So this is the one that worked…..Cranberry Bread – tart/sweet and hot from the oven – nothing is better!  I have two recipes for Cranberry Bread – both have the usual ingredients – flour, eggs, sugar, – but each was different enough that I couldn’t decide which one to make – so I combined the recipes and it worked! 

Cranberry Bread– adapted from Linda Millward (infamous baker/cook and mother of my friends, the Fashionistas) and Joni Geurts, my sister and wannabe Fashionista.  Makes 2 small loaf pans (6 1/2 x 4 1/2) and freezes well.

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider

2 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil

juice from 2 large oranges, about 1/2 cup

1/2 chopped walnuts

1 cup fresh cranberries, cut into quarters

zest of two oranges

Zest both oranges, set aside.  Juice both oranges, gathering 1/2 cup of juice.  In a small bowl combine orange juice, oil, apple cider, beaten egg and both sugars.  Mix well.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.   Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing only until moistened.  Fold in nuts, cranberries and orange rind.   Bake in greased bread tins, lined at the bottom with parchment paper (or use the disposable paper pans that need no greasing) and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before trying to slice – if you can stand to wait that long.

And now…..the recipe I ruined…..more times that I’d like to count, I have disasters in the kitchen and I will try to be scrupulously honest here and let you know when that happens – unless it happens everyday, in which case I will be forced to lie.  I was asked to bring corn bread to a church function tonight…..corn bread…..a no brainer, right?   Well, it is if you HAVE corn meal and if you FOLLOW a recipe….neither of which I did.  And I got the results I deserved.  When baking, if you don’t follow the recipe you might as well eat out.


Here’s the before……and the after…..and it looks great!  But I’m jumping ahead – let me tell you what I did….while digging in the pantry looking for corn meal – and discovering that I had none – I found a bag of polenta which is basically the same thing as corn meal so I turned the bag over and there was a recipe for San Francisco Polenta Bread – so then I was in business!  But the recipe sounded kind of bland – let’s face it, polenta is really grits – and who can eat grits without dressing them up with butter or cheese?  So I decided – with my infinite wisdom – to doctor the recipe with cheese and cayenne and corn……it could have worked – truly – except that I made one fatal mistake…..I mixed everything together and started spooning it into the pan when I realized that I had forgotten the cheese – so instead of scooping everything back into the bowl and mixing it up – I thought how wonderful it would be to have a layer of cheese in the middle of the cornbread!  So I tossed in the TWO cups of cheese in the middle of the mixture – covered it up with the remaining batter and threw it in the oven! 


I think you can see from the picture what the problem was….the layer of cheese had turned into an oozing mass of cheese – making the cornbread too gooey to hold it.  IF only I had mixed the cheese into the batter  then I think this would have worked….what little cornbread I could taste – the pieces around the cheese – had a great flavor but nothing could stop that wall of cheese from running all over the place!  Hardly something I dared take to the church dinner – not with all the blue ribbon cooks there!

So, if you want to give it a try – here’s the recipe…..and I cut back the amount of the cheese…just to be safe.

Polenta Cheesy Corn Bread

1 cups sifted flour

2 cups polenta

6 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 can (15 oz.) whole kernal corn

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese – try not to forget to mix this in!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend.  (I love recipes that only use one dish….dump and mix!)  Pour into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.  May also be baked in two 8-inch square pans or muffin tins.  And may the force be with you.