Tag Archives: Orange

Orange Spice Banana Bread

Orange spice banana bread.  It’s like regular banana bread, but sexier.  The kind of sexy that wears an old wool sweater and glasses.  The nerdy kind.

Despite all this, it’s also delicious.

My internet is also still quite unreliable, so this’ll be a short one.

Orange Spice Banana Bread

  • 2 ridiculously ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 C plain or vanilla fat-free yogurt (keep in mind that vanilla yogurt will be sweeter, and adjust accordingly!  I used vanilla.)
  • 1/4 C skim milk
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 t orange extract (optional)
  • 3 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C almond flour (or use two cups total all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t each cinnamon and nutmeg

Like most quick breads, this recipe couldn’t be easier.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix the wet ingredients, add the dry, and pour into a greased/parchment papered loaf pan.

Here, I decided to top the loaf with whole walnuts.  That’s up to you, though I must say it made a really nice crunchy top crust.

Bake on the middle rack until an inserted skewer comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it, about an hour.

Yum!  I’m by no means an expert at creating breads, but this one came out perfectly–dense and moist like any banana bread, but still light enough to eat two slices at once (or three, if you are Fritz).

The orange flavor is pretty subtle, and you could ramp it up a bit with more orange zest (or sub OJ for the skim milk?  More sugar there, though).

Perfect with a pat o’ butter, and I know exactly what my breakfast will consist of early tomorrow morning.

 

Actually, I’m not really sure.  Steel-cut oats have been calling my name for a couple of days, too.  But if I have those for breakfast, than a slice of this bread will definitely be a part of second breakfast (movie/book, anyone?). 

Tomorrow morning Fritz and I are heading to go to one of my top fall destinations, Westchester County (in NY), to go apple picking/pumpkin picking/hay riding/hot apple cider drinking/apple cider donut eating with some friends–and I can’t wait!  I’m confident I will return with at least a thousand photos (just kidding! Maybe…), and that the 67 degree weather tomorrow calls for boots.

Hallelujah.

Henry’s plans for tomorrow largly consist of this:

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Filed under Breads

Sunrise Muffins

I’ve wanted to make these muffins ever since I bought Allison Fishman’s You Can Trust a Skinny Cook–mostly because the recipe involves putting an entire orange (peel, pith, and all) right into the blender.

That just appeals to the green monster-making side of me–and I’m so used to using and washing the blender every day that I don’t mind breaking it out again.  Combine that with the chilly, rainy weather that woke me up this morning, and sunrise muffins became a necessity.

Sunrise Muffins (makes a dozen muffins)

  • 1 orange (I actually used a tangelo), sliced into eighths
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I used whole-wheat pastry flour, with excellent results)
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 dried fruit (I used a dried berry mix–cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line muffin tins with papers.

The fun part: in the blender, combine the eggs, oil, orange juice, and sliced orange sections, and blend until smooth.  While blending, mix the remaining ingredients except the dried fruit in a medium bowl, and create a well for the orange mixture.  Pour it in, mix until a smooth batter forms, and fold in the dried fruit.

You may regret tasting the batter at this point because it is so gosh-darn, finger-licking, re-taste, save-a-little-extra-in-the-bowl-who-cares-if-the-muffins-are-tiny good.  Anyway, divide the (remaining) batter evenly into the 12 muffin tins.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.  Cool on a rack.

I love how golden these are, thanks to the orange–they really do look like a sunrise.

And the taste.  Wow.  I wasn’t expecting anything magical from these muffins, but these really served to remind me that basic can be best!  They are sweet and tangy but also have the perfect amount of salt.

A teaspoon of salt can do so much for a basic muffin.  I ate one muffin.  I want to eat many more muffins.  Morning can’t come soon enough.

Oh, and for those who are interested, these muffins are only 175 calories each!

In case these muffins aren’t enough to brighten your day, here’s some of my absolute favorite new photos from an apple-picking session I went on with my mom and younger sister Kristen a few weeks ago:

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Filed under Breakfast

Tropical Mini Muffins

Are you guys sick of me miniaturizing everything that I bake yet?  ‘Cause I’m not.

Mini baked goods are fun, because I can eat three of them and it’s not a big deal at all.  It’s also nice because I don’t have to choose–do I want an English muffin or a tropical muffin?  Oh yes, I can have both.  Twice.  But if you aren’t a mini kind of person, it’s no big deal.  I’ll still like you.  And I’ll still probably eat two of your muffins.

Tropical  Mini Muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 C crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t orange extract
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin or mini-muffin tin or line with paper cups.  First mix the wet ingredients (banana, pineapple, canola oil, egg, and extracts) until blended.  It’s okay to have chunks of banana–I actually prefer that.  Next, add the dry ingredients (everything else) and mix until everything is just blended.  Easy, right?

Pour into muffin cups (they should be 3/4 of the way full, but I filled them all the way ’cause I only wanted to make one batch!) and place on the middle rack to bake until they are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Make sure a toothpick comes out dry (but not too dry).

Mini muffins are also cute for looking good in photos.  Unless you pour too much batter in the cups and then your muffins are top heavy.  Still better than having to bake two batches, though.

These were good–super moist.  Fritz was a huge fan, because he could eat a banana-bread based food three times a day for the rest of his life and be perfectly content.  I thought the pineapple chunks were a nice treat, and the orange extract was just barely noticeable.  It could also be left out–no big deal.

Since this recipe made 24 mini muffins, and I’m gonna be gone for the week, I stuck half of them in the freezer so Fritz doesn’t feel the pressure to eat all of them in a couple of days.  I don’t like to force feed him just so food doesn’t go bad (except for vegetables, but that’s for his own good).

I think these muffins took Fritz back to his South African tropical days.  He ate four of them rapid fire when they were out of the oven (but it’s okay!  They are mini!).

So on Friday we drove to Brooklyn to say goodbye to our good friends Bre and Zev since they are moving on Tuesday.  It was lots of fun to see them, and as usual, lots of food and alcohol was consumed–and nonstop talk ensued.  Like I said before, it’ll be really sad to see them go.  We need to start planning our visits upstate right away.

And poor Henry was stuck at home, looking longingly in the direction of Brooklyn.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts

Happy Easter! Baked Ham

Happy Easter!

Hopefully you scored one of these this morning:

That’s right–my parents still give me an Easter basket.  I actually got it yesterday, and to my everlasting joy and surprise my “basket” was actually a colander that I admired earlier in the week.  How parents manage to do those things, I’ll never know.

Well, hopefully I’ll know someday.  But I have a few years to study their talents before I have to worry about it.

My Easter basket got put to use immediately–and it’s even cuter holding grapes than fake grass and eggs.

To continue the Easter celebration, I decided to make a traditional baked ham.  Nothing like the smell of baking ham with maple. cloves, and orange to celebrate what feels like the first real day of spring (it was sunny and warm outside all day!).

I learned two things today–1) buy a shank cut of ham, it’s easier to cut later and 2) “water added” ham contains less water (ie. more flavor) than a “water and ham product”.

Easter Baked Ham

  • 1 ready-to-cook ham (between 6-10 pounds)–it can be smoked or not, and spiral cut or not–your choice

The Glaze

  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 1/8 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • zest and juice of a small orange (I used a mandarin orange)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Place the ham flat side down (or fat side up) in a baking dish and add 1/4 C water to the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven on the middle to low rack.

Bake until the ham reaches 100 degrees in the middle (about 20 minutes per pound).  While it’s baking, put together the glaze by mixing the above ingredients.

Once the ham is ready, remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 350 degrees.  Cut off the skin (if there is any) and score the fat underneath in a diamond pattern.  Spread the glaze over the top and return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the ham.  Every ten minutes, baste the ham again with the glaze.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let the ham rest for about 20 minutes, until the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees.

Serve right away!  We ate it with roasted asparagus and curried millet.  Quite a feast(er) dinner.

The orange is really perfect in this recipe–not too strong and not unnoticeable.  We also have enough ham to last us about 200 years (most of it is now in the freezer).

In the 10 minutes it took to write this post, the weather went from bright and sunny to dark and ominous–looks like it might storm!  Perfect timing since we want to see Water for Elephants tonight. 

What did you have for Easter dinner?

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Soba Noodles with Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

Despite that there were a few flakes of snow threatening my peace of mind yesterday,I was so glad that today was a (chilly) but beautifully sunny day–still light out at seven!  I went to the gym today for the first time since midterm week started, and even though it was hard getting back into the swing of things, it’s nice to experience that post-workout high again (it helped that the sun was just setting as I left the gym).

However, I have to admit something to you about the upcoming recipe.  It’s all about a cold soba noodle salad, with an orange-ginger miso dressing–perfect for a quick lunch during midterms week when Fritz wasn’t around.  Except…midterms week was last week.  I made this an entire week ago.

This isn’t normally much of a problem, except that I didn’t write the amounts of anything that I used, so I have to kind of guess at what actually went into this dressing.  Luckily I have pictures as a reminder.  It was really good though, so I’d like to suggest that you use this recipe as an inspiration for a soba salad of your own–and if you do use my recipe, taste it as you go an adjust accordingly to your taste.

For myself I’ve found that’s true of any recipe using miso–I am still getting used to the strong and salty taste of miso, so I like to go slow as it is.  Miso and I are still taking baby steps as we get to know each other. 

No rushing into this relationship.

Cold Soba Salad with an Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

  • 6-8 oz uncooked soba noodles
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (I’d definitely roast the pepper first next time)
  • 1-1 1/2 T miso
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • juice of one small orange (I used a tangelo)
  • 2 T tahini

Cook the soba noodles as instructed on the packaging (it only takes a few minutes in boiling water) and douse them with cold water once they are done to prevent them from overcooking.

Once they’ve cooled off and been drained, add the shredded carrots and bell pepper.

Next, mix the last four ingredients together to make a dressing.

Pour that right over the noodle mixture.

Give the noodles a good toss, and there you have it!

A light but filling (and healthy) salad.  Perfect for a meal on the go, or as a side dish for a heartier meal.

Tomorrow I plan on making a cake in the morning to celebrate our friends Steve and Gill’s first anniversary (congrats guys!) and then Fritz and I are having dinner at the Jensen’s house.  Should be a lovely day.

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Orange Sesame Muffins

Good morning friends!

I have the most spectacular Sunday morning recipe for you.  It’s citrus-y, fresh, and warm with the nutty tang of sesame seeds.

It’s orange sesame muffins.

Now, before I share this recipe with you, I just want to say something.  In the last few posts I’ve been absolutely raving about every single thing, calling every food better than the next and basically bringing myself to tears with the perfection of my own culinary genius.

Well, I just wanted to clarify something.  It’s not because everything I make turns to gold, or because I was blessed with some genetic gift in which Martha Stewart-esque recipes float in and out of my consciousness while I sleep.  It’s really just ’cause I only post the good stuff.

Fritz and I often have mediocre dinners (those days where there’s only broccoli, sliced ham, and leftover rice in the refrigerator), we heat up frozen pizzas (I’m obsessed with Digiorno rising crust–it’s our treat dinner), and sometimes I make recipes that I have to force Fritz to eat (these weird cocoa frozen energy bite things–not good).  Anyway, just wanted to make sure that you know.  It’s not normal to have everything turn out perfectly–especially when you are experimenting with new ingredients or tastes.

But sometimes, just sometimes, you do get perfection.

Orange Sesame Muffins (adapted from this recipe–scroll down to see it)

  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C ground sesame seeds
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flax in 3 T warm water–let it set for at least 5 minutes before adding it)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 C freshly squeezed orange juice, with pulp (I used four tangelos)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add all the dry ingredients (flours, sesame (ground and whole), baking powder, wheat germ, and salt) and stir to combine.  Reserve some of the whole sesame seeds to sprinkle on the top.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix just until wet.

Pour into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, until they are almost full and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.

Bake on the middle rack until browned on the top, about 20 minutes.  Remove, cool, and eat.

Be careful not to overbake these.  For once I was really paying attention, and I took them out right as they were done (including the cooling time, in which they usually cook a bit more).  The result?  The most moist and soft whole-wheat muffin I’ve ever had.  If I hadn’t baked them myself, I wouldn’t believe that they were made with whole-wheat flour.

They are quite cute, too.  They came out pretty sweet, so if you wanted to decrease the amount of honey by a few tablespoons, you could–just tread carefully.  They are pretty good as is.

 

So, some of you may know that my kitchen is limited in terms of storage space.  Fritz built me a bunch of adjustable open shelves on top of our weirdly too-high-to-sit-at bar and a hutch to hold spices and such, but I still run out of counterspace and storage space really quickly.  You can imagine my happiness when our next door neighbors decided to toss out a little shelving unit that I rescued from the curb on my way to school.  It now sits to the left of our stove and is packed to capacity with all those little kitchen things one runs out of space for–you know, blogging paraphernalia.  One man’s trash…

…is Henry’s treasure.

Hope this week starts off as your best yet.

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Filed under Desserts