April 26, 2010
I think I am going to call these, “oh my gosh they’re so good” blueberry scones because that’s what I said when I tasted one after I baked them today. Seriously the best scone I’ve ever had. I really don’t have much else to say about them except that my mouth is still watering thinking about them and I need to stop typing this and go eat another one! Or maybe I’ll go wrap them up before I lose all control and take them to work tomorrow. These are almost too good to share. So flaky, so buttery…Go make them! I don’t know why I waited so long!
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
makes 8 scones
- 8 Tablespoons cold butter, plus more for brushing
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, frozen
Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater, and freeze.
Preheat oven to 425, and combine the dry ingredients. Stir in frozen butter. Whisk together the sour cream and whole milk, and stir into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined. The dough will be crumbly, but that’s okay.
Turn out onto a well-floured surface, and knead a few times. Roll out into a 12×12 inch square. Using a bench scraper, fold the dough into thirds, then fold into thirds again in the opposite direction to form a square. Roll the dough out into a 12×12 inch square again, and refold. Place on a well-floured plate, and freeze for 5 minutes.
Roll out to a 12×12 inch square for a final time, and press the blueberries into the dough in a single layer. Carefully roll up, as you would cinnamon rolls. Press the roll into a 4-inch wide rectangle. Using the bench scraper, cut into 4 rectangles. Then cut each rectangle diagonally to make 2 triangles.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. At this point the scones can be baked or refrigerated overnight. Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake 18-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.
April 26, 2010
I loooove cheesecake. Turtle cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, oreo cheesecake…but my favorite is really just plain old cheesecake. As a teenager, my younger sister and I shared a room and would watch the Golden Girls at night when we went to bed. We used to watch it at our grandma’s and have always loved that show. Well, if you’ve ever watched the Golden Girls, you know they are always up late at night talking and eating cheesecake! When my sister and I both moved out of our parents’ house, we would still get together sometimes and have coffee and cheesecake.I don’t get to see her much anymore with our busy lives, but every time I eat cheesecake I think about her and our late nights watching the Golden Girls.
I saw this recipe in a magazine this month and decided to make it when some friends came over last week. It turned out so well. It might be my favorite cheesecake recipe so far. It was perfect with some strawberries on top. If you love cheesecake too, try this recipe out. It’s the perfect “plain old cheesecake” recipe when you don’t want anything but cheesecake.
Philadelphia Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake
40 Nilla Wafers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp vanilla, divided
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix wafer crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Beat 3 pkg. cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 50 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely in pan. Beat remaining cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in Cool Whip; spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove rim of pan before serving cheesecake. Garnish with fresh berries if desired.
*I always use a water bath when baking cheesecake. It helps to prevent the cheesecake from cracking when baking. Simply wrap the bottom and sides of the cheescake pan in foil and to prevent any water from seeping in. Place the pan in a pan or dish with sides and cover the bottom of that dish with 1/4-1/2″ of water. It’s easier if you place both pans in place on the oven rack before pouring in the water.
Source: Real Simple Magazine 10th Anniversary Issue, p. 262
August 3, 2009
I am very excited that my parents are coming up today. My dad has a conference to go to near where we live and my mom is staying all week. She is SO excited to see the baby and I’ll be very glad to have some help with him all week. I find myself not getting much done each day because I’m so busy with him. I never knew it would be so hard to run errands in between a newborn’s eating schedule!
Anyway, since my parents will be here I decided to make this recipe since they love sweet quick breads. I normally make them banana or pumpkin bread, but since I had some poppy seeds in the cabinet, I decided to make something a little different. It was really simple to make and the glaze really makes it taste great. You know I had to sneak a piece this morning before serving it to my family! I think this is one of those breads that will get better the second and third day as the glaze soaks into it.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Recipe:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
3 tablespoons (30 grams) poppy seeds
13 tablespoons (184 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
Source: Joy of Baking
July 27, 2009
I’ve learned while being out on maternity leave that there aren’t many things worth watching on daytime tv. You’ve got daytime talk shows, home improvement shows, and then there’s soaps of course. With not much to choose from, I’ve found myself watching Food Network a lot during the day while I’m just sitting and feeding Drew. And trust me, I do a lot of just sitting and feeding Drew. Try every two hours! He’s a hungry boy.
Anyway, while watching Food Network I’ve started making a list of new recipes I’d like to try. Several of the recipes have come from one of my favorite cooks, Ina Garten. I look forward to watching her show every day, Barefoot Contessa, because everything she makes always looks divine and she makes it all seem so effortless. Plus I think she and her husband are cute as a button. I saw this recipe on her show the other day and it really made my sweet tooth ache. When I finally got out to go the store yesterday I got all the ingredients to make it and baked it last night for dessert. It turned out so good but as Ina would say, what could be bad about brownies? I think this recipe has a deeper, richer, more chocolaty flavor than some brownie recipes I’ve made. The only thing that could probably make it better is some creamy vanilla ice cream.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart. (I omitted)
Source: Food Network
April 21, 2009
Someone save me from the bags of ripe bananas in my freezer! I almost always have at least one banana left over from a bunch that just doesn’t get eaten before it’s too brown. I feel bad just throwing it away so that is how I have to come to have several bags of overly ripe bananas in my freezer. Every time I open the freezer door, there they sit and I always intend on making something with them. But we all know what often happens with the best of intentions. They normally turn into regular banana bread or muffins, but I wanted to make something a little different this time. I’ve had chocolate banana bread on my mind this week so today I set out to find a recipe. Joy of Baking has never steered me wrong with a recipe so when I found this one on their website I decided to give it a try. I didn’t have any white chocolate chips so I subbed semi sweet instead which just added to the rich chocolaty flavor. This is a very moist bread and a great alternative to regular banana bread.
Chocolate Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (85 grams) white chocolate chips (I subbed semi sweet chocolate chips)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Turbinado or Demerara sugar (omitted)
February 12, 2009
Do you ever buy fruit or vegetables at the store fully intending on using them up, only to realize a week later that you have not used them up and they are about to go bad? That’s what happened to me with strawberries this week. They were on sale BOGO at the grocery store so of course I got two packages. I went through one package pretty quickly since strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, but the other package was still untouched. I thought maybe I could freeze them but then decided it was about time I bake something.
I had seen this scone recipe on Katie’s blog a while back when she made them, and they were on my long list of things to make. So I decided since I had all the ingredients to go with those. They took no time to make and turned out very tender and buttery. They are perfect for breakfast with coffee or just for an afternoon snack.
Juicy Strawberry Scones
2 1/4 – 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour (depends on how ripe your strawberries are)
1/4 c. granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 c. yogurt
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp orange zest
1 c. fresh strawberries, diced
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment
-In small bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk, zest, whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside.
-In large bowl combine flour, sugar, powder, salt, and whisk to combine.
-Using pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour until all pieces are smaller than pea-sized.
-Add strawberries, and toss to coat.
-Add wet ingredients to dry and mix in lightly with fork until dough just comes together.
-Turn dough out onto well floured work surface and pat into large ball.
-Cut dough in half.
-Shape half of dough into flat disk shape and cut into 8 slices.
-Place on baking sheet and repeat with other half of dough.
-Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar and place in the oven.
-Bake until turn slightly brown, about 25 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
-Transfer to a wire rack and let cool (or eat right away!)
November 28, 2008
I’m back and just in time for a Thanksgiving post. This was my first year hosting Thanksgiving and let me tell you, I was so excited. I’ve always wanted to host turkey day at our house, but we normally go to my in-law’s. But this year, they were out of town and we weren’t able to go to my parents’ so they decided to come here. So my first Thanksgiving was a small one; just me, my husband, and my parents.
My family likes pretty traditional foods for Thanksgiving so I decided I’d play it safe and just make everyone’s favorite foods so there would be no misses. After browsing through lots of recipes I finally settled on the ones I would use. After a lengthy (and expensive) trip to the grocery store I was finally ready to get started. Thankfully, I got off work early on Wednesday so I could get a head start on the prep work. My parents came in Wednesday night so my mom helped me a lot on the actual day. And the verdict? Everything turned out great! But if I learned one thing from hosting my first Thanksgiving it would be that it’s a lot of work! I am so much more appreciative of my great-grandmothers, grandmother, my mom and mother-in-law who have planned and hosted Thanksgiving for many more people than I did for many years now. I would love to host again, but I think I might have to go into training beforehand next time. ; )
On the menu this year:
Garlic and Citrus Brined Turkey
For the brine
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
3 bay leaves
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 gallon water
For the turkey
1 8-10 lb turkey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in 1 gallon of water. Place the turkey in a large stock pot or brining bag. Pour the brining solution over the turkey. Add the sliced oranges, lemons, garlic and bay leaves to the brine solution. Refrigerate over night or place in a cooler with ice. Before cooking the turkey, rinse it well inside and out and pat dry with papertowels. Rub the turkey inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook as desired.
And yes, that is canned cranberry sauce…the only kind my family and I like!
2 cups prepared cornbread, crumbled
2 cups Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix
8-10 crumbled crackers (saltine or club will work)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
chicken broth (about 3-4 cups, enough to make the bread mixture moist)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Begin my sauteing the onions and celery in a little olive oil until soft, about 8 minutes. In a large bowl, combine cornbread, stuffing mix, celery, onion, butter, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth until the mixture is very moist. It will be just slightly soupy but the bread will absorb the liquid. Place in a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake 35-40 min.
Sweet Potato Casserole
(my mother-in-law’s recipe)
3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked until tender (should be easy to mash) about 4 med potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.
For the topping:
1 cup pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), melted
1/2 cup flour
Mix all dry ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. The top should be bubbly and have a golden crust.
Jiffy Apple Pie
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 box Jiffy yellow cake mix
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 325 F. Place chopped apples in an 8×8 baking dish. In a bowl, mix dry cake mix, cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples. Slice the stick of butter into thin slices and place all over the top of the cake mixture. Bake for 35 min or until the top is golden and bubbly.
This apple pie is obviously not a traditional apple pie. It’s best served warm as a dessert topping for vanilla ice cream. Yum!
- 1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
- 1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
- Bake on center rack of oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
- **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
- RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.
- NUTRITION TIP: To reduce calories, substitute new Karo® Lite Syrup for the Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup.
- High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
My only complaint from the whole Thanksgiving dinner was that my pecan pie didn’t set. It’s the first one I’ve ever made and I followed the directions exactly, and it just didn’t set in the middle. I’m not sure why, but I’ll definitely be making another one in the future and hopefully will have better luck with that one.
Along with this we also had green beans and rolls.