Baking Therapy

Ever have one of “THOSE” days? Maybe you know the kind I mean.

You get up with a headache… keep forgetting to make yourself a cup of tea or take pain meds (coffee maybe for you strange people) because every time you think of it, something distracts you…like the washer refusing to spin for the 679th time in a week, one of the kittens you kindly let in from the cold last night has pooped all over the floor… twice, the spider your husband kindly killed for you this morning left parts of it’s guts on a book… that you just picked up.

Then you get a call from the garbage company. You are informed that they can no longer do household service for your garbage because your neighbor, from whom you have legal easement to get to your own property, has decided she is going to refuse to let the garbage truck go on the road to get to our property. This means that rain or shine, hot or cold, you will have to cart your garbage 1/4 mile to the road every Thursday night. When asked politely later in the day (honest… I was polite; it’s the only way I COULD be and not hate myself. I even brought her muffins) why she didn’t just talk to you first before calling the garbage company and complaining, you find out that she basically holds a grudge against you because you aren’t family. They were the ones you bought your home from a few months ago and she is resentful that they moved and that SHE didn’t get the house.

Then, to add a little insult to injury, you bite your tongue…drinking that tea you finally made. Which makes you spill it on your shirt and teaches your three year old a new swear word… which he uses when the mail lady is kindly bringing your mail to your front door.

THEN… what; you thought that was it?? Silly you. THEN…. when you check online to see when the package you were expecting from Foodbuzz that was supposed to get delivered today is on it’s way, only to have them tell you that they delivered it at 12:52 this afternoon. While you were here … with a perfect view of the front porch they ostensibly left it on.

So what’s left to do after a day like that?

Baking therapy.

The only thing other than valium and a few stiff drinks that is going to calm you down and give you a few moments of peace. Well, that and Vivaldi playing in the background.

So I baked. Just for you, dear reader. Ok, so it was for me, but it makes me feel better if I tell you that it was all for your pleasure. I made muffins. Two batches, because the first gotten eaten up by the kids and the neighbor you brought them to. They are quite yummy if I do say so myself. Though a little tip if somehow you were in my brain and were going to try something that I tried. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, drizzle said muffins with honey BEFORE baking. It makes them spread in a very unattractive way and they get glued to the pan. Yeah, even the baking was part of “the day”. Thank God I made some of them without putting the topping on before baking them. They may not look exciting but they also don’t look like spread out cookies.

These are Cranberry Orange Marmalade. Not cranberry/orange but made with cranberry sauce and orange marmalade as well as juice and zest. They have a depth of flavor that regulr cranberry orange ones don’t have thanks to the sauce and the jam. These would be a perfect extra bread for Thanksgiving or to give to neighbors you don’t really care for but want to keep decent relations with because you know it’s the right thing to do (even if she DID keep my plate) if you have someone who doesn’t like the normal yeast roll. Or just because they are fitting for the season and rather festive tasting. Yes, something can taste festive. Don’t judge me. Just go make muffins. And… she says while smiling like a Wal Mart Door Greeter … have a nice day.

Cranberry Orange Marmalade Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (home made or canned)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds for sprinkling on muffins
  • honey for drizzling (AFTER baking 😛 )
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 16 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and the orange zest.
  3. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ones in all at once. Stir with a fork just until combined. Don’t over beat.
  5. Fill muffin cup 3/4 full. Sprinkle with almonds
  6. Bake at 350 until tops are firm and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes depending on how temperamental your oven is.
  7. Let cool in pan for a minute then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
  8. When you put them on the rack, drizzle them with the honey.
  9. Eat. Enjoy. Give some to your neighbors
  10. Smile like the Wal Mart Greeter.


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20 thoughts on “Baking Therapy

  1. Perfect for Thanksgiving breakfast! I don’t get enough of the Thanksgiving food, especially cranberries. The orange marmalade sounds a wonderful addition.

  2. I’m so sorry your day was terrible – I can relate. (been sick for 1/5 weeks, headache, congestion, back ache, working all day on my PhD defense, convince myself to run to be good and promptly drop my iPod and crack it horribly, warranty doesn’t cover it, i need a ride to get it fixed, no one offers one, I discover i forgot to thaw chicken, and the list goes on).
    I hope the baking helped. *hugs* They do look wonderful, those muffins.

    • Kiri, that horrible human part of me is tickled you “get it” but the mature part of me wishes that you knew nothing about bad days lol. Go see a dr about the sickness, woman!

      As for the chicken, I have been meaning to make and post my version of fried chicken for like 5 days now and something always happens so I can identify 😛

  3. Oh no not the Walmart Greeter! Why do they all seem to be hard of hearing? Maybe you should bring them some of these tasty muffins, or maybe just send me some. I know, I know, make them myself.

    • Sandra, I would love to make you some muffins. But by the time I packaged (what was left of) them, mailed them (postage due) to you and you got them, they would be stale so yep… go get to making some muffins, woman! 😛

  4. The muffins are terrific and I’m SO sorry you had such a crazy day. I’m sorry that your neighbor is being unkind and holding a grudge…. I hope she likes the muffin and the plate! …and I think I’d train that adorable kitty to poop on someone elses porch!

  5. In reading this post, you have gone from irritable to smiling like the Wal Mart greeter-this is perfect testimony as to how wonderful these muffins are! They look delicious.
    Sorry your day was not the best, I guess we have those so we can appreciate the better days even more. Wishing you a better day!

  6. Hi! I just found your blog, and I said a swear word just reading the recipe! I love pretty much cranberry anything, and I’m glad that I found this post. Funny thing, I thought that I had a can of the whole berry, so went looking for recipes to use it (didn’t see this at that time or definitely would have done it), and finally settled on a cranberry coffee cake that included a box of spice cake mix and was *supposed* to use a can of whole berry cranberry sauce. Then I discovered that what I actually had in the pantry was jellied. I used it anyway. Pretty good, and the sauce didn’t completely de-jell, so there were tiny chunks in the cake. Absolutely going to print your recipe out and give it a go. Thanks!

    • Hey Erika! You’ll have to let me know how you like these. And I have an AWESOME recipe for Pumpkin Cranberry bread in here too you should check out. it’s one of my all time favorite quick breads and it uses the canned stuff too so it’s easy.

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