Posts Tagged ‘Orange’


February 5, 2017
In the course of my bringing treats (baked goods and sweets) to the office from time to time, it became apparent that not every one could enjoy the desserts I was making (gluten-free, lactose intolerant, allergies, etc.). So, I’ve begun exploring other “options” and found a couple of delicious gluten-free cookie recipes (below).  Enjoy!
Chocolate Pistachio
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of almond flour
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of chopped pistachios
Beat the first seven (7) ingredients together on low speed until a “dough” forms.  Mix in the 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap and form it into a log shape (about 7-8″ long and 2″ in diameter).  Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill (for at least 60 minutes).
When the dough feels firm and chilled, remove it from the fridge and place it on a flat working surface.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice it into 1/4″ slices (a very sharp knife really makes a difference). You could slice them a little thicker and adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown (but watch them closely after 10 minutes or so to ensure you don’t burn them).  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Orange Cranberry — same instructions as above, add the orange zest and cranberries at the same point you added the pistachios above.
1 cup of almond flour
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
Happy baking!

Necktie of the Month – February 2017!

February 1, 2017

necktieThis month’s necktie was acquired just after Christmas totally by accident and it just goes to show you, if you don’t look for something, you will never find it.  I was not really looking to buy a necktie, but I’ll admit, no matter what store I’m in, I have difficulty “not looking” through the ties (especially the Jerry Garcia designs).   So, as I was going through all of the ties, I found this one that was actually on sale and it was the only tie in the entire display that was marked down, and marked down significantly — 90% off (unheard of, it was practically free).  So, what decision was there really?  Alas, it is now hanging in my closet with the rest of my collection.  This necktie will pair best with my beige shirt, but won’t look bad with my yellow, pale orange, or brown shirts either (and of course, the standard white shirt if I ever need to be a bit more on the conservative side).  Serendipity is a wonderful thing, don’t you think?  And it certainly makes the life journey much more enjoyable (I would hazard to guess the everyone enjoys an occasional surprise).

This Wasn’t Take Out!

January 26, 2017

When I have a craving for Asian food, I usually just go out.  But recently I decided that I should try my hand at cooking one of my favorites (I have several) and found this seemingly easy recipe for orange chicken (courtesy of Harry Wetzel on  I also decided to try making my own egg rolls.  Wish me luck!

Asian Orange Chicken

1-1/2 cups of water
2 Tablespoons of orange juice
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup of rice vinegar
2-1/2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of orange zest
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons of cornstarch
2 Tablespoons of water
2 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 tesaspoon of pepper
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Cooked white rice

1. Pour the water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan on medium-high heat.  Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool a bit (10-15 minutes).

2. Place the chicken pieces into a large resealable bag.  Once the sauce mixture has cooled, pour 1 cup of the mixture over the chicken pieces in the bag (reserve the remaining sauce). Seal the bag and refrigerate for a minimum of two (2) hours.

3. In another resealable bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.  Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat the chicken with the flour mixture.

4.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Place the marinated chicken into the skillet and brown on both sides.  Remove the chicken to a  plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

5.  Clean out the skillet and add the reserved sauce.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Mix together the cornstarch and the water and then stir this combination into the sauce.  Reduce the heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer for about five (5) minutes (stir occasionally).

Necktie of the Month — January 2017!

January 4, 2017

summertieHappy 2017 one and all!  Here is the latest installment of my necktie collection.  I found this wonderful “work of art” (hand-painted on silk) at an arts and crafts fair that I attended this past summer in Traverse City, Michigan.  I was drawn, of course, by the bright colors (green, yellow, and orange) and then marveled at the level of detail in the painting of the leaves onto the necktie.  Pictured here with my pale orange shirt, this necktie looks equally fabulous with my bright orange shirt, my bright yellow shirt, and my bright green shirt.  Obviously, it will look fine on a plain white shirt and may even compliment my solid black shirt as well . . . so many options, alas, what is one to do?  Stay tuned, I just finished up my post-holiday shopping and found several more new neckties (at bargain prices, of course) to be unveiled in the coming months.

Cheesecake of the Month – May 2016!

May 14, 2016

Here’s another cheesecake that does not require baking (aside from the crust).  And with the approach of summer, this is a simple, fresh, and citrusy recipe that is sure to please.

Orange Bliss Cheesecake


1 cup of chocolate wafer crumbs
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 Tablespoon of grated orange peel
Mini chocolate chips and and sliced orange wedges for the garnish (optional)

1.  Combine the crumbs and the butter and press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and cool.

2.  In a saucepan, combine the orange juice and gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.  Cook and stir over low heat until the gelatin has dissolved.  Cool for 10 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy; gradually add the gelatin mixture.  Beat on low speed until well mixed and chill until partially set (about 3 minutes — watch this closely as the mixture will set up quickly).

4.  Gently fold in the whipped cream and orange peel and spoon into the crust.  Chill for 6 hours or overnight.  Just before serving run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Remove the pan and garnish with the chocolate chips and orange wedges if desired.

Necktie of the Month – February 2016!

February 1, 2016

IMG_0915This month I will be highlighting my newest necktie that I received as a birthday gift from some friends.  Home run!  Not only does this one have hints of orange (okay, maybe more than just a hint or two), but it will also compliment many of the dress shirts in my closet (white [of course], orange, yellow, turquoise, navy blue, beige, and black).   It is a Jerry Garcia design titled Malachite Valley; this brings the total number of JG neckties I own to thirteen. Hmm, I wonder if this was named after the Malachite waterfall in King County, Washington (formed when the outlets of Copper Lake and Malachite Lake break into a valley and run parallel (horsetail form) down the side of the headwall for hundreds of feet)?  Or perhaps it is named because of the hints of color resembling malachite ore, a carbonate of copper (due to my poor skill at photography, or possible the poor quality of my camera, the actual brightness of the blue is a bit muted — the faded blue swatches should be more of a turqouise color).  Regardless of the naming convention, this one certainly adds color to the closet (as if this was ever a problem).   Here’s a link to a better photo that really shows the brightness of the blue.

I Tried to Resist!

January 21, 2016

IMG_0841Here’s is a wonderfully framed print that I was able to acquire last summer while vacationing in Traverse City, Michigan.  I first noticed this print early on in my vacation and chose to pass it up (and was congratulating myself on my will power).  The print was displayed in the front window of the shop and the moment I saw it, I was drawn to the window to learn more about the piece — I was curious and interested just at first sight (the orangeness didn’t hurt).  However, there was no information about it: no artist info, no signature, no price, etc.  So, I simply moved on.  Well, as luck would have it, my brother just happened to need to visit this same frame shop to pick up a piece that he had dropped off to have framed.  Seeing this piece for the second time was just enough to weaken my resolve; I inquired within about the author, the medium, and the price.  I was informed that is was simply a print (artist unknown) that had been put into an awesome frame — it resembles a colorized zentangle — but the frame was shrieking “buy me, buy me!”  And buy it I did . . . it is now hanging in my bedroom, woohoo!

Necktie of the Month – October 2015!

October 5, 2015

IMG_0848Happy Monday!  As we begin a new work week, allow me to highlight one of my newest Jerry Garcia neckties.   This one is from the “liquid torso” collection and is so bright that it could be considered radioactive.  Yet another treasure that I was able to acquire in an after-Christmas sale so the price was definitely right.  This tie will pair nicely with many of my colored shirts: lemon yellow, bright blue, green, pink, white, black, and of course, orange — the brighter the color, the better — it really doesn’t look too bad with the pastel or muted colored shirts either.  Ah, the joys of accessorizing with a necktie where simply changing the shirt makes for a whole different look.  Ties are a lot like socks – you should never forget that they matter too.  Being color conscious and making sure you get a good look is hugely important . . . never settle for dull or lackluster.  Going conservative is not always bad either, but don’t feel like you have to if you don’t want to.  Let your personality shine through — accessorizing (neckties, socks, shoes, betls, cufflinks, etc.) can help you achieve whatever look you want.

This One is a Keeper!

September 8, 2015

Here is a recipe that wins high marks in taste as well as ease of preparation!  Allow me a shout-out to Jeff Cealka who introduced me to this quick and easy recipe.

Orange-Glazed Salmon

4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets (one-inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
Cooking spray
3 Tablespoons of soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of orange juice
1/2 teaspoon of dark sesame oil

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.  Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over high heat until hot.  Add fish and cook, uncovered, three (3) minutes on each side.  Cover and cook an additional three (3) minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Remove the fish from the skillet, set aside, and keep warm.

Add soy sauce and orange juice to the skillet and cook over high heat for one (1) minute, stirring to deglaze the skillet.  Add the oil and stir well.  Pour the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

Necktie of the Month – September 2014!

September 2, 2014

Sept2014A couple of months ago I found yet another wonderful Jerry Garcia necktie.  This one is from the Signature Collection and is entitled “Birdland.”  I’m guessing I was drawn to this one because of the heavy use of orange. Regardless of the reason, I liked this one the moment I saw it.  Pictured here on my solid brown shirt, this tie looks equally fine on my beige shirt, my orange shirt, my white shirt (not too flashy), and my aqua/turquoise shirt.  And depending on the shirt I pair this with (lighter versus darker), this necktie goes really well with either my chocolate brown suit or my lighter beige plaid suit.  Such versatility is always a wonderful thing — it sure stretches the wardrobe and allows for multiple different “looks.”