Recipes for Twelve Sixteen Mandarins

Mandarin Orange Pancake Syrup

Mandarin Orange Pancake Syrup
Ingredients
• 1 cup freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2½ tsp corn starch
• ¼ tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbling (about 2-3 minutes).

adapted from food.com

Of course, to go with this syrup I needed some pancakes, which meant enlisting Taylor into my breakfast army. Originally he just started making silver dollar pancakes (Sym’s request), but then he busted out my pancake molds and got fancy. I actually bought these a million years ago, but my lack of pancake skills and everyone else’s unwillingness to try them meant they’ve been sitting unused in the drawer since about 2005 or so. But Taylor is awesome, so we got pancakes shaped like the frog prince…

Fairytale Pancakes

… a princess, and some unicorns.

Fairytale Pancakes

We served them with my mandarin orange syrup (so yummy, but I over-thickened mine a little) and fresh raspberries.

Pancake Fixins

Yum!

Fancy Breakfast

mandarins used: 8; mandarins remaining: -4

previous mandarin recipes
mandarin orange glazed ginger beef
mandarin orange juice
previous lemon recipes
lemonade
lemon cookies
lemon chicken
strawberry lemonade
candied lemon slices
the Roger Collins
mini lemon cake in a jar

Sicky Fashion

Sicky Fashion

Topknot (in case of barfing), comfy tank & pants (from H&M), skinny shoulders and twisty legs. Looking for Wes Anderson movies to watch on Netflix.

Sicky Fashion

Can’t forget your water bottle and “sicky-bowl.” Huh, I think I just had a psychic flash six years into the future of a surly teenager.

Sicky Snacking

Edit: Glassy eyes and popsicle eating.

Sick Day/Recipes for Twelve Mandarins

I mentioned yesterday that Sym was home sick from school, and today she’s even worse. Hot, col, feverish, tired, and definitely not well enough to go to her dad’s tonight. Poor little sweetie 🙁

Sick Sleeping Symmie

She was feeling especially terrible this afternoon, so I made her a little snack- toast triangles (toast is better in triangle form) and fresh-squeezed mandarin orange juice.

Toast & Juice
Mandarin Orange Juice

Mandarin Orange Juice
Ingredients:
• 6 mandarins

Squeeze the juice from mandarins; strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds and pulp.

In case you were wondering, mandarins are a huge hassle to juice- the peel is thin and tears easily, and after straining out the seeds and pulp you aren’t left with much juice. BUT it’s super delicious and has restorative powers!

Sick Symmie
Comfort Dogs

(Dogs help too.)

mandarins used: 6; mandarins remaining 4

previous mandarin recipes
mandarin orange glazed ginger beef
previous lemon recipes
lemonade
lemon cookies
lemon chicken
strawberry lemonade
candied lemon slices
the Roger Collins
mini lemon cake in a jar

Recipes for Twelve Mandarins

So even though I used all twelve lemons I had, I’ve decided to do another round of citrus recipes. It’s fun, and I like that it challenges me to find new things to cook! To help me find new recipes, I’ve started using Foodily, which is an AWESOME site, you should totally check it out!

23 Mandarin Oranges

(I know there are more than 12 in the bowl, but unlike lemons, these are going to get eaten.)

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef
Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• zest and juice of 2 mandarin oranges
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 lb lean beef, cut into strips
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups broccoli florets
• 1 onion, cut into thin strips
• 2 cups beef broth
• 2 cups rice (cooked)

In a large bowl, mix together soy sauce, mandarin juice and zest, ginger and cornstarch. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add beef and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté broccoli and onions in oil until tender. Remove from skillet.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

Increase heat to medium high. Drain beef (reserve marinade) and add to skillet. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until browned. Removed from skillet.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

Add reserved marinade and beef broth to skillet. Bring to a boil for five minutes.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

Add beef, broccoli and onions and heat.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef
Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

Serve over rice.

Mandarin Orange Glazed Ginger Beef

Makes 4 servings, or 3 Tanie & Taylor-sized servings and 2 Symmie-sized servings (Symmie-sized portion pictured above).
Adapted from Food.com

mandarins used: 2; mandarins remaining; 10

Colour Challenge

Since there aren’t any pictures of my outfit from Jaime’s wedding, here’s a video! Sym would only dance with me if I held her hands the whole time- at the end I let go and she just stands there, and I’m like “WHAT??!!”

Saturday, April 23rd
shirt, misappropriated from Taylor
skirt, Zara
shoes, the Gap

Recipes for Twelve Lemons

Why twelve lemons?

Eight Lemons

previous recipes: lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon chicken, and strawberry lemonade, candied lemon slices, The Roger Collins

The final piece of the dozen lemon puzzle: Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

Amazing, right? To make them I adapted this recipe for lemon cake and this technique for jar cake.

I don’t have canning jars, but I do have baby food jars. Lots and lots of baby food jars. It a hazard of the trade, really. For this recipe I used six 4oz jars. If you also have baby food jars, the first thing you want to do is make sure all the label and label adhesive is removed, or it’ll stink up your cakes. I removed mine with a combination of an exacto knife, hot water and rubbing alcohol, but I don’t recommend this technique as I ended up stabbing the crap out of my thumb (this is why I over-candied my candied lemon slices). Anyway just get all the labels and adhesive off any way you can and then wash and dry the jars thoroughly.

To make six cakes, I made two-thirds of the batter in the recipe (except for the lemon juice & zest; I think I used much more of those than was required). This means I had some pretty stupid measurements but bear with me.
Cake Ingredients:
• 2 cups flour
• 1⅓ tsp baking powder
• ⅔ tsp salt
• ⅓ cup butter
• ¾ cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1⅓ tsp vanilla
• juice of 1 lemon
• zest of 1 lemon
• ⅔ cup milk
• yellow food colouring (optional)

TOTALLY REASONABLE. Anyway.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of the jars with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in flour mixture, alternating with milk (note: I used nowhere near ⅔ of a cup of milk, so watch your consistency). Mix until smooth.

Spoon batter into jars until they are about ⅔ full.

OR

Spoon batter into jars until they are ⅓ full. Mix yellow food colouring into the remaining batter, then fill jars the rest of the way to ⅔ full.

Place jars in a shallow baking dish, adding ¼” of water to the dish. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Once cakes are fully cooked (the tops should spring back when pressed lightly), remove the jars from the oven & dish and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, if the batter has risen into the mouth of the jar, scoop the top of the cake out of the jar before icing.

Icing Ingredients:
• 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1-2 tsp milk
• 1/4 tsp vanilla
• white food colouring (optional)
(note: butter & milk measurements totally guesstimated)
In a medium bowl, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and food colouring. Add milk in small increments until desired consistency is reached.

I piped the icing into the mouths of the jars, but you could (probably much more) easily scoop it in with a spoon. Once cakes are iced, top with yellow sprinkles and serve! These are perfect for parties OR party favours, box lunches, after school snacks, or even just furtively eating alone in the middle of the night. I mean. I didn’t do that, but I could have.

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar
Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar
Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

I didn’t have lids for the baby food jars so I inverted a yellow cupcake liner over each one and secured it with an elastic. For Taylor and Sym’s lunches I tied a small spoon around them with twine.

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar
IMG_3908

(She’s home sick from school.)

lemons used: 1; lemons remaining: 0

There! I’m done! I used all twelve lemons in just one week, and I was even out of town for a couple of days. Thank goodness that’s over…

23 Mandarin Oranges

Oh wait.

Easter Weekend Wedding

Driving Up to Kelowna

This past weekend we drove up to Taylor’s hometown of Kelowna for his sister Jaime’s wedding. On the way I took the requisite family car portraits.

Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna

A couple of hours out of the city and we were in the snowy mountains!

Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna
Driving Up to Kelowna

Kichou always knows when we’re getting close.

Driving Up to Kelowna

“It’s okay, I’ll drive the rest of the way,” Kichou says.

The ceremony was at a fancy penthouse apartment. Sym really liked the aquarium.

Jaime & Shawn's Wedding
Jaime & Shawn's Wedding

I bought the dress for her at Zara the other week and I LOVE IT. There’s a similar one for grown ups at Forever 21 but OF COURSE it’s not available on the Canadian site >:/

Jaime & Shawn's Wedding
My Sister done got Murried.

The beautiful bride being walked down the aisle by her parents.

My Sister done got Murried.

All hitched up!

My Sister done got Murried.
My Sister done got Murried.

Sym turning the camera tables

My Sister done got Murried.

If there’s a camera nearby, I make this face

My Sister done got Murried.

My MIL and I get along very well.

My Sister done got Murried.

lol I look ridiculous BUT I was performing the valuable service of opening champagne bottles here.

My Sister done got Murried.

Which reminds me…

Since we had a few hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception Taylor had the brilliant idea of going for ice cream. And yes, he has Blizzard in his beard here.

Post-Ceremony Ice Cream
Post-Ceremony Ice Cream

The reception was fun. Truth be told, I normally haaaaaaaaaaaate weddings (pls see: my elopement). I hate assigned tables, I hate having to wait until it’s my “turn” to get food, which is always lame anyway. I hate when you’re forced to sit through the inevitable slideshow. HOWEVER. Jaime’s reception was not a drag at all. There was no seating chart, you got to get food whenever you wanted (and it was good!), the slideshow just played and you could look at it or not. I have to say, A+ wedding reception Jaime, I’ll definitely come to your next one. KIDDING ;P

Father-daughter dance :*)

My Sister done got Murried.

Some other kind of dance, haha.

My Sister done got Murried.

TRY TO SPOT ME HERE.

My Sister done got Murried.
My Sister done got Murried.

idk who I’m side-eying here but it’s pretty epic.

My Sister done got Murried.

Symphony signed the guestbook for us.

Sym Signs the Guest Book
Sym Signs the Guest Book

She also drew a bunch of pictures in a little book I brought for her. Stuff like this.

My Sister done got Murried.

Oh, Sym.

Anyway, we ended up leaving early (i.e. 10:30) because Sym had a headache, and I ended up getting sick on the drive back to Taylor’s moms’ house. The next morning Sym was the lucky recipient of THREE Easter baskets, but we didn’t get any pictures because had to quickly pack everything up so we could head home. It was a very nice trip, but not super relaxing, so I’m extra glad I took Monday off as well!

Recipes for Twelve Lemons- Playoff Hockey Edition

I’M STRESSIN’ OVER THIS GAME.

vancouvercanuckssticknew (1)

Why twelve lemons?

Eight Lemons

previous recipes: lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon chicken, and strawberry lemonade, candied lemon slices

I need a drink, so I made this, The Roger Collins. It’s like a Tom Collins, except I named it after everyone’s favorite Robert Redford-lookalike English teacher-slash-student newspaper advisor from Sweet Valley High.

Roger Collins

Ingredients
• 1 lemon
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2 oz Hendrick’s gin
• ice
• club soda

Juice one lemon and strain the seeds and pulp. Mix the strained lemon juice with sugar and gin; pour over ice in a rocks glass (I know a collins glass would be more appropriate but I don’t have any? Weird. TIME TO SHOP!). Top with club soda and clutch in your white-knuckled game seven hand.

Stressed Out Hockey Fans

lemons used: 1; lemons remaining: 1

EDIT: OH SWEET RELIEF

Recipes for Twelve Lemons

Why twelve lemons?

Eight Lemons

previous recipes: lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon chicken, and strawberry lemonade

Next up: candied lemon slices! You can eat these on their own or use them to decorate cupcakes or other treats (i.e. cocktails). Unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out perfect; I overcooked (overcandied?) them slightly because I was busy attending to a self-inflicted stab wound I got on my thumb while scraping labels off baby food jars for another project. Being crafty is hard, you guys 🙁

Candied Lemons

recipe from Cave Cibum
Ingredients:
• 1 lemon
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup water

Slice your lemon, discarding the ends. You want very very thin slices. I cut my slices in half to make crescents but you could leave them whole for rounds.

Candied Lemons

In a medium-sized saucepan or frying pan over high heat, mix the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add lemon slices in a single layer.

Candied Lemons
Candied Lemons

Simmer lemon slices until the rinds become translucent (about 30-40 minutes), then remove from pan with a slotted spoon and lay them on parchment to cool.

Candied Lemons

Once they are cooled, roll them lightly in sugar and enjoy!

Candied Lemons

To store, wrap in parchment in an airtight container in the fridge (I put layers of parchment between mine since they are really sticky).

Candied Lemons

lemons used: 1; lemons remaining: 2

Sym’s Room

Sym spent a lot of time perfectly organizing all the toys on her bed and wanted me to share her pictures with you all (although, I seem to recall there being a rule about only having five toys on the bed at a time…)

Sym's Room
Sym's Room
Sym's Room

This stuffed strawberry is a new addition, I bought it for her on Sunday when we stopped at Ikea on our way home from Kelowna.

Sym's Room
Sym's Room
Sym's Room