Cranberry Almond Bread with Orange Glaze


Welcome to our first brunch recipe of 2014!  You’re going to love this one.  It’s great with a cup of coffee.  <— You know, this time last year I was just beginning to realize how awesome coffee is.  Oh how far I’ve come in a year.  Mmmmm, coffee with cream during my Bible time each morning.  How I love it.

This bread is also great with a cup of hot tea, hot chocolate, Warm Vanilla Soother, or a cold glass of milk.  Pretty much it’s great with anything you like to drink.  It’s also very easy to make, and can be baked ahead of time if you’d like to wake up on Christmas morning to a delicious ready-made breakfast.

cranberry bread 3

Cranberry Almond Bread with Orange Glaze

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat works okay, but pastry flour is perfection in this!)
¾ cups sucanat
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
3 eggs
1 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries

Mix flour, sucanat, baking powder, and salt.  Add eggs, milk, extracts, and oil.  Mix well.  Fold in cranberries.  Pour batter into 2 well-buttered loaf pans (or six small loaf pans).  Bake 45-60 minutes at 350°.  Makes two loaves.

Orange Glaze

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat orange juice and honey in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.  Pour mixture over loaves of cranberry bread about 3 minutes after they have been removed from the oven, but before removing the loaves from the baking pans.

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze

 Be sure to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of five $10 gift certificates to our Heavenly Homemakers Shop!

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Simple Pumpkin Pancakes

It might be apparent to you at this point that I am on a big pumpkin kick right now.  First Pumpkin Breakfast Cake, then Pumpkin Cheesecake, now Simple Pumpkin Pancakes.  It’s just one more way to add vegetables to our table, plus it’s delicious – so why not?  That, and I have oodles of pumpkin puree at my house right now, so I’m making everything I can think of.  My family rejoices.

It is important to note that I often use butternut squash in many of the pumpkin recipes I am making.  Pumpkin and butternut squash are interchangeable in recipes.  Many a pumpkin pie at my house is actually butternut squash pie, but don’t tell.

Want to know how to easily cook a pumpkin (or butternut squash)?  Cooking them whole is the easiest way I’ve found to cook them to make puree.  Once pureed, I use it right away or freeze it until I need it.  Awesome, nutritious goodness!

These Pumpkin Pancakes stir together in just a few minutes and taste fantastic.  Veggies for breakfast…woot!

Simple Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Whisk ingredients together until smooth.  Cook on a hot, buttered griddle, flipping once the pancake becomes bubbly on the first side.  Serve with applesauce or real maple syrup.  Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes.

Simple Pumpkin Pancakes

Other pumpkin (or butternut squash) recipes you’ll find here:

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin (or butternut squash)?

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Pumpkin Breakfast Cake with Stevia Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

If it’s made with whole grain, is low in sugar, includes an entire cup of healthy fat, has 4 eggs, and one of its main ingredients is a vegetable - you can use the words “cake” and “breakfast” in the same title.  Of course, nothing is stopping you from using the word “birthday” and “cake” in the same title for this very recipe.  After all, who says birthday treats have to be loaded with sugar?  I just love that this recipe is healthy and filling enough to be a great breakfast option.  I serve this with a side of applesauce and my family loves it!

You might look at this recipe and think that it is surprisingly similar to my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe.  That’s because it is.  ;)  I took the recipe, and made it into a cake with a stevia sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting.  See?  It’s not so hard to be creative in the kitchen.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake2

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

3 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground hard white wheat)
1/2 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one 16 ounce can)
1 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)

Stir together flour, sucanat, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add eggs, pumpkin, and melted coconut oil.  Spread batter into a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow cake to cook before frosting.

Stevia Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid stevia to taste (I use 2 droppers full)

Whip ingredients together until smooth.  Spread over cooled Pumpkin Cake.  Store in the refrigerator.

As you can imagine, I will be adding some pureed spinach to this cake next time I make it.  Why not, right?

Here’s another Breakfast Cake recipe our family loves.  Now tell me: What will your family say when you tell them you’re having cake for breakfast?!

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An Egg Free Version of Warm Vanilla Soother ~ Share Your Story

Share Your Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Story

Our Warm Vanilla Soother recipe is a favorite around here.  It is rich and comforting with its whole milk, maple syrup, and eggs.  But for everyone with an egg allergy, it seems that this recipe is a no-go for you.  I can adapt many of my recipes to become allergy friendly, but for this one?  I’ve been at a loss as to how to substitute the eggs.

Why did I even think I needed to try?  All of you make Heavenly Homemakers such a wonderful forum, helping each other, offering suggestions, and sharing your experiences.  I see dozens of comments on past posts every day in which you are interacting with each other and blessing each other with what you know.  This is just one of the many reasons I love you all!

Jenny was one such reader.  While others have left comments on my Warm Vanilla Soother recipe post asking how I would adapt it to make it egg free, and I was all, “uhhh, I totally have no idea…” Jenny took her experience and expertise and gave it a try.  It worked!!!  She emailed to share her story so that I can now share it with you!

Dear Laura,

Two of my kiddos have egg,  peanut and tree nut allergies.  So I usually alter your recipes.  I was the one commenting on your warm vanilla soother. I kept the egg yolks out but put 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 3 tablespoons water (mixed together is my sub for 2 whole eggs). It turned out awesome.  So delicious. Love your recipes.


Oh my goodness.  Can Jenny’s little boy get any cuter?

egg free warm vanilla soother 1

Well yes, apparently he can.

eggless warm vanilla soother 2

Here is the complete recipe for Egg Free Warm Vanilla Soother…

Egg Free Warm Vanilla Soother

3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons baking powder, 3 tablespoons coconut oil, and 3 tablespoons water mixed together
1/3 cup real maple syrup
2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or corn starch
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, baking powder/oil/water mixture, maple syrup, and arrowroot powder.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (I use a whisk) until mixture begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.  Stir until creamy.  Pour into mugs and serve warm.

Jenny, thank you so much for figuring this out for everyone!

For those of you with milk allergies, coconut milk works great in this recipe.  :)

Please continue to send in your stories.  I love reading them and sharing them here!


stretch island strawberry

On an unrelated note (except for the fact that this treat is also allergy friendly!) – Amazon has a 25% off coupon for many of their Stretch Island Fruit Leathers and Strips.  Awesome stuff!  Here’s what I found:

Be sure to look through all the great Amazon Deals we’ve found.  If you want to learn more about how subscribe and save works, read this post.


I also wanted to let you know that Lilla Rose is having a sale today and tomorrow:  10% off all holiday themed items, plus free shipping on orders over $40.

Nov sale paula

This post contains affiliate links.

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How to Make Frozen Hashbrown Patties

Homemade Hashbrown Patties

I always get my best ideas from you, my adorable readers.  A few weeks ago, Camilla left a comment on my Homemade Hashbrowns post asking, “How would I do this if I wanted to make frozen patties?”  I left a reply, telling her what I would suggest, then I promptly hollered at my boys to start scrubbing potatoes.  What a fantastic idea – to make hashbrowns ahead of time in the shape of patties so that all we have to do is pull them out and fry them up!

25 consumed Hashbrown Patties and 72 frozen Hashbrown Patties later, here I am to share all the fun details with you!  This idea is a great one – plus it’s easier than you would think.  Don’t you love it when delicious, healthy, and easy all make it into the same sentence?

How to Make Frozen Hashbrown Patties

1.  Scrub and bake as many potatoes as you like.  We fill a big roasting pot with scrubbed potatoes, cover, and bake for about an hour and a half.
2.  Allow the potatoes to cool.  You can even refrigerate overnight if you like.
3.  Shred the cooled baked potatoes as if grating cheese.
4.  Use a large cookie scoop or spoon to scoop out nice portions of shredded potatoes.  Put the scoops directly into hot oil to fry OR -
5.  Place the scoops of shredded potatoes onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
6.  Freeze the mounds of shredded potatoes on the cookie sheets.  Transfer them to a freezer bag once frozen solid.
7.  Store frozen hashbrown patties in the freezer in freezer bags until ready to cook and serve.
8.  To cook frozen hashbrown patties, heat palm shortening or coconut oil in a skillet or on a griddle.  Do not thaw hashbrown patties.  Put patties into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and as crispy as you like.  Salt and serve!

How to Make Frozen Hashbrown Patties

Do you love this idea?!  Let’s hear it for another great freezer cooking idea to help us get ahead!

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Whole Wheat Zucchini Carrot Bread & Natural Value Foods 25% off Plus 20% off at Amazon

The more nutrients you can stuff into one recipe, the better, right?  My friend Emily tried this idea of adding shredded carrots into zucchini bread, then let me know that I should try it.  Great idea.  Mmmmm, so good!

Zucchini Carrot Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg and baking powder.  Stir in honey, zucchini, carrots, eggs, and melted butter.  Mix ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into two well buttered loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

zucchini carrot bread

Slices of this Zucchini Carrot Bread would be perfect in your Make-Ahead Lunch Box!  Simply allow the bread to cool, slice, wrap individually, then freeze.  Pull a wrapped slice of bread out of the freezer, then toss it into your lunch box for a dessert or snack!

What other veggie combinations have you thrown together in quick breads?

While I’ve got you, I wanted you to know about these ROCKIN’ coupons at Amazon.  Natural Value brand is already lower in price than many organic foods.  Right now, they are offering 25% off coupons at Amazon on many of their great items!  Plus, if you have Amazon Prime/Mom and order at least 5 subscribe and save items, you’ll get an additional 20% off too!  I grabbed six cases of Natural Value items we use frequently for great deals.  Here’s what I got:

Natural Value Coupons at Amazon

This post contains affiliate links.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

After months of trial, illness, starvation, exhaustion, and many other forms of misery (encouraging post so far, Laura) – the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags came together for a great feast on what is now known as The First Thanksgiving.  These incredible people had much to celebrate, no doubt.

On their table there was an abundance of lobster, rabbit, chicken, squash, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, radishes, and cabbage – all of the traditional foods you and I always serve to our families on Thanksgiving, right?  (I always tear up a little during the carving of our traditional Thanksgiving Lobster.)

Quick question: How did the above First Thanksgiving menu give way to boxed stuffing and canned cranberry sauce that plops out onto a plate?  Don’t answer that.  But what I do what to know is this:  Where have these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts been all my life?  These need to be added to everyone’s Thanksgiving menu: turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, relish tray, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade rolls with butter, and a big, huge platter of Pumpkin Donuts.  Oh, and don’t forget the Lobster.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts with Glaze

These Pumpkin Donuts scream, “Fall is here!  Be thankful!  Inhale deeply the scent of cinnamon spice!  Eat me already!”  This is a fall treat that ranks right up there with all things amazing.  This donut recipe stirs up quickly, rolls out easily, and fries up into fantastic goodies that might make you pass out.  They are great with a cup of coffee or apple cider.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts (adapted from this recipe)

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
Oil for frying (I recommend coconut oil or palm shortening for healthy frying)

Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sucanat.  Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree – mixing until all ingredients are well combined.  Roll dough on a well-floured surface.  Cut out donuts and donut holes (makes about 30 of each).

Fry dough in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.  Drizzle with glaze and serve.

Buttermilk Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar (I use unbleached powdered sugar)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together and drizzle over warm donuts before serving.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

What are your family’s traditional Thanksgiving foods that are a little different from the norm?  I have to admit, not only have I never had a Thanksgiving Lobster on my table, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually eaten lobster, period.  I’m a Kansas girl turned Nebraska girl.  What can I say?

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Fresh Peach Milkshakes

It’s story time, children.  Please sit down, criss-cross-applesauce, and listen quietly.

Once upon a time, there was a lady who got a new blender.  It wasn’t just any blender.  It was the blender of all blenders, the Blend-Tec blender that she’d been waiting patiently to purchase.

She was super excited to make a peach milkshake with the fresh peaches she had in her kitchen, and figured that reading all the fine print in the “blender handbook” would be a waste of time.  “How hard can it be?” she thought, “It’s just a blender.”

And so, the uninformed lady proceeded to fill the blender to the top with delicious whole milk, slices of fresh peach, maple syrup, and vanilla.  With excitement, she placed the lid on the blender and pushed the on button.

Before the lady could say “one Mississippi” the force within the blender sent the lid shooting right off the top.  With a shout that sounded something like, “Aaoourrhheeeewwryeeeoo!” the lady quickly smacked the off button.  But no matter.  Peach milkshake had been sent to the ceiling, to the floor, to the stack of mail beside the blender, to the casseroles sitting on the countertop, to the side of the refrigerator, to surfaces she found three days later, and I think it goes without saying, to the clothes, arms, legs, shoes, and hair of the befuddled lady.

She stood, quite shocked and motionless, for approximately 8 Mississippi’s, before calling in her 12 year old son.  With a chuckle, said 12 year old brought in the camera, as moments such as this should be documented and preserved forever in ones memory and computer picture file.

peach milkshakes 1

This picture does not do the situation justice.
“The lady” was covered, the rug was covered, everything was covered. 

Thus lunch-time was delayed, and the kitchen got a much needed scrubbing.  The lady soon smelled sour from being drenched with dairy product, and even though she changed her clothes before going to a soccer game, was surprised to find flecks of dried peach stuck to her knees and ankles during half time.

The moral of the story: Read the directions, do not overfill your blender, and do not be surprised to find crusty milkshake residue four feet away on the front of the silverware drawer next Friday.

The end.


Everybody hungry for a Peach Milkshake now?  Below you’ll find a recipe, which only makes about 2 servings.  Trying to make 6 servings at once, no matter how large your blender, is a bad, bad, bad idea.  I’m still not quite over it.

Fresh Peach Milkshakes

2 cups whole milk
2 fresh peaches, sliced
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place ingredients in a blender, making sure the blender is only half-full, trust me on this one.  Place lid on the blender, plug it in, and give it a whirl until ingredients are well blended.

Fresh Peach Milkshake

Make this milkshake at your own risk.

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Cinnamon Nectarine Muffins

I am well aware that I feed an army each day.  But sometimes, the reality of how much food it actually takes to feed this army leaves me with my mouth hanging open.

Take, for instance, the fact that we got 20 pounds of nectarines last week in our Azure Standard order.  Within only 5 days, our family had polished off 15 pounds of them.  Do you know how many nectarines that is?  Neither do I.  But it was a lot of nectarines.

As the box was emptying, I decided to get a little bit creative.  Some of the nectarines were getting pretty soft – a little too soft to slice nicely.  Therefore, into the food processor they went, skin and all.  (I did remove the pit.  I thought I’d mention that for those of you who were considering throwing the entire piece of fruit directly into the machine.  Don’t do that.)  The food processor turned out a very nice nectarine puree, which when stirred into other fine ingredients, turned out a most deliciously moist muffin.

Feel free to sub peaches for nectarines in this recipe.  :)

Cinnamon Nectarine Muffins

Cinnamon Nectarine Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sucanat
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups nectarine or peach puree (4-5 peaches or nectarines)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sucanat, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir in pureed fruit, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla, and egg.  Once mixed, scoop batter into well buttered or paper-lined muffin tins.  Bake in a 400° oven for 25-30 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.  Makes about 15 muffins.

I found that these muffins required a little more baking time than a typical muffin.  You may want to prick one with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean so the muffins aren’t doughy.

Which do you like best: nectarines or peaches?

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Cream Cheese Filling For Your Crepes

While Matt and I were cooking out at camp a couple weeks ago, we were blessed to work with a very talented lady who has been cooking for campers for years.  One of her specialties?  Homemade Crepes with cream cheese filling, topped with berries.  You should have heard the kids as they walked by the kitchen and saw we were making crepes.  “Is it crepe day tomorrow?!?  I’ve been waiting all year for this day!”

Seriously, the campers love them.  I believe we cranked out over 300 crepes in preparation for “Crepe Day.”  Phew, what a job!  But it was worth it.  The crepes were amazing!  The key to making these so great had to be the filling.  Cream cheese filling.  Sooooo good!

We used powdered sugar at camp, but when I got home, I played with the idea to make the filling with stevia or maple syrup.  Yum, yum, yummy.

Cream Cheese Crepe Filling

Cream Cheese Crepe Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese
10 drops liquid stevia or 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat ingredients together until smooth.  Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in each crepe.

Here’s my super easy Crepe Recipe Wholesome, filling, and delicious.  And with cream cheese and berries?  Heavenly.  :)

Are you loving the fresh berries of summertime as much as I am?

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