Lemon Cranberry Muffins

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. It is simultaneously my favorite and most loathed holiday. I enjoy it because it is just about enjoying food with people you care most about; there isn’t the same depressing consumer-pressure of Christmas. My problem with the days is obviously the celebration of imperialism and American entitlement. Not cool. But, it has evolved and it has become a day to just be thankful and enjoy. I guess that is pretty nice.

I am thankful for a lot of things right now. I am thankful for the fact that my family has supported me in my decision to move across the country to go to culinary school after spending the last four years of my life thinking I wanted to do something with literature and going back and forth between professor, screenwriter, lawyer and librarian (even in my last semester). I am thankful that I have a boyfriend who loves me enough to move across the country with me because I could not have done this alone. I am thankful to be living in the most wonderful city I have ever been in. Seriously, if you haven’t been to Portland, it is amazing. It is beautiful, clean and friendly and it is so easy to live a sustainable lifestyle. I am very thankful for the small group of followers I have accumulated after just starting this blog about a month ago. I started this blog as a kind of portfolio and a reference for myself in the future, but it has been really fun getting actual feedback from other bloggers and fully immersing myself while being welcomed into the blogosphere.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was quite simple: mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts sauteed with tarragon and crispy bacon, broccoli baked in Matt’s cheddar sauce, and the turkey (of course) which was prepared by making a compound butter with some dried herbs and spices (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg) and spreading it underneath and on top of the skin, stuffing it with a carrot, an apple, a lemon and an onion and then roasting it on a low heat for about 5 hours (started at 225 degrees F. but we got impatient and it found its way up to 275 degrees F.).

Since my Thanksgiving was a small gathering this year – just Matt & I and our friend Sean – I couldn’t make all of the classic Thanksgiving sides. We decided that the three sides I discussed above would be more than enough and the ubiquitous cranberry sauce didn’t make the cut. However, I already had frozen cranberries in my freezer, so I thought I could incorporate them into a dessert (and that means no pumpkin pie for dessert; I don’t know if that was a bigger sin than not making cranberry sauce). I found these amazing looking muffins with a quick search and they are just perfect. The muffins are so sweet and tangy. They have no butter and the recipe calls for yogurt which I think results in a lighter but moister muffin with some chew.



Lemon Cranberry Muffins
from Food Republik’s Lemon Cranberry Muffins
yields 12 muffins
– 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free Greek yogurt)
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 3 eggs
– pinch salt
– zest of 1 lemon (the original recipe asked for 1 1/2 tbsp, but I just used the zest of one fairly small lemon)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil because it was all that I had)
– 2 cups cranberries (mine were frozen, but frozen cranberries are pretty interchangeable with fresh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine yogurt, sugar, eggs and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract and combine. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and use a fork to moisten the dry ingredients. Add oil and combine with the electric mixer until it is completely smooth. Fold cranberries into the mix. Scoop the batter into a muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until a fork can be removed cleanly.

I refrigerated the batter in the muffin tin for a few hours because there was a big turkey in my oven while I made the batter, but I wanted the muffins to be ready to bake once all of the other food was ready. They turned out perfect and baked for about 22 minutes.

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