Orange You Glad It’s Almost 2021?

(Re-edited to include a recipe…)

Orange isn’t a holiday hue, but it’s my favorite color. (Not that you could tell from my wardrobe or our house — there isn’t a speck of it to be seen.) No offense to red and green, but I love orange’s vibrant cheerfulness!

Above and below are a few favorite holiday foods a L’Orange

First up are/were these sweet potatoes that graced our Thanksgiving table. They made a repeat performance on Christmas Day, too. Easy, peasy — and orange.

Maple & Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 Tbsp. butter or extra virgin olive oil

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and sliced into 1/4″ rounds

1/3 – 1/2 cup pecan halves and/or pieces (the more, the merrier!)

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or oil a baking dish and layer with sweet potato slices. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour or until a fork easily pierces sweet potato slices. Remove from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle pecans over the top, drizzle with maple syrup, and return to oven uncovered. Bake 15 minutes more. Enjoy!

Then, these beautiful citrus fruits from Texas arrived — a gift from a beloved Aunt in Minnesota. (Thank you!) Originally there were more oranges, but I juiced and zested a few to make her Apricot Nut Bread pictured at the top, plus a batch of my favorite Southern pecans below. Sorry, no photo… but, here’s the recipe:

Orange-Glazed Pecans (courtesy of former pecan grower and fab cook, Linda Lamb)

1 Tbsp. grated orange rind

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup granulated sugar

4 cups pecan pieces or halves

Combine first three ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil. Add pecans. Stir until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat and stir until pecans separate and glaze. Pour onto waxed paper to cool. (Ditto on easy peasy!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As for the Apricot Nut Bread, see below. The Man Of Few Words gave it a rave review :

“Now THAT’s some good bread!”

Sometimes he actually speaks. :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Apricot Nutbread

(recipe adapted from “The Snyder Family Cookbook” submitted by Mariah Snyder)

1 c. dried apricots, cut fine

1/4 c. hot water (soak apricots for 30 minutes)

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

3/4 c. sugar, more or less (I punted)

2 eggs

1/2 c. orange juice

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8″ x 5″ loaf pan and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Add orange juice alternately with dry ingredients. Fold in walnuts. (I coated them with some of the dry ingredients beforehand so they wouldn’t “sink”.) Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

NOTE: I made a half-batch in a small loaf pan. (Check for doneness around 40-45 minutes.) If you wish, brush 1 tsp. sugar mixed with orange juice over top of the loaf before baking. (I didn’t — TMOFW isn’t much for “sweets” — but he was thrilled with the way this one turned out.) Additionally, glaze or drizzle it with a mixture of OJ & confectioners’ sugar.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last but not least is a book I ordered from Marc Ensign, whose skill with words (and the bass guitar) I’ve admired for a long time. Please don’t judge his book by its cover! It may sound rather bawdy, but “Dick” refers to Marc’s neighbor who inspired him and many others (including me) to brighten the world with kindness, humility, forgiveness, and much more.

Plus, it’s my favorite color!

In just over 100 pages, Marc’s succint writing, storytelling, and humor touched my heart. Everybody needs to read this in 2021! You can order it by clicking here. But with shipping delays, sell-out stock, and hardcover copies hard to come by, you may have to wait awhile for delivery. (Be patient!) It’s well worth waiting for — and reading. “Be A Dick” is a treasure — even if it sounds “naughty.”

I don’t often recemmend things on my blog, but the subtitle on Marc’s book says it all: “How One Person Can Change The World In The Most Unexpected Way.” As I said, don’t judge this book by its cover! I received a number of “questioning” comments after my original post, but it was fun to clarify why I did. :) Also, please check out the recipe update above and have a Happier New Year and a happier outlook on life. We all need that in 2021.

Enjoying orange at The Lake,

~ Kim

14 thoughts on “Orange You Glad It’s Almost 2021?

  1. Took your recommendation and purchased Be A Dick! It was well written, humorous, and insightful. Thank You! Also making the Apricot Nut Bread!!❤️❤️❤️

  2. That apricot bread looks scrumptious!

    Have a wonderful new year — I hope it’s much better for all of us than 2020.

    be safe and well… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  3. Hey, if Russ says this is some goooooood bread, then that’s good enough for me! I’m like you, I usually cut back on the sugar in bread, cake, cookie, etc. recipes b/c I’m not a big sweet person. I want the flavors of the other things, like the orange! And, I LOVE orange too. It’s teamed w/hot pink and my fave coffee brand, Dunkin!! Happy New Year my beautiful girl! xoxo

    • Will post it as soon as I get the “real” recipe vs. my adaptation, Liz, and I’ll be sure to share both. My hubby isn’t big on sweets and I miss baking a LOT, but sometimes I surprise him and he surprises ME! Happy New Year to you too, my friend! xo

  4. It’s funny about orange…. I first learned about Sooners and OU when I met my husband 39 years ago. I quickly learned about crimson and cream. (I’m from California.) So orange it kind of outlawed in this house. Crazy, I know. Especially when I see a beautiful orange sweater or coat. Oh well. It’s just ingrained in me now. and both daughters went to OU for undergrad. Anyway, I love your orange bread!!! And that book!!! Hysterical! I’d buy it for my husband but he wouldn’t read it. 🙄 Here’s to a much better year!!!

    • Mimi, I forgot about the “orange vs. red” rivalry here. Obviously, I’m not a sports fan… I still call my daughter every year to find out who’s in the Superbowl, LOL. Surprisingly, I’ve tuned into several Oklahoma football games during the pandemic and enjoyed them tremendously. I’ll make it a point in 2021 to pay more attention to “Boomer Sooner” vs. “Go Pokes!” (Hope I got that right.) BTW, my kitchen has a lot of red accents, so it’s a toss-up thus far. Sounds like you ‘n’ yours have your minds made up, but I’d still buy that orange sweater or coat. Be YOU! As for Marc’s book, I hope you get one for yourself — such wonderful advice. Happy New Year!

      • It’s not that I made my mind up, it just sort of organically happened. I actually didn’t even know football till I got married! And now I just endure the games, usually with my AirPods in my ears ! 🤣🤣🤣

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