There will be 4 dogs in their house this next week and none of them can be let outside together. That turns “going outside” into almost a 45 minute ordeal.

So instead of dealing with the fact that my suitcase was still empty and nothing on my “to-do” list was crossed off, yesterday I decided to bake. A peace-offering of sorts. You can call it Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread, I will be calling it “Thank you for watching my insane dog and I hope you’ll do it again next time bread.”

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This came out so good. I wish you could all taste it through the screen kind of good. Just sweet enough from the turbinado sugar but also, a nice tartness from the cranberries. And the orange. Is there a better combination than cranberries and orange? Well pb and chocolate maybe, but for today I’m sticking with cranberries and orange. I’m actually quite proud of this because while I have no problem winging it in the world of cooking, baking has kind of always scared me. I’ve followed enough recipes to know the basic ratios though so I finally threw caution to the wind yesterday and just went for it. You should too. It’s delicious.

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Had to taste one slice. To make sure it was good enough for mom & dad of course. Winking smile

Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup AP unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar + 1 tbsp separated
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first set of ingredients in large bowl. Combine second set of ingredients in small bowl and mix to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until incorporated. Grease a loaf pan and pour mixture in. Sprinkle with about 1 tbsp of turbinado sugar on top if desired (highly recommended for a sweet crunch). Bake for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before taking out of pan.

See you from Ireland!

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Filed under Baking, Recipes