Tag Archives: dessert

Cranberry-orange bread, or What to make when life gives you sour oranges

I’m back.  Sorry for the hiatus.  There were colds, holidays, travel, life, yada, yada, yada.  Anyway, I’m back, and I have lots of ideas for new posts.  Today’s is about oranges.  And baked deliciousness.

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This time of year my mind turns to citrus.  There’s something magical about the sunshine a Florida orange or Texas grapefruit represents on your breakfast plate when the weather in your neck of the woods is dark and dreary.

Growing up in New England, we relished such treats from faraway lands.  When I was young, my great-grandfather wintered in Florida and every year he’d ship a box of grapefruits to us.  I can still picture where the case sat on the bench in our mudroom, just off the kitchen.  My mother would ration them, reminding us each time she prepared one for us (all those little cuts being a true act of love, wouldn’t you say?), that this was a treat to have them shipped to us.  I can’t explain why that makes them superior to those that had been shipped to the grocery store, but I still (perhaps irrationally) agree.

Alas, this is not a recipe inspired by exotic treats shipped from distant groves by a loved one.  No, it’s an updated version of a family favorite, busted out to use up our sadly sour oranges.

Allow me to share a bit of background.  Continue reading Cranberry-orange bread, or What to make when life gives you sour oranges

Rustic pumpkin custard

I’m a simple girl.  I love desserts as much as the next person, probably more, but I prefer to focus my culinary energy on getting the family fed.  If I have time and energy left over after ensuring our three squares are taken care of, I might consider making a dessert, but not often.  When I do go the extra mile, it’s usually in fall or winter, as the siren call of pumpkins and apples beckons me.

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Sure, I love to peruse beautiful recipes as much as the next foodie.  The gorgeous photography, sumptuous description of the flavors…  but they lose me after that.  I rarely have the heart to make a dessert that requires copious amount of rich ingredients.  I think my limit is about a half a stick of butter.

And while I don’t have an objection to a little cream, I don’t routinely buy it, so I rarely have some on hand.  Probably my number one (scrooge-like) rule about making desserts is that I won’t shop expressly for their ingredients.  I’m only willing to consider a recipe if I already have all of the components (or reasonable substitutes) at my fingertips.

And don’t get me started on the directions for fancy recipes.  I read one the other day that was as long as a chapter of my dissertation.  I’m tired from just reading the thing.  No longer interested in making it.  Moving on… Continue reading Rustic pumpkin custard

Nectarine sauce

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A few nights ago my favorite peach vendor at the farmer’s market sold me an 8-lb bag of nectarines and peaches for a song.  They all had minor blemishes, but were still perfectly delicious.  The peaches I washed, halved and froze to be reincarnated later as peach pie smoothies (look for a future post with that recipe).

As the evenings are beginning to get cool around here, I thought it would be fun to make something warm with the nectarines without all the work of baking.  Continue reading Nectarine sauce