OK I started thinking that an Egret was an Egret. I had heard about the Cattle Egret but didn’t know they were a different bird. There is a Great Egret, a Snowy Egret, a Cattle Egret and a Little Egret. The one’s we used to see regularly in the Carolinas were Snowy Egrets. They were all over the place and we loved to see them. They are a breed of heron, another thing I didn’t know. A to Z sure teaches me things. I thought this was a pretty picture of it displaying its plumes. Once upon a time Egrets were hunted for said plumes to decorate ladies hats and I don’t think it did the population much good as their populations were reduced to dangerously low numbers. They nest in colonies and travelling the coastal waters of the Carolinas one could see trees absolutely covered in Egrets, a lovely sight to see.
So ends the first week of the A to Z Challenge.
This is different, never heard of hot cross muffins before.
Easter Hot Cross MuffinsBy Redsie on March 06, 2006
"When I saw this recipe in Chatelaine magazine, I just had to try it! One of my favourite things about Easter is hot cross buns - so I was really happy to see an easy recipe for hot cross muffins! Now I can enjoy hot cross muffins all year round! You can bake as muffins or as a loaf."
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon clove (optional)
- 1/2 cup candied peel
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
- 1 egg
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
- 4 teaspoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F Place raisins in a small bowl. Pour juice overtop. Microwave, covered, until hot, 1 minute Set aside. Lightly coat or spray a 12-cup muffin tin or 9x5 inch loaf pan with oil. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves. Stir in raisin mixture, candied peel and apricots.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk egg. Whisk in milk, oil, butter and vanilla. Pour over flour mixture. Stir just until mixed. Batter will be lumpy. Divide between muffin cups or scrape into loaf pan and smooth top.
- Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of muffins or loaf comes out clean, 20 to 25 minute for muffins, 1 hour for loaf. Remove pan to a cooling rack. After 5 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on rack. Store muffins or loaf in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.
- Stir sifted icing sugar with orange juice until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins in a criss-cross pattern to mimic hot cross buns or spoon over loaf, if you wish.