I have often remarked that my favourite part of the holidays is the part after the holidays.
Do not mistake me. I looooooooove Christmas. Looooooooooooooooooooooove.
But in my adulthood, I have come to appreciate the days after – after the wrapping paper is cleared away, after the tree has been taken down, after the chocolate is all gone. (Thank goodness it’s finally all gone. We will not discuss where it went. Shhhh.)
And while we have passed the mid-point of January, for me, there is still a lingering glow from the holidays that I am enjoying.
The weekends are still relatively quiet and slow. The evenings are, for the most part, still spent curled up on the couch slumbering or quietly enjoying a book.
To me, this is winter’s quiet time (crazy weather aside …).
In the lingering glow from the holidays, I am seeing red. And by that I mean I am enjoying a snuggly red blanket, a dramatic red lipstick (I had a bold moment) and cranberries.
Truth: I went a little overboard at the grocery store over the holidays and bought enough cranberries to keep everyone in cranberry sauce for the next ten Thanksgivings. Maybe even fifteen.
The cranberry extravaganza led me to a book that I bought last year, but had yet to delve into: Nick Malgieri’s Bread: Over 60 Breads, Rolls and Cakes plus Delicious Recipes Using Them.
I own a good number of Nick Malgieri‘s books and I treasure them. What I particularly love about Nick’s style is that while he is awesomely talented and experienced as a baker, his recipes are not daunting, even the complex ones. He understands that home bakers, while they may not be classically trained, are eager, dedicated, passionate and accomplished.
There is a delicious recipe in his book for a Cranberry Pecan Coffeecake. I think we have all become used to coffee cakes that rely on baking powder for leavening but this recipe uses yeast.
What I also enjoyed about this recipe is that it calls for both fresh cranberries and dried cranberries (cause did I mention I also overdid it on the purchasing of dried cranberries too? Yep.).
Polar vortexes, snow, blustery weather, ice storms – whatever. I am enjoying these quiet days of baking. I may start having nightmares abour cranberries, though. Just sayin’.