Bitter Orange Cocktails
Recipes History 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 12: Cookie o' the Week… Citrus Pignoli
Recipes Day 12: Cookie o' the Week… Citrus Pignoli

*This post marks Day 12 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Welcome to the second Cookie o' the Week! Last week we sampled a Dutch delight, and this week, we’re moving south. As a child, I sold (and ate) many, many boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They seemed mighty fine at the time (especially the Thin Mints nibbled straight out of the freezer), but that was before I discovered Pignoli Cookies, an Italian confection made up of little more than pine nuts, sugar and almond paste.

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Day 8: Citrus-Ginger Fruitcakes
Recipes Day 8: Citrus-Ginger Fruitcakes

*This post marks Day 8 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. If you were reading last year, you’ll know I’m batty for citrus around the holidays. It’s just so fresh and tasty this time of year. So this is a fruitcake I can really get behind. Essentially a buttery poundcake filled with candied ginger and citrus, it’s a far cry from the much-maligned shelf-stable drugstore version. Although most fruitcake recipes call for store-bought candied fruit, it’s really easy and economical to make your own, as I discovered last year.

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Day 3: Merry Citrus!
Recipes Day 3: Merry Citrus!

*This post marks Day 3 of Miss Ginsu’s 2007 Advent Calendar. Some people begin lighting candles for Hanukkah this week, some folks are more about Christmas, others get into Saturnalia or Kwanzaa or Festivus… but pretty much everyone (barring maybe the northernmost locavores) can get behind citrus season as a reason for celebration. The clementines are back, the grapefruit are rich and juicy and I’ve seen some excellent oranges recently. Cold months are a little sad and spare in the farmers' market, but the shops are robust with crates of sweet-tart juiciness.

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Waves of Orange, Fluttering, and A Tangerine-Frisee Salad
Recipes Waves of Orange, Fluttering, and A Tangerine-Frisee Salad

NYC restaurants are on a saffron kick these days, all aswirl with excitement over Jeanne-Claude and Christo’s miles of billowing fabric. I went today, and indeed… in just the right beam of sunlight, I could see the saffron. It’s not that I don’t love saffron. Truth is, I’m just mad about saffron. (heh…) But what I saw was tangerine. Miles and miles of tangerine. Flattened Clementines strung up in sheets.

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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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