While Kindred is sitting on the back burner, and I’m resting from my labors, thought I’d post about one of my non-writing passions… baking! (Not interested? Skip to the end of this post for a worthwhile writing-related link.)

If I didn’t or couldn’t write, I’d either go back to being a wildlife artist, or I’d be a baker. Here are two of my current favorite recipes for sweet breads, Cranberry Bread (made for me last October by my dear pal, Doree, in Wisconsin), and Peachy Almond Muffins. I happened to have them available in my kitchen at the same time this week, so I got all Southern Living about it and took a group photo. I like to have photos accompanying my recipes anyway, so I know what I’m aiming for.

Fall is a great time for baking. Warms that kitchen right up. Enjoy!

As this treatise is calculated for the improvement of the rising generation of Females in America, the Lady of fashion and fortune will not be displeased, if many hints are suggested for the more general and universal knowledge of those females in this country, who by loss of their parents, or other unfortunate circumstances, are reduced to the necessity of going into families in the line of domestics, or taking refuge with their friends or relations, and doing those things which are really essential to the perfecting of them as good wives, and useful members of society.

~ Amelia Simmons, American Cookery, 1796

Cranberry Bread (left) and Peachy Almond Muffins.
Click on the photo for a larger image


Cranberry Bread

Grease and flour a 5X8 loaf pan.

Mix in bowl: 2 cups flour; 1 cup sugar; 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cut in: 1/4 cup butter

Add: 1 egg, beaten; 1 teaspoon grated orange peel; 3/4 cup orange juice

Fold in: 3 cups fresh cranberries

Bake at 350 degree oven, 60-70 minutes*

*If using a greased/floured tube cake pan (as shown in the photo), decrease the baking time to about 50 minutes

Peachy Almond Muffins

1 (16 oz.) can sliced peaches, drained
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Chop peaches, drain, and set aside. Combine flour, salt, soda, and sugar in a mixing bowl; make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add eggs and oil; stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Add peaches and remaining ingredients; stir until blended.

Spoon batter evenly into greased or paper-lined muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes for 6 jumbo muffins, 20-25 minutes for 12 regular-size muffins, or 18 minutes for 36 miniature muffins.


*Agent Chip MacGregor has an informative blog post from October 29th. He answers Ten Questions From Beginning Novelists. Check it out. And check out the comments if time permits. Some good discussion there, too.

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