Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Good morning–  Just in case you have a bag of cranberries lingering in your freezer after the holidays here is jus one more cranberry recipe (the last, I promise!!).  I could eat this all year round with mugs of hot tea.

And thinking most of you don’t have those cranberries on hand, blueberries would work just as well!  Perfect coming out of the oven on a lazy Saturday morning…

CRANBERRY ORANGE BUTTERMILK BREAKFAST CAKE
1 orange
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup buttermilk*

Grate all the peel off of the orange.  Set aside.

Mix together the oil, 1 cup sugar, egg and vanilla.  Then stir in the flour baking powder and salt.  Fold in the cranberries and orange peel.  And finally stir in the 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ square** baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Delicious served warm with morning mugs of tea!

*In place of buttermilk, you can use 1 tab. of cider vinegar & then fill the measuring cup to 1/2 cup.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken like buttermilk.
**or –I used a 10″ tart dish

NY Times Buttermilk Pancakes

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Good morning!  We had a leftover partly used quart of buttermilk lurking in the back of the fridge when the family was in for Christmas.  Google brought up this recipe from the NY Times–and hooray– we used up that buttermilk!  And got a few stacks of really fluffy pancakes in the process. They were yummy- light and airy.  I think we’ll be seeing these pancakes around here a lot ahead…

NY TIMES BUTTERMILK PANCAKES
2 cups flour
2 tab. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2  1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
3 tab. melted butter (or canola oil)

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Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then whisk in the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.

Cook the pancakes over medium heat on a grill pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Use about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and cook 3 or 4 minutes on each side until they are nicely browned.

Keep warm in a 200 degree oven if you’re collecting pancakes to feed a crowd.  Enjoy!!

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Charlotte my pancake helper!

Best Biscuits

IMG_0298Hello biscuit buddies–  The biscuits Larry’s Arkansas grandmother used to make are legendary in his family.  I’ve tasted a few and can vouch for their perfect match of crispy edges and tender centers.  She had a drawer of flour in the kitchen and would pat a little well in the middle of the flour and add in her other ingredients, incorporating just enough flour to make them perfect.  Then she’d lift the dough out of the drawer and cut out her biscuits.  Beautiful.  I’ve made hundreds of biscuits in the last 40 years, but these are the closest I’ve come the Grandma’s biscuits.  So tender, hot and buttery.

BEST BISCUITS
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons  sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup buttermilk*

IMG_0276Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  The use a pastry blender or food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, just until the butter breaks up into pea size pieces.  The stir in the buttermilk.  Pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2″ thick.  Cut out the biscuits with a cookie cutter or like grandma with the open end of a drinking class dipped in flour.  Put them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake from on the top rack of your oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until they are prettily browned.

Makes about 10 puffy delicious biscuits.  Serve them hot from the oven with lemon curd, berry jam, honey, marmalade… There’s no end to the yummy stuff you can pile on top.

*Usually for baking I’m a cheapskate (I mean frugal) and just use regular milk with a plop of vinegar instead of buying a whole quart of buttermilk,  but these biscuits I splurged and brought home real buttermilk and it was worth it!