Orange Maple French Toast

Good morning all!!  Growing up my Dad had one specialty meal– his Sunday morning French toast.  He’d put on his Sunday morning music and cook away while Mom got 4 kids ready for church.

So here’s a recipe that’s so simple , it’s more of a tip than a recipe!  But it really kicks up the flavor or your Sunday morning French toast!  I think you’ll like it!

ORANGE MAPLE FRENCH TOAST
1 loaf French bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (or half & half)
3 tab. grated orange peel (about 1 orange)
1/4 cup maple syrup

Slice the French bread into 1 inch slices.  Set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, grated orange peel and maple syrup.

Heat the griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (or use butter if you’re feeling indulgent!).  Dip both sides of each bread slice in the egg mixture and cook just about a minute on each side.

Store the cooked slices in a low oven until they are all cooked.  Serve with butter and more maple syrup!!  Delicious!

Orange Strawberry Bread

Hello all– Love a little loaf of quick bread.  It takes about 15 minutes to get it into the oven.  It smells sweet and fruity while it’s cooking.  And it’s great to share with a friend and a mug of tea.  Simple pleasures.

ORANGE STRAWBERRY BREAD
1 orange, peel grated, juiced
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tab. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups strawberries, cut to bits

Grate the peel off of the orange.  Then cut it in half and juice it.  Set the peel and juice aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the two eggs and sugar until blended.  Then stir in the sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Next mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  And finally stir in the strawberries, orange peel and juice.

Spoon the mixture into a standard loaf pan (9″ x 4″) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, until it’s well browned and a sharp knife inserted in the top comes out clean.  Delicious warm with a slather of butter and a mug of tea!

Smoky Honey Orange Chicken


Hi everyone–  It’s pretty true that you can’t have too many everyday chicken recipes up your sleeve.  So here’s a flavorful plateful with the brightness of orange and the spiciness of smoked paprika.  And it’s on the table in about 20 minutes– add some steamed asparagus, a wild rice mix.  Dinner!

P.S While I’m typing this up for you, I’m sitting in a cool Wisconsin coffee shop with Laurel while she’s doing a little work (and drinking coffee) on her way to her office.  Apricot tea, French ukulele music and Laurel!!  Perfect!

SMOKY HONEY ORANGE CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 large orange
1 tab. honey
2 cloves garlic minced*
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika**
1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Filet the chicken breasts, to make 4 to 6 thinner cutlets.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and then set the chicken into the skillet. Liberally salt and pepper both sides as they cook about 3 minutes on each side.

While they are cooking, grate the zest off of the orange and then juice it.  Put the grated peel along with the juice in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Add in the honey, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and corn starch.  Put on the lid and shake well until the contents are blended (no cornstarch lumps!).

After the chicken has browned on both sides, pour in the orange mixture and cook for 3 or 4 minutes more on a low simmer until the sauce is thickened.  Set the chicken on a pretty plate and spoon the sauce over the top.  Enjoy!

*This is the perfect time to used pre-minced garlic.  My favorite are the little frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s.
**Up the smoked paprika if you want more spice and more smoke.

Here’s Laurel “on the job.”

 

Orange Pecan Muffins

Hello there–  “Wish I could say, “Come on over for a hot muffin and a mug of tea.”  There are so many of you blog-friends that write back and forth.  I love reading our blogs and would love to sit and talk over breakfast and fill in all the little details of your lives. (I mean you Lacey & Mollie, Kat, Marcia, Cate, Simona, Brigid, Mary, Vero …).

But I’ll have to make do by sending off this muffin recipe to you all.  It’s bright and nutty and has that light touch of citrus.  Hot from the oven with a swath of sweet butter– perfect!

ORANGE PECAN MUFFINS
1 large orange
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Grate the rind off of the orange.  Then juice the orange.  Set both aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Then mix in the egg, oil and milk.  Finally fold in the orange juice, orange peel and chopped pecans.

Scoop the batter into a muffin tin lined with muffin papers.  Makes 10 to 12 muffins.

Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes.  Eat ’em while they’re hot!!

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Good morning–  Just in case you have a bag of cranberries lingering in your freezer after the holidays here is jus one more cranberry recipe (the last, I promise!!).  I could eat this all year round with mugs of hot tea.

And thinking most of you don’t have those cranberries on hand, blueberries would work just as well!  Perfect coming out of the oven on a lazy Saturday morning…

CRANBERRY ORANGE BUTTERMILK BREAKFAST CAKE
1 orange
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup buttermilk*

Grate all the peel off of the orange.  Set aside.

Mix together the oil, 1 cup sugar, egg and vanilla.  Then stir in the flour baking powder and salt.  Fold in the cranberries and orange peel.  And finally stir in the 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ square** baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Delicious served warm with morning mugs of tea!

*In place of buttermilk, you can use 1 tab. of cider vinegar & then fill the measuring cup to 1/2 cup.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken like buttermilk.
**or –I used a 10″ tart dish

Orange Cranberry Pecan Butter Cookies

Hey friends– I know the name for these cookies is way too long!  But I wanted you to know up front all the goodies they have tucked inside.

And– the best part of these cookies is that you make the dough ahead, put it in the fridge and then slice and bake as many as you need when you’re ready to eat them.   I made the dough this morning, will slice and bake a few for friends coming in tonight and save the rest of the dough for next week when the kids are arrive!

ORANGE CRANBERRY PECAN BUTTER COOKIES
1 large orange
1  1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
garnish:  powdered sugar for dusting

Start by grating all the rind off of the orange.  Set it aside.  The cut the orange in half and juice it.  Set the juice aside for a minute.

Use a mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and orange juice– until it’s smooth and well blended.  Then add in the flour baking powder, salt, cranberries, pecans and orange peel.  Beat with the mixer until it all forms a big sticky ball of dough.

On a lightly floured counter take out half of the dough and roll it into a log bout 2″ thick.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge.  Do the same with the remaining dough.  Chill it all in the fridge for an hour or more (up to several days…)

When you’re ready to bake– Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Slice the logs of dough into 1/4″ slices and set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are lightly browned around the edges.  Be sure to eat at least one warm from the oven (the best!).

When they cool you can dust them lightly with powdered sugar shaken through a sieve. Makes about 3 dozen.

Orange & Rosemary Salmon

Hello all– There are some old recipes that are standards (That’s you, coconut cake!).  And I’m just sticking with them.  But there are some foods that are always open for improvement.  I’m always wiling to try a new chocolate chip cookie or a new spin on meatballs and because we’re trying to eat more fish, I’m always up for a new version of salmon.

Here’s the latest– sweet and tangy.  And that smokey paprika!  I was entranced as it spilled out of the jar onto my measuring spoon.  I think you’ll love this easy dish…

ORANGE & ROSEMARY SALMON
1 orange
2 tab. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 pound salmon filets
2 tab. brown sugar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
garnish: orange wedge, sprig of rosemary

Take an orange and grate off all the peel. Set that aside.  Then cut the orange in half and extract all the juice.

Mix the orange juice, olive oil & rosemary in a baking dish to make the marinade. Put the salmon filets into the marinade, turning to coat both sides and let it sit in the fridge for an hour.*

While that’s marinating, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, sea salt and the peel of the orange you grated off.

When the salmon is done marinating, pour the extra marinade out of the baking dish.  Then spread the paprika mixture evenly over the top of the salmon and pop it into a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your filets.

P.S. We had ours with roasted red potatoes since they both bake at 400 degrees.  Add a little steamed broccoli.  Dinner!