Candied Orange Slices

These candied orange slices are delicately spiced with allspice and cloves, and are great over ice cream or cake. They would also make a lovely gift!

Candied Orange Slices Over Cake // Savvy Eats

Now that we’re settled in our new space, I’m so excited to be canning again. You might think that canning options would be somewhat limited in the winter, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, there isn’t an abundance of berries and tomatoes weighing down stands at the farmers’ markets right now, but there is plenty of sweet-tart citrus to be had!

Blood oranges are one of my favorite kinds of citrus to cook and bake with in the wintertime, but they tend to only be available for a few weeks around here. So when I saw them in the grocery store the other day, I snatched up two two-pound bags, knowing that the opportunity may not come again. I thought about making my standard blood orange marmalade, but we still have a few jars left from last year (apparently I was a little too diligent with my rationing!), so I needed to come up with something else.

When flipping through my canning cookbooks for inspiration, I came across a recipe for candied Meyer lemon slices in Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan. I decided to adapt the recipe so that it would work for blood orange slices, with a spice-infused syrup to add even more flavor.

Candied Orange Slices // Savvy Eats

The key to these candied orange slices is to slice the oranges very, very thinly. We’re talking a quarter-inch or even a little less here. That way, the peel will get nice and tender, and the syrup will infuse the candied orange slices with a sweet spiced flavor to replace the bitterness you’d usually associate with the white pith.

The flesh of the orange slices might dissolve a bit during cooking if you slice them thinly enough, but don’t worry. The true value of this preserve is the chewy and sweet candied peel. Plus, the flesh makes the resulting syrup a lovely ruby-red color, making these candied orange slices a stunning preserve.  Arrange them over the top of a cake or serve them with ice cream for a dessert that is sure to impress!

New to water bath canning? Here’s how to can, step-by-step.

For more citrus preserves, try Tracy’s grapefruit jam and margarita marmalade.

This post originally appeared on Food Fanatic.

Homemade Queso Dip

Homemade queso dip in under 15 minutes to serve at this Sunday’s game with your favorite chunky salsa and some smoothly-melting cheeses. You couldn’t ask for more!

Homemade Queso DipI have to admit, I don’t care much about professional football (but I will cheer on my alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers, whenever I can!). I honestly have no idea who is playing in any given playoff game, unless my husband’s favorite team happens to be a part of it. But playoffs and the big game call for lots of snacks, and that is something I can totally get behind. I’m not going to turn down an opportunity for cheesy snacks, gooey dips and the like.

Homemade queso dip //

This queso is one of my new favorites. It is so much more flavorful than the kind you can get in a jar at the store. Plus, it makes use of one of my all-time favorite preserves: the corn salsa from Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks-Vinton.  If you didn’t can some this summer and don’t want to take the time to make your own corn salsa (you have other snacks to make, so I don’t blame you!), you can use a store-bought salsa. Trader Joe’s has a good corn salsa that I know works well here, or you could use a chunky tomato salsa instead of corn. Your choice!

As for the cheese, you’re going to want to hunt down the American cheese. It is not the same as the individually wrapped slices of “cheese product” you remember from childhood, which have been processed to the point that they can’t legally be labeled as cheese. Boar’s Head, Land ‘O Lakes and a few other brands make American cheeses that can actually be called cheese. Go with one of those.  I found mine at the deli counter at the grocery store, and just asked them to cut thick slices, which I then chopped up further before melting it into the queso.

Homemade queso dip on

It might be tempting to use other cheeses, but if you do, make sure you choose one that will melt easily and smoothly. I tried to make this queso three times with Monterey Jack instead of American cheese, and it came out clumpy and separated every time. No good, and a waste of perfectly good cheese and salsa.

Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team this Sunday, or just there for the snacks, this homemade queso dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Looking for more game day snacks? Try Kate’s jalapeno popper bread, Emily’s buffalo blue cheese dip or my jam-glazed chicken wings!

This post was originally posted on Food Fanatic.