Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf with Orange Drizzle

Pumpkin cranberry loaf with orange drizzle

Makes one large loaf:

2 oranges

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup chopped pecans, (optional)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your loaf pan.

Zest and juice one of the oranges, set aside the zest for a little later. Add the cranberries to the juice so they plump up. Sometimes I heat them in the microwave for a scant 30 seconds or so.

Cream together the sugar and shortening.

In a separate  bowl beat the eggs one at a time with the pumpkin until you have a smooth consistency. Add to this the vanilla and orange zest. Mix this into the creamed sugar and shortening.

Stir in the cranberries and the orange juice.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture. Do not over mix.

Finally, fold in the pecans.

Pour into a loaf pan. Bake for one hour.

When the loaf is cool make the icing.

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl, juice and zest the remaining orange, reserve the zest and add the juice slowly to the powdered sugar. Stir constantly, you may have to add a little more sugar or a splash of water to get a nice thick, but pour-able consistency.

Turn out the loaf and poke a few holes into the top of the loaf with a skewer, drizzle over the icing, sprinkle a little of the zest on top and let set.

Enjoy F.

A Casual Thanksgiving: Turkey Wings and Trimmings.

Casual Thanksgiving

I’m not a huge fan of turkey, but as I was browsing in the supermarket (yes browsing, I enjoy grocery stores) my eyes came across turkey wings. I saw the possibility of making a fun twist on Thanksgiving dinner.

So, what’s on the menu? Roasted turkey wings, vegetable slaw, sweet tattie wedges with cranberry ketchup and a cocktail, that Cobra Commander named The Pilgrim.

Everything is really quick to whip up and would be great to have the day after Turkey day.

Cranberry Ketchup

Makes about 22oz

12oz Fresh cranberries

1 Small white onion

1 Garlic clove

1 1/2 Light brown sugar

3/4 Tsp mustard powder

1/4 Tsp salt

1/4 Tsp pepper

1/8 Tsp ancho chili powder

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

3/4 Cup water

You’ll also need enough canning jars to hold 22-24oz.

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, onion, garlic and water. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil over high heat. Once merrily bubbling and boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the cranberries are soft.

Take off the heat and use an immersion blender or regular blender to blitz until smooth. You might need to add a dash more water, to get a smooth texture.

Return the sauce to the pan and add in the sugar and spice and vinegar. Bring to the boil again over high heat. Once boiling simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently.

Cranberry ketchup

While the ketchup is simmering prepare your jars, by soaking them in some hot water. I do this in the canning pot. It kills two birds with one stone, the jars are simmering and the water is on its way to boiling. Just dont’ let the water get to the boil.

Spoon the ketchup into the jars, It’ll be hot so take care. Leave about 1/2 inch clear at the top of each jar. Gently knock the jars on the counter to remover any air bubbles. You may need to add more ketchup. Wipe the rims and add the lids or bands, remember not to over tighten if using bands.

Put the jars in to boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Casual Thanksgiving

Vegetable Pecan Cranberry Slaw

This yields a lot, but it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. I also find that I enjoy it more if it’s made a day ahead of when it’s needed.

Vegetable slaw with cranberries and pecans

1 Small red onion

1 Broccoli crown

1/2 cauliflower head

1 1/2 cups of grated carrots

1 1/2 cups Sliced brussels sprouts

3/4 Cup pecan chips

1 5oz bag of dried cranberries

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp Dijon country mustard

1/4 Cup Apple cider vinegar

1/4 plus 2 Tbsp Cup Apple cider

Finely chop the onion, place this in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Set this aside and prepare the other vegetables.

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. Add to this the grated carrot, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, pecan chips and onion. Mix this thoroughly.

In a jug beat together the Greek yogurt, mustard, apple cider vinegar and apple cider. Pour this over the vegetables and toss.

Put this into an air tight container and into the fridge. I like to give it a good shake in the container every so often.

Taste test before serving and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Turkey Wings and Sweet Potato Wedges

Turkey wings

1 Turkey wings

1 Tbsp Unsalted butter

2 Tbsp dried Oregano

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 Tsp paprika



1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Tbsp honey

2 Small sweet potatoes

Pre heat the oven to 350°F.

Mix 1 Tbsp of oregano, the fennel and paprika together with the butter and rub over the wings. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.Place them in an oven proof dish and covered with foil, put in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour turn the oven up to 420°F.

While the oven is heating peel the sweet potatoes, cut in half and cut each half into thirds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle over the oil, season with the rest of the oregano, salt and pepper. Place on the upper rack of the oven.

Baste the turkey wings with half of the honey and the pan juices. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, Turn the turkey wings and baste with the rest of the honey and some more pan juices. Rotate the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes on it. Set timer for an additional 15 minutes.

Casual Thanksgiving

Remove from the oven and plate up.

The Pilgrim

All through the summer I have been making frozen cocktails. It’s a trend that has carried on into late Autumn. I make a batch and freeze.

1 1/2 Cups of Moscato

3/4 Cup of Wild Turkey honey bourbon

1/4 Raspberry or cranberry vodka

1/4 Apple liqueur

3/4 Cup Apple cider

1/4 Cup Sparkling blueberry pomegranate juice

Combine all the ingredients in a jug and distribute into freezer safe containers. Or you can keep the cocktail in a pitcher in the fridge.

If they are frozen, remove from the freeze 5 minutes before serving, I love it when they turn to slush, I use a spoon straw to ingest these.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Tiffin Truffles

As if there weren’t enough goodies to stuff your face with around Thanksgiving, these treats are great to give as a hostess gift or a little thank you to your guests.

Line a container with parchment paper. The size isn’t that important, it depends on the depth you want the tiffin to be. The container I used above measures…..

Measure out the cream

Pour the cream into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add in the broken chocolate.

For this I’ve chosen intense orange by Lindt. The chocolate is good quality, rich  and on the bitter side, it has slivers of almonds and shreds of orange peel. The I love contrasts of tang and bitter, the smooth chocolate and the crunch of the almonds.

Whisk the chocolate into the cream until it is a glorious glossy sea

Stack ’em high, a tower of ginger biscuits

Now bash ’em, bash ’em, bash ’em. Put them into a zip lock bag first and squeeze out the air before sealing it or else  you’ll be hoovering up biscuit crumbs.

Do the same with the pecans.

Little jewels of autumn

Stir the cranberries into the molten chocolate

And the pecans and finally the biscuits

Pour this delicious mixture into the container, bang it on the counter a couple of times so it removes any air bubbles and then leave it over night to set

The next day, turn it out onto a cutting board

Slice through it with a sharp knife

Slice in to squares

Dust lightly with cocoa powder

Place them onto a cooling rack and shake lightly to remove any excess cocoa

Cut some wax paper into strips

and then into squares big enough to wrap your tiffin in.

Place the chocolate in the middle and…

Fold the sides up, so they overlap

Twist the ends in opposite directions

Bite size treats

Put some in a little dish, a perfect way to say thank you

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple Syrup

The combination of honey and maple syrup may be enough to give some people a toothache, but the tart burst of cranberry cuts through it like a hot knife through butter. The pancake is the perfect  neutral base for this classic flavour combination.

For the syrup;

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup honey

Juice and zest from 1/2 an orange

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupZest your orange

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupSqueeze its juice

And warm them in a saucepan with the honey and maple syrup until you’re ready to serve

I use Aunt Jemima pancake mix, I like the fluffy cake texture. Feel free to make yours from scratch.

For the pancakes;

2 cups pancake mix

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg – optional

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupFollow in instructions on the back and add in your own spices, zests or flavourings

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupOnce all the lumps have been mixed out, stir in the cranberries

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupAll the cranberries need at least a thin coat of batter, otherwise they will burst and stick to the pan whilst cooking. I use spray oil to coat the pan and get it lovely and hot

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupI always cook my pancakes in my silver dollar pan, I think it’s because I love how they look stacked high on a plate.

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupThe best tool I found to turn the silver dollar pancakes is a skewer

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupI turn the heat down to ensure the pancakes are cooked through and the cranberries are warm

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupPour the syrup into a serving jug

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupStack your silver dollars and drizzle over the warm syrup

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupLetting it flow over the sides

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupOK who am I trying to kid, pour the syrup on

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupA silver dollar tower in a orange syrup lake

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple Syrup

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange Honey Maple SyrupLight and fluffy and cakey, the sweet syrup is soaked up and is the prefect compliment to the tart burst of the cranberries