You get invited to a fall party and there are countless recipes that could be a crowd pleaser. But, what if you want something east, visually appealing and contains fruit.?
Drum roll please....Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Spice Cake.
This was a very simple recipe that can be whipped together just 1 hour before heading out the door. Takes only 20 mins to prep, 35 mins to bake and 3 mins to cool.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
3 T butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 eleven ounce can mandarin orange sections, drained
1 cup fresh of frozen cranberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla

1, Whisk flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and sat. Set aside for later.
2. Place 3 T of butter into a 10x2 inch cast iron or heavy oven-going skillet. Please skillet in oven 3-5 mins. Remove from oven and tilt pan to spread butter around pan. Leave oven on.
3. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly in pan. Arrange oranges and cranberries on top of brown sugar.
4. In a large bowl, mix eggs, sour cream, sugar, melted butter and vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture, one third at a time mixing ingredients.
6. Spoon batter on top of fruit, spreading it evenly.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 mins or until tooth pick comes out clean. Let cake cool for 3 mins. Run knife around edge of pan.
8. Invert pan on top pf a platter.

I made a few variations and thought it turned out lovely. I didn't have an oven safe 10x2 inch skillet so I used a 9x1.5 inch baking pan. Had to bake for a total of 50 mins. I also used sour cream not Greek yogurt,  Overall, I definitely would make this again and easily could make this same batter with different fruit, apples or pears etc.

*Recipe was taken from Comfort Food 2014 From the Editors of Midwest Living page 102.

A special thanks to Dominic Bianco for creating this post about a delicious wine from a winery located in Erie, PA.

After a long day of work, school, writing my YA novel series (Shameless plug: Check out The Apparition Saga available on Amazon) working on art projects, and spending time with family and friends I love sitting down with a glass of wine and getting reacquainted with my DVR.
                  Recently, while at a farmers market in my hometown of Bethel Park, PA I came across a wine stand. 6 Mile Cellars located in Erie, PA is my new favorite winery. They feature several different types from wonderful whites to rich indulgent reds.
                  Patrick Walsh and Barton Towell are the creators of 6 Mile Cellars. They opened their doors in May 2012 in Harborcreek, PA and wine lover’s have been pouring and enjoying ever since. If you’re ever in Erie and have a chance to check out their facilities make sure to check out 6 Mile Cellar’s renovated tasting room. Located a few yards away from 6 Mile Creek the structure was once a barn used to house horses but now it houses guests intent on sampling all that 6 Mile has to offer. And if staying in isn’t your thing, buy a bottle of wine and enjoy it in the vineyard.
                  The types of wine offered at 6 Miles Cellars are as followed…
Whites:
-        Chardonnay
-        Vignoles
-        Winsome White
-        Traminette
-        Niagara

Reds:
-        Cabernet Franc
-        Syrah
-        Winsome Red
-        Derby Red

While at the Farmers Market I had the opportunity to sample all of these delicious wines. While I enjoyed all of them, my personal favorite was the Derby Red. Decadent and slightly floral with just the right amount of sweetness. I highly recommend picking up a bottle and enjoying a moment to yourself.

6 Mile Cellars Contact Info:
5727 Firman Road
Erie, Pennsylvania 16510
Phone: (814) 580-8375

Berry Rhubarb Muffins

A. loves rhubarb. Rhubarb pie yum! Rhubarb crumb cake double yum! Rhubarb muffins? Definitely worth trying out.
I'll be honest I have gotten a little lax on the 2014 muffin challenge. Life and work got in the way but I'm back in the game now and here is a mix Berry Rhubarb Muffin recipe.

Berry Rhubarb Muffins:
1 cup finely diced or shredded rhubarb
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground ginger
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup berries
1/3 cup brown sugar for topping
pinch of cinnamon for topping

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 muffin molds. In a large bowl mix flower, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Make a well of flour mixture and add yogurt, melted butter, egg, vanilla and gently stir. Fold in rhubarb. Fill each muffin mold 3/4 full. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

I also tired them in mini loafs.

So tasty and just packed full of summer flavors!

Spring is FINALLY reaching Minnesota. The weather has still been cool, 40's to 60's. Even had a few days I think that got into the 70's. None the less, it is nice enough to get outside and start cleaning up and sprucing the yard.
This is year two at our house. Last year, A. worked extremely hard at clearing the left hillside of weeds and underbrush.  The hillside had been unattended for years. I planted a few plants and flowering bushes that hopefully survived this winter and will comes back this year.
This past fall A. and I raked up as many leaves as possible. I'm glad we did but there are so many leaves laying on the ground now.
In just a few hours I picked up quite a pile of sticks.
The hill will definitely look better this year than last but we know it won't be ideal this year or probably next.
Thank goodness, A. is so hard working and we will continue to tackle it together. What outdoor projects are you doing this year? gardening? new deck?

Cornmeal Muffins

Who doesn't love a soft warm cornbread muffin? I don't think I've ever met a person who doesn't adore them.  I decided to use Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal Muffin Mix.
I simply followed the recipe on the back and Ta Da! Warm delish muffins. I have to say these are one of my favorite muffin mixes. I wish it was a tad bit sweeter but that would be my only tweak. The whole bag will make 2 dozen muffins. All you need is water, eggs, oil and the mix. 
To make them slightly sweeter, consider adding a touch of honey. 
These were super juicy and moist. I definitely plan to make these again for sure!

While the original recipe says this will make 16 muffins, I made 12 large muffins and they turned out great. The only small issue I had was the muffin seems to stick a little to paper liners. I love my silicone liners and the muffin didn't stick to those at all.

Ingredients for muffins:
2 cups flour
1/2 white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8oz can of crushed pineapple
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Ingredients for topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowel mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).
Then add wet mixture (beaten egg, 1/4 pineapple juice from can, milk and butter).
Blend together well. Fill muffin pan.
Top muffins with one spoonful of crushed pineapple.
Mix topping ingredients together and spoon onto muffins.
Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
If making 12 muffins instead of 16 add 2 minutes to baking time.
Enjoy!

Plum Strudel Muffins

Ever have fruit that if you leave it on the counter one more day it is going to be thrown out because then no one will eat it withered, bruised or mushy?

I had some plums that were heading in that direction and instead of tossing them, I made Plum Strudel Muffins.

Muffin Ingredients:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract (could use vanilla extract if don't have almond)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (could use heavy whipping cream)
1 1/2 cups chopped plums

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Beat milk, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in one egg at a time. Then add extracts.  Then combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients. Fold in plums. Fill muffin molds 3/4 full.
For the topping combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Crumble in butter. Sprinkle on top of muffins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

These were definitely yummy and not your usual muffin.