I’ve been cooking -really, honest! I just haven’t been taking pictures (doh!) nor posting. Sorry. Life of a teacher- it’s a bit unpredictable. (OH! But here’s a tip: those biscuits? They make the most fabulous dumplings in Chicken and Dumplings!)
Last week I made some rockin’ O’Henry bars (baked sweetened GF oatmeal base with a chocolate topping – oh yea!) for one of my student groups. (The others had arranged for their own treat days with different students volunteering to bring in treats for other kids.) And you know what? The most precious thing happened. One of the girls baked cookies for her classmates. (They are still raving about them.) And when she brought the cookies in to drop them off for the class, she brought me a little gift bag. Inside the bag? She had made me some “Craving’s Place” chocolate chip cookies. O. M. G. THAT was awesome! It was so great to be munching on freshly made chocolate chip cookies with the rest of the class. THAT is one SUPER thoughtful act for another human. I think there are quite a few adults who could take a page out of her play book, huh? And she’s only 15. Yeap. I think she deserves an A too. (LOL!)
I’ve been munching on these awesome Trio Bars for breakfast or mid-morning snacks everyday this week and last. I wanted a bit of a change for tomorrow, so I’m trying something new. I made some candied orange rind tonight because we have these incredible navel oranges in the house and I could NOT resist. Have you ever made candied orange peel? It’s quite easy, actually, and they make a GREAT little munchie or topping for your favorite cake, crepe, orange-beef or orange chicken. I tried to take a picture, but well, there wasn’t much left by the time I got up there with the camera. It’s really tasty!
I’m throwing out my Orange-Quinoa muffin recipe because it was a “let’s see what this tastes life” recipe tonight. You’ll have to let me know what you think. I like it (especially the crunchy top) but I also know that it is more dense that my Apple Muffins, etc. I just wanted to try something different.
For far too many years (up until the last one or two), I’ve been leery about just trying something in the kitchen. I was worried about how horrid it may end up, how expensive the ingredients are, how I “didn’t know” what to do/make, etc. I became really frustrated by my inability to walk in to the kitchen and make something easily. My love encouraged me to just try things and helped me let go of that fear or ‘ruining” everything. (I still have vivid memories of the bean-flour lava flow.)
He’s right. The reality is that I’m only going to figure it out by playing around more and more in the kitchen. I don’t make huge batches of my tests so the expense is minimal (and MUCH cheaper than buying the premade stuff). And, ya know what? I find it relaxing to putter around in the kitchen and try things.
I’ve got a tried and true recipe for you (Candied Orange Peel) and a “let’s see what’s going to happen” recipe (Orange-Quinoa Muffins). Maybe you’d like to help me make this muffin a tasty breakfast treat too? It tastes great now (warm and crunchy) and tomorrow I’ll let you know how it tastes again. (I have a sneaky suspicion that I will want to microwave it for 15 seconds before munching – but that’s okay for a first try for me! LOL).
Tried and True: Candied Orange Peels
1-2 Navel Oranges
1 cup sugar + 2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 cup water
- Using a peeler, gently peel the orange rind off the navel oranges in wide strips. Do not get the white part of the peel – you want just the orange part. If the white part comes, try to make your next peel lighter and then trim the white part with a knife or scrap it off the rind.
- Boil one cup of sugar and water for 10 minutes. (Reserve the other sugar.)
- While the sugar/water is boiling, slice the orange rinds into thin strips or leave them wide. I made thin strips so they would cook faster and make a good garnish. Long/wide strips are great for snacking or mincing/chopping for the Orange-Quinoa muffins.
- Add the orange rinds to the boiling sugar/water and boil until the rinds are semi-clear/transparent. Stir occasionally.
- Remove the rinds from the orange-simple syrup with a fork and spread out onto wax paper. Sprinkle with the reserved sugar. Gently toss the orange rinds in the sugar while cooling. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes while tossing in the sugar every 10 minutes or so.
- Reserve the orange-flavored simple syrup to flavor your baking or Italian sodas!
- Store candied orange peel in an airtight container for up to one week.
So here’s my Orange-Quinoa Muffin recipe – thrown out there to the masses for a bit of group-recipe-therapy.
Let’s see what can be done with this one, k?
GF: Orange-Quinoa Muffins
Recipe makes 8 medium muffins
1 cup GF flour mix
1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons almond flour/meal
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced candied orange peel
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and almond flour/meal.
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine yogurt, butter, sugar, orange juice, and candied orange peel until well blended.
- Add dry ingredients to wet. Stir on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Fill paper-lined muffin tins to the top of the paper muffin cup.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool. Once cooled, store in a air-tight bag on the counter (not the refrigerator).
Happy GF Eating!
A BREAKFAST UPDATE: AFter spending the night in an airtight bag on the counter, the muffins are stil soft and pliable (and tasty!). Breakfast was delicious and did not involve a microwave nor reheating of any type. However, the muffins are a bit more dense than I like (or than the Apple Muffins). I’m going to work on this one a bit more. But it hit the spot today.