Category Archives: Oranges

Recipe Rescue: Sugar-Crusted Citrus Loaf

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Today’s recipe was borne from a lapse in thinking.

I had been craving lemon bars for the better part of a week when this loaf was made. I bought some Meyer lemons from Whole Foods and came home intent on making a tray to bring in to school. I juiced six lemons and a blood orange that I had lying around. The butter was perfectly softened, and I was ready to make some dessert.

Until I read the recipe wrong.

Somewhere between juicing those lemons and creaming that butter, I got it into my head that the recipe called for 1¾ cups of sugar in the crust.

It does not. That goes in the filling.

But of course that didn’t occur to me until I had successfully combined all of the butter with all of the sugar. So then I had to brainstorm ways to save those ingredients that I basically ruined. The end result was a sweet, dense pound cake, studded with lemon zest with the underlying tang of Meyer lemons and blood orange. The best part might actually be that the extra sugar crusted on top, making for a great crunch. Paired with a citrus-y glaze, this is one screw-up that didn’t turn out half bad!

I’m going to go ahead and call this recipe a success. Sure, I cannot read may be losing my mind, but at least I avoided a major baking flop!

Happy eating!

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Winter Kale Salad

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Yesterday was uncharacteristically warm, topping off at over 60 degrees with tons of sunshine and practically no wind. Given that D.C. has been in the 20s and 30s since Inauguration weekend, this random burst of warmth was quite welcome. I wore a dress for the first time in ages and gave my wool coat a break as I opted for a vest.

Don’t get me wrong; I love cold weather. But cold winter days have a tendency to put me in a rut, both wardrobe-wise and foodwise. Not only do I pile on layer upon layer of sweaters and coats, but I also feel like I need hearty, filling food to cope with the season. The problem is that most comfort food consists of rich stews, roasted chickens, and lentil- or bean-filled chili or soup. Needless to say, one gets really sick of eating the “brown” food group most of the time, and yesterday’s weather was the perfect reason to break this habit.

I tried to stick to winter-friendly ingredients–things that you can find in plentitude during the cold season. The crunchy kale pairs well with the bold flavor of blood oranges and the sometimes sharp bites of fennel. Plus, combining blood orange juice with sherry vinaigrette produces a dressing with the perfect amount of tang. And–personal health plug–this salad is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Total win.

So here’s to incorporating color into your winter menu. Happy eating.

** Side note: I’ll post the promised Smitten Kitchen side dish on Friday. I just thought the weather called for a salad post!

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Duck Breast with Orange Gastrique

Apologies.  I realize that it has been awhile since my last post, and to be honest, there was quite some time between my last two posts.  It’s that time of year again—school time.  The time of year when I spend all day teaching and all night either going to grad school or working on grad school projects.  And while I love teaching, and well like tolerate grad school, I just have a hard time finding time to cook.

Last weekend, Brandon and I threw together another beer can chicken.  It was just as delicious as the last.  Other than that, we enjoyed some yummy bites at some of our favorite NYC places:  Lamarca (terrific pasta), Num Pang (Banh Mi [Vietnamese-inspired] sandwiches), and The Meatball Shop (well, I think you can figure that one out).

So, in order to provide you with a new recipe, I am looking back at a meal we made a few months ago.  It is certainly one of my favorites, and although it sounds fancy, it’s really not too difficult to make.  However, it does take some attention to detail.

Whenever I go out for dinner and duck is on the menu, I order it.  I just love it’s meaty flavor and its crispy, often crackly, skin.  It took me awhile to even think that I could make duck at home, but after receiving Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, I decided to try my hand at it.  This recipe is simple and requires very few ingredients.  It’s succulent and impressive.  Not to mention, you can toss waxy fingerlings in the rendered duck fat before throwing them in a 400-degree oven to make some insanely delicious roasted potatoes.   Continue reading


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