Friday, December 13, 2013

The Humble Meatloaf

Poor meatloaf gets such a hard time. It seems like everyone knows that song from A Christmas Story: "Meatloaf beatloaf double uble eatloaf, I HATE meatloaf."
I know we used to sing it when my mom would tell us that's what's for dinner.
But a good meatloaf is so wonderful! If it makes you feel better just call it Pâté. Everything is better with its french name. 

All you need is some ground beef. 1lb. Add a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, an egg, salt/pepper, and ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup. Or you can be fancier and try BBQ or Worcestershire. Or add brown sugar. Your call.


Pop that puppy in the oven at 350 for 40 minutes.


Top with more ketchup. Ya done. You can't get more retro than a lovely meatloaf.

Thanks to Homeacre Hop for the Linkup and The Prairie Homestead for the linkups!

Easy Coffee Creamer Substitute

This may be one of the shortest posts I've ever done because this is so simple. I really enjoy coffee creamers and those fancies coffees from Starbucks and other places but since they are so so full of calories and I HAVE to have coffee, I've gotten creative about how to get more tastiness without more calories. I really enjoy just straight cream because it so...well, creamy...as well as sweet, but cream is cream whether it's flavored or not. So I do this instead

Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Pour in Coffee

Optional: Add milk
Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday linkup

You may notice that I only provide lunch menus for two days. This is because there is often so many leftovers from the day before that is what we eat. Same reason that there is only one dessert recipe. Because that is all we can manage to eat within a week lol.


Monday: Lunch: English Sausage Rolls

                      Dinner: Collard Greens, Ricotta, and Walnut Stuffed Chicken Breast
Beet and Carrot Salad


Tuesday: Quinoa Casserole
Quail with Polenta


Wednesday: Cilantro Lentils

Thursday: Cote de Boeuf with Bearnaise and Fries
       Green Beans sauteed with onions and topped with creme fraiche
Roasted Acorn Squash


Friday: Lunch: Chicken Nuggets (I often use ground chicken and mix with a bit of applesauce)
Dinner: Pizza Night



Dessert: Hazelnut Chip Shortbread Cookies

Recipes:
Beet and Carrot Salad
Roast beets and carrot with thyme, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Drizzle parmesean dressing on top with watercress and chopped pistachios or hazelnuts.

Hazelnut Chip Shortbread Cookies
-Pulse 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Add 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 cup soft and diced butter. Pulse until throughly mixed. Stir in 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Bake 325 18-20 minutes.

Quinoa Casserole
Soak 2 cups quinoa in 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons buttermilk overnight. Drain. Add sauteed annetto seeds, onions, and garlic. Cook in 4 cups warm stock. Stir in 2 sliced potatoes, cilantro, and 1/2 cup creme fraiche.




Friday, November 15, 2013

Cooked


I absolutely loved this book, Cooked, by Michael Pollan. Of course, it's Michael Pollan, it's about food, of course it's going to be good, but just like most other Pollan books, I learned a whole bundle. There's something about breaking cooking down to chemical reactions that makes what you need to do so much more clear. I'm definitely going to have to incorporate some of his chemical explainations into our homeschooling, but for now I'm just going to share some of the things I've learned.

1.) Season your meat at least 8 hours before....or don't even bother. Salt pulls water out of meat, so when you put it on right before you brown it, the meat will become dry, hard, and chewy. However, when you season it early, with generous amounts of salt, the water is pulled out of the meat but then begins to dissolve the salt, and the meat pulls the water and salt back in. The salt and water continue to work on the inside, helping to break down the muscle and pull out flavor. I will never forget one of the times we went to Boi Na Braza, which serves Brazilian style meats on skewers, big cuts which they take around from table to table and slice for you. Each cut of meat tasted so different and when my mother asked what kind of seasoning they use the manager said "just salt." "Just salt?!?!" We were in shock. Each piece was so distinct in it's taste, so flavorful. But it was just salt.

2.) This applies to poultry as well. You should use a brine at least 12 hours before.

3.) Everyone cooks onions too quickly. Onions shouldn't be quickly sauteed but simmered in oil or butter on low for a least an hour. Yes, an hour.

4.) In fact, most foods are cooked too quickly. Try using a crock pot for cuts of meat that are called to be cooked in the oven. All of those braises and roasts will be "correct" if you let them cook slowly over a long period of time.

5) A dough starter can be made at home. Here's a good guide.

6) To get large bubbles in your dough you need to add less flour. The stickier the dough the more the gluten that is there will expand.

7) Sourdough has a lower glycemic index than other breads. It is also good for people with gluten sensitivities.

8) Fermented foods are very very good for your digestive health. All of those good bacteria will help to combat the bad bacteria in your gut. In fact, bacteria in your body outnumber your own cells 10-1. Research is starting to show that these good bacteria help quite a bit in keeping you healthy. Unlike your own cells, bacteria can replicate quickly and do these like exchange DNA, and they have just as much interest is staying alive as you do. Hence, when your body is invaded, these good bacteria work to attack the bad bacteria just like our own immunities do, but they often have a better success rate.

9) One of the best stories from the book was about this little Nun in New England who makes raw cheese in an old wooden barrel with an old wooden paddle. Her wooden instruments have a constant film of milky product on them, and she doesn't bleach or sanitize them because they are full of helpful bacteria. When health inspectors wanted her to update to stainless steel appliances she made a batch of cheese with her wooden instruments and a batch of cheese in sanitized stainless steel tubs. She then purposefully added E. Coli to both batches. By the time the cheese had finished she had them both tested. The one in the stainless steel tubs was full of E. Coli bacteria. Her own cheese from her wooden tubs had none. This is a great example of how beneficial healthy good bacteria can be. By the way, this little nun has a PhD in microbiology.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Homemade Cleaners

I've still been mixing around with trying out homemade home cleaners and beauty products. Most are pretty simple variations on what I've already been doing, but with just a touch of this or a dab of that some products can be even better. Here are the original, basic recipes for cleaning.

Cleaning Paste:
This is a bit more complicated to make than the baking soda/washing soda mix I usually have but, not surprisingly, it works well. About the equivalent of the Magic Erasers.
1/2 cup soap flakes, 1 cup chalk, 1/2 cup baking soda, 3 tablespoons glycerin.

Furniture Polish:
1 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon or orange oil.

Glass Cleaner:
Works much better on glass than the General Purpose Cleaner
1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 cups warm water.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
I like just using baking soda to clean toilets but this is a better disinfectant
1 cup borax, 1/2 cup white vinegar.

Oven Cleaner:
1 box baking soda, 1/4 cup washing soda

Stain Cleaning:
        Blood, Chocolate, coffee: Soak in 1/4 cup borax, and 2 cups cold water
        Grease: Cornstarch and water. Let dry and brush away
        Red Wine: Sprinkle with salt
        Grass: Soak in 2% hydrogen peroxide
        Ink: Cream of tartar and lemon juice

Fabric Softener:
1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar

Mildew:
2 parts salt, 1 part lemon

Mold:
1/2 cup borax, 1/2 vinegar, 1 cup water

Carpet:
1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup lavender. Sit 30 minutes then vacuum.

Silver Polish:
White toothpaste

Drain Cleaner:
1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, 1 gallon hot water

Car Wash:
7 tablespoons beeswax, 12 tablespoons carnauba wax, 2 cups mineral oil, 4 tablespoons turpentine, 1 tablespoon pine oil


I'm planning to get together all of these recipes onto a printable sheet so you can have it at all time. Be sure to check back for that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Recipes


Marble Spice Cake:
This is my husband's favorite cake and it falls under that category of "semi-homemade." Its one of the first recipes I came up with mee-self.
I added some ghosts and bats and pumpkins. You know, to give it the appropriate level of Halloween spookiness.

Take a box of yellow cake mix and a box of chocolate cake mix and prepare in separate bowels according to instructions on back of the box. Add about 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger, and 2 teaspoons nutmeg to EACH cake.
Drop six big scoops of chocolate cake in 2 round cake pans (three drops per pan), leaving space between each drop. Now add six big drops of yellow cake next to chocolate. Take a knife and lightly swirl the yellow into chocolate. Be sure not to swirl too much or it'll blend.
Bake according to box instructions.
Make basic buttermilk frosting. Add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. When cakes have completely cooled, frost.


Apple Cheddar Soup:


I got this recipe from the Food Network Magazine, but I made a couple of changes to it. It's surprisingly tart, and really beautiful. Kind of like potato soup but with a much lighter feel.
Cook half a pack of bacon in a soup pot. Remove the bacon and half of the drippings, and add 1 diced onion, 2 peeled and chopped apples (I like McIntosh the best for this, but Granny Smith will work too), and one peeled and chopped potato.Cook until tender. Season and add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup applesauce, small bit (2 ts or so each) of cinnamon and ginger. Continue cooking until potato is soft, then blend. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Top with more cheese, crumbled bacon, and chives.


Oatmeal Porridge:


I just learned this great recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I really love this book because, although it can get a little preachy at times, it mostly just focuses on traditional diets that have been shown by "modern science" to have a lot of really great and healthy things in them, especially when prepared in a traditional way. This oatmeal really sticks to your belly, and it's more like natural yogurt, with a soury taste, which is wonderful once you add honey or maple syrup to it.

Soak 1 cup oatmeal in 1 cup water with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Soak for at least 7 hours or up to 24.
Add another 1 cup of water with scant salt and boil for 3 minutes until oatmeal is soft. Serve with butter, cream, honey, syrup, jelly, yogurt, or fresh fruit.



Pepper Pork Chops with Rice:
This is one of my favorite recipes because it's so simple but really packs quite the flavor punch.

Dice small pie pumpkin and 1 onion. You'll need to make the pumpkin pieces small so they cook quickly. Sautee in olive oil and remove from pan when tender. In the same pan, brown pork chops. Heavily salt and pepper, using large flakes of pepper. Use at least 3X what you normally would. Add 2 tablespoons butter and put in oven at 350 for 45 minutes. While the pork is cooking, cook wild rice. Combine onions and pumpkin into rice. Serve pork chops on top of rice.

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Homemade Beauty Products

I'm not the sort of person who is really into beauty products. I don't say that in a braggadocious way, rather that I become so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there I say forget it. And it always seems like as soon as you like a product they discontinue it, or change it, it's all just a hassle for me. 

The same could be said for the huge amount of homemade beauty things you find recipes for online. Overwhelming. 

So I've been sorting through, finding good homemade beauty products that are BASICS. Stuff you can keep in your bathroom, not make every single time you want to use it. Stuff that wont give me cancer and make my eyelashes fall out.

Bath Salts
First of all, everyone must have bath salts. There is no comparison to the way you smell with them and without. But, you know, just put them in your tub. Don't snort them.

Simple Soap
This is my "homemade" soap. 50% Dr. Bronners Lavender castille soap, 50% water. Put it in a pretty wine bottle. This is for my body and my hair (I still use store conditioner).


Mascara
This, believe it or not, is my mascara. It's olive oil, a couple drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and lavender. The essential oil is because I have allergies. Some people like those with light eyelashes, also say they mix the oil with powdered charcoal.


Eyeliner
Speaking of charcoal...go to your local art store. Buy a charcoal pencil. You now have new eyeliner. A fraction of the cost, much better for your skin.



Hair Conditioner
 Olive oil and chamomile flowers. This is for my hair. I have oily hair, so I only use it for my dead ends, putting it on an hour or so before I shower. If you have dry hair though you can use it on your whole scalp, or dandruff problems, really rub it into your scalp.

Deodorant
Baking soda is invaluable in the bathroom.This bit mixed with lavender is my deodorant. I tried so many kinds of organic deodorant after learning about the parabens in most store kinds, but none of them worked well. Baking soda does though. I take a cotton ball, wet it, dunk it in the soda, and rub it on.

Teeth Whitener
I also use baking soda to whiten my teeth. Just scrub it on, let it sit for 15minutes, and then brush it off. My grandma used to brush her teeth with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I don't know if I'm brave enough to do that.

Exfoliant
And finally...sand. I know, kind of gross looking. But ya know what. It is amazing. Absolutely amazing so exfoliating my skin. Of course you probably say duh it is, but it's still gross. Maybe, but I don't think so.  I get a tiny bit, like an eighth of a teaspoon, mix it with my facial soap and scrub away. My skin always feels baby soft for several days after.


Soap
I wish I could show you a picture of my facial soap but it's down to a sliver and looking kind of gross. So Ill show you someone else's picture.

I use a french clay soap which I buy from a local gal (although you can try to make it yourself with this recipe). Obviously if you have a different skin type you'll need a different kind of soap but try buying it locally from someone who uses natural ingredients. All those chemicals do not nice skin make.



Foundation
And finally...foundation and bronzer. Start with arrowroot powder (found in your grocery spice section) and add coco powder until you get the color you'd like. If you want a liquid foundation, add some lotion to it. 


Check out more homemade makeup at WellnessMama.

Printable Cheat Sheets

Here are the cheat sheets that you cannot do without. Print them off, laminate them, frame them, keep them where you can see. Cause if you have a house, youre gonna need them!

Kitchen Measurements and Cuts










Laundry charts




And for the very organized among us 

Vintage Values: Cooking with Leftovers

I really hate wasting food. But let's be honest, leftovers can often be...unappetizing at best, gross and moldy at worst. Being a thrifty homemaker is almost impossible without finding something to do with these though. So let's talk about how to use leftovers in a more yummy way.
Fruit getting mushy? Blend it and freeze into popsicles. Even if you have enough to only make one, itll be worth it ;)


Good leftovers really start with good shopping and menu planning. I never make a casserole, stew, or gumbo as a recipe from raw ingredients. These things were developed to use up small bits of leftover and help them go further, and that's exactly what I do. So my menu would look something like:
          Monday: Pork Roast with potatoes and grilled veggies
          Tuesday: Pork roast casserole with veggies and egg noodles in a cheese sauce
         Wednesday: Pork Stew with leftover veggies, egg noodles, potatoes in beef broth.
Not all meals will last for three days. Depending on our hunger level, whether we eat things for lunch or dinner, and how much meat I buy. Generally though, most meat will last at least two days.

When you're shopping, it's important to not just think WHAT you're buying, but what quantities. For instance, we love to have cooked greens, but they rarely, if ever, get eaten as leftovers. So when I buy then, I'm sure to buy JUST ENOUGH for one meal. The same thing for salads. I cannot get my family to re-eat a salad for more than 2 meals, so I never buy more than 1/2lb of loose leaf lettuce at one time. Not only does this help my grocery bill up front, it also helps prevent throwing out food just cause no one eats it.

Small leftover amounts of stock, sauces, cooking juice, or gravy can always be easily frozen in ice trays or leftover jars. I never throw out cooking juice from pans, its perfect to give leftovers a boost.


This goes the other way for some other foods though. Corn, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and others are so easy to pop into something else that I make sure to cook more of them up front. Honey roasted beets and carrots can be easily chopped up and added to a bit of tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and balsamic vinegar to make pasta.
Speaking of buying larger amounts, be sure to keep things like pasta, rice, couscous, potatoes, and any other kind of grain/starch on hand. It's amazing how good some meals like pot roast can taste cold on a sandwich.

Pot roast done gone to heaven


When it comes to meat, the biggest piece you can but teach yourself and your family to eat less. People in the U.S. tend to over-eat quite a bit with meat. Really, an adult male only need 3oz. a day. That means a piece about the size of your palm once a day. If you want meat for lunch and dinner, halve that size. Children need even less than this. And if you plan on making a stew or gumbo, be sure to keep the bone! It adds flavor. MetaGiven's has this to say about meat: "Have a butcher saw a small whole ham in two and cut two half-inch steaks from the center to be broiled for the first night's dinner. For the next day, roast the butt end. Another day, prepare a broiled dinner with the shank end, or cut off thin slices to pan broil for breakfast or for sandwiches, and finally, use the bone for bean or pea soup."

So your weekly meal should be built like this to utilize and make it last:
Day 1: Small piece of meat, mostly veggies, small side of grain/starch
Day 2: Leftover meat diced and added to veggies, large amount of grain/starch
Day 3: All leftover meats, veggies, and grain/starch cooked in broth for gumbo or stew (Here's how to make a wonderful gumbo).

You know how to utilize thanksgiving leftovers, now apply that to your daily cooking.


As I said before, your meal may not make it this far. But that's not a bad thing. Your first emphasis should be not wasting food, and your second should be stretching meals. Ending with a stew that's mostly veggies and grains is perfect for our family, since this is the only way my children and husband will accept a protein-less meal. If all the meat is gone, I just add in beans or mushrooms instead.

Here are some more tips from MetaGivens:
"A small rubber scrapper should be used to remove every trace of batter, dough, or sauce, etc., from bowls and pans before they are placed in the sink for washing. Dry bread, rolls, and cake should be made into crumbs instead of being discarded or allowed to mold. The good outer envelope leaves of cabbage, lettuce should be saved and added to spinach or other cooked greens. Fruits or vegetables should be pared as thinly as possible, if at all. Chicken feet and necks, as well as other parts of the animal  carcass, even though they may contain little visible meat, may be used for preparing delicious soups."

Really, ou can put about anything in broth and it will taste amazing.


And the most important thing to remember with leftovers is to check your fridge and pantry often. It is incredibly easy to forget what you have, what quantities, and how old it is. There's nothing so frustrating as reaching for leftovers and seeing that they're moldy and should've been used many days ago. Cooking well and being thrifty doesn't take much time, but it does take some thought.

Basics of Cajun Cooking

If you have a family no doubt by now you've learned to cook a lot when you do cook, but leftovers can get stale and boring really fast. In the summertime, there is no better use for leftovers than cajun cooking. At least, if you're cooking seasonally there isn't.
All of those great summer staples, peppers, tomatoes, corn, are perfect for throwing into a pot and making gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee (also known as smothering), and po boys.  Most of these, all you need to do is make a roux (instructions below), add just about anything cooked or uncooked that you already have, add some seasongings and rice, and voila! brand new meal. My record so far for making leftovers last is one week by having a roast with a salsa like topping, then turning it into jambalaya, and finally adding broth and more rice to create a gumbo.

The differences between Cajun and Creole cooking can be a bit confusing, especially since each means something completely different depending on which region you are in. So let me just give you the historical basics...

Cajun food comes originally from France. The Acadians were a group of French immigrants who landed in the Nova Scotia area. They spoke with an odd almost English accent to their French and did things like pronounce j as "dj." Therefore they called themselves Acadjians, which after they traveled further south and started a community around the Louisiana area, had been shortened to simply cajuns or acajuns.

Canadian acadian french. Weird.


Cajun french is pretty odd too.

Cajuns form of cooking uses many french techniques with the local food found in the Louisiana area. This is how you get roux bases for gumbos and stews, as well as many other french styled foods, like croquettes, and the adoption of celery, onion, and bell pepper and as their mire piox (a traditional French base of onion, garlic, and celery.) They also like bouillon, and boudin, as well as many others french favorites.
Mostly their food is fresh game or seafood served over rice with cayenne pepper and/or black pepper, sometimes file as well, and lightly cooked veggies on the side or combine in the dish.

Although many of the ingredients and techniques in creole food is the same as cajun, creole is a much broader term. Creole is the French word for "native," although it doesn't mean native like Native American, but rather to refer to a European descendent who was born in the United States. There is a Spanish equivalent, Criollo, and Portugese, Crioulo. "Creoles" are found all up and down the Americas, and so Creole food represents this combination of cultures. You can commonly think of Creole food as a cajun base with more  Spanish, African, Portugese, and Mexican influences.
Because Creole were often better off than Acadians, their pocketbooks had a wider range for more kinds, and better kinds of food.
For instance, a cajun roux is typically made with lard, while a Creole roux is more likely to contain olive oil.
Because of this, creole food is a bit more refined, with ingredients like sugar, cream, European herbs and garlic, and quality meats and seafood, rather than the shellfish and game that is common with cajun food. This is where those wonderful roasted pecans originated from.


However, the most basic ingredient in Cajun or Creole cooking is the roux. Here's how to make it:


First you're going to need some fat or oil. Really you can use about anything, but the most common is either butter or olive oil. Here's my one stick of butter, equivalent to 1/2 cup oil.


When the butter is nice and hot and melted, turn the heat to medium, and add 1/4 cup flour 1tablespoon at a time. You really have to add it slowly and whisk it fast, or else it will create small cooked flour balls.



The exact measurements for the butter and flour really vary. I prefer a thicker sauce, but others like it to be thinner. A good rule of thumb is when you can stir and see the bottom of the pan but the sauce quickly fills it in, it's thick enough.


Keep the heat on medium and cook until it begins to change color. You really need to keep an eye on it, and continuously stir or it'll burn. Remember, it will continue cooking once the heat is off, so take it off as soon as you think its done.
Again, there's lots of variation about what color the roux should be when it's done. A standard roux is usually described as a peanut butter color when it's done.

All three colors of roux shown here are correct. A blonde, medium, and dark roux. But when you see a recipe say "roux," go for the medium color.


After the roux is done, add onions, garlic, and celery (or celery flakes). I bougght some sausage, grabbed tomatoes from the garden, and chopped up leftover fajitas to add to this gumbo. Finally, add salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and file (if you have it). Simmer for an hour or so. Add rice before serving. Yummy!

Seasonal Foraging Recipes: Wild Berries

Wild Berries
Wild berries like these are great if you want an easy, safe intro to foraging. Berries that are like raspberries and blackberries, with small globes around a central stem are never poisonous, and so there should be no uncertainty about eating them. These wild blackberries grow all around us, as do black raspberries, and they make great substitutes in anything you'd use cultivated berries for.


Clafoutis


This is a very easy recipe from the great Julia Child. Obviously you just substitute the wild berries for cherries.

ingredients

Julia Child's Clafoutis
serves 6-8
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar
powdered sugar

preparation

In a blender blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered 7 or 8 cup lightly buttered fireproof baking dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan. Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about for about 45 minutes to an hour. The clafoutis is done when puffed and brown and and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.


Tarts and Jellies
Wild berries are also great to make jelly with, especially as many of them have enough pectin to form jelly without gelatin.


If you are going to seal the jars, sanitize them in boiling water first.

Rinse the berries and dry lightly. Crush them in the pan, and add an equal amount of sugar (ie. one cup of berries = 1 cup of sugar). I use about 2 cups of berries per jar.

Cook the jam until it reaches 220 degrees F. I've found this is the easiest way to determine when jelly is done. And be sure not to let it burn! You have to be stirring almost constantly to prevent the berries from burning and sugar from hardening.

Put into jars with 1/4" headspace. Put in hot water bath to seal.


Now take a sheet of puff pastry and blind bake it at 350F for 20 minutes. While still relatively warm, spread a thick layer of jelly on. Add washed berries on top, and sprinkle with slivered almonds and sugar. Voila! A wonderful tart that is super easy to make!

Just be sure to serve it with a little bit of fresh whipped cream!

These and many more recipes can be tried with all sorts of seasonal recipes. I really love plum cherry jam, and even doing simple things like sprinkling some of the smaller berries on a salad.


Happy Eating!

Orange Cake Recipe


I always make this lovely cake for my son's birthday. Like most cakes you can make this in a variety of ways, as a layer with frosting or cupcakes, or like I did, as a bundt. 

Grate 2 oranges. Chop the zest. Melt 1/2 cup of butter (half a stick) over low heat. Add 3/4 cup of superfine sugar, and juice from one orange. Beat in 2 eggs, 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and add the zest. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees for 20 minutes for a conventional cake, or ten minutes for bundt. Cool. 
Sift 1 cup of confection sugar and juice from  other orange into pan. Heat until sugar melts, then spread on top of cake.



I decorated mine with flowers. My son did not like it but I thought it was pretty!