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orange jelly slices

orange jelly slicesAccording to What’s Cooking America, gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the commercial version appeared, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc. The use of gelatin was a sign that the host or hostess had the means to support a kitchen staff with the skill and time to create such a dish. When gelatin became available commercially it still was a symbol of culinary sophistication.  Continue Reading →

Citrus Fruit Salad with Roasted Pecans

Citrus Fruit SaladWe had a glorious sun-filled weekend.  Today the morning started off with a grey sky and snow falling gently to the ground…the chunky snowflakes were pretty but more snow?  A total of 10cm (4-inches) fell with more forecasted on the way.  I’m usually more tolerant of our winters and I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but for the love God, please stop snowing!  Continue Reading →

How To Segment An Orange

how to segment an orangeHow do you eat an orange?  Do you peel it with your fingers or use a knife?  I do both depending on the thickness of the skin but when I want the orange to be the main attraction, segmenting it looks so professional and yet is easy to do.  Orange slices in a dish adds a splash of color and looks pretty.  To segment an orange all you need is a sharp knife and a firm orange.  Segmenting an orange or other citrus fruit is easy.  It can be a bit awkward the first time round, but after a couple tries, you’ll have the technique down pat. Continue Reading →

Kale and Orange Salad

kale & orange saladKale may not be a favorite for everyone, but this recipe might just change the way you view kale. The orange segments soften any bitter taste you may experience and look how gorgeous the red onion looks once its bathed in lime juice!  Continue Reading →

Coconut Orange Cake with Honey Whipped Cream

coconut orange cakeAll cake recipes should be this simple!  It’s moist and the flavors coming from this dessert are amazing.  This may look like an ordinary cake but let me tell you this, it’s not! Hints of orange softly perfume the cake and the slight crunch of the coconut will have you going back to the kitchen for a second helping!  The other really nice thing about the cake is that it stands on its own and doesn’t need any topping.  Bring this to your next family gathering…it won’t disappoint!

Happy Memorial Day weekend America!

Serves 8
adapted from Sur la Table

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 teaspoons grated orange rind
4 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups desiccated coconut
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Honey Whipped Cream –
3/4 heavy whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350f. Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add sugar, butter, and orange rind. Beat until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on low until well combined. Add the flour, coconut and orange juice through the mixture until well combined. Transfer batter to the cake pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack (5 minutes). Invert pan and remove cake from pan.

orange coconut collageTo make the whipped cream – place a tablespoon measure in boiling water for about 15 seconds (the heat from the tablespoon allows the honey to liquefy), remove from water and dry off. In a bowl add cream and the liquefied honey. Beat with a whisk until soft peaks form.  To serve, cut into wedges topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:   Before placing cake pan in oven, give the pan a couple of hard taps on the counter top – this removes any air bubbles in the batter.  I made the whipped cream twice; once with the instructions above and the other by beating the cream until soft and drizzling honey on top of the cream – no need to measure at this point!  My take?  I prefer the latter.  Enjoy!

Kale and Orange Salad

I have to admit I first used kale last year.  I guess I’m a bit late on the kale bandwagon.   The “queen of greens” has been gaining in popularity for a few years.  It’s in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels spouts and collards.  Because of kale’s anti-oxidant health benefits it has been studied extensively in cancer research.  Adding kale to your diet on a regular basis may provide health benefits including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.  An easy meal ready in less than 15 minutes!

kale, leaves washed and cut away from spine
navel orange, peeled and segmented
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop kale leaves.  In a pan over medium heat add olive oil.  Add chopped kale and sauté until just wilted (soft).  Remove from pan and place in a bowl.  Add orange segments – you may need to cut in half if too large – and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Sautéing the kale allows the body to better absorb its nutrients.  When segmenting the orange, do so over a bowl to catch the juices and use this to add to the salad.  Citrus juice splashed over vegetables also help with vitamin and mineral absorption.  Enjoy!