Friday, May 18, 2012

Tricky Water

This is how I trick myself into drinking tap water... Yummy citrusy ice cubes.  So fancy, but so easy!

Start by slicing up the citrus of your choice.  I am picky.  Heirloom naval orange are a-mazing.  And when I can't get my hands on some Meyer lemons, organic lemons are the next best thing - sweeter than just any ol' lemon.  Or you can use a whole cranberry, sliced grapes, edible flowers... the options are as varied as your taste. 

Pop that little bit of flavor into an old fashioned ice cube tray. Fill with tap water and freeze.
When the cubes are frozen, put them in a zip top freezer bag and enjoy at your leisure. I like to put 2-3 in my reusable water bottle. I even have a bag stashed in the work freezer!

They're especially fancy with some orange juice and lemon-lime soda in a punch bowl at a party! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mandarin Orange Coffee Cake

I love mandarin oranges!  (They're especially yummy when stowed in the ice chest on a camping trip). So when I had them baked on top of a delicate coffee cake I had to have the recipe.  I snagged this one from a co-worker's wife over a decade ago - and have yet to see anyone else bring a similar dish to the table.  Now you're in the know!

Mandarin Orange Coffee Cake
350F, 40-45 minutes in a 9x9 square pan, greased and floured
(I use the wrapper from the stick of butter and rub it all over the inside of the pan to grease it.)

2 15oz cans mandarin oranges, drained (in light syrup or in juice recommended)
2 c all purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter (1 stick, salted)
2-1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt (I like kosher sea salt, reduce to 3/4 t if using regular iodized table salt)
3/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
1 large egg
1 t cinnamon, divided
1/2 t nutmeg

Combine flour and sugar, cut in butter.  Reserve 1/2-3/4 cup of these crumbs for topping.  To remainder of flour mix add baking powder, salt, and 1/2 t cinnamon.  Mix together wet ingredients and combine with dry.  Blend/stir until light and smooth.

Spread in greased and floured pan and top with mandarin oranges in rows, try to think of how you'll be cutting the cake and line them up appropriately.  You might have some leftover oranges (you're welcome).

To the reserved crumbs, add 1/2 t cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle on top of oranges.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Serve hot or cooled.  Makes 9-12 slices, depending on how you cut.

I love having serving dishes that match up to my baking dishes.  I bought this square one just for my 9" square baking pan.  It always looks so pretty to fill it with matching goodies!  I even store them together in the same cabinet and pull them out at the same time when I bake.