Posts Tagged ‘oranges’

Fruity Sangria

Warm weather means it’s time for sangria. This red wine based sangria has oranges, lemons, strawberries, and nectarines. Drink up and then enjoy the fruit!

Fruity Sangria 1

You know that 1 hour and 45 minute phone interview I had last week? I just got an e-mail saying I am one of their top 10 candidates, but the earliest they can arrange the in-person interview is sometime in July so I won’t know more for a little while. I will keep you posted (btw it’s in Des Moines, Iowa). In the meantime I have reached my farthest destination on my journey, Rochester, NY. Time to enjoy not driving for a couple days and see my friend Adrienne get married!

Since I had all of these fun things to share with you today and it’s Friday, I decided it was a good day to post a cocktail recipe. I made this with Trader Joe’s Charles Schwab cabernet sauvignon. Cheap wine is always great for sangria because you don’t have to feel guilty about “ruining” it. Feel free to serve this with a splash of lemon-lime soda or another bubbly additive if you prefer such a thing in your sangria but I like mine without carbonation. Go ahead and eat the fruit floating in your drink too. You better believe I did, except for the lemons.

Fruity Sangria 2

One year ago: Coconut Pecan Cookies

Two years ago: Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas
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Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart

This Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart will create spontaneous smiles with a sugar cookie crust, vanilla Greek-cream cheese filling and a rainbow of fruit.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 3

Silly me forgot to tell you something last week – I had a phone interview for a job! I thought it went very well and was also given a writing assignment afterwards to complete within a week. I sent it back a day early and am now waiting to see if I make it into the next stage of the interview process. Of course in the mean time I am still working on other applications. The job market is too rough out there to be idle between interviews.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 1

I also have not been idle in the kitchen department. I thought for sure I would have to cut back on the amount of posts per week but I’ve been able to coast along as normal. Thank goodness because ideas have started coming out of my ears. This fruit pizza isn’t a novel concept but that doesn’t mean it is any less fun. I technically made the rainbow backwards since red has a longer wavelength than violet and therefore would be on the outer edge of a rainbow (nerd alert). I prefer purple over red anyway, but regardless of technicalities you cannot help but feel happy from just looking at this colorful fruit tart.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 2

One year ago: Guiltless Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Chicken
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Review: The Dollop Book of Frosting & Orange Cut-Out Cookies with Orange Cardamom Icing

Before I defended my dissertation a couple months ago several people came to my rescue with guest posts, including Heather Saffer, winner of Cupcake Wars author of The Dollop Book of Frosting. This cookbook is not only full of fun and creative frosting flavors, but also novel ways to enjoy frosting – because frosting should not be restricted to cakes and cookies. Today her holiday blog tour stops here and I am sharing a recipe from this cookbook that would be perfect to make this holiday.

As I expressed previously, Heather’s Ultimate Dude Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream stole my heart upon first sight. I can see why they were the big winner in Cupcake Wars. Flipping through the rest of the recipes I was also drawn to the Strawberry Spinach Cheesecakes with Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Frosting and Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles with Maple Bacon Frosting. Frosting is now for breakfast kids, rejoice! Her recipes will take frosting down avenues you never thought possible. So if you love frosting and are looking for creative recipes then you really need to snatch this up. It would also be a great gift to grab for the sweet-tooth in your life ;-).

Orange Cut-Out Cookies 2

Now I know that I said frosting goes beyond cakes and cookies, but cut-out cookies were a staple for every holiday when I was growing up. We had scads of cookie cutters shapes, food coloring, and festive sprinkles for every occasion. These cut-out cookies pump up your traditional sugar cookie cut-outs with the flavors of orange and cardamom – a combination that will leave your palate both refreshed and comforted. For the upcoming winter holidays, I decided to cut mine with snowflakes and they tasted better than any snowflake that has ever landed on my tongue.

Orange Cut-Out Cookies 1

One year ago: Maple Breakfast Sausage
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Orange Chicken with Asparagus

The whole finishing one’s PhD is quite anticlimactic. Especially when you still have to go through the month-long formatting review process, complete a couple more experiments per reviewers requests for a paper, fill out scads of paperwork which includes acquiring several signatures from departments around campus (some of which cannot be completed until I am ready to turn in my badge and keys), and don’t have a job lined up yet. So guess what have I been doing post-defense? Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been celebrations but I don’t feel relieved just yet.

That being said, enjoy this easy, single-serving recipe for orange chicken with a lot of asparagus! Don’t like asparagus? Swap out with snow peas, green beans or broccoli. And as usual, you could also use your multiplication tables to prepare this for multiple people.

Orange Chicken with Asparagus

One year ago: Buckeye Monkey Bread Muffins

Two years ago: Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach
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Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

I wish all lotions, soaps, etc came in bottles that did not use pumps or wands. Why? Because they NEVER reach all the way to the bottom, forcing you to either throw away several uses of perfectly good product, or feel like a penny-pincher for trying to scrape out every last bit. I fall into the latter category and I am not ashamed. I bought the stuff and you better believe I am going to use every last drop that I can get. People say that when I am no longer living on a grad student stipend, my time and effort won’t be worth it anymore but I disagree. It’s less about the money and more about the fact that I don’t like to waste things. This is true of food items as well, as I am constantly finding ways to use up leftover ingredients from a recipe that did not use it all. I call it resourceful.

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes 1

Anyway, that rant has little to do with these cupcakes although the heavy cream I used for the frosting was leftover from all my ice cream adventures last week. I made these cupcakes for Beth’s non-baby shower themed lunch (she’s not into the whole baby shower/gift opening thing even though she’s about to pop). When I asked what flavor cupcakes she was craving she said orange or something tropical, but nothing fancy. Well you know I can’t make a cupcake and not make it a least a little special, so I made orange creamsicle cupcakes with a swirl of two different frostings on top: orange and vanilla buttercreams. And in case the flavor wasn’t obvious enough I topped them off with orange gummies.

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes 2

One year ago: Mango Frozen Greek Yogurt
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Taco Bar with Carnitas: Mexican Pulled Pork

When I told On the Border Products that I was planning a Taco Night dinner, they made sure to send me all the necessary ingredients to complete the taco bar experience. In fact they almost overwhelmed me with options by sending four different kinds of tortillas chips, two cheese dips, and also four salsas with varying degrees of spice and chunkiness. I was excited to see the Guac Blast chips again after the fun chicken recipe I made with them in the past.

On the Border

But of course what’s a taco bar without some margaritas? They also sent along two different margarita mixes, but instead of filling up the bucket and freezing the entire thing, I decided to mix per order in case people preferred blended or on the rocks. It was really easy to mix and tasted great either way.

OtB Margarita

For the tacos I decided to make some slow cooked Mexican pulled pork. I’ve made two kinds of Mexican pulled chicken for tacos and nachos so it was time for a little change. Once cooked, the pork was extremely tender and full of flavor. Definitely worth the wait as it was also great topped with On the Border’s salsa, cheese dip and all your other favorite taco toppings.


I also made an avocado cheese ball to go with all those chips, and the recipe will be shared tomorrow!
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Guest Post: Tangerine Pound Cake by Wilde in the Kitchen

Ready for day two of my guest posting saviors? Please welcome Vicki from Wilde in the Kitchen! She became a master of homemade candy last year, and this year has been tackling a list of homemade items which you would normally buy at the grocery store – called the “Why Bother? Challenge”. It is really amazing how easy it is to make so many things we buy on a regular basis instead. She’s also a science nerd like me so be sure to check out her blog!


I’m thrilled to be doing my first ever guest post here on The Spiffy Cookie! I’m always so impressed with Erin’s posts and the fact that she puts up a new and delicious recipe every day of the week! I graduated with my phd a few years ago and I can totally relate to all of her posts about spending the weekend in the lab and explaining to your family that you are in school but you don’t take classes! I don’t know how she manages to post everyday, I was lucky if I had time to feed myself in grad school, not to mention feed the internets!

I decided to share this recipe with you today because of how it was received at work. I baked this cake over the weekend and cut a slice to photograph and then subsequently eat. On Monday I brought it in and set it in the lunchroom with a simple note “Tangerine pound cake”. Upon returning thirty minutes later, I found an empty cake platter with much of the icing scraped off too. Aww, I wanted some…

I just had to laugh. I work with many formed grad students and you never lose the grad student mentality of “free food is always welcome”. I’m sure Erin is also aware of this mantra. If you get an email mentioning free food, you better get there fast or it will be gone!

Tangerine Pound Cake

Adapted from Cooking Light

Luckily, you can make your own tangerine pound cake, although I wouldn’t be upset if there were a free one sitting in front of me right now! If you have access to tangerines, you should use their rind and juice. If you can’t find them at the store (like me) feel free to substitute orange peel and tangerine juice from the bottle.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
6 ounces, less-fat cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 canola oil
2 tbsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup tangerine juice

1/2 cup tangerine juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Coat a bundt pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, cream cheese until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add oil, vanilla extract and orange peel.

Add 1/3 flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Add heavy cream.  Add 1/3 more flour.  Add tangerine juice.  Add final amount of flour and beat until smooth.  Pour cake batter into the bundt pan and smooth the top.

Bake cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Test cake with a toothpick, it should come out only with crumbs clinging.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove pan and allow to cool completely right side up.

Prepare the glaze once the cake is cool.  In a small saucepan, bring tangerine juice to a boil and cook until reduced by half.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  Add salt and whisk to dissolve.  Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.  Pour over the cake and allow it to pool in the middle.

Cranberry and Orange Granola

My friend Amber mailed a batch of this granola to me for Christmas this year. Even though I did not make this I sure did get to enjoy it again and again. It is incredible and I need to share it with you. The orange peel is the superstar of this recipe. I love it in milk, in yogurt or just as a snack all by itself.

One year ago: Chicken Sallopine with Sage and Fontina Cheese


Makes 4 cups


2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup sliced almonds

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1/2 cup agave syrup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp grapeseed oil

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup candied orange peel, sliced into long thin strips


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread oats on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add almonds and let cool slightly.
  2. Coat same baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk agave syrup, butter, and grapeseed oil in a small bowl to blend. Pour syrup mixture over oats;  stir to thoroughly coat. Spread mixture on prepared sheet.
  3. Bake granola, stirring occasionally, until the oats are light golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and raisins; bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool slightly. Stir in the orange peel. Let cool completely, then break into pieces.
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Source: Bon Appétit, December 2011

Orange Beef

Beef. It’s something I do not eat often enough, but not necessarily on purpose. I just typically have a Sam’s Club stock-pile of frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and I’m a graduate student, which means I try to use things I already have to reduce grocery bills. However, I decided to splurge a little on some top sirloin for this dish especially since I rarely make a stir fry with anything other than chicken. Definitely worth it, so tasty! The fresh orange juice was key. And with only two people eating, leftovers meant lunch for the next three days, hooray! I love a good leftover meal. Although I do prefer reheating most things in a toaster oven instead of a microwave in order to retain some crunchiness (especially pizza), it still tastes great.

Leftovers-for-lunch tip: Divide up the leftovers into individual tupperware servings. Makes for an easy packed lunch before running out the door in the morning.

One more thing. I opted for brown rice instead of white – typical for me.


1-1/2lbs beef top sirloin, sliced into thin strips

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 cups oil (for frying)

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (took 1-1/2 oranges for me)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1-1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

Broccoli florets (cooked)

Brown rice (cooked)


  1. Coat beef strips with cornstarch and allow to sit for 30 minutes.  In a small bowl mix sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt, and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep fryer (or wok) to 375 degrees. Fry beef strips in batches until crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a wok, add orange zest, ginger and garlic, stir fry for 20 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok, bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has thickened. Coat the beef strips with the sauce, top with green onions. Serve with broccoli florets and rice.

Source: Adapted slightly from Blog Chef

Orange Strawberry Banana Smoothie

I realize this is my third smoothie posted on here, but I just love them so much! I didn’t bother to de-membrane the orange, a) because it’s more of a pain than it was worth this morning, and b) I didn’t mind it being a bit pulpy. The recipe below is pretty much the same as others I have posted I just changed up the fruit a bit.


1 medium orange, peeled

4 strawberries, hulled

1/2 banana

1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 scoop whey protein, vanilla flavored (optional)

3/4 cup milk


  1. Place ingredients, in the order listed, into a rocket blender. Seal with the cross blade base and pulse until well combined.
  2. Enjoy!!

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original

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