Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cranberry Bran Muffins (using leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving)

A beautiful Thanksgiving was had by all, the table was set with glittery pumpkins and fall leaves the kids and I collected on our brisk afternoon walk. The Turkey was browned on the outside, moist on the inside. I made my first ever cranberry sauce from scratch. I seriously didn't realized how simple it was, and now that I know, there is no excuse for purchasing that canned gelatinous cranberry jelly stuff. Plus there's this really neat popping sound the cranberries make when the are simmering in the sugar and water, the kids got a kick out of listening to them pop. I made a big bowl of it and had lots leftover. After the big event I got to can I repurpose this cranberry goodness? I came up with the idea to add it to muffins, tweaking an existing recipe from for cranberry apple muffins.

For these muffins you'll need some All-Bran cereal
1 cup of leftover cranberry sauce
Mix All-Bran with the milk in a medium bowl, it will look like you are preparing breakfast for a giant, or my husband. Let it get good and soggy, just like you don't like your cereal to be in the morning. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix up your dry ingredients, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and spices. I used VE Poudre Douce ( one of my all time favorites) its a sweet and spicy blend that remind me of apple pie spice. I also used some VE Ground Cinnamon.

Mix your eggs into the soggy cereal, warning: this will look gross! Trust me that it all comes together beautifully.

Finally gently add your cereal sog to the dry ingredients, stir till just combined. Fold in your cranberries.

Portion out into lined muffin tins and bake till tops spring back when you touch them.
Enjoy with a cuppa tea or coffee for breakfast.


1 1/2 cups All-Bran Original* cereal
1 cup milk (1%)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp VE Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp each, VE Poudre Douce and salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cupcranberry sauce

1. In medium bowl, combine cereal and milk. Let stand for 2 minutes or until cereal softens.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, poudre douce and salt. Set aside.

3. Add eggs and oil to cereal mixture; beat well. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring only until just combined. Fold in cranberries. Portion batter evenly into 12 (2½”/6.5 cm) non-stick muffin pan cups, lightly coated with cooking spray or lined with paper cups.

4. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Easy Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan

Thanksgiving in Canada is this weekend and I simply love this holiday. There's this smell in the air that I wish I could capture in a bottle. Turkey and stuffing and pie oh my... This year I am hosting my first ever Thanksgiving dinner at our new house. We finally have room to invite everyone over! In planning the menu I am going to add a few traditional dishes that I remember eating as a kid. For instance, there's the always popular, ever elusive, always comforting, pea casserole made with mushroom soup that I loved as a kid, it wouldn't be thanksgiving without that darn casserole. I also would like to introduce new traditions to my stlll young family, so this year I will welcome a new dish to the table. The best thing is this side dish is simple to prepare and delicious. I believe even a brussel sprout naysayer will enjoy this.

Start with a bunch of fresh Brussel sprouts and trim off the brown ends and pull off any yellow or discoloured outer leaves. Cut in half length wise.

Next lay them cut side down with a little breathing room around the sprouts. If you don't give them space, crowded sprouts will get too steamy and turn to mush. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Roast in a 400 degrees F oven until tender, about 25 mins. Then liberally sprinkle on VE Smoky Bacon topper, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, VE Herb and Garlic Sea Salt and fresh VE Ground Pepper to your own taste. Then put back in the oven for another 10 mins.


Sprouts should be tender and golden brown. Finish off with some more fresh parmesan if you please. Serve immediately.

Happy Thanksgiving!