Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tea Time Tuesday: Blackberry Lime Scones

It's Tea Time Tuesday again.  This week I am putting Blackberry Lime scones on the virtual table with my dear friend Sandy.  Pour me a cup my friend!  What are you brewing this week Sandy? I think it is blackberry tea.  hmmmm.

I have no book review this week because I was all last minute with this post.  Nice weather kept me from doing stuff inside yesterday. Except for cooking and, ah hem, baking ... blackberry lime scones.

No words this evening as my bed is beckoning.  Night night!


BLACKBERRY LIME SCONES
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces or 1 stick cold butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 cup blackberries

glaze
2 tablespoons lime juice 
1/2 cup to 1 cup confectioners sugar

Blend together the dry ingredients, including the lime zest.  I like to use my processor for this but its not necessary.  You can use a bowl and a pastry blender or a fork.  Blend in the cold butter until it turns the flour kind of mealy. In a separate bowl stir together the wet ingredients.  Stir the wet into the dry just until combined.  Spoon into a scone maker or even ramekins.  You can also pat into a round and cut into 8 pieces.  Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes.

Remove from pan after cooling for 5 minutes.  Drizzle glaze over top.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kale and Cannelini Bean Soup with a Ham Hock


I got into making soup with ham hocks when I lived in AZ in the mid 90's.  It all started with a recipe for posole.  I couldn't find oxtails at the time so it could have been oxtails that I got into.  I did find ham hocks and it was a great discovery for me.  I have been using them ever since.  Recently, my friend Sandy (from Quilting For The Rest Of Us), turned me on to the ham hocks at an Amish (or should I say, Mennonite) store near where we live.  Great discovery!  Best ham hocks ever!
Soup Tip:  If you make soup a lot you probably already know this.  Most soups are way better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to marry. This comes in handy when you are having a large gathering.  Its something you can do ahead of time.

KALE, CANNELINI AND HAM HOCK SOUP

1 large ham hock
2 large bay leaves
1 large onion (about a cup and a half), chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large potatoes (about 2 cups), peeled and chopped
1/2 to 1 pound of kale, cleaned and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cannelini beans
2-3 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

In a soup pot, soak beans overnight.  Drain in the morning and add a ham hock and chicken stock to the beans, cover and cook on low heat (just barely simmering) until beans are nearly tender.  Add in carrots, potatoes, garlic, kale, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until carrots and potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's Tea Time Tuesday: Double Chocolate Scones


It's tea time again with my good friend Sandy of Quilting For The Rest Of Us. This week we decided to get all dessert on you.  Chocolate!  Click on over to Quilting For The Rest Of Us to check out some amazing teas from Sandy.  

My book this week is The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson.  It's a heart warming story of a wounded policeman who is in the throws of a trauma from the beginning of the book.  The dog's story is interwoven with the man.  The author takes you into the man's despair and the dogs struggle. Together they learn to trust, to the greatest extent possible.  
The Dog Who Saved Me

Double Chocolate Scones
No glaze needed on these.  Dunked in some tea... heavenly


2/3 cup half and half cream 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a food processor or bowl, combine dry ingredients, mix well.  Add in the butter pieces. Blend until the mixture looks like sand or as they say, mealy.  In a separate bow mix in the vanilla, half and half and egg.   Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix only until it comes together.  Even if there are dry clumps in spots, better to pull it out of the processor and knead it together.  Again working it only as much as needed to get together.  Pat into a big round disc and then cut into 8 segments.  I placed them in my scone pan but certainly you can place them on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Test with a toothpick if you are uncertain.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

TEA TIME AND MATCHA COCONUT AND LIME SCONES

It's tea time again with my good friend Sandy of Quilting For The Rest Of Us!  Yeah.  I wish I could have real tea time with her weekly.  But alas, busy schedules prevent such luxuries.  In honor of it being tea time, of course I made scones.




I loved this book!  If I could judge a book by its cover, this was totally right on for me.  The apple and all the tiny lights, magical.  It's a beautiful story of a family of women who all have something very unique about them.  This story is fun and captivating.  The characters are rich.  I love Sarah Addison Allen's characters. (I just finished another one of her books).  She weaves beautiful stories. Very talented.  I am quite sure I will read all of her books.  Here is a link to a blog post that someone wrote about her with a little interview.
MATCHA COCONUT AND LIME SCONES

1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons matcha powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
zest of one lime

Lime Glaze:
juice of one or two limes
1 to 2 cups confectioners sugar
lime zest for garnish

Blend together the dry ingredients, including the lime zest.  I like to use my processor for this but its no necessary.  You can use a bowl and a pastry blender or a fork.  Blend in the cold butter until it turns the flour kind of mealy. In a separate bowl stir together the wet ingredients.  Stir the wet into the dry just until combined.  Spoon into a scone maker or even ramekins.  You can also pat into a round and cut into 8 pieces.  Bake at 350° for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's Tea Time With Pumpkin Chai Scones

Me and my friend Sandy of Quilting For The Rest Of Us have teamed up together to do a Tea Time Tuesday Event.  Each Tuesday, Sandy will review a tea from Plum Deluxe Teas and will pair it with one of my scone recipes.  I am crazy over scones!

Check out Sandy's picks for tea this week and check out her BEAUTiful header!
Ladies' Night
I am going to do a book review with mine.  Well, I am going to try and do a book review every time. Today, I want to tell you about Ladies Night , by Mary Kay Andrews.  First, let me tell you what kind of reader I am.  Since I have had children I can't sit still to read a book.  It just isn't happening.  So, if I "read" a book, it's more like I listened to a book on tape riding back and forth to work.  The kind of books I read are light.  Not too heavy.  No serious issues.  The rest of my life is filled with enough serious issues.  Being a social worker does that.  But personally too, I have enough going on.  So when I read... or listen, as the case may be, I like it light.

Ladies Night was right up my alley.  There was a lot going on in the story but the overall flavor of the book was pretty light.  The Ladies Night group, is a group of divorced women who are thrown together in a support group type of setting.  The story is woven together pretty well with a few twists and turns leading you through the tangled mess of divorce/break up.

This is the second Mary Kay Andrews book I have enjoyed.  I am looking forward to listening to the rest of her books.  They are a pleasure to listen to.  I am always so sad when the book ends.  I miss the characters.  They keep me company on my commute to and from work.


Pumpkin Chai Scones

2 cups flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cream

Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons cream or milk
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, ginger.

Add in butter in small pieces, blend with pastry blender or in a food processor. Flour should become kinda mealy.

In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients, add to dry all at once. Mix just until blended.  Remove from bowl onto a floured surface and pat into a round.  Divide into 8 "pie" wedges.  Place on baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.  They should be just lightly golden around the edges.


Disclaimer:  I received no compensation from Plum Deluxe.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

BLACK MISSION FIG AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER BREAD



I have been listening to A LOT of books on tape.  First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen is one of my recent favorites.  The story is sweet and light and everything I needed for a quick escape.  It has a touch of magic. I cant wait to listen to another of her books.

In the book she wrote about fig and pepper bread. I had to make it, I was totally intrigued.  I made it twice now, the first recipe I did was a little dense but that probably was my starters fault, might have been a little depleted and in need of a feeding.  Today I made it again and used my own ideas about it and was happy with the way it came out.   I will definitely make it again.  Today I found a recipe for it from the author.  That was not on my cd , though I heard it was in the book.  I am totally going to try that one next.

BLACK MISSION FIG AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER BREAD

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
10 dried mission figs, chopped into pieces*
1 1/2 cups water

Mix flour, salt, pepper and yeast until blended, by hand or with whisk attachment of mixer.
Add the warm water. Then the figs. Knead for 10 minutes, or use dough hook attachment of mixer for 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and springy. Add in a little flour or water by the tablespoon to get it just right.

Oil a large bowl, place dough inside, and cover bowl with a damp hand towel.  Let sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.


Turn into a Dutch Oven and cover, let rise for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450°F.  Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Remove top and finish baking for another 15 minutes or so.  Check with temperature gage for 190- 200
° F.  Remove from oven, turn out on wire rack. Let sit for one hour.


*My figs were a bit old.  I chopped them up into smaller pieces and poured boiling water over them and let them soak.  I used the soaking water in my recipe, combined with some cool water to bring the temp down.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stuffed Cabbage, also known as, Galumpki's



Galumpki's  (phonically spelled go-wump-keys, with the emphasis on wump). Says an English speaking Polish person.  This is how it is pronounced, in our family anyhow,

It's crazy how cabbage can be so different.  I need to talk to a farmer about this.  If you know, please tell me.  Sometimes cabbage comes off in thin leaves all the way down to the core.  Other times, as you get closer to the center, the leaves start to get very thick and curly.  It must be two different kinds of cabbage but honestly I need to know so I don't run into this problem again. I think it might be Spring and Winter cabbage????  Anyone know the answer to this conundrum?

If you make stuffed cabbage make sure you get the thin leaves all the way down to the core kind of cabbage.  The thick leaves are very hard to work with and just don't deliver the end product I like.  I really must try this again when I find the perfect cabbage.

I grew up on this dish.  My Mother is Polish and she also grew up on this.  I remember she always made it with mashed potatoes.  We would pour the juice over our mashed potatoes.  I would swirl it around together on my plate, playing with it.  Truth be told though, I didn't care much for cabbage when I was young.  I never ate the 'wrapper'.  Now, its a different story. As I really do like cabbage but in the Autumn I end up getting sick of it. Then it reestablishes itself in the kitchen in later winter as the source of an inexpensive vegetable for a meal.  Then there is Spring Cabbage- best cole slaw! But I digress.

When I went to Poland with my friend, like, a thousand years ago, her cousin made hers almost the size of cigars.  I really liked that... a lot.  Definitely need thin cabbage for that!

Stuffed Cabbage/Galumbki
You can use all beef if you like.  You can use cooked rice instead. Your preference.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
1 cup onions, diced
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 head cabbage

Sauce
1 cup tomato paste
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar

Saute onions in butter until golden.  Set aside to cool.

Place a large pot of water on to boil.  Add salt to the water.

In a large bowl combine: beef, pork, rice, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper. Add in cooled onions.

Core cabbage head.  Place whole head of cabbage into water.  Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Take cabbage head out.  Carefully remove leaves one at a time.  Any broken leaves can be used at the end to cover the whole casserole.  Alternately you can soften leaves one at a time.

Place about 1/3 of a cup of filling into a leave and roll up tucking in ends.

Mix ingredients for sauce.  Spoon some sauce into the bottom of  the casserole dish.
Line bottom of casserole dish with some broken leaves, this will help keep your rolls from burning.
Place your rolled cabbage, tucked neatly in rows.  Remember they will swell a little as they have uncooked rice in them.  So don't pack too tightly.




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