Filed under: Dessert, Snacks | Tags: award, Churro, cinnamon sugar, orange
So, let me start off this Monday with a BIG thank you to Stephanie at Eat. Drink. Love. ! When I saw that she gave me the award, The Versitile Blogger, it totally made my day! I’ve been at this a short time, so needless to say, I was very happy! Along with the award, you must give seven facts about yourself, pass the award on to fifteen other deserving bloggers, and thank the person who gave you the award . Thanks again, Stephanie!
First things, first….My seven random facts:
1. When I was pregnant with both of my kids I was obsessed with crime/jail shows. I would stay up late and watch Lock Up: Raw or Dateline NBC. Oh, and don’t even get me started on Oz!
2. One of my favorite memories as a child is using my Grandmother’s fire-engine-red Kitchen Aid stand mixer. When my husband and I bought our first home the first thing I got was my own sage-green Kitchen Aid. I think no kitchen would feel like home without it.
3. I love Mexican food. Well maybe that’s not random, but I love it so much that when I knew my husband was really the one when he knew how I liked my Chipotle burritos (extra, extra rice; a little black beans; steak; extra, extra cheese; and hot salsa on the side. Oh and chips too.)
4. Growing up, I always wanted to live in another country. Now my family and I have been living almost 6,000 miles away from home. I didn’t know what to expect, but so far it’s been a great experience.
5. I HATE mayonaise! If you make something for me with mayo in it, don’t tell me because I won’t eat it. But chances are, you won’t be able to trick me, I can always taste it in foods.
6. I’m such a restaurant geek that every time I’m planning on going out to eat at a new restaurant, I’ll go online and look up the menu to try to decide what I’ll order. Yet, when I get to the restaurant, I still look at the menu and usually choose something different.
7. I first started a blog to keep family updated with pictures of the kids while we were away. Then I thought I’d start a second blog to organize recipes and remember what I’ve cooked. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I have. Being away from friends and family can be rough, but I feel like sometimes this blog has kept me from going insane.
Whew! Now on to the seven blogs…
1. Postres de la Cipota. She makes some amazing desserts!
2. Bromography Great and funny posts about food and life.
3. T and Tea Cake. Check out the Mexican Chocolate Tart!
4. Just One Cookbook. Japanese recipes with great photography.
5. Curry and Comfort. So many great recipes with ingredients I’m not used to cooking with, but can’t wait to try!
6. That’s So Michelle. Crave worthy food. If someone can dress up a hot dog the way she does, just imagine how great the rest of her recipes are!
7. Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts. Another mom blogger who has great family food!
8. Scarletta Bakes. Anyone who comes up with avocado and lime pop tarts is already a winner in my book.
9. Chef and Steward. Wonderful pictures, and bloggers in the same part of the world as me 🙂
10. Buttercream Blondi. She had me at disco dust.
11. Real Fun Food. She makes me want to take a trip to England!
12. Comowater. I’m as carnivorous as they come, but her vegetarian and vegan recipes are great!
13. The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen. Simple, delicious recipes.
14. Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Great recipes, gorgeous photos!
15. Fifteen Spatulas. Her Wordless Wednesdays show the beauty of food.
And now, about those churros….I got the recipe from the first cook book I bought myself in college. It’s pretty simple, and even in my first crappy apartment I was able to make these tasty treats. I decided to add some chili powder to the dough for an extra kick, and because “M” likes spicy (I did leave a little unspicey, as “C” does not.)
Spicy Orange Churros
*adapted from The Great American Cookbook by Joy Skipper
1 cup water
7 tablespoons butter, or shortening, diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Finely grated rind of 1 small orange
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more if you like extra spicy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable oil for frying
superfine sugar, for dusting
Heat water, butter, sugar, orange rind, and salt in a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat until the butter has melted.
Add the flour, cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla extract, then remove the pan from the heat and beat rapidly until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan
Let cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until the mixture is thick and smooth. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a wide star tip.
Heat the oil to 350. Pipe 5 inch lengths into the oil, being careful not to over crowd it. Fry for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove churros with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Dust the churros with sugar and cinnamon. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Filed under: Breakfast, Dessert | Tags: cake, carrot, dried cherries, muffin, orange
So I’ve mentioned before that my family recently moved to a new country. And of course being a foodie (or at least a wanna be) many of my favorite things about our host country are food-related. Walking around the market in a new country is one of the best experiences! Sometimes it can be frustrating if you are looking for a particular ingredient or food and you can’t find it, or the labels aren’t in English. But sometimes, I find something new that makes me wonder how I’ve spent almost 30 years of my life without knowing it existed. This time, the “it” I am referring to is Orange and Carrot juice. I was intrigued, so I bought it. Man, am I glad I did. Both my husband and I were surprised how good it was! It wasn’t like the V-8 juices that cover up the taste of the veggies with the fruit juice. The flavor of the carrot was just as pronounced at the orange, yet in still, it was light, crisp and sweet. To date this is one of my favorite local finds.
So my family likes something sweet in the morning for breakfast, and when I was looking through the fridge to see what I had on hand to decide what to make, I saw the bag of oranges I had just bought, and a bag of carrots. Light bulb! I would make orange and carrot muffins. I then thought of one of my hubby’s favorite kinds of cake: carrot cake. I didn’t have any raisins, on hand, but I did have a bag of dried cherries. I think the addition made for a nice unexpected chewiness with a tart bite. I love this recipe, and I think this one will stay in the regular rotation in our house. The only changes I think I will make next time are to add maybe one or two more tablespoons orange zest so the orange flavor is more pronounced; and I will also see if I can find some vanilla beans for a little added flavor.
I forgot to buy muffin liners the last time I was shopping, so while “M” was helping me scoop the batter into the mini-bunt pans, she said, “Ohhh Mommy, I can’t wait to eat these mini-cakes!” So Orange and Carrot Mini Cakes with dried Cherries, they are!
Orange and Carrot Mini Cakes with Dried Cherries
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk (I used 2%
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated orange peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 large carrot, shredded
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease muffin pan or mini bunt cake pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk milk and orange juice in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and orange peel in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl (“M” liked helping with this part!) Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk mixture in 2 additions. Mix just until blended.
Fold in carrot and dried cherries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.
Filed under: Chicken, Main Course | Tags: Chicken, orange, Snap pea, stir-fry
I usually don’t follow recipes exactly. I use them more as a methodology, an idea of how to make something, making changes according to my family’s preferences. However, Epicurious has a great recipe for orange chicken. While I didn’t follow the recipe to a “T” I did use the exact orange sauce the recipe calls for. I love chinese take-out and this sauce is the closest I’ve come to the “real thing.” I didn’t serve my chicken with rice (“M” always makes a huge mess when she eats rice and I didn’t feel like the clean-up after dinner.) I also didn’t make it spicy (“C” hates spicy food so I thought I’d save his taste buds.)
Orange Chicken Stir Fry (adapted from Epicurious.com)
3/4 cup orange juice
6 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 pound snap peas
1 package Chinese egg noodles
Scallions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Whisk juice, half of the soy sauce, and cornstarch in medium bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Mix in orange peel.
Heat oil in large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onion. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to wok and stir-fry until onion is crisp-tender and chicken is just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add snap peas and juice mixture. Toss until sauce thickens and comes to boil and peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook chinese egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain and immediatly toss with other half of soy sauce.
To serve, top egg noodles with stir fry chicken. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallion.