Wow, it's December already? When did that happen? It feels like just yesterday I was turning my tassel to the left and having my last name pronounced incorrectly. I can't believe it's been 6 months. I thought time would pass by slowly without having any papers to write or tests to study for, but apparently that's not the case. Time will always fly (even faster than the supposed faster than the speed of light Verizon FIOS)
Signs of the holiday season are just about everywhere. Neighborhoods are being lit up with colorful, twinkling lights. Malls are packed to the gills. Christmas movies are playing back to back on what seems like every channel. And food bloggers will not stop talking about how excited they are for all the baking that is to come in the next few weeks.
I'm excited too. I may not be celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, but I think we all agree that the second best thing after baking is finding new recipes to bake. Okay, rewind. Can we just talk about how grammatically incorrect it is to say you are finding new recipes to bake? You can't actually bake a recipe. A recipe is a set of instructions. Unless you're mixing your set of instructions in with the batter, you aren't baking a recipe. You'd be amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people use that phrase. I, myself, being one of them, clearly.
Anyways, so back to finding new recipes...to try. While I won't be participating in any 12 days of cookies or anything of that sort, I will be frequently going online to gawk at all the delicious baked goods that my fellow food blogging friends will be posting, as well as bookmarking some of their recipes (so, impress me people! :-D). Now, this doesn't mean that baking is going to stop on my end. How could it? My family basically needs a steady flow of baked goods in the house to survive.
Enter pear cranberry bread. I've had a bag of dried cranberries lying around the house for 10 months now. The last, first, and only time I used them was for these oatmeal-cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. I know what you're thinking, and, no, they're not expired. But my mom was getting annoyed with seeing them around all the time, looking so useless, so she asked me to make something with them. That's really just her way to get me to bake something period, because her and my dad need something to take with their coffee.
For something with a boring name like bread, this loaf of fruity goodness didn't have anything dull about it. It was super moist and bursting with flavor. I couldn't really taste the pears, but every now and then, my teeth would sink into a cranberry and it would explode with it's tartness, perfectly complementing the sweetness of the bread.
Outta the way banana bread, there's a new boss in town.
Pear Cranberry Breadadapted from ShutterbeanIngredients:1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour3/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 large egg1/2 cup vegetable oilpinch of vanilla powder1 teaspoon grated lemon zest1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1 1/2 cups grated, peeled ripe pears, with juice (about 2 pears)3/4 cup dried cranberries (soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour)Directions:Preheat oven to 350F.Grease a 12x3 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together egg, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and grated pears. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and fold ingredients together; just before they're fully combined, add the cranberries and gently fold until all the dry ingredients are moistened.Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on a rack.