Just a few days ago, I made my favorite Banana Bread recipe and usually it’s a special treat full of goodness and loaded with nuts. Not this time. Oh, there were plenty of nuts (including the cook) but the final baked bread was not what I expected. Only word to describe is “horrible”!! A word to the wise baker. When mixing the final batter for sweet breads DO NOT over mix. I was having so much fun mixing the batter that I over mixed the heck out of it. My thinking was oh, this is going to be so much better because I spent more time and energy mixing. Do not repeat my mistake or the loaves will not rise. The 4 mini loaves ended up 1/2 the normal fullness and were overly dense.   They turned out like over baked hockey pucks. Gus said it tasted good, but normally our mini loaves are gone in 2 to 3 days.  However this time there are still 2 1/2 loaves left. Guess I will just have to take them outside for the birds. Hope the birds like them better than we did.

This is what it should look like when cooked right. Full rise and browned. Yummy!
This is how it turned out by overmixing! Flat, dense and not really browned. Yucky!!

Fresh oranges in the relish pair to make a savory accompaniment to rich salmon fillets. Serve the citrus relish with any kind of fish, or with shrimp or scallops.  The oranges were picked fresh from my tree yesterday and after peeling half the basket I’d seen enough orange peel to last a lifetime.  Then it came to mind, lets just peel a couple more choice oranges and make my Citrus Baked Salmon with Orange Relish.  My only mistake with this thought that the recipe is for four servings and there were only two servings of salmon to prepare.  After putting all of the spice rub on the salmon it came to mind that this looked like a little overkill.  After taking the fish from the oven it was obvious that there was too much spice rub.  A good portion of the rub was scraped off and the fish was then edible.  Too much Paprika had made it over powering.  So with that said, it is suggested to make sure to watch your portions and to always add spice rub according to the amount of meat spice.  The pictures that have been added are from when the recipe was originally made and posted on BigOven.com


Marinade: Orange Relish:
1/4 cup Orange juice    2 oranges seedless
2  tablespoons Olive oil 1/2 teaspoon Orange zest fresh
1  teaspoon Dried thyme 1 tablespoon Honey
4 Salmon filets; about 1 pound 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Spice Rub: 1 tablespoon Fresh Italian parsley chopped
3/4 teaspoon Paprika 1/2 teaspoon Ginger ground
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoons Dried thyme
Salt & Pepper Fillets Prior to baking



Mix orange juice, oil and 1 teaspoon of the thyme in small bowl. Place salmon in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix brown sugar, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and salt in small bowl. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with paprika mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon on foil-lined baking pan.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Or, grill salmon over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Peel orange, section and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

One of my best friends, Mariette, brought oranges with her on a visit to our under construction Prescott cabin last week.  On a side note, her hubby came up to help Gus with installing tile in the shower enclosures and was that ever an unexpected challenge.  The tile kept slipping down and they had to use wedges to hold up the tile.  Speaking of wedges, that was what helped in peeling the oranges.  I imagine this would also work for lemons.

Quarter sections and One Orange cut in Half.

We live in Arizona and I have two orange trees and three lemon trees.  There is always so much fruit that I can’t use it all before the next seasonal crop begins to bloom.  Believe it or not we get two full crops each year; summer and winter.

Anyway, I digress. I’m here to talk about peeling an orange and not having all that nasty pulp still stuck to the orange.  I personally don’t like the taste of pith and have in the past spent so long peeling an orange that by the time I’m done I really don’t have any desire to eat the “fruits” of my labor.  So here’s the scoop on “How to Simply Peel an Orange.

Pick as many oranges from your tree as you have energy to peel or eat.  I’m going to cut several into wedges and freeze for juice or cooking later.  I filled one basket with as many oranges as I could comfortably carry into the house.  I’m sure that’s more than enough and will probably wish the basket had been much lighter when done.

Wash the orange outside prior to prepping.  Cut off each end of the rind from the orange with a paring knife so that the fruit shows through.  Then slice from the orange rind through the pith just deep enough into the white pith to barely touch the actual fruit.  I just learned that the pith section between the rind and the fruit is offically called pericarp or albedo.  Didn’t know that until just today.  Anyway, don’t cut too far into the fruit beyond the pith or the orange will section in your hand as you remove the peel and can become quite messy.  Cut three wedges from top to bottom of the orange rind.  This will create four sections; remember our math from 4th or 5th grade?…

It is then very simple to peel away each section of the orange rind and and discard it.  Then cut each of the peeled orange in half and placed in a freezer safe quart size baggie.  Date the bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible and freeze.  I plan to use the frozen fruit one bag at a time to make some orange juice, make an orange relish for one of my favorite salmon dishes (will share this later) or for any idea that my pop into my mind.  Feel free to share your ideas with me on what you might do with the frozen fruit, too.

Placed in Freezer Safe Ziplog Bag
Placed in Freezer Safe Ziplog Bag

Will be making one of our favorite treats for when there are left over banana’s going a little over ripe.  Here’s are some pictures of the yummy treats right out of the oven.  Making four mini loaves this weekend.

This banana bread is loaded with walnuts and has a crusty edge just like the tops of those banana nut muffins we all love.  It’s like just eating the top off a muffin with every slice.   Prepare individual slices and spread with softened butter.  I prefer the four mini loaf version over one loaf.





2  cups Unbleached flour 1/3 cup Butter
1  cup Sugar 1/3 cup Shortening
3/4 teaspoon Salt 2  extra large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda 3  tablespoon Half-and-half cream as needed
3 Bananas 1  cup Walnuts chopped
1  teaspoon Vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom and up the sides a bit of 1 large non-stick loaf pan; 9″ x 5″ x 2.5″ or 4 non-stick mini-loaf pans.  Lightly coat with flour on the bottom to prevent sticking if pans are not non-stick.

Mix sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in medium size mixing bowl with whisk.   Add shortening, eggs, bananas, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.   Cut the shortening, softnened butter, eggs, banana mixture into the dry mix with double pastry knifes or kitchen knifes then finish mixing with large mixing spoon. Add half-and-half until batter is still somewhat thickened.  Batter may seem to be too thick but it will mix in.  Fold in 3/4 cups of the walnuts and retain around 1/4 cup to top the baking loaf.  Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into the baking pan, or 4 mini loaves and spread to flatten to edges of pan.  Top with remaining walnuts.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes for large loaf pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes for mini-loaf pans.  Start checking at the lowest bake time and continue cooking until fully cooked.

Place in the middle of the oven for even baking.  Test with toothpick or wooden skewer until it comes out clean, but do not overcook.  If loaf is browned and beginning to split, it may appear to be done,  Don’t be fooled.  Check with “long” toothpick or wooden skewer.  If the toothpick is not coming out clean from the center then cover with a little foil so as not to over brown the top while the center finishes cooking.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Marinate the chicken in a lemon juice and Tuscan Style Italian seasoning. McCormick Gourmet brand Tuscan Italian Spice adds just the right flavoring. Sear the chicken on the grill and then finish in oven for a flavorful moist chicken.  Serves 2 for dinner.  Loved this combination served with Italian spiced turkey gravy over mash potatoes.


2 boneless chicken breast halves 1 teaspoon Italian dried spices Tuscan Style
1/2 medium Fresh lemon juice; fresh squeezed 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup soda water or Perrier


Prepare marinade by mixing together all ingredients except chicken in a gallon size baggies or 10 x 10 x 2 baking dish, clay dish preferred. Rinse and then dry chicken breast. then trim away any fat that may be left on the chicken. Cut each breast half into 1/2 or 1/3 strips so that each is a strip of around 1 1/2 – 2″ thick. This will allow for more even cooking on the grill and in the oven.

Place chicken strips in marinade and turn each piece to coat all sides. Place in refrigerator and allow to rest in the marinade. Wait 15 minutes and turn chicken over one more time so that the side that was up is now down. Wait another 15 minutes before cooking.

Heat grill to high. Remove chicken from refrigerator and pour off the marinade from chicken. Allow marinade juice to drip off of chicken before placing on hot grill. This will be easier if you have kitchen thongs to grip the chicken strips.

Sear chicken pieces on grill until sear marks are on top and bottom of each piece. Let chicken grill on one side around 5 minutes. Allow at least 5 minutes per side to avoid sticking to grill. In meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If you do not have an indoor/outdoor grill, then pan sear on medium high for the same time until browned on each side.)

Rinse baking dish and set aside to use in oven to finish bake the chicken.  The chicken will bake for at least 30 mintues so the same dish can be used if it has been rinsed thoroughly.  Place seared chicken breast in one layer in baking dish, sprinkle with additional Tuscan Italian Seasoning and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until no longer pink in center.

via Tuscan Style Lemon Chicken | BigOven.com.

What a great meal this was. The Rib Eye Roast was loaded with a Barbarian’s Steak House spice rub from a famous Toronto Restaurant along with dry rosemary and then placed in the electric Cookshack smoker for 1 hour at 225 degrees. Then the roast was finished in the oven for the balance of the cooking time, about 1 hour at 300 degrees. It came out medium rare. Gus, my husband, love the taste of smoke foods but some people can find it overwhelming so half smoked and half roasted in oven seems to be a good balance. Served with roasted rosemary red potatoes, green salad and a glass of 2008 Castello di Amorosa Cabernet Savignon. Yummy meal enjoyed by all.

Ready to Carve
Ready to Carve