Category: Citrus

pi (pie) day appoaches: mini apple pies

mini apple pies

The weather was magical yesterday. It was almost 50 degrees. A lot of the residual snow/ice melted. Seriously, it was glorious.

And now winter storm “Vulcan” is a-coming. Mr. Vulcan is bringing 6-10 inches of snow in his suitcase. Obviously, he’s over packed. It’s just an overnight stay, after all.

Clearly, Mr. Vulcan is quite rude. So rude, in fact, that even the cat feels the need to throw some (sleepy) shade toward Mr. Vulcan.

elton the cat

But enough weather talk…let’s talk about better things. Like pie.

Let’s talk about pie! Continue reading

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hamantaschen

hamantaschen

Did you watch the Oscars? I like watching the Oscars and Emmys (but generally hate the Grammys). I know the awards shows are always unfortunately long, and pretty boring during some parts, and there are always lots of screw ups because…live television, but it’s kinda fun to see what everyone is wearing, what outlandish and/or political stuff people talk about in their speeches, and see people actually having some personality other than the last character they played. I actually thought this was one of the better Oscars in recent memory. The whole “let’s have an offensive comedian host” thing was getting old, and I think Ellen fit the bill pretty well.

And call me a jerk, but I still cannot stop laughing about the whole Travolta mispronunciation situation and subsequent reactions. It’s hilarious.

Anyway…for the past few years, I’ve noticed a slew of recipes/photos of these little triangle cookies floating around the interwebs during March. Considering I hadn’t the slightest clue what they were, I figured I’d do a little research and test them out. Enter: hamantaschen. Hamantaschen, or Haman’s pockets, are apparently a staple of the Jewish holiday Purim. There’s obviously a lot of meaning and history behind Purim, but from what I gather, there is also much feasting involved.  I like feasting. Since I’m no expert on Purim, you should do your own research to learn more. Start here.

Hamantaschen remind me of rugelach in a lot of ways, but the dough is heartier and the cookies are obviously larger. The dough is delicious (uh, hello…butter and cream cheese?) and not too sweet, while also taking enough of a back seat to let whatever filling you choose be the star of the show. And they pack up nicely, which is good because you probably shouldn’t eat them all yourself. But you totally can if you want to. I won’t judge you. It’s Fat Tuesday, so you have the perfect excuse. Continue reading

baking basics: cream scones

cream and blueberry lemon scones

Surprise: it’s Valentine’s week and I’m NOT sharing a red velvet cake/cookie/cupcake/doughnut/whatever recipe with you. Because I don’t like red velvet. And I’m tired of seeing red velvet recipes.

Instead, let’s talk basics again. SCONES! Continue reading

blood orange yogurt cake

blood orange yogurt cake

I am one of those weird people who takes pride in NOT being over winter. I still like winter. I might even say I love winter. While everyone else starts complaining two weeks in and doesn’t stop until April, I’m generally pretty stoked that it’s cold/snowy/etc. Granted, this is only our fourth real winter (yes, I know winter is still a season in California, but 80 degrees on Christmas IS NOT WINTER), but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. I like cold and snow (but maybe not ice), and I like that those things also make me appreciate summer a lot more. I like getting bundled up and that nobody cares what ridiculous clothing choices I make from December through at least March, because it’s all about being cozy and surviving the wind chill. What I do get tired of, though, is winter flavors. I know, that’s not really a thing, but sometimes it sure feels like it.

This one is especially for those of us who, at some point during the winter months, hit our threshold of baking with cinnamon, chocolate (gasp!), nuts, and apples, and just want it to be seasonally appropriate to make bright, citrusy things again. Things that just scream summer or spring, but mostly just summer because spring in Chicago is any number of things, but warm and consistently sunny are not typically on that list. I want to be reminded of outdoor dining and lemonade and margaritas and mojitos and spending real time outside. Continue reading

festive holiday recipe #17: stollen & candied citrus

candied citrus peel

If you’re looking for a unique, food-related gift, go candy yourself some citrus. Look at how sparkly it is! Package it up all cute, maybe in little mason jars, and impress your friends. You can even dip the pieces in dark chocolate first, if you’re feeling extra nice.

And then you know what you should do with the leftover candied citrus? Make stollen (basically, traditional German fruit cake.)

stollen

Most people hate fruit cake. That is (probably) a scientific fact. It makes sense, right? I mean, I don’t know a whole lot of people who would voluntarily opt for a sickly-sweet, dried fruit laden cake when there are exactly 293874293 other options out there.  Continue reading