Cranberry Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Kelsey of Apple A Day gave me a wonderful cookbook recently (Sharing the Table at Garland’s Lodge) and today I took advantage of some free time to try out a recipe! With some leftover cranberry orange relish, I made these muffins using the cookbook’s recipe for Sour Cream Muffins:

Cranberry Orange Sour Cream Muffins
recipe adapted from Sharing a Table Cookbook, pg 29
notes in red are from original recipe

Base muffin recipe:
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (all purpose flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 + 1/2 cups sour cream

Add ins:
1 cup cranberry orange relish (dried cranberries, plumped in orange juice, then drained)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
(1 teaspoon grated orange rind)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg and oil together. Stir in the sour cream.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients until the batter coheres. The consistency should be closer to that of biscuit dough than batter. Be careful not to overmix.

Fold in any additional ingredients gently. Spook into muffin tins that have been sprayed well with vegetable oil. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Some other variations noted in the cookbook:

Maple Bran Muffins – Add 1./2 cup bran flakes and substitute 1/2 cup maple syrup for the sugar.

Corn Muffins – Add to the basic recipe 2/3 cup cornmeal, 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup additional sour cream.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins – Add 1 cup blueberries and 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.

Sour Cream Peach or Apricot Muffins – Add 1 cup chopped fresh or drained canned fruit, plys a dash of nutmeg if desired.

Cranberry Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Kelsey of Apple A Day gave me a wonderful cookbook recently (Sharing the Table at Garland’s Lodge) and today I took advantage of some free time to try out a recipe! With some leftover cranberry orange relish, I made these muffins using the cookbook’s recipe for Sour Cream Muffins:

Cranberry Orange Sour Cream Muffins
recipe adapted from Sharing a Table Cookbook, pg 29
notes in red are from original recipe

Base muffin recipe:
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (all purpose flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 + 1/2 cups sour cream

Add ins:
1 cup cranberry orange relish (dried cranberries, plumped in orange juice, then drained)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
(1 teaspoon grated orange rind)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg and oil together. Stir in the sour cream.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients until the batter coheres. The consistency should be closer to that of biscuit dough than batter. Be careful not to overmix.

Fold in any additional ingredients gently. Spook into muffin tins that have been sprayed well with vegetable oil. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Some other variations noted in the cookbook:

Maple Bran Muffins – Add 1./2 cup bran flakes and substitute 1/2 cup maple syrup for the sugar.

Corn Muffins – Add to the basic recipe 2/3 cup cornmeal, 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup additional sour cream.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins – Add 1 cup blueberries and 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.

Sour Cream Peach or Apricot Muffins – Add 1 cup chopped fresh or drained canned fruit, plys a dash of nutmeg if desired.

Devon’s Desi Corridor… and Euro Surprises

It’s been awhile since I had an event due to taking some personal time off for my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving. But I had to get my fix of some culinary intervention and today was a perfect day to do just that. I hosted a culinary tour of Chicago’s Devon Avenue, also known as the Desi Corridor. It’s a vibrant street rich in culture and diversity so with friends, we took in the sights, sounds and flavors Devon Ave. had to offer.

If you ever want to see a diverse neighborhood of Chicago, Devon is a great place to start. Many folks who know about Devon often associate it with Indian & Pakistani culture. It’s full of wonderful restaurants, various stores selling saris, electronics, incense, spices and so much more. However further west on Devon Ave. lies a great pocket of European and Jewish businesses. My tour focused on these two very different sides of Devon Ave – Indian & European. Check out the pictures of the stops we made during our tour:

  • PATEL BROTHERS MARKET — Before lunch, we checked out some authentic ingredients and grocery offerings of Patel Brothers Market (2610 W. Devon Ave). They have a great wall of spices, interesting produce and some frozen items I learned about today…

Kantola – Small Indian gourd related to the bittermelon.

Haldi – the Hindi word for tumeric and this is fresh tumeric

Patra – a popular vegetarian dish consisting of taro.
Goovar – Indian beans used mostly in South Indian cuisine.
Ratulu – Indian potato yam.

  • KAMDAR PLAZA — Another great resource for authentic ingredients is Kamdar Plaza (Indian market) (2646 W. Devon Ave) where you’ll find other pantry staples. Even more impressive is their large assortment of incense!

  • VICEROY OF INDIA — Lunch was a wonderful Indian buffet lunch at Viceroy of India (2520 W. Devon). We enjoyed a feast of vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings. Right next door was their cafe and bake/candy shop where everything looked so beautiful.

  • SUKHADIA’S — Next up, we satisfied our sweet tooth at Sukhadia’s (2559 W. Devon). Here we had some desserts and sipped some authentic masala tea. They had some great sweets and confections of Indian cuisine to choose from.


  • ARGO GEORGIAN BAKERY — Have you ever had a hatchapuri? If not, you must check out the Argo Georgian Bakery (2812 W. Devon) here in Chicago. They specialize in Georgian baked goods including hatchapuri, a filled buttery & flaky dough. The most common is one filled with farmers cheese, feta & mozzarella. We learned a bit about their cuisine and took a look at their monstrous Georgian oven, shaped like a dome on the outside and a barrel on the inside.

  • THREE SISTER’S DELIThree Sister’s Delicatessen (2854 W. Devon) is where we checked out some great Russian delicacies. They had beautiful cakes on display, many kinds of jams & jellies as well as breads, smoked fish and deli meats/sausages.



Due to Saturday being the Jewish Sabbath, the other stops we wanted to make were closed. However here is a picture of another place just to show how all these establishments can be found along the same street!

Devon’s Desi Corridor… and Euro Surprises

It’s been awhile since I had an event due to taking some personal time off for my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving. But I had to get my fix of some culinary intervention and today was a perfect day to do just that. I hosted a culinary tour of Chicago’s Devon Avenue, also known as the Desi Corridor. It’s a vibrant street rich in culture and diversity so with friends, we took in the sights, sounds and flavors Devon Ave. had to offer.

If you ever want to see a diverse neighborhood of Chicago, Devon is a great place to start. Many folks who know about Devon often associate it with Indian & Pakistani culture. It’s full of wonderful restaurants, various stores selling saris, electronics, incense, spices and so much more. However further west on Devon Ave. lies a great pocket of European and Jewish businesses. My tour focused on these two very different sides of Devon Ave – Indian & European. Check out the pictures of the stops we made during our tour:

  • PATEL BROTHERS MARKET — Before lunch, we checked out some authentic ingredients and grocery offerings of Patel Brothers Market (2610 W. Devon Ave). They have a great wall of spices, interesting produce and some frozen items I learned about today…

Kantola – Small Indian gourd related to the bittermelon.

Haldi – the Hindi word for tumeric and this is fresh tumeric

Patra – a popular vegetarian dish consisting of taro.
Goovar – Indian beans used mostly in South Indian cuisine.
Ratulu – Indian potato yam.

  • KAMDAR PLAZA — Another great resource for authentic ingredients is Kamdar Plaza (Indian market) (2646 W. Devon Ave) where you’ll find other pantry staples. Even more impressive is their large assortment of incense!

  • VICEROY OF INDIA — Lunch was a wonderful Indian buffet lunch at Viceroy of India (2520 W. Devon). We enjoyed a feast of vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings. Right next door was their cafe and bake/candy shop where everything looked so beautiful.

  • SUKHADIA’S — Next up, we satisfied our sweet tooth at Sukhadia’s (2559 W. Devon). Here we had some desserts and sipped some authentic masala tea. They had some great sweets and confections of Indian cuisine to choose from.


  • ARGO GEORGIAN BAKERY — Have you ever had a hatchapuri? If not, you must check out the Argo Georgian Bakery (2812 W. Devon) here in Chicago. They specialize in Georgian baked goods including hatchapuri, a filled buttery & flaky dough. The most common is one filled with farmers cheese, feta & mozzarella. We learned a bit about their cuisine and took a look at their monstrous Georgian oven, shaped like a dome on the outside and a barrel on the inside.

  • THREE SISTER’S DELIThree Sister’s Delicatessen (2854 W. Devon) is where we checked out some great Russian delicacies. They had beautiful cakes on display, many kinds of jams & jellies as well as breads, smoked fish and deli meats/sausages.



Due to Saturday being the Jewish Sabbath, the other stops we wanted to make were closed. However here is a picture of another place just to show how all these establishments can be found along the same street!

I’m thankful of my friends, family & readers!

Welcome to my newly updated blog! Hopefully you’ll find it more use friendly and better organized to navigate through the many culinary adventures I have. Here’s a quick summary of what changes I’ve made…

  • No blogger header! It really didn’t go with my overall blog theme so I thought it best to remove it completely, solely for aesthetic purposes.
  • Tabs are now in my header. With so much info to share, I added these tabs to better organize various information.
    • About – self explanatory with tidbits about me.
    • Meetup – links to my social cooking group I organize in Chicago.
    • Recipe Index – provides a catagorized listing of the various recipes found here.
    • Adventures – includes the different types of adventures I host each month with links.
    • Awards – lists the fabulous bloggers who’ve recognized me & my blog.
    • Links – are some favorites culinary resources for recipes & Chicago… & FoodieBlogroll!
    • Misc. – are just different places you can find me in cyberspace.
  • I have a logo... albeit a simple one! With so many options and styles to choose from, I wanted something that wasn’t too fancy or complex. It will do for now and I’ve adapted it for both my blog and my social cooking group.
  • If you’re like me, I get inspired to cook & bake with various recipes and culinary things I read online. I often do a search for recipes and to make them easier to find, I’ve included the Foodieview recipe search engine above my posts. It’s a great site for foodies and a helpful tool to use.
  • Given the nature of the things I blog about, I realize how lengthy my posts for some adventures have been. I’ve changed the format of my posts to include links to the recipes rather than including them in the post. By doing so, my posts are a bit shorter and makes recipes easier to find. (They won’t be drowning in so much food porn!) I’m sure there will still be some lengthy posts full of pictures now & then… so for those that don’t want to be visually tempted, I’ve included a ‘Back to Top’ icon. You can click on this at any time and the small gray arrow icon is located on the lower right hand side or at the center bottom of your screen.
  • Once you view a post/recipe within my blog, I’ve made it easy for you to print it too. At the bottom of every post, you have the option to print. Note that when you print, my header, sidebars and post comments will not be printed. It will print as a full page without distorting pictures or text. Pretty neat, huh?!
  • At the top of my right sidebar, you’ll notice a drop down box labeled, ‘WC Nestie Blogroll’. This is a collection of various food blogs created by talented women on a cooking forum I participate in. If you are part of the WC board, please click on the ‘Get on the Blogroll’ link in the drop down box (first option in the list) and I’ll add you on!
  • Labels are now in my right sidebar. These aren’t the standard labels but rather links to a comprehensive listing of the recipes featured in my blog within a specific category. I chose to provide the recipes in this format because I found scrolling through countless posts to find a recipe was a bit tedious and confusing. You’ll be able to view a list of recipes and click on the specific post to view!
  • On the left side bar, I will continue to have my current blogging adventures posted with links & deadlines reflected. For those who are interested in seeing the blogging adventure round ups, I’ve included a drop down box with those posts listed. Round ups are listed alphabetically by name.
  • I have the obligatory search feature as well for those that wish to use it.
  • Lastly, I’d love to hear from my readers whether it’s their thoughts, suggestions or even ideas for future adventures I could take. No need to create a separate email… just click the Contact Me link and it will automatically take you to a contact form to submit.

I hope you like the changes I’ve made and find them helpful. I’ve gotten some free time to cook more during the week so I hope to have some new recipes to share in addition to the culinary adventures I have. Until then, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday everyone!

I’m thankful of my friends, family & readers!

Welcome to my newly updated blog! Hopefully you’ll find it more use friendly and better organized to navigate through the many culinary adventures I have. Here’s a quick summary of what changes I’ve made…

  • No blogger header! It really didn’t go with my overall blog theme so I thought it best to remove it completely, solely for aesthetic purposes.
  • Tabs are now in my header. With so much info to share, I added these tabs to better organize various information.
    • About – self explanatory with tidbits about me.
    • Meetup – links to my social cooking group I organize in Chicago.
    • Recipe Index – provides a catagorized listing of the various recipes found here.
    • Adventures – includes the different types of adventures I host each month with links.
    • Awards – lists the fabulous bloggers who’ve recognized me & my blog.
    • Links – are some favorites culinary resources for recipes & Chicago… & FoodieBlogroll!
    • Misc. – are just different places you can find me in cyberspace.
  • I have a logo... albeit a simple one! With so many options and styles to choose from, I wanted something that wasn’t too fancy or complex. It will do for now and I’ve adapted it for both my blog and my social cooking group.
  • If you’re like me, I get inspired to cook & bake with various recipes and culinary things I read online. I often do a search for recipes and to make them easier to find, I’ve included the Foodieview recipe search engine above my posts. It’s a great site for foodies and a helpful tool to use.
  • Given the nature of the things I blog about, I realize how lengthy my posts for some adventures have been. I’ve changed the format of my posts to include links to the recipes rather than including them in the post. By doing so, my posts are a bit shorter and makes recipes easier to find. (They won’t be drowning in so much food porn!) I’m sure there will still be some lengthy posts full of pictures now & then… so for those that don’t want to be visually tempted, I’ve included a ‘Back to Top’ icon. You can click on this at any time and the small gray arrow icon is located on the lower right hand side or at the center bottom of your screen.
  • Once you view a post/recipe within my blog, I’ve made it easy for you to print it too. At the bottom of every post, you have the option to print. Note that when you print, my header, sidebars and post comments will not be printed. It will print as a full page without distorting pictures or text. Pretty neat, huh?!
  • At the top of my right sidebar, you’ll notice a drop down box labeled, ‘WC Nestie Blogroll’. This is a collection of various food blogs created by talented women on a cooking forum I participate in. If you are part of the WC board, please click on the ‘Get on the Blogroll’ link in the drop down box (first option in the list) and I’ll add you on!
  • Labels are now in my right sidebar. These aren’t the standard labels but rather links to a comprehensive listing of the recipes featured in my blog within a specific category. I chose to provide the recipes in this format because I found scrolling through countless posts to find a recipe was a bit tedious and confusing. You’ll be able to view a list of recipes and click on the specific post to view!
  • On the left side bar, I will continue to have my current blogging adventures posted with links & deadlines reflected. For those who are interested in seeing the blogging adventure round ups, I’ve included a drop down box with those posts listed. Round ups are listed alphabetically by name.
  • I have the obligatory search feature as well for those that wish to use it.
  • Lastly, I’d love to hear from my readers whether it’s their thoughts, suggestions or even ideas for future adventures I could take. No need to create a separate email… just click the Contact Me link and it will automatically take you to a contact form to submit.

I hope you like the changes I’ve made and find them helpful. I’ve gotten some free time to cook more during the week so I hope to have some new recipes to share in addition to the culinary adventures I have. Until then, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday everyone!

Holiday Construction Work Ahead…

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I’ll be quite thankful when my updates to the format and an overall face lift to my blog have been completed. Stay tuned and thanks for bearing with me on the changes!