Cranberry Orange Poke Bread

I make a lot of quick bread because it’s easy to take to work for my coworkers. Sometimes I make breads and muffins from scratch, and other times I just use a mix. It depends on what mood I am in. I am weird like that. Anyway, a few weeks ago (before all this engagement business happened) I whipped up this bread: simple from a box mix with a few yummy extras.

I used an old cake method that my mom, Grandma Deuink and Great-Grandma Ila used. Poke cake. I don’t know if that’s the real name or if that’s just what they call it in the South in my family.

Poke cake method is simply poking the top of the cake while it’s warm and pouring some sort of liquid over the top. Then let the cake cool and refrigerate. Seriously, one of my favorite desserts. Cool moist cake. Yum.

Anyway, if poke cake is not the proper term, please forgive me. I just love that it sounds like what it actually is. Poke Cake = a cake that is poked.

I also just like to say the word “poke.”

Here are the ingredients that I used.

1  cranberry orange muffin mix

1 cup milk

1 mashed banana

1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat over to 350.

Grease a bread loaf pan and set aside. Mix together first three ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and follow the instructions on the box for baking the mix into a loaf.

Once the bread is baked, remove from the oven and let cool about ten minutes. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes in the top of the bread. Carefully pour the juice over the top of the bread, letting the juice soak in. Set aside and let cool completely. Once cool, remove bread from loaf pan and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate over night (or go ahead and cut a slice if you can’t wait that long).  Enjoy!

Thank you for admiring my new Union Jack apron my fiance bought me on a recent business trip.
Poking the bread with a skewer.
Orange juice poured over the top of the baked bread
Cranberry Orange Poke Bread

Granola Cookie Bars

Cooking and baking help me relax after a long day. I spent this past weekend out-of-town, and last night I needed to just relax and unwind (and unpack and do laundry but baking sounded better than unpacking and laundry:).

Sometimes I challenge myself to come up with a recipe using only the ingredients I already have in my pantry. That’s how this recipe came about. Kind of a cross between baked oatmeal and granola. Anyway they are super yummy. And I am always for anything that is super yummy. Life is hard enough. Why make it worse by eating non-yummy(I just created this word) food? I digress. Let’s make some granola bar cookies.

Adapted from this recipe from the cookbook

Granola Cookie Bars, adapted from Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2  cup chopped sliced almonds
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, apple sauce, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, almonds, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Spread the dough evenly in a 13×9 baking pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow bars to cool in 13×9 pan for 20 minutes before cutting and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container.