Showing posts with label orange. Show all posts
Showing posts with label orange. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cranberry Bars

It may be the first day of Spring today, but there is still snow on the ground outside. As much as I want to eat local asparagus and new potatoes, my farmer's market only have onions and pickles for sale. Instead of being sad about there being no spring produce, I have decided to embrace the end of winter.

There may be no strawberries, but I still have a half bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer! You may think of cranberry and orange as more of a holiday flavor combination, but I really needed these last week when there was snow and hail piling up on my tulips.

The snow is slowly melting and I'm crossing my fingers that my bulbs weathered the storm. Until the snow is all gone, I'm enjoying the last of my favorite winter treats - hearty soups, root vegetables and cranberries.

If you are already enjoying jacket-free days, I'm really jealous of you. You can enjoy all of your fresh springtime produce and I'll finish eating this pan of bars.

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Fudge
Two Years Ago: Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Three Years Ago: Potato, Spinach & Asparagus Quiche
Four Years Ago: Momofuku Confetti Cookies
Five Years Ago: Fish with Mango Salsa
Six Years Ago: Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cranberry-Pomegranate Soda

Happy festive foods week! Today is brought to you by the Cranberry!  

There are so many traditional holiday beverages - mulled wine, peppermint hot chocolate, whatever a hot toddy is - but today I thought we might need something cool, bright and refreshing. I also like carbonating things with my siphon.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry-Orange Mallomars

Happy Thanksgiving week! I'm so ready for the holiday season. During my unemployed hours I've been preparing lots and lots of recipes for you! I'm most excited to share this first cookie recipe of the season with you. This cranberry-orange mallomar is sweet and tart and tastes just like christmas!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tangerine Pound Cake

Hi everyone!  I'm guest posting over at the Spiffy Cookie!  Stop by and say hi to Erin and enjoy a slice of this Tangerine Pound Cake! 

Have a great Wednesday!

~ Vicki

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Island Sides

The past few days have been feeling more Caribbean-like up here in the northeast. I stepped off the train this morning and was greeted by a hot, humid gust of Long Island wind. Not only is the morning heat very reminiscent of the islands, these afternoon thunderstorms are too!

There is just one big difference between enjoying Caribbean weather while on vacation and suffering through it on a regular day. I try to look presentable when going to work where I don't even bother with mascara on vacation. This humidity is making my hair straightener work overtime! Even after ten minutes with the iron, all of my hard work is undone upon opening the front door!

Luckily I have an appointment at the salon this weekend, where I will cut several inches off my hair. This will make it lighter and easier to curl. The straight-haired days of winter are over. Time to embrace bouncy curls once again! (Which means its also time to confuse my male coworkers with my ever changing hair.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Orange Cinnamon Bread

While I may be the queen of trains, they don't always like to obey my commands.  This is unfortunate, because I have to rely on two different train systems to get to and from work.  Back in March, boyfriend moved to a great little apartment in New Jersey.  He had transferred to the New York office of his company and thereby moved closer to me (while I was still in Connecticut).  In May, I received the offer for my dream job on Long Island and, as you know, I jumped at it.

So, now I travel from New Jersey to Long Island everyday.  I am subject to the trials and tribulations of both the New Jersey transit and the Long Island Railroad and the two systems do not like to cooperate with each other.  Inevitably one train will be late, and the other will be right on time.  This is a problem and I'm the girl you see, running through Penn station, mowing down little old ladies with big suitcases.  I had to hurdle over a toddler once.

Okay, I'm not really jumping over children and knocking down grannies.  But I am that blur you see out of the corner of your eye.  Why do my trains always come in on the furthest apart platforms?  LIRR - platform 21, NJT - platform 1, blurg!

In the past three weeks there have been three different problems.  1. "Police situation" held up my LIRR train for an hour, then it rained on me.  2. Lightning struck some important train equipment, keeping all LIRR trains from entering New York city.  3. A derailed train in Penn station caused all NJT trains hours of delays and rerouted trains.  And I've only been commuting via train for a month, I can't wait to see what the future of train travel brings me! 

I will tell you this, I know all the ins and outs of Penn station, like which bathrooms are generally the cleanest.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Orange Vinaigrette Salad

So I've been meaning to tell you all about my new job.  Well, it has been a learning experience, to say the least.  I know, that might sound like a strange thing to say, especially as someone who just spent the last eleven years as a student.  Don't worry, this all can be explained.

While I was interviewing, I had to make the decision between working in process chemistry and medicinal chemistry.  There is one major difference between the two job, biology.  As a process chemist, you spend your day doing chemistry.  You're trying to make something in a faster, better, cheaper manner than it has been made before.  You need to know a lot about chemistry and how to be extremely efficient.  While I love chemistry, I thought that I would like to work in medicinal chemistry and keep learning.

As a medicinal chemist, you spend your day doing some chemistry, but also thinking a lot about biology.  Medicinal chemists are working very early in the drug discovery pipeline, trying to design the new drugs.  They have to look at proteins and amino acids, think about cell permeability and toxicity, and these are all things that are new to me. 

A synthetic chemist, right out of academia, doesn't know much about these things.  I took biochemistry in 2001 and haven't looked at an amino acid since then.  I was thrown in, head first, into the deep end of medicinal chemistry.  I've been reading tons of papers and books to try and acclimate myself to this new field.  Let me tell you, there are A LOT of acronyms!  I've got a lot to learn, but it's just what I wanted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Creamsicle Fudge

WARNING!!! This has been described to me as “The best thing you’ve ever made.” It was also described to me as “Disgusting, I think I’m going to lose my lunch.” These might sound like contrasting opinions, but they are in fact telling me the same thing. This fudge is downright amazing.

Perhaps some explaining is in order. The first compliment came from my candy-loving boss. If there is any candy or chocolate in the building he will find it, and eat it. Which is fine, until I want an Oreo… and they’re all gone. He is always telling me I should go into business as a candy-maker. I don’t know how I should take that, since he’s my chemistry boss…

The second of the two comments came from my coworker. Last year, we were a small group of chemists, but by mid-year we had ballooned to a much larger bunch. Competition for the sweets and snacks that I brought in became more and more cutthroat. The compliments turned from praising to degrading, especially when others were within earshot. A little reverse psychology warfare was being played and it continues today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Baker's challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria's Collection and Jamie of Life's a Feast.  Ria and Jamie challenged the Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted meringue coffee cake.  I love breakfast and when I learned that this months Daring Baker's challenge would be a coffee cake, I was jazzed.  I've never made a yeasted coffee cake before and this was something new to try out. 

To just look at the pictures doesn't do this recipe service.  The dough was so smooth and springy, it was a treat to work with.  Many people called this dough "sexy" and after making it, I have to agree.  It was so easy to roll out and fill, it rose and baked up like a dream. 

When it came down to deciding what to fill this sexy dough with I thought to keep it simple.  When I was little, we would get an Entenmann's walnut danish ring for breakfast every weekend.  When picking out the ring, my dad would go with the ring with the most frosting on the top.  As a kid, I couldn't help but agree with this method of choosing breakfast.  More frosting = more sugar!  I decided to fill my coffee cake with something similar to the Entenmann's version.  Cinnamon sugar with dried cranberries and walnuts, coated in a delicious layer of orange icing.

How did this coffee cake compare to the Entenmann's version of my youth?  Listen up dad, THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER!  The meringue melts into the coffee cake making it unbelievably moist and the cranberries and walnuts give it great sweetness and crunch.  Give up your storebought danish ring and head to the kitchen with mom, you won't be sorry.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Orange Challah French Toast

The first time I ever worked with yeast, I decided I was going to make a braided challah. Talk about ambitious. It was in my fourth year of grad school, I had just moved into a new apartment and I was in the mood to cook. My roommate owned a breadmaker and she churned out loaves of bread with minimal effort. The apartment always smelled wonderful and she had warm bread to go with dinner. I thought that if a machine can make bread, then it can’t be that hard. Let’s say I was just a little na├»ve.

Back at this point in my culinary career I was the proud owner of about ten cookbooks. Leafing through the nearly pristine pages of my Bread Bible, I fell upon a picture of a braided challah. It was gorgeous. Golden, shiny and delicious looking. The instructions also seemed doable, some time to knead, a few rise periods and an egg wash before baking. I could definitely do this.

I just forgot to take a few things into account. First, I had no idea what I was doing. Okay, I guess that isn’t a very good first. Let’s start again… First, my kneading technique consisted of rolling the dough around on the counter, gently nudging it and poking it. This was after I added about one additional cup of flour, the dough just would not pull away from the countertop! Second, I had no idea how to tell when it was kneaded enough, I just went with what the book said, ten minutes. Third, it was winter. Wintertime in Wisconsin is a rather chilly time and our apartment was equally chilly. Gentle breezes also permeated the windows and doors, keeping my dough cool and preventing the proper rise. In the end I wound up with a braided challah. It was edible, but not the light and airy challah I was used to in New York.

My braid went a little crazy in the middle there...
Now, ten minutes of gentle nudging and poking most likely wasn’t enough to develop the gluten necessary for this bread. Lesson learned. Also, bread needs a little warmer environment than I had provided. These days I like to do laundry at the same time as I make bread, it heats up the apartment. Finally, I know to slowly add liquid ingredients, rather than try to bring the dough back with more flour. It’s been four years since my first attempt at braided challah and this recent attempt shows how much I’ve learned.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Orange Chiffon Cupcakes & Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Can you believe that it’s been one-hundred posts already! I feel like we’ve been through so much together. Since I’m 100, does this mean that Willard Scott is going to mention me in his Smucker’s 100? Maybe make some terribly inappropriate comment about me?

I thought that we should celebrate with some cupcakes. I know some people have been on the lookout for some savory posts; that will have to wait until after the party! Savory posts later this week, after I’m all sugared up.

Every time I ask my lab mates what I should make, I get the same suggestions. There are always requests for cheesecake, chocolate and cupcakes. One lab mate even went and bought me some cupcake liners, because he really likes cupcakes. I realized that I haven’t made cupcakes in months, so I made some to celebrate this momentous occasion.

No matter what anyone says about cupcakes being “so last year,” I’m still a HUGE cupcake fan. Every time boyfriend and I go to New York, we head to different bakeries and get cupcakes. Well, we get cupcakes, then I eat them. Boyfriend isn’t much of a dessert fan. I have more cookbooks for cupcakes than anything else. Cupcakes are just that perfect single serving of dessert. They are just the right size to have two, without feeling guilty about it. Macarons might be hot right now, but they will never replace my beloved cupcakes. Especially not these cupcakes, they were delicious.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Candied Orange Peels

As I cook more and more I get a little more confident with trying new things. Of course we’ve discussed the issue of cooking fears. When it comes down to it, the likelihood of killing someone with my food is pretty low. Also, the chances of me causing myself serious harm in the kitchen is equally low. Although, some days I feel like I should be wearing my safety goggles in the kitchen.

You may have seen some people already posting their December Daring Bakers Challenge pieces. I’ll be getting mine up tomorrow because it is currently rising on my parents kitchen table. The process involved in making the stolen took a few days.

Two days ago I ventured into making candy, my first time making candies! The Christmas stollen recipe calls for candied citrus peels. I don’t know if you’ve ever had store bought candied peels, but they aren’t terribly good. I think they taste like sugar, nothing citrusy about them. After a little looking around online I determined that the recipes are basically the same. Boil peels, boil sugar, boil peels in sugar. Tada! The flavor of these homemade orange peels is something akin to orange gems.

We decided to use half in the Christmas stollen and dip the other half in dark chocolate. The dark chocolate really balances the citrus and sugar. These were also really easy to make in boyfriends kitchen, because all I needed was a pot.

My mom and I decided they look like chocolate covered french fries

Merry Christmas eve everyone!  (And a merry christmas to my friends in New Zealand, Australia and Korea!)
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