Monthly Archives: February 2019

Blood Orange Marmalade

Blood oranges are a beautiful and tasty citrus fruit available for only a short period of time.  For a long time I would not buy or try these oranges because of its name which is not very appealing.  However, I’m glad I finally tried them a few years ago.

The blood oranges are so called for their red flesh and deep red juice.   Also, when ripe their skin may also be reddish on part of the orange.  The orange does not seem very sweet to me.  They are perfect in a citrus salad for their beauty and are great drizzled with a slightly sweet poppy seed dressing.

But I think my favorite way to enjoy this beautiful citrus is in marmalade.  I first discovered blood orange marmalade when someone gifted me with a jar from Harry and David Food Company.  I have been a fan ever since.

So when the blood oranges again became available, I made my first batch of the marmalade.  It is really not difficult to make at all.  The marmalade has to set for 24 hours.  Then, you can refrigerate or freeze for longer storage time.

I adapted Kraft’s Orange Freezer Marmalade recipe that calls for Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin.  Kraft’s recipe uses 3 medium navel oranges.

The marmalade is good on toast, hot biscuits, or English Muffins.  My favorite way to eat this marmalade is spread on a slice of toasted Jalapeño Cheese bread.

Blood Orange Marmalade

about 2 pounds of blood oranges
4 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup water
1 box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin (1.75 ounce box)

Wash clean glass jars (or plastic containers) with hot water or run through the dishwasher.  Dry thoroughly.  You will need six 8 ounce jars or plastic containers.

Wash and dry the oranges.  Remove the colored part of the peel from the oranges using a vegetable peeler.  Cut the peel into thin slivers, or finely chop.  Peel  and discard remaining white part of the peel from the oranges.  Chop the fruit, reserving any juice.  Mix with the slivered peel along with the lemon juice.  Measure 2 1/3 cups of the fruit mixture into a large bowl.  If needed add up to 1/2 cup water (or orange juice) for exact measure.  Stir in the sugar.  Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix water and pectin in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Add to fruit mixture, stirring 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy.  (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

Fill the jars immediately to within 1/4 inch of tops.  Wipe off top edges of containers.  Immediately cover with lids.  Let stand at room temperature 24 hours.  Marmalade is now ready to use.  Store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.  If frozen, thaw in refrigerator before using.  

Notes:
1.  My oranges were very small and it took 2 pounds of unpeeled oranges for the recipe.
2. I usually find the blood oranges locally during January-March.

Strawberry Brownies

February is supposed to be the month of love.  Well it hasn’t shown much love to us here in West Michigan.  Perhaps, that is Mother Nature’s fault.

So far this month, we have suffered through the Polar Vortex (snow and very bitter cold temperatures) and then freezing rain that caused mass power outages and school closings for days.  My neighborhood was without power for over two days and it was not fun.  Thankfully, I have a gas fireplace that provided some heat in the freezing temperatures.  Hopefully, the remainder of February will be more kinder to us.

Below is an icy tree in my backyard after the freezing rain and a rabbit eating an apple I tossed out for them.  The third photo is courtesy of Andrew Sietsema who has an apple orchard in the nearby Fruit Ridge area in NW Grand Rapids.

The ghost apple was caused when the rotting apples slid out of their icy shells to leave behind a nearly entire apple “ghost”.

Because, we do have Valentine’s Day to look forward to, here is a recipe for Strawberry Brownies.

These strawberry brownies are so simple and easy to make and are a pretty pink.  As pretty as they are, the brownies are delicious to eat as well.  The main ingredient of this recipe is a strawberry cake mix.  After the brownies are baked they are topped with a glaze made with powdered sugar and water.  I made two batches of the brownies for this post.

Strawberry Brownies

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 box Strawberry Cake Mix (without pudding in the mix)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Strawberry Extract (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, and strawberry extract with a stand or hand mixer until combined.  The batter will be thick.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Be careful not to over bake.  Remove from the oven when the brownies are just set.  Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes; lift carefully from pan using ends of parchment to lift.

Mix the powdered sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add just enough water until thick but spreadable.  Spread evenly over the warm brownies.  Allow to cool and the glaze is set before slicing into squares.

Notes:
1.  The brownies can also be baked in a 9 inch square baking pan.
2.  Recipe is adapted from Family Savvy.