The Mailbox: Reader recipe requests

A pasta salad with tang

I am looking for a recipe for a pasta salad with mandarin oranges, spinach and radishes with a tangy dressing. I found this recipe years ago in The Bee and I seem to have lost it. The dressing included mayonnaise and vinegar. Thank you for your assistance.

Nancy McLeod, Elk Grove



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Sour cream pound cake with buttery orange syrup

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 16

Karen Hoberg of Rancho Murieta was looking for a pound cake recipe that she had for many years. It was baked in a Bundt pan and had an orange glaze drizzled on top. The Mailbox featured a recipe recently that made a cake light in texture, included chopped walnuts and was topped with an orange glaze.

Today’s recipe, from Colleen Valentine of Fair Oaks, was featured in the Bee on June 26, 2002 and is credited to Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef.

Note: The cook time for the syrup overlaps the cook time for the cake. The prep time does not include the cool time after cake is baked.


For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated zest of 2 oranges

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

For the syrup

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter


For the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube (Bundt) pan and tap out the excess flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and zest. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 ¼ hours.

For the syrup: Bring the orange zest, juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Transfer cake to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle syrup over pound cake when you serve.

Per serving: 472 cal.; 6 g pro.; 72 g carb.; 18 g fat (11 sat.,6 monounsat., 1 polyunsat); 123 mg chol.; 142 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 35 percent calories from fat.