Something Old, Something New

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what a gift it would be to meet the amazing and diverse people who are now my friends (including you.)

Every day I’m blessed with real-life stories that make me smile, cry, hope, cheer, and want to dispense hugs.

I also find myself drooling more than usual.  And laughing.  A lot.

This one's a tad out of focus, but I liked the angles. :)

Prior to joining the ranks, my perception of “cyber world” was that it was a cold, unfeeling place — a place where faceless human beings exchanged trivial bits of information.  (Some of it not so nice.)  Boy, was I wrong.

Where else could you post of picture of slightly blurry cranberry bread and know that it’s okay?  That no one expects perfection, just… me?

And every time I click on one of your posts, I find… you.

Reading your day-to-day ups and downs, joys and triumphs, kitchen foibles, family matters, or just plain zany/fun/thoughtful perspectives on life has enriched mine beyond measure.

Cold and unfeeling?  Nope.

Heartwarming?  Definitely.

Makes me want to bake something right now!

Here’s a quick-bread from my “archives” (and no, the recipe isn’t carved on a stone tablet) with a few variations thrown in over the years because, well… you know me. :)

Cranberry Orange Bread with Walnuts & Coriander

2 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. coriander

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Zest from 1/2 an orange

1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries (truthfully, I drained my leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving to use it up…but either way is good)

1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 c. orange juice

2 Tbsp. butter

1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (or two smaller pans.)

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  Add orange zest, cranberries and walnuts; stir to coat, then set aside.

Microwave the orange juice in a 2-cup glass measuring cup (you could probably use a smaller cup, but I tend to slosh) for about 45 seconds — do not boil.

Add butter and stir until melted; cool slightly.  Mix the egg into the orange juice/butter, then add all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until blended.  Spread batter into prepared pan(s.)

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (less time for smaller pans) on the center rack of your oven.  Test with a wooden pick to determine doneness.  If bottom of loaf appears to be browning too much, move your oven rack up.  (Works for me!)

Cool 10 minutes (in the pan) on a wire rack.  Remove from pan(s) to cool completely.  Wrap in plastic wrap and/or foil and store in a cool place.

I generally make this a day ahead so the moisture from the fruit softens the crust and makes slicing easier — but, it’s great “fresh out of the oven” too, if you don’t mind crumbly slices.

Oh, and the something new?

I finally overcame my skepticism towards the Internet and created a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/okielicious).

Friends are always welcome… there and here!

Enjoying the old with the new,

~ Kim