Cooking

Oranges – A Sunny Fruit For a Sunny Day

My sister and a friend of ours are both bloggers, so we hatched a cunning plan a little while ago. We all enjoy cooking, as well as challenges, and love the idea of participating in blogging/cooking challenges. Shocking, I know. So an opportunity came up for our first ever challenge – finger foods using oranges. Oranges are very much in season in our part of the world, they’re cheap and cheerful, and unexpected when it comes to finger foods.

So the decision was made and the Googling started with a vengeance – and it was surprisingly difficult to find finger foods which used oranges as a main ingredient. Eventually I settled on an idea I saw months ago, as well as an old favourite.

Unfortunately, our friend was unable to attend at the last moment, which meant that the great cooking showdown ended up a medium sized cooking showdown between just my sister and I. Not a problem – sibling rivalry is alive and well between us – I’ve spent most of my life competing with her!

So what were my ideas? The first was to make Jelly Orange Boats. So much fun, and so colourful and happy and they just make people smile when they see them.

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Basically, take oranges. Cut in half. Scoop out all the flesh, leaving the empty shell behind.

Make some jelly – I used a red jelly and a green jelly – and pour it into the orange halves. Put it into the fridge and leave until set. Once it is set, cut each half into three, leaving you with gorgeous little jelly wedges. Awesome!

Tips: I only figured this out AFTER I had made them. One – use a muffin tray to keep the oranges upright while the jelly is setting. this has the added joy of collecting any jelly that leaks out. Trust me – you want to do this.

Also – Once you’ve scooped out the orange insides, put the orange halves into the fridge or freezer to get them nice and cold before you pour the jelly in – this will make the jelly set a little bit quicker. Quicker setting time = less chance of molten jelly ALL OVER your kitchen. No, I’m not speaking from experience. Why do you ask?

These are awesome and fun and make them for your kids! (or for you if you don’t have kids… I don’t have kids and I loved them!)

The second thing I made, funnily enough, was the same thing my sister made. We didn’t share ideas – we just ended up doing the same thing. How weird is that? We made candied orange slices with dark chocolate – however while my sis dipped hers in dark chocolate, I chopped mine up and mixed them into melted dark chocolate, which I then spread in a baking tray and cut into squares once it had set. Taste was pretty much the same, just different methods. Head over to her blog to see how to do it! And – take a look at the picture – see those pretty little orange gems in the chocolate? That’s how you know you did it right… when you look at it and just KNOW that it’ll be amazing!

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One of the awesome things about making candied orange peels, is you get an awesome orange syrup when you’re finished. Don’t, whatever you do, don’t throw that away! That’s like bottled sunshine right there. What can you do with it? Well – you can have it on pancakes, toast, muesli/oats, over ice cream… or you can do this:

Iced Tea

How awesome is that? And what’s also fun is that iced tea is one of those things that you make according to your own taste. I made a pot where I used chai tea bags, 1xall spice berry, 5x cloves, 3x cardamom pods and 1xcinnamon quill. Pour boiling water over everything and leave it to steep for about twenty minutes – then take everything out. Chuck it in your garden as it’s all decomposable. Add a couple of tablespoons of the bottled sunshine (otherwise known as orange syrup) and stir to let it dissolve. Then just let it cool and serve with fresh orange slices, or a sprig of mint, or just plain over some ice. So good!

So now you know what to do if you have too many oranges. If you do it you won’t be sorry – promise!

Have an awesome Friday everyone!

G O A S-S B

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