This salad has evolved from a number of delicious eats in my household. In recent years, I have discovered the incredible delicata squash, thanks to my friend Reem. I have been eagerly telling everyone about it since, and I have yet to find a person […]
If you have been following along, I have been preparing, eating, and posting a lot of salads lately. I am loving our shift to a more plant based diet, but I just cannot do leafy salads everyday! I need salads with texture, crunch, flavors, protein, […]
My maternal grandmother (Teta) made an incredible orange coconut cake. Sweet, moist, and fluffy, the old recipe sitting in my mother’s tattered red leather bound book, brought back nostalgic memories to my mother as she touched its pages. She read through the fading blue ink to make out the ingredients she must’ve frantically jotted down when she prepared to fly off to America with nothing but her mother’s recipes to awaken the Egyptian flavors she was leaving behind in Alexandria.
We recently came across this recipe as we were recreating the orange cake of my Egyptian aunts and grandmother for my last orange cranberry muffin recipe. I knew I had to remake this cake for my mother, who was very fondly reminiscing the flavors of the orange coconut cake. The hand-written recipe was quite washed-out, but we were able to test several recipes to document the exact recipe which had faded overtime. With my mother’s help, I revived and baked this cake for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering, and it was a very special treat to enjoy.
Fresh squeezed orange juice, fragrant orange zest, and finely shredded coconut flakes go into this cake along with coconut oil and olive oil.
It is really important to generously grease and flour the bundt pan, as the cake can easily get stuck.
The caramel glaze is easy enough. Water, sugar, and orange juice simmer until thickened. Some zest and heavy cream take the caramel glaze to the next level and is something really scrumptious to drench this cake in.
The glaze is an optional extra to dress up this lovely moist citrus cake. But either way, be sure to top the cake with some lightly cooked oranges; its so beautiful, fragrant, and festive! Sometimes I simply press in some orange slices on the top of the cake halfway into the bake time, if I cook it in a round or loaf pan as a tea cake. They take on beautiful color in the oven.
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Orange Coconut cake
For the cake:
- 2 .5 c flour
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1.5 tbsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 tbsp orange zest
- 1 3/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 3/4 c olive oil
- 1 c orange juice fresh squeezed is best
- 1 c shredded coconut unsweetened, plus more for garnish
- optional: orange slices to garnish
For the orange caramel glaze:
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 c heavy cream
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (f).
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cornstarch.
- In another bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers to release the fragrant oils.
- Add the eggs with vanilla extract. Whisk until incorporated.
- Add the oils and orange juice and mix well.
- Slowly stir in the flour mixture.
- Gently fold in the coconut.
- Pour the batter into a well greased bundt pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes on a rack moved right above the center rack.
For the orange caramel glaze:
- Over medium heat, simmer the white sugar and water until it begins to boil, and the sugar has dissolved.
- Reduce heat to medium- low, then add the orange zest and orange juice.
- Stir in the brown sugar and reduce heat down to low. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream; simmer for another 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Simmer a few of the orange slices in the glaze for a minute to flavor the sauce and gently soften the oranges, then remove them quickly before they break apart.
- Remove the pot from heat.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before pouring over the cooled cake.
- After the cake has cooled, flip it onto a serving platter. Place the orange slices on top of and around the cake, and pour the glaze all over.
These savory sweet potatoes are a quick and easy side for any meal. I served them up along my Thanksgivng turkey this year, and they were a big hit! The sweet potatoes wedges are tossed in my special mix of sultry and savory spices, and roasted to a delicious […]
Who doesn’t love apple pie?! The autumn and winter holiday seasons beckon you to its scent, to bite into a warm, crusty, juicy slice with a scoop of ice cream, and to the gorgeous visions of pies to your heart’s content. Add some juicy red […]
Green bean casserole is one of the best comfort foods out there. With the holidays around the corner, it is time to brush up on this delicious recipe and try making it from scratch as I do here. I use fresh, real mushrooms (sometimes that canned mushroom soup doesn’t really have mushrooms ya know…), usually fresh green beans (frozen works too in a pinch), and a few other easy to find grocery staples. The creamy mushroom soup is really what makes this casserole, so it is important to have a great soup full of flavor. The green beans are best when fresh, because they do not carry extra water from being canned or frozen, but the frozen option has worked well for me before. The flavors of these delicious vegetables are really amplified with the creamy soup and crunchy savory onions.
No cans are involved here! I have eaten and cooked this classic casserole made with Campbell’s canned condensed soups and canned green beans, and it is good. However, as you may have noticed from my posts, I am avoiding use of any canned foods, preservatives, and unnecessarily long ingredient lists that cause a number of symptoms in our bodies. There is a lot of sodium and preservatives in the canned goods. Once you taste it fresh from scratch, with fresh mushrooms and green beans, you will never want to go back! Now, when I try the canned recipes, it just doesn’t do justice to what this recipe really is. This is also incredibly easy.
All you need is my easy recipe for cream of mushroom soup, some fresh or frozen green beans, and fried onions. I make the soup in advance, which you could do the day before and refrigerate, or days before and freeze. This really simplifies the process the day of. You can also fry the onions yourself (see how to do it in my kushary post), or use classic crispy french fried onions from the store. These are SO good. They kind of taste like potato chips…I would try frying onions in an air fryer if I had one. I bet it would taste just like the store bought versions! I like the fried onions from Trader Joe’s because they are a little “healthier” and taste just as good, if not better, than home made. Use what you prefer!
- 1 recipe of my cream of mushroom soup (2 cups)
- 2 c fresh or frozen french green beans (washed and trimmed)
- 1 1/2 c fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour the washed and trimmed green beans into a casserole dish.
- Pour the mushroom soup over the green beans and mix well. Spread with a spoon into an even layer.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After about 20 minutes, take the dish out and stir in half of the onions. This will thicken the casserole. Place back in the oven, uncovered.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with crispy onions over the top and serve warm.
- You may also add shredded cheese over the top at the 20 minute mark, after stirring in the fried onions.
I absolutely LOVE this chutney on top of turkey or chicken. It is so flavorful and gives the meat wonderful depth. I use all fresh ingredients: cranberries, a fuji apple, freshly minced ginger, a caramelized onion, and apple cider. The flavors combine to make a […]
If you have not been bringing your turkey, then you are really missing out on some juicy goodness! I have had far too many dry turkeys and even started to dislike turkey because of this. I decided to brine and cook a turkey this year and I am SO glad that I did! I love marinating all my meats, so why not my turkey?! If the concept seems daunting, fear not because it is actually quite easy! Brining is quite important because as with any meat, cooking denatures the proteins, causing it to become drier. With especially lean meat such as turkey, that requires such long cook times, that leaves room for a lot more drying out. With brining however, you are soaking the meat in a salt solution which causes the turkey meat to essentially absorb a lot more liquid so that when it cooks, it is losing much less moisture lending itself to a juicy, tender, and tasty bite! Read more about the science behind brining and how it works here.
So how do you prepare a delicious brine? Here is how it happens step by step. I made a citrusy rosemary brine, which smelled incredible. In my trial, I was using a huge 20 lb turkey so I did need some help from my husband at one point to hold the brining bag open and then to carry it into the fridge. I’m a little weak. Nonetheless, the big bird still fit on one single shelf in my regular sized refrigerator. Beware of using a frozen, Kosher, or pre-marinated turkey as these will likely already be prepared in a brined solution so the meat has already been “broken down” and possibly already quite salty! I used a fresh turkey that was slaughtered the day I bought it; you cannot get fresher than that! (Visit taaza2u.com for fresh, halal meats delivered to your door!)
You will need:
1-2 gallons of water (16 cups in a gallon)
brining bag (found near the meat section of your grocer, or try Reynolds oven bags) be careful about using trash bags or other plastics that are not BPA free or food grade plastic!
kosher salt (its larger crystals dissolve faster than table salt)
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First you need to wash the turkey in cold water and remove the giblets.
Next you will boil about 8 cups of water with 2 cups of salt and 2 cups of sugar, along with the herbs and spices. I used peppercorns, orange rinds, sliced lemons, sliced onions, salt, rosemary and thyme. Once the salt is dissolved, add about 10 more cups of cold water, and a few of cups of ice to cool the mixture.
Place the turkey in the bringing bag and pour the solution all over it. Seal it tightly, removing any extra air, and place the bag in a large aluminum tray. Refrigerate for about 24 hours, turning the turkey over after about 12 hours to ensure the breast is well covered too.
The next day, before roasting, wash the turkey well and pat dry. Now it is ready for you to season and roast! Happy brining!
- one fresh (not frozen) turkey
- 1-2 gallons of water
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp peppercorns
- 2 tbsp cardamom (ground or whole)
- the rind of 2 oranges
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 onions, sliced
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- brining bag
- Remove giblets and any excess skin. Wash the turkey well and pat dry.
- Boil 8 cups of water and dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Add the lemon, orange, onion, peppercorns, cardamom, and fresh rosemary and thyme. Stir.
- Once the salt is dissolved, remove the pot from heat and add about 12 more cups of cold water and ice.
- Place the turkey in a brining bag and pour the brine solution all over.
- Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, turning the turkey over half way through.
- The next day, before roasting, remove the turkey and wash well to remove excess salt.