Tag Archives: recipe

A Duo of Scones

17 Jan

When Hubby and I are with our friends for the weekend, we have a tradition of going on Saturday “rounds.”  We visit a local bookshop, fun stores, and a coffee shop or two. For me, this often includes splurging on a scone.

Scones are my weakness; there is literally nothing that breaks me faster. Whenever I explore a new bakery, I can’t help but try one of their scones.  A perfect scone should be flaky, NOT DRY, and have a hint of sweet – and it should certainly not be muffin like.

Some of my favorites include the apricot scone from Bittersweet in Chicago, the buttermilk currant scone from Tartine in San Francisco, and the ginger scone from Atticus in New Haven. Not to mention the smattering of scones in England and Ireland that I’ve had the fortune of trying. My love of scones, combined with my love of Downton Abbey, make me think I should bring tea time over the pond. (Though scones might be why giving up gluten for 3 months made me lose weight…. Oh well – there is nothing wrong with an occasional splurge. Or with re-watching all three seasons of one of the best shows ever.)

Here are two versions of buttermilk scones, adapted from the Tartine cookbook.

BlueberryButtermilkScone

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Nougat de Montelimar

15 Jan

Although I’ve never been, I’m sure France is my favorite place in the world.  I dream of Parisian cafés and shops where I can buy any flavor of macaron.  Boutiques with fashionable clothes and tiny cobblestone streets off of plazas.  Even just the word they use for districts makes me smile: arrondissement. Hubby and I have a plan to go; and when we eventually make it, I know it will be as spectacular as I’ve imagined.

Though lacking the colorful splendor of macarons, this French candy is delightful.  Full of nuts and sweet with a hint of honey, its flavor is worth the post new years splurge.  It’s similar to the italian torrone, with just a tad more chew to it.

I won’t lie to you – this isn’t an easy endeavor. If you are adventurous (and own a candy thermometer), save a good couple hours to make this treat – and be warned that it has to harden overnight. Even so, I don’t regret the time I put into making this french confection.  And since it makes so much, there is plenty to package up and share with friends (perfect for holiday gifts).

Nougat2

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Coconut & Pecan Breakfast Cookies

12 Jan

An on-the-go breakfast is often a necessity; I didn’t leave enough time after my workout, I woke up late, I stayed up past my “bedtime”, etc.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  On these occasions, I all to often turn to my friend, the Kind Bar.  And although they are delicious and not filled with processed junk, I didn’t make them myself.

Here’s a make-ahead breakfast for those rushed days – an easy grab on the way out the door.   Filled with pecans, coconut, fruit, and oats and sweetened with only bananas and a touch of agave, these “cookies” hit the spot (though some might argue if you try calling them dessert).

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Homemade Cocktail Bitters

10 Jan

I have a secret: I want to be a bartender.  (I even took a week long bar tending class but left after day 1 – long story but I don’t think it would translate well to text. ) Only I don’t like to stay up too late, am often called shy, and sometimes like to mix in my pjs. So for now, my home bar will have to do.

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I must say, I can’t complain.  Hubby and I have collected a number of different things that fill out our bar nicely.  And mixology is a lot like cooking – you can experiment with quantities and mixtures quite a bit to find tastes that suit you.

Two things that help with this are special liqueurs and cocktail bitters.  Both of these can turn an ordinary rye or vodka drink into something far more complex. And since you can make bitters at home, I did.

Bitters are relatively simple to make, but they involve some funky ingredients (bitter spices) and time.  Not hands on time, but storing jars in your closet and shaking occasionally time. They are worth it though. Your cocktails will thank you and so will your friends – bottled up they make excellent gifts.

Bitters

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Blueberry Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

7 Jan

At Rosh Hashanah, my favorite part of the holiday is Tashlich, where we take bread and cast it into water, reciting things we want to leave behind from the previous year.  In this way, we are ready to take on the new year with a clean slate.  Although New Years Eve comes and goes, with exciting parties or not, the new year forges ahead and we think of what we will change and make promises to ourselves about the months ahead.  It is important when making our “new years resolutions” that we allow ourselves a clean slate – letting go and forgiving ourselves for things of the past, so we can fully enjoy the splendor of the new year.

For me, new years resolutions must be simple and attainable.  Making short term goals allows me to find success sooner, which often buoys me to continue in my pursuits throughout the year.  So with no regrets from last year (no should haves or could haves), here are two of my goals for the remainder of January:

  • post at least twice a week here
  • make a dent in my pantry and freezer

Luckily, these are two very compatible goals.  The first fruits of this are this incredible frozen yogurt; it’s tangy and bursting with juicy blueberries and dark chocolate chunks. It’s made completely from items in my fridge, freezer, and pantry and, with under 8 ingredients, practically no fat, and no refined sugar, it’s sure to meet someone else’s new years resolution. (It also allowed me to use my ice cream maker that had been gathering dust. Another possible resolution for the year: breakout all my fancy cookware?)

Blueberry Chocolate Chunk FroYo

 

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