happy home time

Things get a little crazy when my sister is home for Christmas!

One must always bake something on Christmas Eve…normally we do cookies but today I feeling a nice seasonal loaf.

Cranberry pumpkin loaf with sunflower seeds.

Recipe from Joy of Baking – my go-to resource for baking ideas 🙂

1 cup (120 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 2/3 cups (215 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar (I used about 1/2 cup and it turned out fine)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Grease one 9 by 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

With a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and orange juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the bread for about 55 -65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before removing bread from pan.

Makes 1 loaf.

Simple soup for a girl with a cold:

Peppery broth with vegetable dumplings, baby spinach, and green peas. This was challenging to eat with chopsticks, but I prevailed!

More greens, in the form of an arugula, pear, and candied pecan salad with lemon-juice:

And a cheerful vegetable-egg bake with extra veggies on the side to complete the meal. This presentation is really weird, I realize now. A ramekin on top of a plate?

The presents wrapped and the cards made, all there is to do now is play some carols, listen to the CBC Radio 3 countdown, and warm up by the fireplace! My room is a fridge!

[I forgot to bring my camera home and obviously don’t have an iPhone, so I must make do with poor-qual cell photos! Beurk.]

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