Bitter Orange Cocktails

What do you do with bitter/sour oranges? Due to their acid, they’re probably not anybody’s favorite fruit to peel and eat. But that abrasive personality makes them ideal for marinades, marmalades, salad dressings, sauces and spreads, homemade bitters and cocktails. Like other citrus, the bitter orange is native to southeast Asia, but it spread to Spain in the 10th Century and later to Mexico and the Caribbean as a side effect of colonialism in the new world....

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Day 21: A Festive Frybread
Recipes History Day 21: A Festive Frybread

*This post marks Day 21 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Since today marks the first day of Hanukkah (as well as the shortest day of the year), I thought it’d be appropriate to commemorate the miracle of the oil with a frybread recipe… a treat for anyone, really. It’s interesting to note that just about any culture that eats bread has its own version of frybread. The classic Donut. Southern Hushpuppies.

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Day 20: The Scarborough Loaf
Recipes Day 20: The Scarborough Loaf

*This post marks Day 20 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Like me, you may know a few vegetarians. Like me, you may have once been one of those vegetarians. In those days, I was always a little befuddled at the holidays. I mean, feast foods are pretty proscribed for omnivores (1. roast something 2. add starchy sides). Those who shun meat are left without a lot of festive “center of the plate” foods.

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Day 19: Cookie o' the Week… Peppermint Snowflakes
Recipes Day 19: Cookie o' the Week… Peppermint Snowflakes

*This post marks Day 19 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I recently ran across the coolest snowflake cookie cutter set. It included tiny pieces to help cut out the decorative bits on the arms of the snowflakes. Pretty slick, but I had no real need to buy it. Then it occurred to me that such a thing would be just the ticket for a new take on that stained glass cookie that’s made with a basic cut-out recipe and crushed candy that melts into the open spaces.

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Day 18: Warm Gingerbread w/ Bourbon Custard Cream
Recipes Day 18: Warm Gingerbread w/ Bourbon Custard Cream

*This post marks Day 18 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I really wanted to make a Warm Gingerbread Bread Pudding, which seemed like it’d be a decadent holiday dessert for the snowy, blustery days leading up to Christmas. But in order to make a bread pudding, one really needs stale bread. And honestly, who has a bunch of gingerbread laying around getting stale? So I gave up that idea for quicker, more simple — but still truly tasty — Warm Gingerbread with Bourbon Custard Cream.

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Day 17: Sweet & Spicy Candied Nuts
Recipes Day 17: Sweet & Spicy Candied Nuts

*This post marks Day 17 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I’ve been trying not to fixate on financial news, but I recently read a prediction that if bad news keeps rolling in, people may want to want to burrow into their homes and watch movies on the couch. They think the pricetag on going out might be a bit too dear for a tough year. If that’s true, and we’re all turning down the thermostats and stuffing ourselves into our living rooms, I hope we’ve all got good company and tasty snacks as we watch our Netflix or pay-per-views or whatever we happen to be watching.

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Day 16: Almond & Olive Oil Cake
Recipes Day 16: Almond & Olive Oil Cake

*This post marks Day 16 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Compared to cookies or layered bars, or — heaven forbid — strudle, a basic cake is such a simple, lovely treat. Just a few steps. Just a little time in the oven. Just a few ingredients. Cake is essentially just flour, butter, sugar and eggs, right? Well, as I discovered on last summer’s foray to Rome, sometimes cake is flour, olive oil, sugar and eggs, which is both delicious and a good option for people who need something dairy-free.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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