Tag Archives: Orange

Carrot Bread

It is no secret, that carrots are great for baking, as well as several other produce like zucchini, beets, sweet potato and such. When I say “I am going to bake a carrot…” you will immediately will answer “cake”. Right? Wrong. This post is for the neglected one, the one that stands in the shadow of the carrot cake and the carrot muffins. The Carrot Bread.

I had some carrots just begging me to turn them into something baked, but I wanted to stay away from the frosting. There’s just so much frosting you can take for a couple of weeks. I’ve been in and out of birthdays, baking and frosting cakes… so no. No frosting.

Browsing online, I found this version of Carrot Bread by Mark Bittman, and since I wanted to bake a quick bread (no yeast, since I didn’t have any) it was perfect. I have to confess that I misread the recipe. I added only ½ a teaspoon of baking powder, when the original recipe calls for 1 ½ teaspoons. Still the bread came out just fine. I also replaced the orange zest with orange juice, and added a dash of both nutmeg and cinnamon.

I baked two loaves, so I took one next door to my aunt and uncle the next day. I was very pleased when I went to visit them the next day to find out there was only one serving left! It’s good. And if you’re wondering what my dad said about the bread? He liked it! Of course, he would rather have me bake my grandma’s 4-Minute Cake, but he still liked it! A small victory in my book. This bread keeps best up to 3-4 days, after that it starts to dry out.

Kitty

Carrot Bread

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Orange & Tangerine Curd

A few weeks ago, I had a suggestion from YouTube to watch a show called The Great British Bake Off from BBC. Oh YouTube, you know me so well. I got subscribed to the channel, found a complete season on it (YAY!) and fell in love with both Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

Now, let me tell you about the hosts of the show. Mary Berry is a jane Queen of all trades: Chef trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, in the 60s she became the cookery editor two magazines. TV Show host, cookbook author… she does it all. And she bakes… like no one. I like to think that she is the Queen of Baking. From what I could see in her videos (I’ve been watching her stuff non stop!) she is amazing. I’d love to meet her or just be around when she’s cooking.  Now, Paul Hollywood is a character. He is tough and serious as Gordon Ramsay is (my dream chef!) on the show. Well, Paul Hollywood is the son of a baker, he stepped into the family business later on (trained to be a sculptor, imagine that!). He has appeared in many shows, and honestly, he explains bread baking like no one’s business. He makes it look so easy! Bread I shall tackle next.

Anyway, inspired by one of the Technical Challenges from The Great British Bake Off, I decided to prepare an Angel Food Cake (you can find the recipe here) served with this Orange and Tangerine Curd with Vanilla Beans. I think I would’ve killed it in the competition! Ahh… a girl can dream.

Kitty

Tangerine Orange Custard

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Orange-Honey Glazed Pork Medallions

It’s another busy weekday for me, and I have to rush lunch. I am always looking for new recipes to try, and with our healthy weekday regime, thankfully I don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking it.  I mostly grill during the week, so I adapted this pork chop recipe to make Pork Medallions. I found the recipe thanks to Kristen’s obsession with Everyday Food videos!

The combination of rosemary and citrus is a classic one, and it imparts so much flavor to the meat.  And I loved the grilled oranges that go with it.  This is an easy, make ahead meal that you really should try it at home with some green salad, and some couscous maybe?

Helga

Orange-Honey Glazed Pork Medallions

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Zesty Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I can’t believe my Tita (Grandma) is 91! She is a pie master and cook extraordinaire. And, she also helped me create my first cookie business when I was about 9 years old. Tita Flory had this adorable little store called Rainbow, which sold smock dresses, baptism baby gowns, first communion dresses and even hand sewn wedding gowns. I had the pleasure of being awesomely dressed with her creations since I was a baby. Here is a picture of a very excited Kitty with her Hello Kitty Piñata. Rocking a smock dress made by grandma.

Kitty

Back in 1989, she opened this little store in zone 10, and since I was enjoying my end of year vacations, I offered to help her out. Mostly sorting hangers, greeting customers and rearranging dresses. Since there was nothing near by to snack on, I thought that would be a great business idea to sell cookies door to door to the sale clerks around my grandma’s store. She said she would help me if I could get the ingredients for her. Called my dad and  I presented my business idea: selling cookies at $1.25 for a bag of 10. I had no idea how the priced worked out with the costs, but dad agreed. Ingredients, check. Kitchen and assistance with the oven, check. Plastic bags (provided by grandma), check.

The next day I went out around the store offering cookie bags. It was a success. We sold out on the first day, and for the next few days I was a busy 9-year-old: I would work (more like hang out) at the store, went to sell the cookies at around 10AM,  and in the afternoons I’d bake. Later on, I’d pay back my dad (in cookies, of course) and ended up having some little money saved up for the holidays. Grandma Flory gave me my first entrepreneur adventure. Not that I did it perfectly (never paid the investors), but in my 9 year old mind, it was the most profitable business ever.

So, about a month ago, when I asked her what cake did she want for her birthday she said “A cake with orange and poppy seeds”. That was all I needed to know, so I went on a search for the best cake I could find. A week before her birthday, I already had it narrowed down to 3 recipes. Then, that Monday, an email came from Corinne Regalos. My KitchenAid was here!

I ordered my KitchenAid mixer a few months back for my birthday in April, but since it was a special order (a beautiful Aqua Sky KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer), they had to bring it in for me, meaning I’d have to be very patient and wait 3 months for it to get here. The wait was all worth it, and what better way to break it in than with Tita’s birthday cake. I went to get the mixer, but as I had a couple of meetings lined up, it wasn’t until her birthday that I was able to use it.

I decided on using Martha Stewart’s Orange Almond Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream – on her video, she says that this cake can easily be doubled for a wedding cake, so it gave me a very good idea on the flavor it would be. Since I didn’t have orange zest, I replaced it with lime zest, made my own cake flour (see the note at the end of the recipe), and added poppy seeds after the birthday girl’s request. Don’t let the numerous steps scare you. It is an easy cake to make, and I was able to bake it at 10AM, decorated by 4PM and served at 6PM that same day (with a 45 minute drive in between).  I specially love the Swiss Meringue Buttercream as it doesn’t crystalize, making it so much easier and faster to whip the recipe.  The cake was perfect. it was not overly sweet nor heavy, but still had the almond taste you get from wedding cakes. The cake was a success after seeing it fly off the dinning room table… and the most important thing: grandma loved it.

¡Felíz Cumpleaños Tita!

Kitty

Zesty Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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