Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The perfect taste combination for this season—Cranberry-Pecan Corn Muffins

I thought they looked so cute and Thanksgiving-y, I just had to whip up a batch. A combination of cranberries, pecans, and cornbread—who could beat that when looking for a little bite of Thanksgiving in one mini-muffin?
  1. My recipe for Cranberry-Pecan Corn Muffins found in my Taste of Home book of Thanksgiving recipe cards actually called for making these in a regular-sized muffin tin, but I always like to have something mini among my Thanksgiving bread offerings, so I adjusted the cooking time accordingly. I followed the regular recipe, but my mini-version of the muffins tested done at about 12 minutes instead of the recommended 18-20 minutes for the regular size.
A wonderful tip accompanied this recipe, which calls for 1/4 cup honey. It suggests that when honey is needed to be measured for baking, first to oil the measuring cup, which then causes the measured honey to slide out easily without the gooey scraping that sometimes accompanies the process. This worked well for me. I was happy not to have to clean up the messy cup.

The recipe also states that Cranberry-Pecan Corn Muffins have the perfect taste combination for this time of year. I totally agree. Little bits of cranberry and tiny pecan morsels peek through the crown of the golden muffins. I can’t wait to serve these on the big holiday–now just a week and a day away!

Cranberry-Pecan Corn Muffins

1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) fat-free plain yogurt
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl combine the yogurt, egg, oil, and honey. Stir moist ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center emerges clean. Cool for 5 minutes before you remove muffins from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes about 1 dozen. (If trying the mini-muffin route, the recipe makes about 32 mini-muffins.)

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