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!

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!

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…

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!

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…

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!

Family Cranberry Sauce


Hi all– I don’t know about you, but for me a plate of turkey dinner isn’t complete without cranberries.  I grew up on the kind of sauce that pops out of a can, but when I met Larry, his dad was the master cranberry sauce maker in the family and this is his recipe.

It’s so simple– just 4 ingredients and a food processor and your set.  Over the years with friends, I’ve had fancier cranberry sauces– spiced with ginger or mixed with figs or slightly alcoholic.  But for me this fresh simple sauce is just the best!

12 oz. bag cranberries
2 oranges, include the peel
2 apples, include the skin, remove stem and seeds
1  1/2 cup sugar

With a food processor coarsely grind up the cranberries, then the oranges, then the apples. Mix them all together in a large bowl with the sugar and let the flavors meld in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!




Here’s Grandpa Stu, the original cranberry sauce maker, along with Grandma Honey and one of their grand grand-kids, a future cranberry sauce maker

Orange Cheesecake


Hey all– We have a joke about how Larry eats cheesecake around here.  He nibbles.  He loves most any cheesecake and his theory is that eating tiny bites makes the enjoyment last longer.  I guess he’s right!  And this is a perfect dessert to test out his theory…

It’s a airier cheesecake and with the slightly tart citrus against the sweet creaminess of he cheesecake, it’s pretty easy to imagine yourself enjoying this cake nibble by nibble.


1/3 cup melted butter
2 tab. sugar
1  1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

24 oz. cream cheese (3-  8 oz. packages) at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1  1/2 cup sour cream
grated peel from one orange (about 2 tab.)

orange marmelade and a mint sprig


Mix together the melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and the crushed graham crackers.  Press them evenly into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan (Or deep cake pan) that has been spray with cooking spray.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth.  Then beat in the eggs, sour cream and grated orange peel.  Spoon the mixture into the pan on top of the graham crackers.

Put it into a 350 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes.  It should come out firm around the edges but a little jiggly in the minds–it will firm up as it cools.  (tip: my sis who gave me this recipe, says to put a pan of water on the bottom rack while the cheesecake is cooking, to keep it from cracking later!)

Let the cheesecake cool on the counter for a couple hours and then set it into the fridge for 2 or 3 hours to chill.  To serve it, top the cheesecake with orange marmalade and that sprig of mint.  Pretty and delish!