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Blood Orange Juice Giveaway

by on January 14, 2009 · 86 comments

If you order orange juice in Italy, chances are you’ll get a deep, dark, juice made from blood oranges grown in Sicily. I’ve never been to Italy, but was told this by a friend who works for Aliseo Foods – a company that sources Italian products and sells them here in the states. One product they are demonstrating right now is fresh squeezed, all natural, not-from-concentrate, no-sugar added blood orange juice.

blood orange juice

Heather gave me a sample of blood orange juice and I liked it a lot. Unfortunately, it’s not produced here because we simply do not have enough blood oranges. It takes a lot of blood oranges to make a liter of juice, and in Aliso’s, they use three different kinds — Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinella. The combination of these 3 varieties gives the juice a flavor which reminds me of a less acidic orange- grapefruit juice. In fact, some people like to mix a little blood orange with their grapefruit juice to mellow it out.

Blood orange juice also has some nutritional advantages. As we’ve learned over the past few years, deeply pigmented fruit and vegetables usually contain the most anti-oxidants and blood orange is high in phyto-nutrients and vitamin C. With all of its benefits, I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more if it in the next few years.

If you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, then you’ve probably tried blood orange juice. You may have even used it in some recipes. I pasted a few of Aliseo’s below, but a simple Google search brought a ton of results for things like mixed drinks, sorbet, simple syrups and the like. Most of them not baked goods. I haven’t had much success incorporating blood orange juice into baking, but if you have some ideas, send them my way. For now, I’m cooking with it and serving it in drinks. I also came up with an icebox cake which I’ll post in another post.

If you’d like the chance to get some free blood orange juice, here it is. For your chance at having a carton shipped straight to you, in the comment section, tell me something about Italy. I really want to go, but have no idea where or how to start planning my trip. Tell me and other readers something helpful in planning a first-ever trip. If you want to win the free juice but have never been to Italy, comment on where you think you might like to go and say why.

I will pick the winner randomly.  Giveway ends tomorrow at 7:00 AM CST.

Blood Orange Margarita

1 cup Aliseo Blood Orange Juice
2-3 tablespoons Simple Syrup
8 oz Premium Tequila
7 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 Blood Orange slice for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. To prepare
a drink, pour 6 ounces into a shaker filled with ice and
shake. Wet the rim of a margarita glass and dip in
sugar then pour and garnish with a blood orange slice.

Blood Orange Dessert Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt

4 beaten eggs
2/3 cup Aliseo Blood Orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 C flour stirred together

Optional powdered sugar for dusting.

Mix all ingredients for the crust in an electric mixer until
combined and crumbly. Press lightly into 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at
350 degrees for 10-15 minutes and cool slightly.

In the mixer bowl blend the eggs and sugar together until
smooth. Add the Aliseo Blood Orange juice and again blend until
smooth. Add the flour, mix on low-medium until well mixed.

Pour the filling into the warm crust. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes,
or until the center of the bars no longer jiggles.

Cool to room temperature, or refrigerate if you like your citrus
bars chilled. Gently dust with powdered sugar when about to

Cranberry Sauce

½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup Aliseo Blood Orange Juice
¼ cup water
1 ½ tbsp honey
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 -12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all the ingredients in a medium
saucepan over medium-high heat and bring
to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-12
minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring
occasionally. Throw away cinnamon stick
and cool completely. This refrigerates well
and the flavor will intensify if left in the
fridge overnight before serving.

Yield: 14 servings (2 tbsp = serving)

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Published on January 14, 2009

{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie January 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I’ve never been to Italy, but I’d love to go to Naples. My grandparents live in Naples, Florida and I think it would be funny to call them and say “I’m in Naples, can I come visit?”

Jackie January 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Don’t know much about Italy though I did live in Switzerland for five years.
I love the blood orange juice from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately ours has stopped selling it. :( I was hoping it was just out of stock but the guy at the register said they no longer sell it. Not sure if that is just in our store or everywhere.
If you want to get a feel for what Venice is like, watch the movie “Don’t Look Now” with Donald Sutherland. It freaked me out when I was a kid. Shows all the canals and bridges and gives you a real feel for what the real Venice is like.

L.C. January 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

You must see Northern Italy!

jasmine January 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I went backpacking with my mom this past summer through Europe, Belgium and Swizterland were our absolute most favorable places but we did happen to see Italy too! #1. Eurrails are NOT as easy as everyone makes them out to be! I’d recommend skipping them unless you have someone with you who knows a bit about using them. there are a lot of extra booking fees with them and it’s easy to miss your train and be in trouble!

Venice Italy is the place I would recommend. It is beautiful and EVERY bakery is outstanding with fresh baked pastries for usually only 1 euro!!! my mom and me packed up a good box of pastries and brought them home! Also, go on the shoulder season (not the big months of summer) it will be less crowded and that way you can wonder the many cute streets and enjoy the many shops and bridges over the canals without being shoved or pushed by anxioius tourist!

Go to Venice! the pastries there were my favorite (even better then Paris!) especially this small cake like scone that was green and had pistachios in it!!

the coffee is also rich and wonderful and the people there were friendly!

have fun planning your trip, wherever you go it will be great!

Globe January 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I spent a month in Italy, and my advice is to not overlook lemon gelato – it is the best flavor.

Sue January 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I’d love to try that Margarita recipe with the Blood Orange Juice! :-)

My concrete knowledge of Italy is lacking but I’d probably start planning a trip based on the art of Italy. My personal planning would proably involve my daughter’s good friend who is Italian/Swiss and currently working on a PhD in Zurich.

Louise January 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I excel at travel. My husband and I have been traveling all over the world for more than thirty years. We always travel independently. My advice is to not try to see the whole country in one trip as you will spend too much time traveling and not enough seeing/doing what you should be enjoying. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are excellent as they have maps of towns which have details about places you’ll probably want to see and actually show walking tours. We went to Tuscany about three years ago in late October/early November. We picked up a car in Pisa and took two days driving to Florence(it’s only an hour away) as we went to food markets, trattorias, etc. along the way. We parked the car in Florence for three days while we did all the museums, cafes, gelatos, etc. We then headed south into Chianti and ended up staying in Panzano for a couple of nights. Dario Cecchini’s shop, considered to be the world’s most beautiful butcher shop, is not to be missed. It smells like rosemary and now has a small restaurant. We spent a day walking around outside of Panzano just looking at the vineyards and farms using maps that the small hotel owner loaned us. After that we had planned to visit several more small towns south of there, but the weather got even better (80 degrees in November) and we decided to go to the beach instead of a couple more ruins or museums. We ended up in Viareggio for a couple of days. It’s where people from Milan go. Even if I don’t win the blood orange juice, I’ll be happy to help you plan a trip. I truly believe there’s no such thing as “a trip of a lifetime” as if you really enjoy it, you can go back again and see some more. :-)

cookienurse January 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I’ve been to Italy twice; Rome is a great starting point, then Florence and Venice. I thought going through with a travel group was beneficial, since I don’t speak Italian and I was in the (safe) company of Americans who spoke English. They tend to bring you to the touristy places of course, but every once in a while, we would break away from the group activity to meander on our own (but not too far away!) We would even miss a few group dinners just to look around the town and experience new things on our own.

Anne January 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Two words: Rick Steves!

Seriously, I’ve been to Italy and am dying to go back and could list lots of favorites, tips, etc., but when traveling to a new place (especially a foreign country), it’s so easy and so extremely helpful to use a travel guide. Rick Steves is a personal favorite, but I’m also a fan of Lonely Planet.

When we went, we did the “big three” as numerous others have suggested: Venice (beware the “taxi drivers” — they will cheat you), Rome, and Venice. While all three were fabulous, if you can, try to give at least one day to driving out into the country away from the cities to explore a smaller, not-so-touristy town or two. I recommend Braccianno and Anguillara, two towns a short ways northeast of Rome on the shores of Lake Bracciano.

Bon voyage!

Louise January 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Anna, you asked if anyone else has wanderlust right now? I’m good for now as I was in Norway in November for about my twenty fifth time. :-D

Heidi January 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

If you are planning a trip to Florence, make sure you sign up to get a ticket to the museums ahead of time, no matter what someone (ahem, Rick Steves) says! The lines can be looooong.

Susan January 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm

We had our once-in-a-lifetime trip the summer before last and spent 10 days in Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Siena, and Venice. It was spectacular. Rome is a wonderful starting point and we spent three nights at a fabulous smaller hotel called the Senato del Albergo. Everyone was so accomodating. It sits right in the same piazza as the Pantheon so that the first thing you see each morning when you step outside is that enormous, ancient building and you can just mosey inside any time you like. Each evening, before dinner, we met our friends up on the rooftop bar of the hotel and enjoyed cocktails while watching the sun set over Rome. I hope you can travel there.

Rina January 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm

p.s. Thanks for holding this contest, it is fun to live vicariously through everyone’s travel experiences. I feel like I’m reading a “choose your own adventure” novel!

Juli January 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I lived in Florence one summer in college, then spent a couple of weeks in southern Italy 15 years later. It’s a beautiful country with warm people and amazing food. The one piece of advice I’d give, is to let yourself go with the flow. Italians are very easy going and a lot less stressed out than Americans. If you allow yourself to let go and explore at a relaxed pace, you’ll have a wonderful adventure. If you get the chance to go, the Amalfi coast is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever seen.

Emily January 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

My mother and I are traveling to Italy this Fall. She backpacked across my Europe 30 years ago and was exactly the same age I will be when we take this trip together, 24. I am looking forward to being with her to experience my first time visiting the country and her first time back since a such a memorable trip.

Carol Ann January 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I would like to go to Tuscany because Tuscan food is so delicious.

Emily January 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I spent several weeks in Italy 2 summers ago. It is all breathtaking, and if you have the time, I would recommend a whirl-wind tour (Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, etc… seriously not one is overrated). My favorite city was definitely Florence. But the most beautiful place, the truly once in a lifetime-I can die now that I’ve been there place, was the Cinque Terra. 5 little cities hugging the Mediterranean coast. You can walk between them on little (slightly arduous) paths. The food is delicious, the people are friendly. Please, visit the Cinque Terra.

Randi January 14, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I’ve never been either and I really want to go. My tips are for hotels. I’m a huge fan of priceline, and to see where I should start my bidding I use I just got a 2.5* at LAX airport for 40.00 on the last night of my Cali trip in March. I have a 6am flight back to Detroit. Because I posted my win, 2 other ppl bid and got the same hotel. Priceline is great once you decide where you want to go.

Laura E. January 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I would love to go to Sicily, where my maternal grandfather’s parents where born. For your first trip you could go the tourist route and go see the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Michelangelo’s David, eat creamy gelato in Rome, authentic pizza in Naples and sit back and relax with a glass of wine in the hills of Tuscany.

Jessica "Su Good Sweets" January 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm

My favorite part about Italy is the gelato. I had some good ones in Milan, in that outdoor glass dome/mall. There is also a chain called “Blue” something. Sorry I can’t remember the names, but you can pretty much get good gelato everywhere, and everyday.

Allison January 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I’m not sure if anyone has written this already, but I hear that Naples is not a good place to visit – especially on your first trip. They say that they locals are rude and it’s dirty. I haven’t been to Italy but I have heard this bit on more than one occasion.

Esmeralda January 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

While living in England, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Venice and Rome. My husband and I visited Venice during the off-peak season so we got a 4-star hotel for less than 100 Euro/night including breakfast (muesli, yogurt/milk, various cold cuts and breads, fruit, juice). Other benefits of traveling off-peak is that the city is less crowded and the locals seem more friendly.

Rome was incredible. My parents and sister joined my husband and me for a week-long vacation. We rented an apartment near the Vatican and it was well worth the money. We used “Rental in Rome”. They have detailed information and pictures on all their apartments in Rome. We saved a lot of money by cooking our breakfast and dinner at the apartment and eating out only for lunch while taking a break from touring. If you are traveling as a family, I would recommend renting an apartment. Also look into the “Roma Pass” and other museum passes which give you access to most of the major museums/sites in Rome without having to stand in the queue to buy tickets. You can usually pick up these passes at the airport. We visited the major tourist sites as well as some not as famous but just as beautiful. If you are a fan of the movie “Roman Holiday”, visiting the “Bocca della Verita (the mouth of truth) is a must.

MS January 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm

We went to Italy in 2004 with Globus Tours. The tour we took was called the “Best of Italy.” For 10 days we went by bus with 24 other Americans and visited Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Venice, Padua, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and Pisa. It was wonderful. Since we don’t speak Italian, our wonderful English-speaking tour guide made sure we got into museums and all the special places. The Italian people were wonderful (they love Americans) and the food was incredible. St. Peter’s, the Roman Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Isle of Capri are some of my favorites. We plan to go back soon as possible.

Kelli January 14, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I just have three words for you: Rome, Easter Weekend. =)

Jessica January 14, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I’d say research Italian food blogs and find out where the locals eat before heading over…

pam shank January 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I too would love to go to Italy. The country side looks so beautiful and to see the foods on
tv with Giada’s tours sure make you want to try it all. I would not know where to begin. I have seen lots of good advise from the other readers. thanks

KristinaYellow January 14, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’ve never been to Italy–but I lived in Germany for awhile and loved it. Something about the beer halls, the hiking trails, the ski slopes, the wine vineyards, and the people–it was amazing, esp around Christmas. I’m hoping that my hubby and I will be taking a trip in a year or so–and we’ll hit Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and England.

I’m currently 8 1/2 months pregnant and have been craving champagne the whole time….perhaps blood orange juice would be a good sub!!

Carolyn January 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Never been, but would love to see the Vatican and the canals in Venice.

jacquie January 15, 2009 at 12:34 am

i have never been to italy nor really thought about going so i’m not sure where i would to exactly. but i would like to visit a
farmer’s market type of place, have gelato at a
spot that local’s love, and do some hiking.

ann January 15, 2009 at 1:17 am

i want to go somewhere where tourists don’t usually go (not sure exactly where but definitely
“off the beaten path”) mainly because we see the big cities on tv all the time. sure, its not the same as visiting in person, but if you’re gonna go all the way to italy, you wanna see some small cities/rural areas for sure!

Kaycee January 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

The last place I went in Europe was Paris. The architecture there is absolutely stunning. I cant imagine anyone could go and not feel romantic in some way!!

kayceewilliams AT gmail DOT com

Louise January 15, 2009 at 7:25 am

Heidi said “If you are planning a trip to Florence, make sure you sign up to get a ticket to the museums ahead of time, no matter what someone (ahem, Rick Steves) says! The lines can be looooong.” This is so true and now you can get many of them over the internet with a specified time so you can avoid going when the bus tours hit the museums. You’d want to see almost all the museums in Florence. It’s an easy walking city with the exception that you have the feeling of being in an old Italian movie with all the Vespas zooming around town, including up on the pavements and going down one way streets the wrong way. To say they are a hazard is an understatement. And, the smell of the two stroke engines is everywhere.
I don’t know if you’ve read about all the heavy rains that Italy had in early December. Here’s some photos of Venice, but the country was badly hit all over.

SJ January 15, 2009 at 7:47 am

Italy is amazing! When we visited Venice, we didn’t take a map with us and just explored the streets. We came upon a typical homey Venetian eatery, hidden in the alleys and we had the most delicious sorbet there! The waiter hand whipped lemon, sugar, egg whites (I’m assuming) in a metal ice bowl until it became frothy/slushy, a bit like granita. Italy has so much: arts and culture, fashion, historic sights…but the FOOD! It always stole my attention.

Christy January 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Skip Pisa! It’s dirty and there is nothing to see aside from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Rome is fun with a lot of great bars and restaurants. Florence has the BEST shopping around, but the worst bread- they don’t use salt!. Venice is gorgeous and very mysterious with all of the winding small streets. I went during Carnivale and it was the experience of a lifetime! Also, the views from Cinque Terre are to die for! And they have the best frutti mare and seafood dishes since they are surrounded by the sea. And although I loved Italy (obviously) I still recommend Austria to anyone traveling to Europe. It’s quaint and bustling at the same time with views of the Alps, access to the top ski resorts in the world as well as designer boutiques. It’s people are freindly, the food is rich and flavorful and as an added bonus it’s connected to Italy :) I studied there and obviously am still in love with the culture and beauty of it!

Jessica L. January 15, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I’ve never been to Italy, but I really want to go! I’d go to Reggio Calabria right at the tip of the boot, because my husband’s family is from there. They talk about it a lot and it sounds wonderful!

michael October 24, 2010 at 1:38 am

I’ve always wanted to visit England, It comes from growing up watching all those British sitcoms, Doctor Who, and even Eastenders! Id love to see it all from London To Stonehenge and everything in between. I think taking a tour of some olsd country estates and Manor houses would be very interesting, and of course there’s always the Royal aspect of it all the historical sites all in all I think It would be an Amazing trip especially if combined with nearby Ireland!

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