A Simply Orange Brunch Party (Orange Muffins + Orange Rose Mimosas)

Though we do have little pockets of green here and there, New York City has never really been known for its nature. This is especially true during the colder months when hibernation is basically the only sane option, and a proper dose of sunshine requires a seat on a plane headed due south.

I admittedly love any excuse to get out of town, but unfortunately, that isn't always possible.

The next best way to cure a case of urban cabin fever? Finding a way to bring a bit of nature home through the things we eat and drink!


This month, I partnered with Simply Orange to create a couple sunshine-filled brunch recipes to help you bring a bit of fresh-from-the-grove flavor into your home, no matter where you live.

Oranges have always tasted like summer days to me, and I think a tall chilled glass of orange juice (or a sparkly mimosa!) is one of the quickest ways to infuse a bit of bright summer into your day.

I've been buying Simply Orange Juice for years because I love the great freshly-squeezed taste, and the fact that it's never concentrated or frozen or sweetened. (Why other people do that to orange juice is beyond me, but these guys don't and I love 'em for it.) It's just one of those things that really does make a difference whether you're just enjoying it by the glass or using it in a recipe.

By the way, baking with orange juice? Totally a thing you should get into. These super easy homemade Orange Sunshine Muffins are filled with amazing orange flavor (they have a full two cups of Simply Orange juice in them!) and are a perfect treat with which to start the day.

This is one of those just stir and bake kind of recipes; no fancy mixer or equipment needed, which makes them perfect for the morning. Click here to get the muffin recipe.

A batch makes two dozen, so you can share with friends or family. (Or pop half in the freezer for the next time you feel like transporting yourself to a sunny Florida orange grove; they freeze really well!)

I divided my batch into 12 regular-sized muffins, and 6 giant bakery-style ones topped with a crackly sugar crust, just because giant muffins are the best thing ever.

Another thing that's the best thing ever? A sparkly brunch cocktail!

This fizzy Orange Rose Mimosa adds a bit of rose water and fresh lemon juice, for an elegant twist on the classic. Though I usually love a little pulp in my orange juice, I think mimosas work best without pulp, so the Simply Orange Pulp Free is my go-to for these. Click here to get the mimosa recipe.

Both of these recipes were made for entertaining, so invite of a few of your favorites over and set out a few more treats to share. Here are a few other suggestions:

A fresh fruit plate is definitely a must; I love arranging one on a big wooden bread board, and just piling it on.

To go along with our mimosas, I went with a selection of oranges and mandarins, bright red strawberries, and plump blueberries. Cut the oranges into big wedges, and let everyone dive in and get real juicy and messy.

Instead of a selection of cheeses, why not try dressing up a single soft cheese with a few toppings?

I started out with crumbled goat cheese, and then sprinkled olive oil, dried lavender, and chopped mint, then served it with little toasts. Experiment with your favorite spices and toppings.

A big salad of mixed greens tossed with spiced nuts and fresh fruit is another lovely addition.

As are maple glazed breakfast sausages (I actually simmered these in a little of the orange juice to cook, and they tasted SO good. Totally recommended.)

Finally, some crunchy granola, and yogurt or cottage cheese is a great way to round out the simple menu.

I hope this has inspired you to give a couple of these recipes a try! For more Simply recipes, visit the Simply Facebook page, and if you're in New York, click over to Simply Grove to Gotham for product coupons and more ideas..

This post was created in sponsored collaboration with Simply Orange. Thank you for supporting amazing companies like Simply that make it possible for me to keep bringing you great new recipes!


Orange Sunshine Muffins
Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 12 giant muffins

Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups Simply Orange juice (I used Simply Orange Pulp Free)
3 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line two 12-cup muffin tins (or two giant 6-cup muffin tins). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Pour in the melted butter, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla, and stir just until evenly combined.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar on top, if using.

Bake 15-20 minutes (or 20-25 minutes for giant muffins), or until slightly golden on top. A cake tester should come up clean with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Let cool in pan 5 minutes, before transferring to wire rack.




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