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!

Family Cranberry Sauce

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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!

FAMILY CRANBERRY SAUCE
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!

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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

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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.

ORANGE CHEESECAKE

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

Filling:
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.)

Garnish:
orange marmelade and a mint sprig

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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!

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Chocolate Orange Cake

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Hey there– We happen to eat a lot chocolate cake at our house– chocolate layer cake, chocolate poke cake, chocolate oatmeal cake, German chocolate cake…  You get it.   But we now officially have a new favorite chocolate cake– this tender, moist citrusy tube cake.  Add chocolate ganache glaze on top and it may be your new favorite too!

Thanks for the recipe from Kirsten at her beautiful baking blog, Cookie, Cakes and Pie, Oh My!

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CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE

Cake:
1 chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding (3.9 oz.)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
3 tab. grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
12 oz. package chocolate chips (2 cups)

Glaze:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tab. butter
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips

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With an electric mixer beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, orange juice and orange zest.  Beat for 4 minutes on medium speed.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into a bundt or tube pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop the cake into a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake is cooked through.

Let the cake cool in the pan, before inverting it on to a pretty plate.

To make the glaze, bring the cream and butter to a low simmer until all the butter has melted.  Stir in the chocolate until it’s thoroughly blended.  Take off the heat and beat with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake.  yumm!

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Orange Cupcakes

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Hi there– Our kids live in Ojai– and if you’ve ever been there, you know it’s nestled int a valley teeming with citrus groves.  There are spans of orange and mandarin trees lining the roads that lead up to their house.  So when they come down to visit, they often bring in the door a big red net bag of oranges, fresh from the farm!  There’s a big bowl sitting on kitchen the table here next to my lap top.

So when I wanted to make cupcakes this week for friends coming in on Thursday night, I thought– how can I use a few of these oranges??!  And here they are– orange cupcakes:

Cake:
Orange cake mix (Duncan Hines)*
2 large oranges
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Use a grater to grate off all the orange skin of the two oranges.  Set aside.  Then juice the oranges keep the juice aside as well.

Make the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine asked for oil, eggs and water) — But substitute 1 cup of orange juice for the water called for!!  (save 2 tablespoons of the orange juice to use for the frosting)  Stir in half of the grated orange peel into the batter (save the second half of the peel for the frosting).

Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers about 1/2 full.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.Pop them into the oven for 15 0 18 minutes at 350 degrees, until they come out firm to the touch.

Let the cupcakes cool completely and then make the frosting– With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and the rest of the grated orange peel).  Spread it thickly on the cooled cupcakes and you’re ready for a party!

* If your market doesn’t have orange cake mix, a yellow or white mix would be just as well.

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Sunshine Cake

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Hello there Sunshine– We’re on the edge of summer– and I think we’ve just launched into pot luck season here.  Bar-b-que suppers with tables full of Sue’s Three Bean Salad and Gram’s crunchy cole slaw…  John at the grill flipping burgers.  Last Friday was the  year end pot luck with the school friends (thanks Kim for having us all –and I mean all!).  And this sunny little cake was my pot luck contribution.

It tastes as bright as sunshine– with all that citrus and pineapple laced whipped cream.  It’s really pot luck worthy.

SUNSHINE CAKE
1 yellow cake mix
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 orange
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix

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First grate the peel off the orange and set aside.  Then cut the orange in half and extract the juice.  Save that too.

Spoon half of the pineapple from the can into a stainer, and let the juice drain off.  Save the rest of the juice and pineapple in the can and set it aside.

To make the cake, first pour the juice from the orange into a 1 cup measuring cup.  It will probably be less than a full cup, so add water to fill the cup to exactly one cup.  Then mix up the cake with an electric mixer, using the cup of juice & water, 3 eggs and 1/2 cup canola oil.  Beat it on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Then fold in the drained pineapple to the batter.

Spoon the batter into a 3×13″ baking dish or a 10″ springform pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is light browned and firm to the touch. Let the cake cool completely, before you put on the frosting.

To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the whipping cream, 1/2 cup powder sugar and vanilla pudding mix until it thickens.  Then use a spoon to fold in the pineapple left in the can (along with it’s juice) and the grate orange peel.

Spoon the frosting over the cake and let it sit int he fridge for 20 or 30 minutes for the frosting to set well.

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Raspberry Orange Ham Sauce

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Hi there– Just pulled the last of the Easter ham leftovers out of the freezer.  The thing about leftovers is that they don’t seem so sad if you give them a little extra trimmings to make them seem not-so-leftover.  Do you know what I mean?

So to wake up this dish, we splashed on a little raspberry orange sauce.  It was just fine.  —And the leftovers of the sauce can be used on ice cream or pancakes or in a smoothie…  Leftovers galore– I’m just glad to have them!

RASPBERRY ORANGE HAM SAUCE
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup honey
1 tab. butter
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries

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Mix the orange juice, raspberry jam, butter and honey in a sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil on the burner and then turn down to let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then in a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the cornstarch and water until they are all blended.  Stir this into the simmer sauce and stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.

Pour in the raspberries and let it sit to warm them.  Serve it warm over your cooked ham.

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Orange Pecan Scones

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Hello all–  I wonder if you are have been an avid Downton Abbey watcher, like my friends around here.  We all showed up at Becky’s house last week to watch the final installment.  Everyone walked in the door with a plateful of something tea party-ish.  We poured glasses of wine and cups of tea and settled in to find out what finally happened to Edith and Mary, Daisy, Mr. Carson and all the rest…

These citrusy nutty scones were my contribution to the evening.  Served up with sweet butter and orange marmalade, they were just right with a cup of tea.

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ORANGE PECAN SCONES
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tab. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 large orange
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream*
2/3 cup pecans, chopped fine

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tab. orange juice

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First grate the peel of of the orange.  In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange peel.  Then use a pastry blender (or food processor) to cut in the butter. Work it in until it resembles coarse crumbs.

In a smaller bowl beat together the eggs and cream.  Then stir it in to the flour mixture.  Finally mix in the pecans to make a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto the counter that has been dusted with flour.  Flatten it to a disk about an inch thick.  Cut the scones out with a round cookies cutter than has been dipped in flour to prevent sticking.

Lay the scones onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and pop it all into a 400 degree oven for 15 or 16 minutes, until the scones are nicely browned.

While they are cooking thoroughly blend the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoon of the orange juice together with a fork.  If it seems a bit dry, add the 3rd tablespoon of orange juice and keep mixing.

When the scones come out of the oven, dribble the glaze over the tops of the scones.  Very best eaten hot from the oven with a bit more butter and a bright spoonful of orange marmalade.

*If you have cream left, you could whip it to serve with the scones…

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Carrot Salad with Orange, Pomegranate & Mint

IMG_3349Hello friends–  This colorful salad is a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers– Laura who posts her brilliant photos and her warm engaging stories from her home in Australia, out to all of us.  It’s called Laura’s Mess, but it’s not a mess at all– so worthwhile.  I think you’d like it…

We had this salad  Sunday with lunch and Larry like the crunch.  I loved the bright colors and we both thought it super tasty.

CARROT SALAD WITH ORANGE, POMEGRANATE AND MINT
2 large carrots
2 green onion, green stems chopped
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds*
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 navel orange, peeled & cut to chunks
handful of mint, chopped
garnish– more pomegranate seeds, mint, almonds…

Dressing:
6 tab. olive oil
2 tab. white wine or tarragon vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
squeeze of honey to taste

Peel long shreds off of the carrots rotating as you go.  Discard the stems and hard center.  In a bowl mix together the carrots, green onion, pomegranate seeds, orange and mint.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt & pepper and honey until well blended.  Stir in into the carrot bowl to cover all the veggies.

Refrigerate the salad for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.  The mix in the almonds and spread it on a pretty plate.  You can garnish with a few more almonds, pomegranate seeds, a mint sprig…

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Quinoa Avocado Garbanzo Salad

IMG_1700Hi all– in the middle of all this holiday eating, sometimes you just have to stop and say a salad is all we need for dinner.  It happened to us last Sunday– no big Sunday lunch.  A salad was quite enough.  And this one is satisfying enough to feel like a real meal.

QUINOA AVAOCADO GARBANZO SALAD
4 cups greens
1 cup quinoa
1 14 oz. can garbanzos, rinsed
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 navel orange, cut in segments
1/2 cup almonds, cut in half

dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tab. orange chanpagne vinegar* (or cider vinegar)
1 tsp. seedy mustard
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer all the salad ingredients on a ample plate.  Shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are completely blended.  Add the dressing to the salad just before you are ready to serve it up.

makes 2 full lunch servings

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Orange Chili Chicken

FullSizeRenderHi all– You’d think that now that all our kids are grown and far flung around the country and Larry and I are on our own, that we’d have all the time in the world.  I should have hours to cook leisurely gourmet dinners that we would linger over by candlelight.

But that’s not happening.  So any super yummy and quick to fix dinner I can find is just fine with me. This marinade/glaze has so much flavor– sweet, citrusy and just enough heat.  And it’s ready in about 20 minutes.  I’ll be making it again and again.

ORANGE CHILI CHICKEN
3 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons

marinade/glaze:
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup honey
2 tab. hoisin sauce
2 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. red wine vinegar
2 tab.brown sugar
2 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

garnish:
green onions, sliced
zest from one orange

Grate the zest from the orange and set aside sealed in a baggie.

In  mixing bowl whisk together all 12 (!) ingredients for the marinade/glaze.

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to produce 6 flatter filets.  Put them into a heavy zip loc bag along with 1/2 cup of the marinade and 1/2 cup olive oil.  Set into the fridge for at least an hour or up to overnight.  Refrigerate the remaining marinade/glaze.

When your ready to get dinner going, heat the 2 tab. of olive oil in a skillet and set the chicken into the pan.  Cook just about 2 minutes on each side to brown the chicken.  Then add in the remaining marinade and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve up the chicken on a pretty platter (maybe with some brown rice) and cover with the glaze from the pan.  Garnish with the green onion and grated orange peel.

* The recipe I worked from calls for sriracha sauce, but I like this milder chili sauce.  It depends on how much heat you like, and what you have in the fridge!

 

 

Orange Chicken Meatballs

IMG_3093Hi all– you know that orange chicken, the American version of Chinese food?  Here’s yet another iteration, that’s a little rounder and more tender–orange tinged little meatballs.

We had them for supper over brown rice, but I was thinking they’d be fun next time I’m taking an appetizer to dinner with friends.  And I’m pretty sure they’d be a hit next time the grand-girls come to eat!

ORANGE CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Meatballs:
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab. onion, minced
1 tab. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Sauce:
3 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. sweet Thai chili sauce
3/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tab. hoisin sauce
2 tab. soy sauce
2 green onions, slice fro garnish

In a mixing bowl thoroughly combine the chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, onion, 1 tab. soy sauce, salt and pepper.  I always think I can do it with a spoon, but hands are the best way to smoosh it up til it’s all blended.

Scoop out clumps of the chicken mixture and roll each spoonful into a small ball.  Set the meatballs onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (Make about 15 meatballs)

Pop the sheet of meatballs into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they are cooked through and a little browned around the edges.

While that’s cooking, make the sauce.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add in the garlic.  Stir for a minute.  Then stir in the ginger, chili sauce, marmalade, hoisin sauce and soy sauce.  Let it simmer on low for a minute or two to thicken a bit.

When the meatballs are all baked– drop them into the sauce the mix them up to coat them well.  Set them out on a serving dish.  Scrape the extra sauce out of the skillet over the meatballs.  And sprinkle the chopped green onion over it all.  Done.  And delicious.

 

Citrus Kale Salad with Orange Honey Dressing

IMG_1229Hi all– It’s still citrus season around here.  Jodi brought us a big net bag of Ojai oranges and they were so bright and sweet.  So one of the last ones ended up in our salad…

With most salads, I wait til the last minute to put them together so they’ll hold up and stay fresh.  But this hearty kale will still be great if you make the salad up to an hour ahead and stick it into the fridge.  That’s handy when you have more dinner to fix!

CITRUS KALE SALAD

Salad:
3 kale leaves, cut off the stem and chopped fine
1 orange peeled & sliced into sections
2 tangerines, peeled & sliced into rounds
2 tab. red & orange bell pepper, cut to tiny bits*
3 tab. salted almonds, cut in half

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. orange muscat vinegar**
1 tab. honey
salt & pepper

Not really much of a recipe– Just layer the kale, orange, tangerines, pepper and almonds on a pretty plate.  That’s it.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the olive oil, vinegar and honey.  Shake hard til throughly blended.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour it on the salad when you’re ready to eat.

*I got a bag of those tiny red, yellow and orange peppers at the market.  Two of them were just enough.

** The  Orange Muscat Vinegar is at Trader Joe’s.  Love that stuff.

Whole Wheat Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

DSC01383Hi everyone– We seem to be the glad recipients of all manner of citrus these days– Teachers at school have been sharing bowls of lemons and tangerines and grapefruit from their trees.  And Micah came down last weekend with a big bag of beautiful big oranges from the farms up in Ojai. So they’ll be some citrusy baking around here, including these orange muffins.  They’re hearty and bright–a good way to start your morning…

WHOLE WHEAT ORANGE POPPY SEED MUFFINS
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
grated orange peel (about 1/3 cup)*
2 tab. poppy seeds

Stir together the white and wheat flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the egg, orange juice and oil.  Finally fold in the orange peel and poppy seeds.

Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper muffin cups (or just sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake them 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees until they are firm to the touch.  Makes about 10 standard muffins.

Serve hot on a winter morning with a swatch of butter and orange marmalade.  Delish.

*I used one very large orange, it might take 2 to have enough peel & juice.