Diva Tasting: Banana Bread…

Banana Bread II
Ingredients
1 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Coated with flour for even distribution)
2 Medium Bananas, Sliced
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Diva Rambling: Holiday Crazy….

As the madness of the holidays sets in I found this note to gently remind us to stay grounded in all the holiday insanity.  I can’t find my note on who wrote this but I thank them for this gentle reminder…Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Crazy People

If you think people are crazy, are you one of them? If you think you are not one of them, someone else might think that you are crazy!

In this world there is all types of craziness. If an alien comes to this planet and goes to a soccer stadium, he would find it to be an absolutely crazy place! He will not be able to understand why the 11 players are chasing one ball and are trying to get the ball into the net, and why are there 11 others on the other side stopping them, that too for one little ball. He would say, ‘Why are they all fighting over a ball?’

An alien would say, ‘Let me give 22 balls to 22 players. Let them kick their balls and keep them in the net!’

If their goal is to put the ball in the net, he would say, ‘Okay, let us all go and keep it there.’ He will fail to understand why people are kicking the ball and falling over each other and 50,000 people around are clapping and crying and howling!

It sounds absolutely crazy!

Like that there are many such crazy things in the world. I used to find English language very crazy. You write, ‘know’ and pronounce it as ‘no’. I would say, ‘know!’ (pronouncing it with the k sound) You should speak the way you write and read. You write ‘knowledge’ and put a ‘k’, I would say, ‘knowledge’ (pronouncing with the k sound). Everyone found it absolutely crazy.

My mother tongue is such that the way we write is the same as what we speak. In English, several letters become silent and you don’t know which is silent and which is not silent. It was so difficult. I had to write in English and then write in Kannada below that. Once my class teacher looked at my notebook and asked me, ‘What are you writing? It is wrong’.

There is no match between speaking and writing. You say something and you write something else.

Like that there are different crazes in the world. Everything is a craze and people are crazy for different things. Some are crazy about games, some for politics, some for money.

Do you know what happened in China? On New Years, in Shanghai, somebody threw fake currency from the top of a tower and 35 people died in a stampede. Is this not crazy,? People going to get free money falling from some building onto the street? There is no limit for being crazy. At least here it is good crazy! Some people are crazy about mediation and some are crazy about singing. It is okay! ‘Accept people as they are’. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Why did I put this point! I have been trapped by it!’ I have never said anything in my life which I have not practiced, so since I have said this, I have to practice it and I have been practicing, carrying on and accepting all sorts of craziness. I tell you, there is hope! I am still happy!

Diva Tasting: Muffin Recipes for the Holidays Or Any Day …

Muffin Recipes for the Holidays Or Any Day 
Fall Muffins
Ingredients
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Half n Half®
1 Cup Chopped Cranberries
1 Cup Diced, Peeled Apple (Optional)
1/2 Cup Fig Jam
1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Make a well in the center, and add the melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until smooth. Stir in the cranberries, apple, figs, and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Sweet Potato Muffins Dessert Or Breakfast
1 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Canned Shredded Sweet Potato
1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin tins to hold 12 muffins.
  2. Whisk together brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and grated sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture, gradually incorporating it with the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and walnuts
  4. Spoon the batter into the tins. I like to fill each tin to the rim to make a large cap. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the oven and run a paring knife carefully around each muffin, then invert the pan, and knock one edge against your work surface to release the muffins. Serve the muffins right away.

Diva Ranting: But I Meant To….

…“I truly meant to behave but there were just too many other great options.” T-Shirt Philosophy

Welcome to my world. Someone once sent me a book “When You Can Walk On Water Take The Boat.”

They fell into my friends philosophy that I am one of the most predictably unpredictable people he had ever met. Choosing you own “ignore the box” options does not mean you really are misbehaving…(only to little uncreative minds) maybe. But who give a hoot. God gave us each incredible gifts many never use because they are afraid of being labeled by the world of Judgey Smurfs, as different. Really??? Gifts you have and do not share are sad to a world that needs you. No one is anything like you. You were specifically programmed by the Universe to be YOU!!! Not some coloring book numb nuts. Don’t waste your precious gifts. My daughter is a comic and I tell her all the time her gift to the world is to make people laugh. What a gift! What is your gift? Share it with our world today. We love you just the way you are. Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Ranting: That little thing….

You know that little thing inside your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t? Yeah, I don’t have one of those. “ T-Shirt Philosophy
I think you know by now if you’ve been around the Crones for any length of time we tend to tell it and not need to sell it. Getting older and wiser is very freeing. I never want to say anything to anyone that intentionally insult or hurts them. However, bullies, biatches, parvenus, just all around mean spirited people….you do not want to take us on. We will knit your britches to your ass and still have time to cook dinner. Standing ground is not so fearful once you’ve practiced it a bit. The “better thans” noted above are not use to bravery. Once you stand ground they are not as interested in taking you down. They’ll move on to some other innocent they can mow down with impunity. Let them know you are not one of them. Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: Insults….

Insults
“In order to insult me I must first value your opinion…Nice Try Though…” T-Shirt Philosophy 
Ever have one of those days? I once had a popular mean girl in high school come in and confront me that I said something negative about her. I suspect someone used my name because they knew I wouldn’t give a hoot what she thought. I looked at her and said…”Interesting that you think I would waste my precious free time giving you a second thought! Not going to happen; leave. The entire class stood up and gave me a standing ovation. Everyone was tired of her stuff just too afraid to stand ground. She turned and huffed away. The teacher even gave me extra credit on my exam.
Bullies and manipulators will always be around. Just know you can stand your ground and fight the fight without necessarily landing a physical blow. Be Brave. Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

Diva Tasting: CRANBERRY DISHES…

Not everyone loves cranberries I get it.  But here are some unique ways to enjoy them for you holiday season. AND they are very good for you we hear.
CRANBERRY DISHES
Cranberry Salsa starters
Ingredients
1 (12 Ounce) Bag Cranberries, Fresh Or Frozen
1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped
1 Bunch Green Onions, Cut Into 3 Inch Lengths
2 Limes, Juiced
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1 Pinch Salt
Directions
  1. Combine cranberries, cilantro, green onions, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a medium blade. Chop to medium consistency. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Serve at room temperature. Serve with pita chips or corn chips
Cranberry Bread dessert
Ingredients
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Cups Cranberries
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 inch pie pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, beaten eggs, and almond extract. If you are using frozen cranberries, the mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
Ingredients
1 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Chopped Cranberries
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 1/2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.
Orange Cranberry Loaf
Ingredients
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Zest
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Pecans, Coarsely Chopped
1/4 Cup Margarine, Softened
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg
3/4 Cup Orange Juice
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in orange zest, cranberries, and pecans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice. Beat in flour mixture until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the bread springs back when lightly touched. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap in plastic when completely cool.
Cranberry Chutney
Ingredients
3 Cups Fresh Cranberries
2 Cups White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Water, Or More As Needed
1 Large Granny Smith Apple – Peeled, Cored And Diced
1 Stalk Celery, Diced
1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Zest
1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Pecans Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Pinch Salt, Or To Taste
Directions
  1. Place the cranberries, sugar, and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until all the cranberries have popped, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the apple, celery, orange zest, orange juice, pecans, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the celery is tender and the sauce is reduced, about 35 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and let the chutney stand to thicken, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.