Archive for August 13th, 2019

Late Summer in the Shop


Pictured: Apple Fritter Bread. You can find it at my Etsy shop!

It’s still summer, but as the days grow closer to September, while I’m still picking tomatoes and excited about fresh corn, I feel the twinges of readiness for apples and pumpkins and crackling leaves. You? At this time of year, as the season changes and the holidays are around the corner, I rearrange my shop, highlighting things people suddenly get in the mood for in fall months–items with apples and pumpkins, especially. But lately, I’m making plans for a different kind of change. Or, maybe not a change, but an addition.

Any fellow Etsy sellers out there? If you are, you know what I’m talking about when I say Etsy has been making a lot of changes lately, and some that aren’t exactly designed with the handcrafter’s best interests at heart. I’m not interested in moving to any other marketplace platforms. I know there are many. I’ve been very happy with Etsy for several years, but any time you’re working on someone else’s platform, you have no control over changes in direction. It’s their playground, and after experiencing so many (sometimes baffling) changes Etsy has made, I’m not going through that again with another marketplace platform. With that in mind, I’m getting ready to open a shop area right here on my website. I’m planning to continue with my shop on Etsy for the foreseeable future, but I’m going to establish my own shop presence on my own playground. My new shop here won’t be open for business for another month or two, but in the meantime, you can still find me on Etsy. (And can continue to find me on Etsy even after I open my shop here. I still hold out hope Etsy is going to remember that handcrafter’s are what their site is about and turn the ship around before it’s too late.) But, also, I’m really looking forward to making the addition of an independent shop to my website! I’ll update when it’s ready!

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Cranberry Orange Pecan Muffins


Cranberry Orange Pecan Muffins.

These are hands-down my favorite muffins–the flavor combination is spectacular, though if you don’t want to use pecans, you can leave them out. If you must. Before making these, be sure to check out My Top 10 Muffin Hacks and also see How to Zest the Best Lemon (or orange!).

In my Muffin Hacks post, I talked about baking emulsions. You can get orange baking emulsion here. (You won’t regret it!)

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How to make Cranberry Orange Pecan Muffins:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon (slightly heaping) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup milk
zest of one orange
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon orange baking emulsion

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Stir together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add all together to the dry ingredients. Stir together just until combined. Line cups of a muffin tin and grease liners with butter spray. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Spray tops of muffins with butter spray and sprinkle with sugar and more crushed pecans if you like. Bake at 425-degrees for 13-14 minutes (for standard size muffins). Cool on a wire rack. After about 5 minutes of cooling, remove the liners. Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight container.

Makes 12 standard size muffins, 6 jumbo muffins, or 30 mini muffins.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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