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  • Melissa Orquiza

Cranberry Maple Breakfast Cake, Openness & Creativity, & Chasing Inspiration

Cranberry Maple Breakfast Cake. Because, I'm still relishing the holidays!

Cranberry Maple Pecan Breakfast Cake GIF. Yeah. Still into them.

Happy New Year! My decorations are put away but I’m still reveling in the holiday nostalgia. For the first time ever, I have not made a New Year’s resolution which is freeing yet a bit scary. Will I exercise more? Sure… I’ll definitely try. Will I eat healthier…. Sure, love feeling great. Will I go into a pit of ickiness because I didn’t keep my resolutions… HECK NO! (And neither should you.)

In my spirit of congenial non- conformity, I hope you try to do something truly out of the ordinary for yourself and hopefully conjure some much needed creativity. Because, let’s be honest, I thought the world was nonsensical years ago but wow… I think we’ve truly turned a new corner for grave unaccountability. So, you can get angry, frustrated, anxious, sad, lethargic, happy or non- committal, but honestly, our happiness is in our hands (and the freedom to let go). What better way to help change what isn’t working but by trying to fix things or letting it go? How about channeling your emotions and showcasing happiness through your own creations? As scary as this sounds, sometimes maintaining happiness is about letting go, knowing your boundaries and being open to laughter with the chaos. (I love boundaries and as difficult as it can be to maintain them, you’ll know instantly whether or not someone is honorable by how they behave to yours). As your funny, musical, working mom, here’s to chasing your happiness and letting go. Happy New Year!

Research shows openness is key to creativity.

How Openness to Experience Boosts Creativity and Well-Being

Finally, I’ll be remiss in saying that this holiday season does not have its challenges, even after the last three years. I’ve been turning off what doesn’t work for me when it becomes too much still doesn’t work, here are some fun quotes. I firmly believe that dreams do come true… but often in ways you don’t expect. Here’s to being open to the possibilities to your own fairy tale ending!

Quotes to Chasing Your Dreams

Thanks for reading! Have a great week! XO, Melissa

Cranberry Maple Pecan Breakfast Cake

I made this about this time last year and never got a chance to post it due to my dad. I hope he's having fun in heaven! Hoping to reconnect with family this year, the bomb cyclone, illness, the storm of a generation, and flight cancellations messed up our carefully laid travel plans. Here's to rolling with the punches with amusement.

Cranberry Maple Pecan Breakfast Cake

by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson from “Flour” Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe


Maple Pecans

3 Tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped

1 1/2 cups (160 grams) cake flour

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick/86 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into 6-8 pieces

1/2 cup (80 grams) nonfat buttermilk at room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup (110 grams) maple syrup

1 cup (100 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

Maple Glaze

1/2 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar

2 to 3 Tablespoons maple syrup


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, or line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper.

2. To make the maple pecans: In a small saucepan, combine the 3 Tablespoons maple syrup and pecans over medium heat and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the syrup is completely absorbed by the nuts. Remove the pan from the heat, scrape the pecans onto a plate, and let cool completely. (If you leave the pecans in the saucepan, they will stick to the pan.) Set aside.

3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the butter is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients. The mixture will look like coarse meal. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 5 to 6 minutes).

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and 1.3 cup maple xyrup until thoroughly mixed. Add about halt the buttermilk mixture to the butter-flour mixture and beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is light, fluffy, and pale. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the buttermilke mixture is incorporated. On low speed, add the remaining buttermilk mixture and beat for about 30 seconds, then stop the mixer and scrape again. Turn on the mixer to medium speed and mix for another 30 seconds.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cranberries and the maple pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of teh cake is golden browna dn spring back when you press it in the middle. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

7. To make the maple glaze: While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the maple syrup to make a thick, spreadable glaze.

8. When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spread or spoon the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, letting the glaze dribble down the sides.

9. The cake can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy! Xo, Melissa

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