Awards,  Biscotti,  Cookies,  Dessert

Reflections on Life and Orange Almond Biscotti

Years back when I was raising my kids as a single mom I would often find myself expressing how overwhelmed I was.  Overwhelmed just seemed to be such a negative word which could only make me feel, well, even more overwhelmed!  So I decided instead of saying I was overwhelmed, I’d say that I was overblessed!  It was amazing how a simple change in thought made me feel so much better!

So lately, I’ve been very much overblessed 🙂   The first few months of the year have gone by so quickly; I’ve had one thing after another going on and every weekend has been nonstop busyness.  I know that just like all work and no play can makes Jack a dull boy, all this busyness is making Linda in need of some relaxation!

Enjoying a cup of coffee in bed on Sunday morning, taking a leisurely afternoon bike ride and relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening are my plans for this weekend.  My niece is coming in for a visit and my daughter will be home as well.  While some people may think having house guests is work, I find that it gets me to stop and enjoy myself with my family and friends.  And if I do a bit of prep work in the kitchen ahead of time, pulling together meals and snacks will be a breeze!  First things, first, I needed to refill my biscotti jar!

I’ve also received a few awards that I’ve been remiss in acknowledging.  I humbly accept these and thank Granny at Granny’s Parlour for her nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award and for Food Bloggers Unplugged.  A new to me blogger friend, J. Boudreaux at Contemporary Musings; I thank you for four award nominations, Mrs. Sparkley’s Ten Commandments, The Sunshine Award, The Candle Lighter Award and The Liebster Award.

If you’ve not met Granny, please head over to see her.  You’ll feel at home as she writes so warmly and friendly on gardening, homesteading and frugally delicious recipes.   J. as his blog so rightly is titled, will have you smiling and amused as he writes and rants on various subjects!

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award is very similar to the 10 Question Quiz Award I received, so I will refer back to that post for my answers.  Food Bloggers Unplugged has an interesting list of questions that will require a glass of wine and some thought on my part and so not to make this post go on and on, I will answer those in my next post.

And now, for some fun stuff….my Giveaway Contest continues this week for a sample of Saucy Mama Mustards so if you’ve not already done so, please leave me a comment, follow me on Twitter and/or subscribe…..and please visit the Saucy Mama Cooking with Mustard Contest and vote for me!!

Orange Almond Biscotti

2 3/4 cup white / wheat flour blend

2 teasoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons orange zest from an organic orange

1 1/2 cup toasted almonds

For the glaze:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or more for desired consistency

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or more for desired consistency

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Slipat or parchment paper, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil, Grand Marnier, orange zest and the eggs until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg batter and mix until combined. Fold in the almonds. The dough will be sticky. Divide dough and use a rubber spatula to drop dough onto the cookie sheet to begin forming into 2 logs. Use slightly wet hands to form the dough. Continue to lightly wet your hands to gently form the logs. You will not be rolling the dough into a log, just shaping. Using a bit of flour would help as well, but I prefer to lightly wet my hands. Also adding more flour will make it heavier and I prefer a light, crisp biscotti.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the logs are firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and cut into diagonal slices, about 1/2 inch wide. Place the biscotti back on the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The biscotti will be firm and darkened a bit more. Let cool completely.  Mix together the confectioner’s sugar and Grand Marnier to desired consistency.  Dip or brush the glaze on each biscotti. Store in an airtight container.  Makes about 45 biscotti.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


    • spicegirlfla

      Thanks Karen. You know I’ve never just had Grand Marnier as an after dinner drink!! I’ve mixed it in cocktails and of course baking with it, but never just straight up! It sounds so nice for a light summer after dinner drink!!

  • Judy@Savoring Today

    My friend, Mary has been a role model for me in the “what to call a moment or season” in my life. Her descriptions of “living abundantly” or “my plate is so full it is a buffet all its own” are favorites I now use to describe my own overwhelm … love it that you are “overblessed” and celebrating it with Orange Almond Biscotti. 😀

  • ChgoJohn

    I see you’re back in biscotti form again! YAY! These sound delicious and your photo is so tempting. Anyone who can make these beauties can certainly make cream cheese. Congratulations, Linda, on all of the awards you’ve won and so rightly deserve! There’ll be many more to come, to be sure. You’ve quite the Girls’ Weekend coming up. Have a great time!

    • spicegirlfla

      Like I commented to Tanya, I thought I should hold off on all the biscotti recipes – I’ve really made several others I’ve not posted!! Now biscotti I can do without even thinking…making cream cheese, well you impressed me on that. Once you post your mascarpone though, I may try that!

  • France

    I love having biscotti around and you always have such nice variations. O look forward to trying these out. Almonds and orange are such a great flavor combination.

  • Liz

    Beautiful post! Perspective…just a small change in perspective and you can go from overwhelmed to overblessed – yessirree Bob!!! Sorry…I am big on the “changing perspective” …silver lining…count your blessings thing. It all comes under the heading of perspective for me :)!

    I made 2 batches of Mandarin – Pecan biscotti this week, but not happy with the texture and your ratios slightly different so will try again. And I think mandarins are done so will move to oranges as well. Might as well move to almonds as well :)! Thanks for everything in this post.

    • spicegirlfla

      You’re right about perspectives and I also do try changing mine as I stop myself to think just how I am looking at things. Mandarin and pecan sound really good together. I bake biscotti alot and pretty much follow a recipe that has very little fat and sugar as I like to have one pretty much every day!! The recipes with butter and more sugar, of course, taste richer, but no ones complained about my biscotti at home or at the office!

  • Juliana

    Linda, such a nice post…and congratulations on your awards, all very well deserved 🙂
    I like your biscotti, especially glazed with Grand Marnier.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week…I know you are 🙂

  • Purely.. Kay

    Congrats!!!! You definitely deserve to be honored with these awards. I love visiting your space so I am so happy you were honored int his way. And that biscotti looks wonderful.. if I (a non-bread eater) say so myself lol

  • momshieb

    Can I make these without the almonds? My youngest son (not that I see him very often any more….) is allergic to nuts. I just can’t get myself to bake with them yet.
    And I am the ONLY Italian on earth who makes terrible biscotti. Eager to try yours……

    • spicegirlfla

      Of course you can make them without almonds and in fact maybe through in mini chocolate chips with orange is good! I have a category specifically for biscotti if you want to try out something different too!! My sister and cousins don’t make biscotti either and they are Italian!!

  • Bam's Kitchen

    Thank goodness for being overblessed! A great term I think we should all start using. Your biscotti especially with the topping will make your upcoming overblessed days a real treat. If that does not work, then save some of that grand mariner as back up.

  • bitsandbreadcrumbs

    Congrats on your awards, Linda, very well deserved and I look forward to reading the answers to Blogger’s Unplugged. Mmmm, I think it may be time to make some biscotti again…these are just the ticket as orange and almond are two of my most favorite flavors. Plus I love Grand Marnier in anything or by itself. In other words, these biscotti look terrific!

  • Just A Smidgen

    Congratulations on your well-deserved awards. I love your sentiment… yes, we are “overblessed” and I’m going to try to say that more often:) xo Smidge ps I love your biscotti, that glaze… fabulous!!

  • Katherine Martinelli

    I love your concept of saying “over blessed” instead of overwhelmed. It’s so true how a simple change like that can help our mindset. Sounds like you have great weekend plans! And these biscotti look wonderful.

  • kitchenbelleicious

    so glad you are having some good time for yourself! Hope you are having a wonderful week. Your sweet words on my saucy mama post brought tears to my eyes. You are so sweet and inspirational and I love your cooking! You are some stiff competition my friend!

  • Caroline

    Busy/overblessed is such a great thing! But it definitely makes you appreciate the small things you mentioned like a cup of coffee in bed or a nice bike ride. This biscotti sounds delicious–the cookie jar must be very happy. 😉 Hope you have a great weekend, Linda!

  • Kathy

    Linda, I love having house guests…especially the ones who are family! I’m thinking great minds with this post…I just posted Cashew Orange Biscotti! Yours look absolutely delicious!

  • Geni - Sweet and Crumby

    I need to go vote for you! I just can’t do it at work so I need to remind myself when I go home tonight! 🙂 This biscotti looks so dreamy Linda. I so wish you were my neighbor. We could have coffee together at least once a week and catch up. We would trade off bringing the goodies. I like “overblessed”. I need to try that one.

  • Charles

    Your weekend plans sound wonderful Linda – I hope you’re able to chill out for a bit 🙂 Your biscotti, as always, look incredible – your biscotti are an inspiration to me – I hope I can motivate myself to make some one day. I have no doubt they taste every bit as good as they look!

  • Lisa

    I love how you used the workd “overblessed!” I feel like that everyday but thank God for my blessings so no complaints!
    I too love having house guests, to me it’s fun and I get a chance to make special meals and desserts that I normally wouldn’t make. Sounds like you girls are going to have some great fun!
    I’ll love your biscotti reciepes. It’s great that you have such a variety b/c I know where to turn to when I want to impress a paisano! Have a great weekend! 🙂 Oh, I voted for your grouper and hope you win! 🙂

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise

    Congratulations on all the awards Linda, they are so well deserved.
    I voted for you today and will be back to vote tomorrow
    best of luck.
    I can’t wait to give this biscotti recipe a try and being in a time when I am overblessed too, I really love the term. It couldn’t have come at a better time

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