DIY Project Pets Recipes

Dried Orange Slices

Dried orange slices at Christmas time are so beautiful as natural tree ornaments, garland embellishments, and drink garnishes.

I am blessed in life to have friends and family who are beautiful and talented and smart and funny.  All very important traits.  And most of them are creative and artistic.  That’s where they leave me in the dust. 

It’s a long story, but trust me when I say I might have flunked kindergarten and scissor cutting.  Friendly art and craft projects have led to either awful output or massively modified by my more talented friends.  Thank goodness for their help!

But.  Even I can slice and dehydrate orange slices.  And with just slightly nudging nature, have something beautiful.

You know how much I hate to throw away food.  Ugh, it makes me so angry to waste.  I had a lonely orange knocking around in the produce drawer in the fridge and a couple of elderly cuties in the fruit basket.

Being inspired by the Christmas season, I decided to make a little Christmas project out of them and see how it turned out.

Our Cuisinart countertop oven has a dehydrate mode.  Who knew?  It defaults to 130⁰ and three hours.

Well.  Then.  How easy could this be.

Here’s what I did.

Dried Orange (or any Citrus) Slices

Slice oranges thinly and evenly – no more than ¼ inch.  Line a baking pan with parchment.  Spread slices on pan and bake no higher than 200⁰ for 3-5 hours.

The oranges went through the default cycle and weren’t dry enough so I turned up the temp to 200⁰ and left in for another hour and a half.

I used my fantastic Pampered Chef cutting board and giant knife. Which I have a love/hate relationship with. Those tough skins need a sharp knife but it’s really scary when I’m wielding it.

Perfect.

And beautiful.

Here are some ways to use them.

Display in a Dish

Adding some other natural items, placing the slices in a silver bowl looks Christmassy and so pretty.  Even alone they look beautiful next to my amaryllis.  Which DF Barb gave me.  And which is almost ready to blossom.

Garnish a Drink

Aperol, anyone?  Wouldn’t these slices look beautiful in an Aperol cocktail?  Well, I’m not having one this week, but I did make some ginger tea and garnished with a couple slices.  It made something special out of something simple.

Stovetop Potpourri

If you can still find cute jars these days, I think a jar of homemade potpourri looks so pretty and festive and would be a nice gift for neighbors.

I used the orange slices, cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, a sprig of rosemary and fresh cranberries.

Christmas Appetizers

Deb recently taught a teen cooking class and the theme was Christmas appetizers.  She sent a picture which I cropped in order to remove the teens whom I did not have permission to post.  I think their appetizers turned out looking great and the boys had smiles on their faces.

Her menu was:

  • Sesame-Siracha Stuffed Cucumber Cups
  • Turkey & Grass Fed Beef & Turkey Meatballs with Dipping Sauces
  • Individual Mini Brownie and Peppermint Trifles

She shared the recipes so please let me know if you’d like them and I’ll pass along.

Wrap Up

I so much love to see your pets in their holiday settings.  Please send pics to me and I’ll share on my upcoming posts.  No sense in my spoiled girls getting all the attention.

We have had a few cloudy mornings here and the kitties can’t seem to stir themselves out of their naps.  I want to join them.

Enjoy your weekend – only one more before Christmas!

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