Comforting and Easy Three-Citrus Kitchen Marmalade

Warm, cozy blanket-comfort food to me is toasted bread with a smear of butter melted down into the nooks and crannies with a spoonful of homemade marmalade.

A large bowl of citrus, Blood Oranges, Tangelos and Red Grapefruit, about to go south quickly, was sitting on my kitchen counter this past week. Most was left over from my last photo shoot which now seems ages ago.  During “normal life” I cannot bear wasting food, so the peeling and slicing began. I find the making of marmalade as comforting as the eating of it.

Beautiful day, warm and breezy, windows open….Tulip and Honeysuckle blooms catching the breeze by the kitchen door. A good day for marmalade.

After rescuing all the good rind and flesh from each orange and grapefruit, I squeezed all of the leftover pieces for the juice adding it to the bowl.

I learned a few years ago that it is not necessary to be a totally crazy person when peeling the rind from the citrus to make sure none of the pith is left. My marmalade is still very tasty and not bitter with a little pith still attached. The slow simmer in the sugar-liquid mixture takes care of it.

Hot, thick, wonderful marmalade ready to be jarred and eaten.

What are you making to comfort yourself while being sequestered at home? I bet something cozy and delicious. Dishes that make you feel wrapped in a soft blanket? I hope so. Stay home, stay safe. This too will pass.

Comforting and Easy Three-Citrus Kitchen Marmalade


  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of citrus rind thinly sliced,  and flesh, seeded (Grapefruit, Blood Oranges, Tangelos are what I had on hand, but any combination works)
  • any leftover juice from citrus
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup St. Germain Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups natural apple juice


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a non-reactive cooking pan…stainless steel or enamel works great. Stir ingredients well to blend.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring every now and then.
  3. The citrus rind should begin to look transparent after 45 minutes.  Mixture will thicken as it cooks so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t scorch or burn. You can add a splash more juice or water if need be.
  4. Wash 4 small half-pint canning jars and rims in hot soapy water and rinse well. Drain dry on a clean dish towel.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  5. Fill clean, dry jars with hot marmalade mixture leaving 1/2 inch unfilled at the top of each. Wipe drips from jar edges.  Add rims, and screw lids on firmly, but not too tight yet.
  6. Place filled jars on a baking tray and put in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove jars and let cool on a wire rack. Lids will “pop or ping” to seal as they cool down. Lids should be “concave”. When jars are totally cool, tighten screw lids. If any jars fail to seal, then store in the refrigerator.

Tomato Basil Soup with Bread from the “Soup for Syria” Cookbook

My friend Brad Hunter is a great “gift giver”. Over the years I have received quite a few from him and they are all among of my favorites. Some folks have that knack. Brad is one of those folks.

Recipes Collected and Photographed by Barbara Abdeni Massaad. Published by Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.

He recently gave me a “cookbook-for-a-cause”. “Soup for Syria” is not just another cookbook. Many well-known chefs and cookbook authors contributed recipes for soups from around the world to raise funds for food relief efforts for Syrian refugees, of which at publication, numbered 3.8 million. Many, many of them children. Buy this beautifully photographed book, make some heart warming soup. Do what you can.


This Sunday afternoon I made an adaptation of the cover recipe “Tomato Basil Soup with Bread” a recipe from contributor Martyna Monaco. It’s crazy easy to make, very delicious and comforting.


Tomato Basil Soup with Bread

  • Difficulty: crazy easy
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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 thick slices day old rustic bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice, cut up
  • 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock


  1. In a large stock pot layer olive oil, bread slices, salt, oregano, garlic cloves, onion, basil leaves, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat to simmer for 30-40 minutes. Stir a few times. The bread will break up and thicken the soup.
  3. Serve hot with additional basil leaves.

Serving note: I topped each serving with cubed bread croutons and a scattered a bit of freshly grated Parmesan over the top.

Original recipe from: “Soup for Syria” published in 2016 by Interlink Publishing Group, Inc. Photographed by Barbara Abdeni Massaad.

“Oreo, Oreo, O-re-o”

“Happy 100th Birthday Sweet Little Oreo”  

I don’t know about you but this was an important food milestone in my world. Oreos have been a constant in my life. Many, many…too many to even count…things have come & gone & changed. On tearful evenings of regret, cold heartless winters, summers so hot I cursed the sun, when changes occurred in my life that tore my heart apart, whenever I needed just a little lonely comfort the sweet little Oreo has been there for me. When my girls were small we would joyfully eat little piles of Oreos in the only way there is to eat them….twisting them apart, eating the white filling, then the cookie. There are nights I remove a couple of Oreos from the package quietly & stand looking out the kitchen window into the dark savoring every comforting bite. When this sweet little comfort cookie turned 100 this week, for me, it was something to celebrate.

“A Simple Chocolate Tart with an Oreo-Almond Crust”

Ingredients for Crust : (this recipe is for 2 crusts, freeze one for later)

12 Oreo Cookies

1 lb Almond Meal (very finely ground almonds)

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

8 ozs. good butter, cold, cut into pieces

Ingredients for Filling:

8 ozs. good quality  semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup whole milk mixed with 3/4 cup heavy cream

1 egg, lightly beaten

How to make the crust:

1. Process 12 Oreos in a food processor until finely crushed. Add in almond meal & sugar. Process until well blended. Add pieces of butter to processor. Pulse until well mixed. Drizzle in a bit of cold water if needed until a dough forms.


2. Remove dough from processor bowl. Form mixture into two equal size dough balls. Flatten each slightly, wrap in plastic wrap. Put one in the freezer for later use & the other in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 3. When dough is chilled using fingers press into bottom  & up side of a springform pan about 1 inch high all around. Dough will be thick, but this is how it is supposed to be. Butter one side of a sheet of foil & fit butter side down into uncooked crust. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil with weights. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove baked crust from oven.

How to Make Chocolate Filling (which can be made while crust is baking):

1. Chop 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate into small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.

2.   Heat milk-cream mixture over medium high heat just until it starts to bubble around edges. Pour over chopped chocolate in the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes  & then whisk together well until all pieces of chocolate are totally melted. Let chocolate mixture cool for about 10-12 minutes. Whisking vigorously add beaten egg to chocolate mixture until well blended. Pour into baked Oreo-Almond pie crust.

3. Bake tart for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Edges will be set, but center will still be jiggly. Remove from oven to cool for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour on a wire rack. This tart is delicious eaten still warm with the center somewhat pudding-like. The soft filling is a perfect foil for the somewhat crisp Oreo-Almond crust.

Serving Suggestion:  

A dusting of powdered sugar.

Our very special, long-time friends, John and Liz Shenk, invited us for a quiet Saturday evening dinner at their house. In so many ways when we get together it is a celebration. A celebration of good food, wine, conversation, stories, and long-time friendship. This “Happy 100th Birthday Sweet Little Oreo” Tart was just part of a special evening.

A Little Gallery of Liz’s Pretty Dinner Table:

Beautiful flowers and glowing light.
Papparadelle, Shrimp cooked in coconut milk…a salad of mango, blood oranges & spinach.   
There are always a few good apps before dinner.

Oreo, Oreo, O-re-o.

How do you eat Oreos? Do you have another method?

Have you ever used Oreos as an ingredient? How would you use them?