One last recipe before the year end. And here I sit in disbelief that I just typed “year end”. Truth be told, this is my least favorite time of year. The hype of Christmas has passed. The tree is still up but sits lonely and unlit in the corner. It’s trunk bare with opened gifts that have since found new homes. The sun shines brightly trying to uplift my disposition. But seems to do just the opposite as I wish for overcast mornings. For snow covered streets. For the quietness of winter. It’s not time for the bright and cheery. It’s not time to press restart again. Or is it?

Maybe I’m afraid of what’s to come. Or maybe I just want to hold on to the past. To what I know. And what I know is good. I liked this year. A lot. Last January, I didn’t know most of you. I think I had 6 faithful readers, all of which I knew. Myself—that shouldn’t even count. My husband. My mom—only after I’d call and ask her if she had read my lastest post, prompting her to do so. My dad—a fellow food lover. My mother-in-law—probably my biggest supporter. And Stacey—one of my best friends since 4th grade. In March, I finally divorced my social media hating ways and joined Twitter and Instagram where I flirted with the big awesome network of other Foodies—the people behind the blogs. People who I soon began calling my friends. People who inspire me daily. Who encourage me with their comments. Who make my love for food and sharing it all the more meaningful. People who make my recipes and email me with questions, comments, and pictures. Ya, I’m talking about you. You made my year. So much so I’m afraid to leave it behind.

I hope I’ve left you with something this year, if nothing else, a ton of my favorite recipes. Which leads me to the final recipe of 2011. Cranberry Orange Bread—highlighting winter’s favorite fruit. Pops of tartness. Hints of citrus. Tucked in the sweetness of a whole grain bread. This will make the final days of 2011 delicious. Happy New Year my friends!

PS—be sure to check out my guest post this week over at the Yellow Brick Home. Kim and Scott, the faces behind the blog, are super talented with a design sense that’ll leave you drooling.

Cranberry Orange Bread

Yield: one loaf

Ingredients

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 c. all-purpose unbleached flour, plus more for pan
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. orange oil or 1 tbsp. orange zest
1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 tbsp. turbinado, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour, or spray, a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, egg, milk, and orange oil. Add butter mixture to flour mixture, and stir until just combine. Gently fold in cranberries.
  4. Evenly pour batter into pan and sprinkle with turbinado. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover with foil after crust has browned.
  5. Allow bread to cool completely before serving. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

• Cut the amount of cranberries in half if you prefer a sweeter bread. I, however, loved the amount of tartness all the cranberries offered. It was just right for these taste buds!

http://www.thefauxmartha.com/2011/12/27/cranberry-orange-bread/
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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