Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice Muffins

With its nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture, wild rice is a welcome addition to autumn baking. It is not a true rice but rather the seed of an aquatic grass that still grows wild in the northern Great Lakes area of the United States. Dried cranberries are soft and chewy with a sweet tart flavor which makes them ideal for both eating out-of-hand and in baking. Cranberry harvest is in full swing this time of the year. 
Cook's notes: You can't get more Midwest than this recipe with cranberries and wild rice. I was drawn to this recipe with the combination of wild rice, orange zest and cranberries. The muffins are moist with the addition of buttermilk. 
A time saver is to make a large batch of wild rice in advance. Store extra wild rice in freezer for other baking needs.
The recipe makes 6 large muffins or 9  regular size muffins and comes from Midwest Living Comfort Food 2014. The muffins are a great stand alone coffee or tea treat but pair nicely with an egg and ham dish or a quiche.
Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice Muffins
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped tossed with 2 TB sugar or 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. orange zest 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cooked wild rice  
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly grease 6 large muffin tins or 9 regular size muffin tins, set aside.
  • In a small bowl add dried cranberries and pour 1 cup boiling water over them to plump up. Drain after 10 minutes and pat dry on a paper towel. If using fresh cranberries toss with 2 TB. sugar.
  • In a measuring cup, combine orange juice with buttermilk to make 1/2 cup. Whisk in eggs and butter. 
  • Add juice mixture to dry mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in wild rice and cranberries. 
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin wells. 
  • Mix a little cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over muffins.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes for large muffins and 15-18 minutes for regular sized muffins. 

Collectible postcards were the text messages of their day. From  1907 to 1925, America went wild for postcards. In 1908 alone, the U.S. Post office delivered 678 million of them-at a time when the population numbered just 89 million! It was just a penny to buy and a penny to send. At those prices, people treated them like little gifts, mounting them in albums. Collectors today continue to buy, swap and sell vintage postcards. Today prices can range from  $5.00 apiece for common cards in fair condition to $100.00 or more. 
Picture postcards today are primarily associated with travel, especially beautiful shots of tourist destinations.   
Enjoy some vintage cards from the past Octobers.

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