Tag Archives: orange

It never happened. 

26 Nov

Picking a recipe from Grandma, I mean. I didn’t have pie crust, I didn’t want to thaw any fruit, and I just didn’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. 

So, I opted for a fruit salad with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a honey simple syrup. The plan is to let the kids (and older “kids”) use waffle cones for cornucopia sand fill them with fruit, whipped cream, and/or vanilla pudding. 

I also wanted to make sangria. No particular reason, I just wanted to. It’s a SUPER simple recipe and I used an info graphic from Wine Enthusiast to guide me. Yeah, sure, sangria is basically a wine Hunch Punch, but I am a fairly snobby person when it comes to the red concoction. I tried to find the link to the graphic, but could only find it on Pinterest. 

 
  

I’m not above buying premade Sangria either! Why try to make something that’s already been perfected?! Needless to say, those were my ingredients: $5 Argentinian red wine, $4 sparkling peach wine, $5 Brandy, and $3.98 peach schnapps. I also added pears, apples, oranges and lemon juice, along with a 1/4 cup of OJ. Let’s just say that it smelled much better this morning after it being in the fridge all night.  
Anyway, we are now en route with the least amount of food I’ve ever had to take to someone’s house for a holiday…ever! Whoop! 
Amber’s notes: Be thankful all year, not just during this season. Give generously, love unconditionally, and never be afraid to dance in the rain. 

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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

13 Dec

Things are beginning to really look, and smell, like Christmas around here. From the last post, mincemeat cake, to the tree being up, we are ready to celebrate the season!

I found lots of Pinterest ideas for scenting the house and decided that I would come up with my own. Enjoy!

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Spicy Orange Simmer
• 4 juicing oranges, quartered
• Two “healthy” dashes of cinnamon
• 1 TBSP whole cloves

Put into medium sauce pot all ingredients, cover with water. Simmer on low. Add water as it dissipates.

Amber’s Notes: I love Christmas time. The scents, the lights, the snow great weather. In it all, remember the real reason for the season! Christ, the Savior, is born!

I want candy

7 Apr

I have always been impressed with those who are able to make candied anything: nuts, fruit, hard, soft, etc., etc.  I have been successful in making melted chocolate candies and even made a few batches of marshmallows one Christmas.  So, when I saw this recipe, I jumped on it, hoping that I would find another candy I could easily make with few ingredients and no need to heat sugar to a particular temperature.

One thing I did not really think about was the average relative humidity in Florida…a MILLION %.  Okay, not really, but it is anywhere from 10-20% higher in the Orlando area compared to Dallas.  BUT, the oddest thing is my grandmother’s home in East Texas is very close to Shreveport, LA.  In doing a bit of research, I did find that the relative humidity of that area is very similar to ours.  So, in theory, the only thing that would make much of a difference in recipes would be out altitude.  To make a long story longer, this recipe did not really turn out all that great in the end.

If you live in a northern or western state where it’s commonly dry, then this should be a good recipe for you!

Before I begin, this is a very time consuming process.  It requires boiling, boiling, cooking down, and then letting everything cool and dry.

Candied Citrus Peel

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • Boiling water (2 @ 8 cups each)- boil peel in this
  • another 1.5 cups water (use in recipe)
  • 1.75 cups sugar (plus another 1-2 cups for later)
  • 1/2 cup lite corn syrup
  • 1 pkg (3oz) lemon flavor gelatin

With a sharp knife, score and peel fruits into quarters; pull away from pulp (save fruit for another day’s salad). *side note: oranges are very pithy…peel as much of it away as you can*  With the sharp knife, cut peel into long, thin strips.  Heat peels and 8 cups of water in a large kettle over high heat to boiling; boil for 15 minutes; drain peels in colander and rinse.  With 8 more cups of hot water, boil peels 15 minutes (again); drain.  In same kettle over high heat, add 1.5 cups water, sugar, and corn syrup; heat until boiling and sugar dissolves, stir frequently.  Gently stir in peels.  Reduce heat to med-low and cook until most of syrup has been absorbed, about 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; gently stir in gelatin until dissolved; cool 10 minutes.  Mixture will be thick and sticky.  Onto wax paper, place 1 cup of sugar; lightly roll a few pieces in sugar.  Continue and add more sugar if necessary.  Place the sugar coated peels in a single layer on wire racks overnight or about 12 hours.  Store in tightly covered container up to two weeks.

Mine looked like this after they dried.  My son really liked the lemon peels, I think because I hadn’t really trimmed enough of the pith from the oranges.  I also forgot to use a grapefruit.  These would have made it to work with my husband except that I left the container on top of the stove and there is a vent from the oven that made all of the peels get all melty and drippy (if those are actually terms).  So, I ended up having to toss them.

I think I would also add limes to the mix in the future.

Grandma’s Notes: 4/3/99- Made strawberry pie for April (1st one I ever made); also made a chocolate pie.  We had a birthday party for April.  She got so many nice gifts.  Today, a lot of wind and rain.  THANK YOU LORD FOR LOVING ME WITH ALL MY IMPERFECTIONS.  HELP ME TO IMPROVE.  PRAISE YOUR NAME, NO STORM HERE.

Witty Marmalade

12 Jan

“Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.”Noel Coward

This quick recipe was concocted by myself and an older patient of mine.  She was talking about a marmalade she made with calamondins.  If you have never seen or heard of them, they are little, tiny orange-like citrus fruits known for a sweet peel and sour meat.  So sour, in fact, I consider it the “War Head” of the citrus world…you know, those little round sour candies that make you salivate like Pavlov’s dogs?!

Anyway, I figured I would apply what little canning knowledge I have at this point and try to “cook down” the fruits in an effort to enjoy them at a later date.  Here’s the result:

Calamondin preserves?

I’m not really sure what the final product will be like: conserve, jam, marmalade, etc.  The flavor (off the spoon) is initially sweet with a tart/bitter/sour hind-note.  The orange flavor is amazing (as I am typing, the seal just “popped”) and the color is even more beautiful.  I’m interested to see how much this sets up and thickens.  I know that there is a setting point for jams, but I’m not that far in my experience yet.  But, I’m sure the fruit pieces will be good with biscuits or toast and I might throw the liquid over chicken or pork.  We’ll see…

 

Stay tuned for Grandma’s next recipe later this evening: Strawberry Cake!  YUM!

New Year, New Recipes, New Life…

1 Jan

Happy New Year!

While we did not spend last night partying (as a few of our neighbors), we did ring in the new year with sparklers and dancing.  Well, most of the dancing was the boy, but you get the picture.  He definitely enjoyed the fireworks.

Of course we stayed up way too late, but I blame Pintrest for that. *wink*  But anyway…on to the recipe of the day.

Fruit Salad

Now before you go and close the webpage and disregard the post all together, let me preface this by letting you know that this is NO ordinary fruit salad.  Before making it and trying it for myself, I thought, “Well, this is nice and easy, and a little different.”  We’ll talk about the different part in a moment.  The recipe really is easy as are most my grandmother’s recipes.  Some of them might be long, but they are relatively simple.  The list of ingredients in this one topped a whopping five!  There were also some optional additions, but I tried to stay as true to the original as possible.

Now, on to the extraordinary part.  When I gave a bite to the boy he spit out the mandarin orange (not extraordinary).  I then gave a bite to the hubs and he made a face (again, not extraordinary).  I asked him if anything was missing and he didn’t think so.  So, I then took a small bite…it was good, but not extraordinary.  I was perplexed.  I thought, “Could this be a ‘bad’ recipe from Grandma?”  Surely not.  As any good cook, I had to take another bite to make sure.

This time I made myself a small bowl and was certain there was a little bit of all the ingredients: mandarin oranges, bananas, cherries, pineapple, and the “unusual” ingredient (I’m getting to that).  Lo and behold, the concoction was good…no, it was amazing!  Every bite tasted different.  Pineapples with banana, then cherries and oranges, all mixed with the “glue” from the fifth ingredient..PIE FILLING.  You read that right, pie filling.  The recipe, from the woman who always made her own jams and jellies, canned and pickled anything that could be canned and pickled, and grew her own vegetables, called for store-bought pie filling.  Not just any pie filling either.  It was apricot.  So, here is where I deviated a bit.  The hubs doesn’t like apricot and I couldn’t find it at the grocer’s anyway, so I used peach.

So, as I enjoyed the few bites I had serve myself, I kept thinking about what I could add to it.  Grandma made mention that she also added strawberries and oranges sometimes.  I didn’t have any of those, but I didn’t think it needed any other fruit.  Rather, it needed a creamy component.  RediWhip? My favorite. Cool Whip?  A crowd-pleaser but I HATE that it’s made from TransFats.  Yes, hydrogenated oils (partially or fully) are trans fats.  Even though a true-to-manufacturer serving size has “zero trans fats,” who actually only consumes one serving of any whipped topping?!  But I digress..I still needed to figure out what to add for the cream.  Then hubs said, “Marshmallows.”  Why didn’t I think of that?

The salad is now chilling in the fridge, waiting to be taken with us to a party today.  A small bag of mini marshmallows sits high atop the bag as well.

 

Grandma’s notes for January 1st-

1/1/2000- AS I BEGIN THIS NEW CENTURY, GIVE ME STRENGTH TO BE FAITHFUL IN MY SERVICE FOR YOU LORD,  WHOM I LOVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Lance and Barbara Horton invited me to eat T-bone steak, cabbage, black-eyed peas, baked beans, salad, pie, etc., along with George, Judy, Anthony, Barry and Haley.

1/1/1991- Got black-eyed peas and cabbage ready; watched Rose Parade and a ball-game.  Lance and Marcus came by for a visit.  Cloudy and cold most all day.  PRAISE YOUR NAME- YOU DO NOT EXPECT PERFECTION