Since we moved to our new home the grocery store isn’t just “right down the street” anymore. Which means we eat at home! Which also means I cook three meals a day everyday. I am not the best by any means so I am learning and thought I’d write about my kitchen journey here. Finding something fun and festive to cook and/or bake is now what I do.
Every year when school starts for the kids, the holidays start for me! My mom was huge on the holidays, and I have tried to continue those traditions she started and make some of our own too. Put cooking and holidays in one and I have five happy people in this house!
I found this recipe for Candy Corn Waffles in Food Network Magazine. I usually use a dry waffle mix so this was a step in a better direction! They were super easy to make and the kids loved them and thought I was amazing for two hours which is a major bonus! If you want a small step into the holidays I’d start here…
2 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
5 tbsp. melted shortening
4 tbsp. melted butter
orange and yellow food coloring
melted white chocolate
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, milk, melted shortening, and melted butter. Tint half the batter orange and half the batter yellow with food coloring. Preheat a round waffle iron to the lowest setting. Spoon some orange batter into the middle and some yellow batter around it. Cook until just crisp. Separate into triangles and dip the tips in melted white chocolate.
I love recipes with the word ‘easy’ in them. I also love recipes with the word ‘orange’ in them! So when I stumbled upon this gem, Easy Orange Cake, in Better Homes and Gardens One-Pan Recipes, I knew it was a go.
Most times when I make a citrus cake that has juice in the recipe i can only taste a faint bit of it. This cake, however, is as orange flavored as it gets. No lie! Perfect for after a summer bar-b-que or for breakfast! i love cake for breakfast. No judgment here!
I frosted my Easy Orange Cake with Butter Frosting and sprinkled fresh orange zest, but another option would be a dusting of powdered sugar! So good!
EASY ORANGE CAKE
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 recipe Butter Frosting or powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with waxed paper or parchment paper. Grease and lightly flour pan.
Remove 2 tsp. zest and squeeze 1/2 cup juice from oranges. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add orange zest and juice, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on low until combined. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool on wire rack. If desired spread with Butter Frosting or dust with powdered sugar. Makes 8 servings.
In a medium bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with a mixer on medium until smooth. Gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 Tbsp. milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Gradually beat in 2 1/2 cups additional powdered sugar. Beat in enough additional milk to reach spreading consistency.
There are two people in this world of ours. Nacho Cheese Doritos lovers and Cool Ranch Doritos lovers. I happen to be a Cool Ranch lover! My mom used to buy the lunch sized bags of chips for our lunches and it was always the BEST day when that shiny blue bag was waiting for me. Surprisingly these chips are super easy to make at home and you probably already have everything to make them! Throw these with a PB&J and some chocolate chip cookies and your back at the fourth grade lunch tables!
uncooked small tortillas
2 (1 ounce) packets dry Ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon ground onion
1 teaspoon salt
canola oil for frying
Heat oil in a dutch oven or deep fryer and heat to 350F. You want about 2 inches of oil minimum.
Cut the uncooked tortillas into wedges, like pizza slices.
In a bowl, mix together the ranch seasoning, paprika, garlic, onion, and salt. The seasoning works best super fine, so you can pulse in a blender if you would like, but its optional and I didn’t.
Working in batches, fry the tortillas until crispy, about 3 minutes per batch. I used tongs to press the tortillas down one at a time to let some of the air out, otherwise they can puff up very easily. Be careful with this step because the oil can bubble up.
Place the fried tortillas on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with seasoning. Toss to combine, then sprinkle the flip side. You want to do this right after removing from the oil. Allow to cool.
Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. This will make quite a bit of tortillas for the amount of seasoning.
Store chips in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!
I worked at a southern BBQ restaurant when I was out of high school and every year we celebrated Mardi Gras. It was THE best time to eat there and I LOVED the special menu. Umm, hello fried pickles! Since those days of long ago I have always celebrated the holiday even though we are in southern California. We usually go to a Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in the Downtown Disney District but since the beginning of this year has been way too crazy for this tribe I think I am gonna have to try to bring New Orleans to my own kitchen. And to do that I may need a drink. And that drink may as well be the Hurricane.
I must say that the way I made this celebratory drink was not too shabby! I’ll just go ahead and toot my own horn! The verdict is still out on the juice to rum ratio but I liked it and it was very quick to make. Freddie and I recently tried Captain Morgan’s White Rum and loved it so I used a little of that and a little original!
2oz. light rum (I used Captain Morgan White Rum)
3oz. dark rum (Captain Morgan)
6oz. passion fruit juice
6oz. pineapple orange juice
2 tbsp. grenadine
In a large liquid measuring cup, mix the first five ingredients.
Pour over ice-filled glass
Garnish each glass with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. (and maybe a fancy paper straw!)
I think the next time I make these i may try adding the grenadine after for a swirly effect but they did taste as good as they looked!
Freddie orders weird drinks. He will tell me that he is ordering a beer and then when he actually orders he will pick some sort of fruity concoction that arrives in a fancy glass. I personally think its hilarious! Especially when it comes garnished beyond belief and he doesn’t know how to hold his glass! It is now a running joke with us and I look forward to seeing “What will Freddie drink next”?
But then there are those times when my craft cocktail husband will reach out for the classics. The Old Fashioned was one of those drinks. And because we wanted to continue having that drink at home I learned how to make them! Freddie prefers Jameson over my fancy Four Roses but he won’t argue when I share!
To create an Old Fashioned you will need:
whiskey or brandy of your liking
garnish of orange twist and/or cocktail cherry
And then to prepare:
Place a sugar cube or two in a glass and saturate with bitters. Then add a dash of plain ol’ water. Muddle until the sugar cube(s) have dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add your whiskey or bourbon. Garnish with an orange twist and a cocktail cherry!
So simple to make at home and Freddie loves them! Chin chin!