Candied Oranges

Sometimes I think my kitchen is more of a chemistry lab than a kitchen.  I love candied oranges, however, they are definitely pricey when you see them and not readily available.  So, I thought I would try my hand at making candied oranges.  They are the perfect accompaniment to a cheese tray, great to chop and mix in muffins or quick breads, an interesting addition or garnish for cocktails, delicious served with whipped cream mixed with brandy, serve sliced with an after dinner cordial and my latest concoction – chop two candied oranges and mix into one-half gallon of vanilla ice cream and top with chocolate sauce.  Below I have highlighted another fantastic Virginia food find I came across Willie Byrd Chocolate Sauce , I heated and topped my candied orange ice cream with this and all I can say is…  unbelievably delicious!

candied oranges

candied orange ice cream  

 

Candied Oranges
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 6 seedless oranges, score rind
  6. Juice of 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a heavy sauce pan that will hold 6 oranges snugly, combine water, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add oranges, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2 hours. Turn oranges every 1/2 hour. After 2 hours, remove the lid and bring the syrup with the oranges in it to a boil. Boil until the syrup is thick, this will take about 10 minutes. Turn oranges frequently so they do not brown. When syrup has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and let the oranges cool in the syrup. Turn the oranges so the syrup coats the oranges as they cool. Refrigerate the oranges when completely cool. Candied oranges will keep for at least 2 weeks refrigerated.
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Rise and Shine Smoothies

Such a delicious way to start your morning.  This Rise and Shine Smoothie will definitely wake up your taste buds on a beautiful morning.  I made this with fresh squeezed orange juice and ‘no sugar’ added cranberry juice.  A great healthy start to your day – Enjoy!

Rise and Shine Smoothies

Rise and Shine Smoothies
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups orange juice
  2. 1 cup cranberry juice
  3. 1 medium apple, coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup mango, cubed and peeled
  5. 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and quartered
  6. 2 cups fresh strawberries
  7. 10 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. In a blender, place all of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses. Serve immediately.
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Earl Grey Cranberry Iced Tea

With the arrival of spring, I thought it was time for iced tea.  Nothing like a warm day to bring out the cool refreshing drinks.  I put together a combination that I think will definitely quench your thirst. 

Earl Grey Cranberry Iced Tea

 

Earl Grey Cranberry Iced Tea
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  2. 2 cups boiling water
  3. 2 cups cranberry juice
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon
  5. 3 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Steep tea bags in boiling water for 10 minutes. In a medium pitcher combine cranberry juice, lemon, and honey. Remove tea bags and add tea to pitcher. Stir to combine. Refrigerate.
  2. Serve over ice.
  3. Yields 4 cups - this recipe is easy to double or triple
Notes
  1. If you are a sweet tea lover, add more honey, to taste.
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Apricot Champagne Cocktail

Anyone that knows me well, knows that my favorite cocktail is a gin and tonic and my wine choice is usually a full bodied red.  However, there are times when a terrific cocktail comes along and I just have to try it.   Valentine’s Day is this weekend and what better day to try a new cocktail.  Pop the bubbly and celebrate with those you love.

champagne cocktail

Champagne Apricot Cocktail
Serves 1
If serving a crowd, mix the orange mixture in a large pitcher; add the champagne just prior to serving.
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Ingredients
  1. Juice of 1/2 orange
  2. 2/3 jigger apricot brandy
  3. Squeeze of lemon juice
  4. Champagne
  5. Orange slice, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine the first three ingredients. Add champagne, garnish.
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Hot Chocolate Rum Float

What better way to warm up on these cold January nights than to have a wonderful mug of hot chocolate spiked with rum and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  On that beginning of year shape-up plan?  Use fat free milk and just eliminate the ice cream, you will not be disappointed.  Enjoy this steaming cup of deliciousness while you dream about that spring trip to a warm climate.

Hot Chocolate Rum Float
Yields 9
delicious on a cold winter night
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups water
  5. 4 1/2 cps milk
  6. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 oz. dark rum (optional) per cup of cocoa
  8. vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa powder and salt in 2 quart saucepan. Add water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk; heat through but do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and rum. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
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