When fall arrives and the nights turn cold, I begin to think about cranberries. Think is probably not the operative word – more like dream and even obsess. I’ve always had a “thing” for cranberry muffins and when they include chocolate my food fantasies go into overdrive.
Sara has been blogging since 2007, and she has a huge recipe index filled with recipes I’d like to try. From breakfast muffins (Corn Muffins with Cheddar and Caramelized Onions – because we all know how much I love caramelized onions) to Spicy Quinoa Patties (a stop on my “trying-to-like-quinoa tour”) to salmon with red curry sauce and bok choy (using a quick-and-easy curry sauce that would go well with chicken too) to Meyer Lemon Coconut Cheesecake (yikes, just the name makes me smile in anticipation), Sara has delectable recipes for every taste, meal, and course.
But the nicest part of Sara’s blog is her recent post about how her great-grandmother gave her grandmother a set of menus with which to start off married life. Now Sara’s own mom has passed them down to her. Sara has reprinted the menus and, after re-creating one this summer, holds out the promise that we’ll see more of how she carries on this tradition into the fourth generation.
I made a few changes to the cranberry muffin recipe that she adapted from a version by Christina of Dessert for Two: using half canola oil (because I didn’t have “light” olive oil), increasing the amount of orange zest and cranberries, specifying dark chocolate (as Christina did), and adding a streusel topping. The streusel might seem a bit much, but as far as I’m concerned, if you can add streusel to a muffin or plain cake, most of the time you should. Life is short – top your muffins with streusel, take that extra sip of champagne, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Simple ingredients mean that you may find most of what you need in your pantry or refrigerator (except the cranberries, which you can find fresh by the middle of the fall, and frozen all-year round).
They come together with minimal mixing – no fancy whisk or even a hand mixer required.
This post is also part of #Choctoberfest, a week-long celebration of chocolate. Check out our giveaway and join in the fun by finding all kinds of wonderful chocolate recipes in the links at the end of this post and my upcoming posts the rest of this week. Check out our #Choctoberfest giveaway as well as other great chocolate recipes from the fantastic participating bloggers through the first link-up below.