Last weekend, mon amour and I went to Vermont to take in some fresh mountain air.
We arbitrarily picked a lodge - the Trapp Family Resort - which ended up being owned/operated and founded by the Austrian family that The Sound Of Music is based on!! The halls were lined with old tour posters from when the family used to travel the country singing, as well as movie posters from the Hollywood version of their lives, and thousands of slice-of-life pictures of the family doing chores, cooking, tending to animals, "syruping" (syruping may sound like something that was cool in high school, but it refers to retrieving maple syrup from trees...), all while wearing traditional Austrian garb. Who would have thought that there would be such Hollywood history high up in the mountains of VT?
Breakfast the first day in nearby Montpellier
Breakfast, Day II - sweet and savory croissants (mine was the sweet one!), local cider, coffee and beer! (Ok, that was for later, but it rounded out the meal, aesthetically.)
One last thing to do before we left: A two-horse open sleigh ride.
I've made these delicious cranberry muffins a couple times already this Fall/Winter (I made them as a hostess gift for the beautiful and stylish Pierce family Holiday Party), and I have a veritable stockpile of cranberries in the freezer that should get me through, oh, I don't know, the next three years?
Here's the recipe, adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe for a cranberry upside-down cake.
To prep the cranberries:
2 cups of fresh (or frozen at peak-freshness) cranberries
4 Tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 orange (optional, but delicious!)
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add cranberries, sugar and orange zest. Cover and cook on high until the cranberries pop - about 5-10 minutes - and remove from heat.
For the batter:
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 365.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter and mix until smooth. Mix in the cranberries - try to spoon in the cranberries with as little liquid as possible - you can use the liquid later to spoon over the muffins once they are done to keep them soft and sweet.
Bake in a muffin tray, lined with cupcake liners or parchment paper (for a more rustic, shabby-chic look) for 15-20 minutes - check with a toothpick and remove when the toothpick comes out clean.
Spoon the remaining liquid from the cranberries on top if desired - about a half a teaspoon of each should do. It will get absorbed right away.
Enjoy! I can't eat less than two at a sitting. FML.
It just seems healthier in parchment paper next to a grapefruit, n'est pas?