Oh My Darlings!

A Post Birthday Brunch/Introducing Kira!
January 2012

Unlike poor Clementine, my darlings were not lost and gone forever.  They were closer [and brighter!] than ever, and there was even a new darlin’ in the mix!  The thing about great friends is they can introduce you to other great people, and so it was we came to add one Kira to our regular cast of characters…and boy, were we characters on that sunny citrusy Sunday following my day of birth!

The Salad:  Citrus & Beet Salad with Hazelnut Oil

It’s a salad.  A salad recipe shouldn’t be complicated.  This salad went a little something like this…

1 bulb of fennel, sliced thinly
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 roasted red beets, sliced
2 roasted yellow beets, sliced
clementine slices
blood orange slices
grapefruit slices
fresh lemon juice
fresh lime juice
cilantro
Himalaya pink sea salt
Hazelnut oil

I’m the last person to mandate how to cut something, so just have fun with it and make it aesthetically appealing!

Brunch is Ready…!

Once upon what feels like a dream, Sandra and I went to Puerto Rico.  When we saw this fluorescent shirt in a gift shop/grocery, we collectively heard that shirt scream, “NINA!”  I knew Nina had the perfect skirt to match (a DIY conversion of swim trunks, no less!!), so it was only a matter of time before the shirt-skirt combo made its bright brunch debut!  This was the fated time.  The shirt matched the pink bubbly!

The Cocktail:  The Blood Orange Rhubellini
A Recipe Of Sorts (we tend to play it by ear around this table) 

A generous pour of Sparkling Rosé…

A generous splash of Art in the Age Rhuby (we’re all about generosity at this table)…

Top it off with organic blood orange soda and a clementine garnish…

Time for a toast…AND A GIF (Nicole really brought her A game)!

Blood Orange Muffins + Honey Clementine Compote + Rhuby Whipped Cream

Blood Orange Muffins
With Rhuby Whipped Topping + Blood Orange Clementine Compote 

Makes 15-20 muffins.

Ingredients

Butter for greasing pan
2 small organic oranges
2 blood oranges
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup organic Greek yogurt (2%)
3 large eggs (local/free-range)
2 Tablespoons Rhuby
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Honey-blood orange compote, for serving, optional
Whipped cream, for serving, optional
(Recipes below)

For the Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pans.

Grate zest from 2 organic oranges and place in a bowl with the grated ginger and turbinado sugar.

*Supreme the blood oranges:  (see this useful video for more visual instruction) Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.

Halve the two organic oranges and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. You will have about 1/4 cup or so.

Add yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether.

Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well.

Whisk in eggs, then Rhuby.

In another bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones.

Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time.

Fold in pieces of orange segments. Scoop batter into muffin pan.

Bake muffins 12-15 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the tin and cool to room temperature

Serve with whipped cream and blood orange & clementine compote.

Blood Orange & Clementine Compote

1 blood orange
4 Clementines
2 Tablespoons Rhuby
1-2 teaspoons Sage Honey

Supreme the blood orange according to directions in muffin recipe.

Peel clementine and slice clementine into chunks.

Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons Sage honey.

Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.

Rhuby Whipped Topping

1 cup organic heavy cream
2 Tbs Rhuby
3 Tablespoons maple syrup

Combine all of the ingredients in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.

That’s Black Forest Bacon in the background.  The BEST bacon I’ve yet to experience.  Available at your local Whole Foods if you are bacon blessed.

I used to do a similar move when I acted out the 12 Days of Christmas in elementary school.  Fiiiiive Golden Rings!  I couldn’t tell you Didi’s motive, but interpretive dance moves around the table are always encouraged in my world!

Nina always makes a special plate presentation for me.  She has definitely earned her With The Grains intern stripes!  This plate strikes me as muffin Moses parting a citrus sea to the promised salad.

The clean[ish] plate club also dabbles in theatrics.

Aren’t the lingering colors beautiful?

Go ahead and put a dollop of that Rhuby Whipped Topping (recipe above) in your cup of coffee.  The result is akin to a delicious cappuccino with a little taste of gems!

I had to put on my ridiculously bright sunglasses to block the brilliance of that bosom…

*Fin in the sense of the citrusy chapter only.  There will be plenty more of these antics to come!

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