Easy Cranberry Cake Pie

cranberry cake


If you have a stash of fresh (or frozen) cranberries, here’s what you do. Pour a couple of cups of cranberries into the bottom of a buttered pie tin (or 9-inch round cake pan), sprinkle with sugar, add walnuts if you like and whip up a buttery cake batter to pour on top. Bake. Cool. Share.

I can’t take credit for this recipe. It’s got history. And it’s everywhere. I made so many for Christmas gifts one year that I memorized the recipe. It’s that easy.

There’s a version called Nantucket Cranberry Pie in an old cookbook called “More Home Cooking” by the late Laurie Colwin (many credit her for the recipe). The King Arthur Flour site calls it Nantucket Cranberry Cake. Ina Garten does a variation with apples and brown sugar and sour cream and calls it Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake.

Next time I might add a little orange peel and cinnamon to the batter. I might even add a simple icing drizzle on top. (You know: confectioners sugar plus milk).

For Christmas gifts I bake them in foil pie plates and add a note that says they freeze easily (in case the recipient wants to save them for New Year’s eve!)

They’re great served at brunch. Or as dessert with a bourbon-laced whipped cream. Or whenever the spirit moves you.

Easy Cranberry Cake Pie

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Put 2 cups cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts in a buttered 10-inch pie plate. Top with 1/2 cup sugar.
2. Combine 2 eggs; 3/4 cup butter, melted; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup flour1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread evenly over cranberry mixture. Bake  for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

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Dad’s New Potato Hash (sort of)

While he was cooking, my father was an intense maestro, focusing on getting dinner on the table every night after work. “Outta MY kitchen,” he’d say, waving a spatula or a ladle or a chef’s knife at those who dared to offer help or peer over his shoulder as he was peeling and chopping and sautéing.

A heavenly dish for Dad.

The kitchen was his domain. Our garden was his market. The milkman (yup, I’m THAT old) supplied milk, butter, cottage cheese and the meat locker supplied a side o’ beef for the double-wide chest freezer in the garage. We kids acted as his crew when it came to planting and harvesting and cleaning and preserving the strawberries, raspberries, peas, sweet peppers, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, corn and potatoes.

But help in the kitchen fixing meals? Nope. Dad would have none of it. Well, except for the salad that the kids took turns making every night. For the most part, Dad brought home the bacon and cooked it up every afternoon after work. (Mom was the baker in the family.)

And Dad loved cooking. A couple of times a week he would say, “This meal is better than you could get in any restaurant.” Leftovers? “These would be good for breakfast with an egg cracked over it.” Or, “I can turn this into hash tomorrow morning.”

And so, in honor of my dad for Father’s Day, I created a nouveau hash this morning. I used baby new potatoes, something that would appall my dad. He always told us to leave the baby potatoes on the ground when we stooped to pluck them from the ground. “Throw those things away. They’re too small,” he’d say.

What were you thinking, Dad?

New Potato Hash with Mushrooms and an Egg on Top

No recipe here. It’s a make-it-up-as-you-go kinda dish.

1. Cook baby potatoes until just tender. (I simmered them in salted water, altho I sometimes roast or even microwave ’em.) In the meantime, sautee thinly sliced leeks and garlic scapes in olive oil. (or use chopped onion and a clove of chopped garlic. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms and baby ‘bellas. Cook and stir until mushrooms are tender.

2. Drain potatoes, cut the bigger babies in half. Toss ’em in the skillet with the mushroom concoction. Add a tablespoon or two of butter or additional olive oil, if needed. Sprinkle with a good seasoning. Maybe salt and pepper. I use Gray Sea Salt w/ Five Pepper Blend from ile de Re France. Add some chopped fresh rosemary (or whatever herb you have handy). Toss and stir for about 5 minutes to combine flavors.

3. Cook an over-easy egg (or two or three depending on who’s invited for breakfast). Put potato hash on plate(s). Top with the cooked egg(s). Add fork(s).



2 Responses to “Dad’s New Potato Hash (sort of)”

  1. Cathy says:

    Nice job, Jeanne!

  2. Jeanne says:

    Thanks Tony! Eating good food is a legacy I am doing my best to uphold, which is why I’m sweating with Jillian Michaels whenever I can!

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Oh, Dr. Oz

I like to take Dr. Oz with a grain of, um, quinoa. But I have to admit, he sucks me in.

Grabbed O magazine last nite at the grocery store because the cover touted Dr. Oz’s 2-Day Wonder Cleanse. I figured I’d need a “cleanse” this weekend…after I ate the warm apple crisp I’d just made (topped with ice cream). Hey, it was an icy-cold blustery Friday night in Milwaukee. Just call me Moping in Milwaukee.

So I began this a.m. with Oz’s quinoa, ginger, nutmeg, prune, rice milk porridge. No prunes in the house, but I did have dried cranberries. Look and taste better, but I’m sure prunes are better for purging—I mean cleansing. No rice milk either. Does anyone really drink that stuff?

Even tho I had a cartload of groceries last nite, I now have to do a grocery run for the pineapple, kale, cabbage, fennel and other ingredients on the Oz list for the next two days. The recipes make a soup, a smoothie, a snack drink (pineapple-kale) and that quinoa porridge. Oh, and there’s dandelion tea, which is supposed to be a diuretic. (I may skip that tea. Water is a diuretic if you drink as much as you should daily. (Plus I think I’ll need my mint-chocolate tea to get me through the weekend of  slurping cabbage-fennel soup and other slurries for two days.)

Wish me luck. Will let you know if I feel cleansed in 48 hours. Spring cleaning will have a whole new meaning for me.

Slosh. Slosh.

Here’s my version of the breakfast recipe:

HRK’s Breakfast Quinoa

Put  1/4 cup red quinoa and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Add two or three good shakes of cinnamon. Grate some fresh ginger into the pan (or add three or four shakes of ground ginger). Bring to boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the water is gone. Then add 1/4 cup nonfat milk (or almond milk or rice milk…ugh) and a handful of dried cranberries or snipped dried apricots. (Dr. Oz prefers prunes. Not me.) Simmer for 5 or 10 minutes more.

Quinoa is actually an amazing little grain, with an amino acid profile that puts it on the top of most good-for-you lists. Lot of fiber, too. I prefer my quinoa loaded up with vegetables in a salad or side dish. But, Dr. Oz says eat it for breakfast. So here I go.

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