The blood orange is a member of the citrus family, it is both beautiful in color and delicious in flavor.
They are in season from December through May, though the exact months vary depending on what type of blood Orange you’re baking or cooking with.
The most common variety available in markets is the the Moro variety.
The Moro blood orange is the most colorful of the blood oranges, with a deep red flesh and a rind with a bright red blush.
The deep red flesh means the orange ranges in color from orange veined ruby coloration, to vermilion, to vivid crimson, to nearly black.
The flavor is stronger and the aroma is more intense than a normal orange. The fruit has a distinct, sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry.
Are Blood Oranges Naturally Red
Author Harold McGee explains in his book “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” – that a blood orange owes the deep maroon color of their juice to anthocyanin pigments, which develop only when night temperatures are low, in the Mediterranean autumn and winter.”
What are anthocyanin pigments? The pigment is found naturally in a number of eatable plants.
These pigments are what produces the red, purple, and blue coloring of eatable plants, such as the blueberry, cherry, and strawberry among others.
The anthocyanin pigments will only develop when temperatures are low at night, as during the Mediterranean fall and winter.
In addition to acting an antioxidant, anthocyanins help fight free radicals, and are found to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
Nutritional Value of The Blood Orange
A fresh blood orange is a rich source of vitamins C (20% or greater of the Daily Value), a moderate source of folate (15% of the Daily Value) and dietary fiber.
The orange also has potassium, which is needed for healthy blood pressure and the absorption of zinc.
Interesting Facts About The Blood Orange
Within Europe, the arancia rossa di Sicilia, or the red orange of Sicily, has Protected Geographical Status.
According to The National Gardening Association, the flavor of blood oranges is essentially a cross between an orange and a raspberry.
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
This recipe is baked in a 9-inch spring form pan. But we used four, 5-inch spring form pans. Using this size is up to you, but using them makes individual small sized cakes.
Cakes this size are great for serving at gathers, tea parties, and brunch.
• 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup light brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 4 medium-sized blood oranges
• 1 cup fine cornmeal, may sub almond flour
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• ⅓ cup sour cream
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9 inch round piece parchment paper into a 9-inch round spring form pan.
Note: If using the 5-inch spring forms – do the same and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of pans.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Scrape mixture into bottom of prepared pan (pans).
Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, then slice off the tops and bottoms of oranges.
Place oranges on a clean, flat surface, and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit.
Slice each orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels and discard any seeds.
Arrange orange wheels on top of brown sugar mixture in a single, tight layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream together remaining 2 sticks butter with granulated sugar. Beat in eggs, one a time, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the dry mixture by hand.
Scrape batter into pan (pans) over oranges. Transfer to oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it. Unlock side of pan and remove.
Next, invert cake onto a platter and cool completely before serving.
Originally, cookies had one purpose in the kitchen as bakers used them to test the oven by baking small amounts of cake batter before baking an entire cake.
Since then, these “small cakes” have evolved and now hundreds of recipes for cookies are available today – which includes the Sugar Cookie.
The Sugar Cookie made its debut in the 1700’s by German settlers to Pennsylvania (USA) and the cookies were an instant success.
Since that time, sugar cookies have become popular at Christmas and Halloween time and including Arbor Day and Groundhog Day in the U.S.
GROUNDHOG DAY COOKIES – Photo Credit: Fork and Beans
Sugar cookie dough is easy to work with (usually just 3 or 4 ingredients) as the dough holds its shape during the baking process. It is also a great cookie recipe to work with because it contains no baking soda.
Although they are frequently eaten straight from the oven, the sugar cookie can be frosted, sprinkled, and cut into any shape for added eating fun.
Though sugar cookies are about 2 to 3 round, you can also make them bite sized.
And that is what we did with this recipe, Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies – sandwich style. They are topped with pecan bits and powdered sugar. And between the two cookies are shredded coconut, Heath bar bits and sweet milk.
MakingCoconutPecan Sugar Cookies
You will need:
1 (17 ½ oz.) sugar cookie mix 1 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup Heath bar bites 1/2 cup pecan halves, finely chopped 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 egg 1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
In a large bowl add the cookie mix, butter and egg. Mix until dough thickens.
On a floured surface with a roller spread dough to ¼ inch thick.
Cut out cookies with a cookie mold – about 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Next mix coconut and Heath bar bites with sweet milk and set aside.
Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool one minute on cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack until they cool completely.
To assemble the sandwiches smear 1 tsp. of coconut – sweet milk mix onto 12 cookies. On the other 12 cookies dab a little sweet milk, and then put cookies together forming a sandwich.
Top cookies with chopped pecan pieces and top that with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an air tight container.
The Romans are said to have invented the culinary dish they called Flan. After hundreds of years being enjoyed by many cultures, Spain popularized flan as a sweet custard dessert made with caramelized sugar, and the Moors added
Though flan today is especially associated with Mexico where it prepared in the kitchens of most all the inhabitants of Mexico.
Flan is a favorite desert at our house. Once you get the hang of it, flan is easy and simple to make. Here is what you will need to make Splendid Recipe and More’s version of Spanish Flan…
½ cup sugar
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, add sugar, stirring constantly (can also vigorously move sauce pan back and forth over burner with one hand while stir with the other) until the sugar becomes liquid and golden.
Pour into a 9-inch round metal baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides if possible. We found that a metal pan works’s the best for making flan. Also after pour the hot golden liquid sugar into the pan, use gloves as you move the pan about coating it, as it will become hot to the touch. Set aside.
In a food processor, or a large boil with a hand beater, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Mix in condensed and evaporated milks and vanilla until smooth. Strain egg mixture while pouring into the caramel coated pan.
Place pan into a roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the metal baking dish.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until flan is just set (does not wobble). place the flan on a wire rack. First loosen the sides with a knife and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Next invert carefully on a rimmed serving platter. Be careful as the liquid caramel will flow out over flan and down the sides. Place platter in the refrigerator and chill 3 hours up to 24 hours.
When chilled, and you are ready for dessert, remove flan from refrigerator, plate and serve.
Here’s a PeachUpside Down Cake that is just peachy. This dessert is made with a brown sugar glaze. It’s a natural syrup with no added chemicals and it’s not like the ordinary glaze of just water, powdered sugar and a little milk.
Cutting the cake into six (6) servings would make it 49.5 grams of Carb, 18.75 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein. If you used raw sugar and whole wheat flour, both with their fiber intake, you could add 3 grams more of protein to this dessert.
If you view dessert like that, it isn’t so bad. It is true there are sugars in the recipe. But you can always change out processed foods for more natural foods that are minimally processed, therefore making a recipe closer to more natural and still enjoy dessert.
Peaches provide about 18 mg phytosterols, which are plant-based nutrients, and they lower your cholesterol levels. Knowing this about peaches also can make the dessert more appealing. Don’t you agree?
But wait there’s more. A large peach has niacin, or vitamin B-3, that helps with energy metabolism in your body.
Peaches are high in vitamin-C, which we all know is an antioxidant and an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system and strong joints. Peaches also have vitamin-A, an essential nutrient for healthy vision.
Peaches can also help regulate your blood pressure. The fruit provides about 332 mg potassium each, and they are sodium-free.
A high-sodium, low-potassium diet may cause high blood pressure and an increased risk for stroke and kidney disease, and most of us need to increase potassium and decrease sodium. Most all of the fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are high-potassium, low-sodium foods.
Now for our featured dessert: Peach Upside Down Cake, and here is what you will need:
Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Grab the room temperature butter and melt in a small sauce pan over medium heat and then add the brown sugar and stir until sugar is completely moistened and mix well with the butter. Next spread sugar mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared spring-form pan.
Line peaches in a circular pattern on the bottom of the spring form pan until it is filled with the peaches (as shown in image). Set aside.
In a food processor, combine the ½ cup of butter and ¾ cup of sugar and process till creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and process until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, process on -mix- speed after each addition just until combined.
Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly over the peaches using the back of a large spoon or flexible spatula.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.
Loosen cake first by running a knife around sides and loosen ring and lift off. Grabbing edge of parchment paper, carefully pull cake to a serving platter. Cool for another 10 to 15 minutes.
This dessert is not a custard, like Crème Burlee or Spanish Flan but rather a fruit-filled batter like cake. Blueberry Lemon Florgnarde is considered a French dessert. As a matter of fact you can use any fruit to make this very splendidly tasteful dessert. If you wanted you could even have this dessert for breakfast. With the eggs, you have your protein and the blueberries provide the complex carbohydrate. It only has 6 tablespoons of sugar in it. Those three eggs provide 3 – 4 grams of protein per serving.
Butter a 9″ pie pan and arrange the blueberries to cover the bottom of the pie pan and sprinkle 3 tbsp. of sugar on top of the blueberries.
Next, with a grater and a fresh lemon, grate 1 tablespoon of zest. Save the rest of the lemon for another recipe. Cut it in to 4 quarters and freeze it. When you need a few spoonfuls of zest you have it in the freezer, saving time from going to the store for just one lemon. You can do the same with orange peels. I also use the zest of both the citrus peels when I make fresh ginger root tea.
Next, with a food processor, combine the remaining 3 tbsp. sugar, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Once all ingredients are processed, pour the batter over the blueberries. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes then dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve warm.
This dessert is very delectable to the palate and goes well with a good cup of coffee. It has a hint of lemon flavor and the fresh blueberries are very juicy.
What Others are saying About Blueberries and Lemon Zest:
If you hear “Mexican food,” your thoughts may instantly turn to enchiladas, burritos, guacamole, Pico de Gallo and fajitas. But what comes after those savory, spicy delights?
Something sweet, of course!
The best way to wrap up a delicious Mexican meal is with a classic Mexican dessert. Sweet and decadent, the three tasty desserts listed below never go out of style. What’s even better is they are all easy to make once you know how!
Let’s take a look at these desserts and get busy planning your next adventure in Mexican cooking.
This ancient recipe can be traced all the way back to Rome where chickens were first known to be used just for their eggs. This custard dish was originally a savory meal, but was so versatile that it soon became flavored with other natural ingredients, like honey.
We can see an evolution of flan through the centuries and across borders. Because flan is such a simple dish to make, it became popular with many cultures, each adding their own local special touches. We can see the Spanish influence in the Mexican recipes which are traditionally sweetened with a glaze of caramelized sugar.
When Columbus journeyed to the Americas, he brought with him his love of flan and his recipes. Flan became a classic dessert in Mexican homes. Chickens – and their eggs – were plentiful, making this dessert affordable for all people of any economic status.
This wonderfully elegant, yet simple dessert remains virtually unchanged in Mexican cooking where it is basic custard, molded, then turned over onto a plate. It may have a caramel coating or caramelized sugar coating, and is served either room temperature or cold.
Cake is good, but cake soaked in something delicious is better. Like flan, you can trace this type of cake way back to ancient times. There are soaked cakes on every continent with so many variations that it boggles the mind.
For instance, rum or sherry soaked cakes are very British, while fruit juice soaked cakes are a familiar dessert in tropical regions. Cakes soaked in wine are common in Italy and France. It seems that each version has reasons why the ingredients are what they are. The Mexican version features a sweet spongy cake soaked in three kinds of milk.
This dessert, the Tres Leches Cake, translates to “3 milks” cake. The origin of that term and the recipe itself is still questionable. Some believe the recipe originated with the introduction of condensed and evaporated milk. The three milks included in most recipes for Tres Leches Cake are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.
No matter what the origin of the recipe is, the combination of these three rich milks makes one delightful dessert.
You can serve your Tres Leches Cake with a layer of whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon, topped with fruit, or plain. It’s a nice treat any way you choose.
When you think of an empanada, you could be thinking of many types of foods. As a matter of fact, the word simply means a pastry. That leaves a lot to the imagination, but the basic design is the same for any recipe.
The pastry itself is simple, much like a pie pastry. You form a circle or a square, spoon in the filling, fold, seal and bake or fry. The filling is what makes the dish. In this case, we are making a Mexican dessert so we are going to stick to a sweet filling.
In Mexico, a dessert empanada could contain many fruits and other fillings, but what comes to mind, of course, is bananas along with another Mexican favorite, chocolate. Nuts would add a lot of flavor and texture to this dessert. As with many authentic Mexican recipes, keeping the empanada pastry plain and simple is traditional. If you want to get a little more creative, try using puff pastry instead.
If you are not a fan of making homemade pastry, go ahead and use pre-made pie crusts, frozen empanada discs or other pastry dough. As long as it’s flaky, hot, and sweet, your Mexican empanada dessert will be perfect.
Try your hand at these three desserts the next time you want to treat your family to something deliciously sweet after dinner. These classic Mexican desserts will become family favorites in no time!
Are you aware of the healing powers of honey? You may think of the most popular one, being used as a cough remedy. But there are a lot more.
Here is an article from the Health News library I thought you would enjoy: The Healing Powers of Honey.
The article goes on to say:
When you go to the grocery store, you see an entire shelf dedicated to various types of honey. One of the great things about honey is how good is tastes.
If you have heard about the power of honey as a healing remedy, it’s important to note that it is found with raw honey. Raw honey has not been “sterilized” with high heat, and it has not had anything added to it…READ MORE
Panna Cotta is a classic northern Italian dessert with roots in the dairy-rich Piedmont region. Although it only takes a few minutes to prepare, it lends a sophisticated finish to any special meal or occasion. This recipe proves once again that a dish doesn’t have to be complicated to be out-of-this-world delicious.