The candy platters are finally cleared. The cookie stash in the freezer is almost empty. Unfortunately, I think I ate more than my share of treats this holiday season. Now I am craving some simple farm cooking. Looking around the kitchen, I realize I have FFA oranges I need to use up. When I open the freezer door, a bag of frozen cranberries tumbles out. Eureka! Put oranges and cranberries together and you can celebrate Christmas and summer at the same time. Here are some recipes a friend shared with me. She had extras sitting around her kitchen, too.
    It seemed the perfect gift for us this year was cheese. From dessert cheeses, like blueberry cheese and Applewood sea salt cheese to Gouda and Guernsey cheese, my refrigerator is full. The only problem is that Mark only eats sliced American cheese, so I am looking for different ways to spread the love of cheese. The muffin tin quiches will be one way to use up the holiday leftovers. Enjoy.

Cranberry orange relish, Richael Weinand
1 bag cranberries
1 seedless orange including rind
1/4 cup sugar or honey to taste
    Put in blender and puree. Great on toast or topping in a bowl of oatmeal.

Baked cranberry orange oatmeal, Richael Weinand
2 cups old fashion oatmeal
1 cup eggnog
    Stir together and set aside for 30 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. Then add:
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cranberry orange relish
    Pour into a greased 8- by-8-inch pan. Drop six scoops of leftover relish on top. Using a knife, swirl/cut in the relish topping. Cover with slivered almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, topped with eggnog and nutmeg. Freeze any leftovers in individual servings for breakfast on the go.

Cranberry pot roast, “Old Time Farmhouse Cooking”
1 3-pound beef chuck roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup red wine or broth (beef or chicken)
1 orange
Salt and pepper
    Coat roast with flour, salt and pepper. Sear in olive oil until browned on all sides in a Dutch oven. In a pan, bring one cup water to boiling. Add cranberries. Cook until skins start to pop. Pour over meat. Add orange slices and broth. Cover and simmer on low for about 3 hours, adding extra water as needed.

Tender oatmeal cookies, Beverly Nye
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Simmer raisins and 1 cup water in saucepan over low heat until raisins are plump (20-30 minutes). Drain raisin liquid into measuring cup. Add enough water to make 1/2 cup.
    Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in raisin liquid.
    Mix dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
    Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.
    Stir in s old fashioned oats, cooked raisins and chopped nuts (optional).
    Drop rounded spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. You could also plump up dried cranberries (Craisins) instead of raisins.

Muffin tin quiches with smoked cheddar and potato, “Eating Well”
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely diced red skinned potatoes
1 cup diced red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
8 large eggs
1 cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Whisk eggs, cheese, milk, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Stir in spinach and potato mixture. Divide the quiche mixture among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from the tin. To make ahead: individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to one month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds. Breakfast on the go.
    Natalie, Mark and his brother Al, farm together near Rice, Minn. They milk 100 registered Holsteins under the RALMA prefix. Their four children are grown up and all involved in agriculture with hopes of someone returning to the farm. For questions or comments, please e-mail Natalie at mnschmitt@jetup.net.