Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cranberry Orange Bliss: A Two-fer

I hope you all had a peaceful holiday full of family, friends, fun and food! There was a lot of cooking and preparing on my end, but once the festivities began, I was able to relax a bit. I hope the same was for you. We had family over (a total of 17) for Christmas Brunch over at my mom's house. It's the first time we've ever done brunch for this holiday and I have to say, it was a nice change to the usual turkey and ham- though I love that too.

Since I was so pressed for time this year, I wasn't able to make the dozens of cookies that I am known to make. I was a little bummed about it because I had such grand plans conjured up in my head, but all I was able to crank out of my kitchen for gifts was this bread. But it's a fabulous bread, so that's okay. This recipe comes straight from the Cranberry people themselves- Ocean Spray. That just goes to show that the recipes on the back of the bag deserve to be made- they're there for a reason. I tripled this recipe and made 2 loaves for my neighbors and I froze one to share with the family at Christmas brunch. This recipe also makes really great and addictive muffins. The fresh orange flavor really shines through and it's low in fat. Shhhh....I won't tell if you don't.

I bought this stoneware wreath mold from Williams-Sonoma last December at their after Christmas sale. I got it on clearance for about $9, but I never used it until this past Thanksgiving when I made the classic molded cranberry sauce from their website. It really was delicious, but my family kept calling it "fancy Jello", which irked me a bit 'cause it took a lot longer to make than Jello. I could have just made the boxed stuff for ease, but this was SO much better! Eh, I'll get over it :-) If you don't have a mold, you can just use a bowl or a small bundt pan, but do make it. Also excellent on leftover turkey sandwiches.

P.S. If you're interested, I did a guest post on Maranda's blog, Jolts & Jollies. If you haven't been over there before, you need to check her out, because she has a lot to offer! Go HERE.

Cranberry Orange Bread from Ocean Spray

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  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended.

Stir in cranberries and nuts, if using. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.

Makes 1 loaf (16 slices)

Molded Cranberry Orange Sauce from Williams-Sonoma

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  • 1 lb. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. cold water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Lightly coat the inside of a ceramic cranberry mold with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, salt and the 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the cranberries have burst, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the 2 Tbs. water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin softens and swells, 5 to 10 minutes.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the juices from the cranberries into the gelatin and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into the cranberry mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the cranberry mixture into the prepared mold and let cool to room temperature. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

To unmold, dip the mold into a large bowl of warm water so the water reaches almost to the rim of the mold. Remove from the water and run a small paring knife or spatula around the inside of the mold to loosen it. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the mold, invert the platter and mold together and shake gently. Then lift off the mold.

Serves 12 to 16.

NOTE: I pureed, then strained the cranberry mixture before adding it to the gelatin, for a smoother texture.

On a side note, this is my most favorite gift that I received this year from my hubby. Actually, it was my favorite gift from anyone. It's special to me, because he made them with his own two talented hands. They're made with black walnut, cherry and maple woods. Ahhh, LOVE.

Hope you have a safe weekend. Happy New Year!


Selba said...

I wish I could find fresh cranberry in Jakarta.

Happy New Year, Monica!

oneordinaryday said...

Both look wonderful. Cranberries just bring such a gorgeous color to anything they're added to. I'd like to give the mold a try - it's so pretty.

(Your gifts are beautiful, Monica! What a perfect gift for you!)

Sara said...

Mmmmmm, that bread looks delish! I love cranberry bread and it sounds even better with orange too. :)

Kristen said...

Both of those recipes look fantastic! Very pretty. And what cool cutting boards that your husband made! Wow!

Unknown said...

Those cutting boards are beautiful. This bread looks amazing too. I missed out on cranberry sauce for Christmas this year. I'll have to make up for it.

Katie said...

The cranberry bread looks delicious. I love seeing them dotted throughout. So festive and cherry.

Wow you had a lot of people over for Christmas, sounds like a fun day though and glad you got to enjoy it.

I'm impressed with Mr H's skills, so personal that they are hand made. I bet they would look great with some of your food shots too.

Keeley said...

Mmmm... cranberries! We're right near NJ, where many, many cranberries are grown.

I love that wreath mold! I should've stopped by Williams-Sonoma on Dec. 26th this year but we were preparing for a "blizzard".

Those cutting boards are really, really nice. They would be my favorite gift, too! Happy new year!

From the Kitchen said...

I never tire of cranberries in any form. I suppose if they were available year round they wouldn't be as special but I doubt it. I love your beautiful gelatin mold. Wow! Don't let the "Jello" people upset you! I'll bet they'll be asking for it again.

I think your husband needs to market those absolutely gorgeous cutting boards!! I'd love to find one (or more) under my tree for sure!

Happy New Year!


Unknown said...

Wow, great gift. Love that mold too, just wondeful

natalia said...

Ciao Monica ! Your desserts look wonderful but let me congratulate with you super crafty husband he is great !! Happy new year to you !!!

Foodiewife said...

What a great post! I'm totally making the bread. I'm also making the mold. Jello, ha! I know this took work and I'd love some for myself. Nice mold! As for Mr. H's gift to you-- I love it. It looks like you had a great holiday. And, um, you got an iPhone for Christmas? Brat! Nah, you're just blessed.

Debbie said...

Oh that cranberry bread looks delicious. Your gift from your hubby is lovely and so sweet! Have a wonderful New Year Monica!

OvenDelights said...

Yay! Glad this recipe is low fat! I ate like a pig this past weekend, literaly made myself sick! I even past up cheesecake at work yesterday, I need to make healthier choices. This looks like it would make great muffins, going to have to give them a try!

Diane Schmidt said...

both look so good. I love cranberries and am glad I have a couple bags in the fridge and a few in the freezer so I can enjoy them later too. I made cranberry almond scones and they were delicious, I see your cranberry almond cake on the side and oh that may just receive some of my coveted cranberries :) Cranberry orange are great flavors together, and I love how you mold looks so pretty!

Julie said...

That cranberry mold came out just beautiful! A work of art, I'd say :)

Souffle Bombay (Colleen) said...

Happy Holidays Monica! I have been MIA - crazy busy...anyway hold the phone...Mr H MADE those cutting boards???? OMGosh they are BEAUTIFUL! I purchased a mixed wood board a couple of years ago at a juried craft fair and love it! I think I know the next giveaway you need to do...LOL Excellent work Mr H!!

beauty be told said...

I hope you had a blessed Christmas.. looks like you did :) Your bread and mold looks amazing.. Happy New Year! xo

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I think that you are my fellow cranberry lover / soul sister! I love cranberry bread and will have to make this to compare with my age old family recipe. The photo of the cranberry mold is incredible; just a wow shot, Monica! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Roz

Avril said...

I am so sad!!! - I went to the grocery store last night to stock up on some FRESH cranberries and they were GONE! As in NO MORE cranberries. I seriously stomped my feet and pouted right there in front of the produce manger with such a reality. I am now on the search for FRESH cranberries through out my whole town. But on a happy note I just LOVE the mold you made the cranberry mold in and those GORGEOUS cutting boards Mr. H made for you...AMAZING!!!

Happy New Year Dearest Monica!
~avril :-)

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

Happy New Year! Those cutting boards are beautiful, good job hubby! Your cranberry mold is so pretty too. PS- thanks for the espresso chips! I have been horrible and forgetting your package by my front door e.v.e.r.y.d..a.y! I will make myself remember....belated Christmas :)

tamilyn said...

Your pictures are so delightful-I feel like I can taste those from MN!

And your gifts are gorgeous! He did awesome.

Did I tell you I got an anchor, some rope and boat fenders? Yeah, it was a theme year.....

Kate said...

Wow, those fresh cranberries look amazing! We don't have them here in Australia (only ocean spray's mushed up stuff) so they look so exotic.

Ok, so random question time - may I ask what kind of font that is (and where you got it) that you've used in your holiday header? It's the red one with the white dots inside the lettering. It's super cute and I need it now! Erm, not tat I have a blog yet but I'm working on it :0)

Susan at said...

Your bread looks so yummy and I especially love your sweet gift from your hubby. How cool that he made these!! What a great guy!

Enjoy.. and have a blessed 2011!


Monica H said...

Hi Kate- I was going to email but I didn't see any contact info on your profile, so...

I got the font from Picnik-

It's a free photo editing and all around fun site to make things with photos. That's also where I made the collage. The font is called "BUDMO JIGGLER" and can be made any color you want. It can also be reversed with white on the inside and colored dots.

Thanks for stopping by!


Kate said...

Brilliant, thanks so much. I would never have suspected it's name would be "BUDMO JIGGLER"! I'd been googling, 'bold font with dots' so I never would found it :)

I really enjoy your site, Monica. I hope to create something equally fabulous one of these days. I've just become a mum/housewife (houseperson?) after a billion years as a nanny so as soon as I get used to caring for a child 24 hours a day (!!!!) I'm going to sit down and... well, create!

Thanks again for the font info :)

Donna-FFW said...

I so agree with you on the back of the package theory. I have tried a few of those recipes and they are always so good. Someone should start a round up of those.

You look fabulous Monica and what a gift!

Printed out your bread recipe..

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Janet said...

Those cuttings boards are as beautiful as Sam's wife!

Elle said...

Monica, That mold is is the molded cranberry dish. Love the cranberry-orange combo in the bread. Happy New Year to YOU! XO Elle

mbc said...

That cranberry orange bread....I can almost taste it! I have a box of citrus that I bought from a fundraiser we're trying to consume before it goes bad. Maybe I'll make some of that beautiful bread of yours!!

Cheryl said...

The Cranberry Orange Bread was a sheer delight and oh so yummers! I added some chopped pecans. Just wonderful.

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