Thursday, February 26, 2009


Winter is orange season in Texas and I've been buying them up by the bag every chance I get. Unfortunately hubby and I don't always get them all eaten before they start to go soft. So tonight I made some orangeade that my dear friend Lupita taught me how to make from her days growing up in Central Mexico. When she comes over to cook with me she always heads straight for my fridge to see what citrus I have on hand to make this wonderful beverage. We use any citrus on hand and combining them is always an adventure for the taste buds and takes me back to my childhood days of 5 Alive. Remember that??? Anyway, I digress...

Orangeade (or any kind of Citrusade)

8-12 oranges (lemons, limes or grapefruit work as well)
1 cup sugar
2 quarts of water

This is almost exactly like making a pitcher of Kool-Aid only you're using fresh juice instead. Juice the oranges into a pitcher, add the sugar and stir. Gradually add water stirring as you go until sugar is dissolved.

A couple of tips for you, first I cut the oranges into quarters to make juicing easier, second if you have a hard time getting sugar to dissolve try making a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1/2 water (the ratio for a simple syrup is always 2 parts sugar to 1 part water), cook in a sauce pan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Then add to fresh squeezed juice and remaining water, stir and serve over ice.

A bit of trivia for you as well. Texas produces very sweet, juicy oranges and grapefruit from October to May. They are grown in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas/Mexico border. The warm, humid South Texas climate produces an orange that is lighter in color with a thinner peel than oranges from California, Arizona or Florida.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spicy Chicken and Rice Soup

I have a sinus infection today which is making my head feel like it's about to explode, so that combined with the cool, cloudy weather we're having made me want some soup. When I'm sick I usually make tortilla soup but I wanted to use up some frozen veggies I had left over from the summer and some rice I have on hand. So here we go...

1 lb chicken
chicken bouillon
adobo paste
chipotle powder
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder
2-5 garlic cloves minced (we like a lot of garlic)
1 onion chopped
frozen veggies (I used bell pepper, onion, zucchini, yellow squash and corn; use what you have on hand)
1 cup uncooked rice

In a large pot bring approx 8 cups of water to a boil and add chicken, bouillon and adobo (I just followed the instructions for the proper amount each of bouillon and adobo to be added to that amount of water). Once chicken is cooked, remove and either shred or dice returning to broth.

Once cooked chicken is added back to broth, add about a tablespoon each of oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Add about a teaspoon each of chipotle powder and black pepper. Also add garlic and onion, other veggies, and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Serve with jalapeno cornbread. For this I just use a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, add a half cup of frozen corn and 1 diced jalapeno and cook according to directions.