Happy Winter Solstice!

Yesterday was the first day of Winter & my husband, son & I celebrated by taking a beautiful walk on our trail in the woods in our backyard as well as make gluten free mini graham cracker houses as a village (not award winning for looks, but it sure was fun!). We also continued our advent style gifts, drove around looking at the Christmas lights in our lovely little town and the neighboring town. While visiting the next town over, we swung by our daughter’s house and had a lovely visit with her and her cat Luna & had a nice tea time. It was an eventful and relaxing day.

Looks child-like but so fun!! πŸ˜€

Although we don’t have any snow on the ground, it is beginning to feel like Christmas and the excitement is there!! We are counting down for sure, but also remembering to enjoy the days leading up to it. My husband and I still get excited for the holiday season, even though our children are young adults now, and they seem to still get excited for the season as well.

For this year, the Christmas holidays will be quiet, like last year to stay safe and healthy. We did have a small celebration with my mother & stepfather and their dog along with our family, and my husband visited his mother. We have had virtual visits and all hope for a return to gatherings next year. Hoping you all have a Safe, Healthy and fun Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and all holidays you celebrate!

My daughter, myself and mother

For Christmas Eve, this year it will be a small celebration with my son, husband and me (oh, and our dog, Bella). We always celebrate with a vegan meat pie and also include a meat- eaters meat pie too, along with homemade gluten free biscuits. Dessert will be a gluten free spice cake.

On Christmas Day, our daughter and her boyfriend will join us for dinner later. We’ll certainly be celebrating before they arrive as well. Our dinner menu will be a festive vegan loaf and turkey meat loaf along with whipped creamy potatoes, creamed peas, roasted green beans, and roasted carrots. Our desserts will be dairy free and gluten free cheesecake, gluten free pumpkin pie and dairy free truffles.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been having a lot of health issues and going through lots of tests, so I haven’t been doing my usual seasonal baking, but thankfully, I’m starting to feel a little better, so I’ll be making a few of the seasonal favorites of my family. This past Sunday I was able to make these tart, but tasty cranberry almond muffins. Everyone loved them! Here’s the recipe if you’re interested. Enjoy!

I didn’t put a sugar topping on mine, but you could if you don’t want it to taste too tart. Fresh cranberries are best for this recipe.

Cranberry Almond Muffins:

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free all purpose flour

1/2 cup granular sugar substitute or granulated sugar

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp iodized salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 cup almond milk, or other plant based milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dabbed dry

1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 orange, use the zest and the juice from orange

melted butter & sugar for topping later, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pan well with coconut oil spray and set aside. Melt coconut oil on stovetop. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the GF flour, sugar substitute or sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add to the dry ingredients: melted coconut oil, milk of choice, eggs, both extracts, orange zest & juice from orange, and stir all together until incorporated. Don’t overmix or it’ll be tough.
  4. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
  5. Pour into muffin tins to top. Bake for 20 minutes until they have turned a lovely golden brown & a toothpick inserted into a couple of muffins in the center come out clean.
  6. Melt butter in pan on stove top, and pour sugar into a plate. You don’t need much. This is if you decide on sugar topping. I left topping off of mine, but know they will be more on the tart side, if omitting.
  7. Cool in the muffin pan on cooling rack for 5 minutes, then cool for few more minutes on rack out of pan. If using the topping, dip muffins in butter then in sugar. Place on serving dish.
Last week’s light snow. It melted the next day. Hoping for a white Christmas!!

Happiest of Holidays to all !!! πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ€Άβ„οΈβ˜ƒοΈπŸ¦Œ

Check out my cookbook:

Plant Based Living for the Gluten Free Cook sold on Amazon.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. cheapdad says:

    Love this time of year!! So exciting!! Loved these muffins too!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gina says:

      Thank you, my darling husband! It sure is exciting! YAY!! I’m glad you loved them!! β€οΈπŸŽ„

      Liked by 1 person

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