Check Out These Ornaments Plus Clementine Orange and Vanilla Upside-Down Cake
Rude awakening for thedabble this morning, it hit me, probably like it hit many others, that the next weekend is so far away. Thanks, Monday for bitch slapping me!
I didn’t sleep well- pretty normal and with the temp almost to 40 yesterday, my head wanted to burst somehow from my left eye. I blame the barometric pressure. The heat wave caught me off guard but I didn’t dare have a bit of joy from this because February is coming and is infamous for being the worst winter month in Minnesota (and probably other places too). I’m just waiting for that next winter storm. Spring has an admirer; I’m longing for this season.
We discovered that our new exercise program (ChaLean Extreme) might be jeopardized since one of the dvds is not functioning and had to come up with what we thought could be an equivalent to this particular cardio/strength workout…I don’t know how this is going to work. What matters is that we keep doing something and we intend to remain motivated.
I did receive the quilt my mom made for me, as well as, an adorable pillow. (Click on that link for more background info.) No thanks to the mail carrier who said I wasn’t home Friday (home all day buddy) and left a note to pick it up Saturday…so tired of that.
I love the quilt! I am not crafty whatsoever but my mom has talent. Growing up, in elementary school, she made some of our clothes that always received compliments. We were so darn cute and I remember a few teachers commenting about how much they loved each piece and how good my mom was (still is)…and then we grew up and wearing homemade clothes wasn’t so cool (sorry mom). I did wear a sweater though in highschool that my mom knitted and happened to be gorgeous (I still have it in the closet) and I did get praise that I passed on to ma.
Back to the quilt, it’s wonderful and I want to display its glory and I don’t mean by doing what I usually do: place it on the couch to cover myself while watching tv in the winter. That’s how stains happen and I did put my foot through one that I’m pretty sure is ruined due to the huge hole. I’m working on how and where to display the new piece in my mind now.
The smell of this quilt is amazing; it’s eau de (concentrated) home because mom uses the best detergent. I won’t tell you the name but it rhymes with Rain-you know top secret stuff. I have several blankets from her that I intend to keep and pass on, pass on to a dog that maybe we’ll have in the future. I’m not sure about children at this point. I’m taking applications, in case something should happen to me, for anyone that would take care of this blanket and pass it on to responsible offspring. You need not apply if your kid eats glue, dips his or her fries in mayo or dresses like a prosti-tot.
Actually, we are planning a business that involves my mom making ornaments (see the picture above-can be made with or without loop at the top and you can’t tell but they can come in any color, displayed are creamy/white and beige) for the next holiday season. She did rather well this year. Check back or let me know if you are interested in purchasing; they make great presents or attachments to presents…quite honestly, we think she is selling them for a steal and are trying to convince her to raise the price but we have yet to discuss the details in this business. (I think $3.50 an ornament works to cover costs and a little extra an hour.) We might be on etsy.com, my site and stores (in Indiana and Minnesota). I don’t know if this town is ready for that much talent and love bundled into a small ornament-its pureness might burn some skin. I know, not nice but I really don’t care. I thought that I might be one of those people but because it’s from my kind mum, I am immune.
Last week I made a Clementine granita and didn’t quite feel like moving on from this mandarin orange- that is in stores now. Read more about this mandarin at the link above. I couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t require adaptation so I used another Martha Stewart recipe for another kind of orange upside-down cake. I can’t tell a difference, if there is one, between the Satsuma and Clementine though. You can use any type of fruit really if you are not in an orange mood. The moist cake deserves attention on its own. I am not lying when I say this was the best upside-down cake I’ve ever had. Good job, Martha (or your people rather)!
Clementine Orange and Vanilla Upside-Down Cake
Serves 8- 9-inch cake
5 Clementine oranges, seeded and thinly sliced in rounds
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or use 1 to 2 tsp of extract)
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tbsp Clementine juice
1 1/3 cups plus 1 tbsp flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp zest
2 large eggs, room temp
½ cup milk (she suggests whole but I had 1%)
Preheat the oven to 350. Boil a pot of water and add the Clementine rounds for 3 minutes, drain and arrange in a single layer on paper towels.
Put a stick of butter in a 9×2-inch round cake pan. Mix half of the vanilla seeds and ½ cup sugar, sprinkle over the butter in the pan. Place in the oven for 7 minutes, until the butter melts. Whisk in 2 tbsp juice.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cream the zest, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar and the remaining vanilla seeds with a mixer, until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each and reduce the speed to low. Add half of the flour mix and milk, plus remaining 1 tbsp of juice and then the remaining flour mix.
Arrange orange slices in a circle over the sugar in the pan, starting in the center and spiraling outward, overlapping slices slightly. Spoon batter gently on top of the oranges and spread evenly. Bake until golden, 40 to 50 minutes, until tester comes clean from center. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few hours, then run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto a serving plate, let cool a bit more before serving. Cover to keep.