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Super Moist Orange Cake (GF) Recipe Review

Super Moist Orange Cake (GF) Recipe Review

Life has been so busy now that S.U.M.M.E.R is officially here… along with yard and garden work, my son being off school, and the fun things to do as well! I haven’t taken the time to post as much as usual, and I do need to get to work on fixing that!

This orange cake is wonderfully moist, a definite must-try!

I am always on the look out for good almond flour recipes, as that has certainly become my favorite flour to work with on a gluten free diet. This recipe is basically a review of one posted by Elana on her gluten free baking blog. (Hers was a twist on a recipe that Nigella featured, and who knows where it came from before that!) Apparently Starbuck’s had a version of this cake in their shops as well, though not sure if it is still available. Once you try this, you will know why this recipe has made the rounds!!! It is delicious, orangey, and seriously moist! Like really, really, wonderfully moist. I may add a glaze when baking it for company or an event (dark chocolate? orange vanilla? cashew cream?) BUT, it absolutely doesn’t need a topping at all.

I normally tweak and adjust recipes depending on what mood strikes me and which ingredients I have on hand, however, I actually followed this one exactly! I know, I was shocked too, hehe. BUT, it was perfect as is! I am so glad that I didn’t alter it to begin with, because now I have a few ideas brewing as to how I can use this recipe as a base for other concoctions.

Boiling oranges for this recipe was a new idea to me, and the results were amazing!

I can’t say that I have ever boiled oranges before, so that was definitely something new to add to the cooking repertoire. My oranges were smallish, so I used 2 1/2 instead of the 2 that the recipe called for. Agave is new to me as well, and was terrific in this recipe. I imagine that honey would be a fine substitute, but the glycemic index of agave is much lower, so I chose to stick with Elana’s version. Also, I used a spring form pan, and greased it with coconut oil, then dusted it with rice flour in order to keep the cake from sticking. I did refrigerate the leftovers, and the cake is fabulous a day or two old, and delicious cold as well. I hope you try it and enjoy as much as we did!

And if you missed the link above, the recipe is HERE.

I baked the cake for 40 minutes instead of 45-50, and as you can see the outside is slightly dark, but not burned. It didn’t seem to affect the taste.

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Seared Sea Scallops with Sauteed Greens and Mushrooms

Seared Sea Scallops with Sauteed Greens and Mushrooms

I usually determine what we’ll eat by what I find on sale or fresh at the market. I rarely go out looking for specific ingredients unless I am preparing food for guests, or because one of us has a serious craving. The seafood sale at VG’s on jumbo sea scallops is what landed them in my freezer, and pulling them out for Mother’s Day dinner seemed like a brilliant idea! (Except to my son, who won’t eat anything that swims… for him it was crisped ham.) These were particularly large and beautiful, and the 6 scallops weighed just over a pound.

While the weather was stunning on Sunday and I considered grilling, scallops are so delicate (and I only had a few), that I wanted to have more control over the cooking process so that they didn’t end up overcooked. That is one of my biggest pet peeves in the food world, going to a restaurant, ordering something that should be succulent, and ending up with an expensive platter of rubbery food. Not that it doesn’t happen to the best of us at times, but ruined seafood makes me want to cry!

I had fresh spinach and turnip greens in the fridge, along with crimini mushrooms, and decided that they would make an awesome accompaniment to the seared scallops, along with a caprese salad of tomato, fresh mozzarella and herbs. It turned out to be an incredible dinner!

Seared Sea Scallops with Sauteed Greens and Mushrooms

To make the scallops:

  • 1lb sea scallops, fresh or thawed and dried of excess moisture
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • coconut oil

Heat a heavy pan over high heat for several minutes. Add several tablespoons of coconut oil, allowing it to melt and then become hot. Carefully add the scallops one at a time, searing on one side for about 3 minutes, or until they start to brown. (If using smaller scallops, adjust the time accordingly so that they are not overcooked.) Gently turn scallops, carefully loosening from the pan with a sharp spatula if needed; cook another 3 minutes and remove from pan and set aside. Reserve oil and juices in pan and cook mushrooms as below.

To make the mushrooms:

  • 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • remaining oil and juice, plus more coconut oil if needed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4C-1/2C white wine to deglaze pan

Keeping the pan hot from searing the scallops, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until they reach the desired doneness. You may need to add a little oil because ‘shrooms can act like little sponges and soak it up. In my case, I hadn’t planned on using the wine, but there was a little stickage at the bottom of the pan (as you can see in the pic) after cooking the scallops, so when the mushrooms were almost done, I just poured in the wine (honey mead actually), and deglazed, working all the stuck bits into a delicious flavoring for the mushrooms. When done, remove mushrooms from pan and set aside. Keeping the pan hot, reserving any remaining juices and oil, and continue to cook the greens as below.

To make the greens:

  • 1lb of fresh, cleaned, greens (I used about half spinach and half turnip greens)
  • coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4C pinenuts to garnish

Still using the same pan, melt a little more oil if needed and start adding the greens to the pan. Greens cook down a LOT, so you will want to add them in stages, because they will be overflowing if you dump all of them in at once. When the greens are wilted, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook to your desired doneness.

To assemble the plate: Arrange greens on the plate, top with scallops, surrounded by mushrooms. I added a few pinenuts to add another flavor and texture. This is a very easy and elegant dinner, which cooks up rather quickly, using the same pan for each stage of the cooking process, while keeping the ingredients separate and distinct until they are plated.

 

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