4.20.2016

Homemade Thin Mints

Ingredients for the Cookies 
1 cup (8 oz or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature* 
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt
1½ cups all purpose flour, fluffed and scooped*

Ingredients for the Coating
16 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil
1 tsp peppermint extract or oil*

Instructions 
1. Preheat ovetn to 350°F.
2. Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt , vanilla, and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour ad mix just until the flour is combined, making sure not to over mix.
3. for dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together, then flatten into a sick between half an inch and one inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes.
4 Remove the dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin, about 1/8-inch, on a floured surface. Cut cookies using a 1½-inch cutter (a cordial glass that is just under 2" is perfect).
5. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the over and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. While the cookies bake, Make the peppermint coating. Chop the baking chocolate into very small, thin pieces. Place in a glass measuring cup or similar container along with the the oil and microwave in short 15-20 second bursts. Stir in the peppermint extract.*
7. Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off.
8. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer until set (can leave out, but will take a bit longer).

*Notes
Butter: Be sure that your butter is truly at room temperature before you start. if you r butter is cool, the dough will not come together well.

Cocoa: Dutch dark cocoa powder is a good choice.

Flour: Fluff cup the flour int eh canister or bag to loosen it BEFORE you scoop or spoon out your measurement. Level the top of the measuring cup  gently with the back of a knife to get the most accurate measurement in a cup made for dry measurements.

Peppermint: Make sure to use peppermint, not spearmint, and make sure to get extract or oil (must be an oil based), not flavoring. McCormick;s Pure Peppermint Extract or any candy flavoring oil is good. If you can't find it in a local store, you can order it on Amazon.

If you have trouble adding the peppermint extract of oil to the melted chocolate, you can try putting it in with the chocolate before melting. Remember everything must be clean and dry, with no moisture in the bowl.
 
via a view from great island

3.17.2016

3.16.2016

Apple Raisin Bread Pudding

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 loaf (1 pound) day-old cinnamon-raisin bread, cubed
3 cups tart apples, peeled and chopped 
7 eggs, lightly beaten
2-1/2 cups 2% milk 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for Sauce  
 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold milk (can use water)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions  
Pour butter into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine bread cubes and apples; sprinkle over butter. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Pour over bread; let stand for 15 minutes or until bread is softened.   

Bake, uncovered, at 325°F for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. 

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water until smooth. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour over warm bread pudding or serve on the side.

via Taste of Home

3.15.2016

Aprons

I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

3.12.2016

Cinnamon Roll Bites

Ingredients - Rolls
12 oz. can refrigerated biscuits
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Ingredients - Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter an 8x8 inch pan.
Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut biscuits into 4 pieces each and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture until completely coated. Place dough, close together, in baking pan and spread melted butter over the top.
Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Mix glaze ingredients until well combined and pour over warm rolls.

via lil'luna

3.11.2016

Chili Mac 'n' Cheese

Ingredients
1 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small white onion, diced
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
7 oz. kidney beans (1/2 can)
7 oz. black beans (1/2 can)
1.5 Tbsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. seasoned salt
3.5 cups chicken broth
10 oz. elbow macaroni
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
grated cheese (optional topping)
sour cream (optional topping)
cilantro (optional topping)

Instructions 
In a large pot, cook ground beef and onions over medium high heat until browned. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional two to three minutes. Carefully drain any excess fat. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, seasoned salt, and chicken broth. Stir, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Stir in the cheese, and cook for an additional five minutes, or until thickened. Serve with your favorite toppings & enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Cornbread

Ingredients
1 cup cooked sweet potato
2 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2½ Tbsp. yellow cornbread
½ cup flour
¼ cup sugar 
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ cup butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch pieces

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9" oven-safe skillet. Mash the cooked and cooled sweet potato. Wisk in eggs and buttermilk. In a food processor, blend toether the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt , baking powder, baking soda and ginger. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add the potato mixture and stir until jus combined . Pour into prepared skillet. Bake for 30-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.

3.10.2016

Spiced Bread Pudding

Ingredients
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
15 whole cloves
15 whole peppercorns
1/2 ounce crystallized ginger, chopped
5 cups half-and-half, divided
3 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 ounces spiced rum
1 (10-inch) stale French boule
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Whipped Cream and/or Hard Sauce Optional for serving

Instructions:
Place the cinnamon, nutmeg, dried orange peel, cloves, peppercorns, and ginger into 3 cups of half-and-half in a microwavable container and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Check the temperature of the mixture and microwave in 30 second increments until it reaches 180 degrees F. Cover and steep 15 minutes.

Place the eggs and yolks in a blender with an 8-cup carafe. Blend on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Raise the speed to quarter power and slowly add the sugars and blend until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 cups half-and-half. With the machine still running, pour in the spiced half-and-half through a small hand strainer and add the rum. Use immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

Preheat the oven on the lowest (or warm) setting.

Cut a 7-inch round disk off the top of the boule using a long bread knife or serrated slicer. Tear the disk into pieces and scatter in a large roasting pan. Cut all the way around the inside of the boule just inside the outer wall. Cut downward and across the interior of the bread, first in one direction, then 90 degrees to it to create a grid, the way you would cube mango flesh to remove it from the skin. Remove the plugs of bread and tear into hunks about the size of an egg. Add to the roasting pan and bake until bread is dry, 1/2 to 2 hours.

Sprinkle the fruit over the bread, pour in the custard, and press the bread to submerge all the pieces. Cover and soak for 2 hours at room temperature or for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pour the melted butter into a spray bottle and spritz the inside of the bread shell. Be sure to cover the bottom with a thin layer to prevent the custard from soaking through. Place the bread shell in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven to toast the interior for 30 minutes.

Remove the bread shell from the oven and transfer the soaked bread mixture into the shell. Bake until the bread pudding souffles and reaches an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and cool 30 minutes before slicing or scooping and serving.

via Alton Brown

2.18.2016

Change Your Battle Ground

The Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battle ground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.
 

The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly.
 

Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes over your battles.
 

Don't fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battle grounds like the Eagle and let God take charge through your earnest prayer. You'll be assured of clean victory.
 

Pray without ceasing.

2.12.2016

Fiery Triple Chocolate Cream Pie

Ingredients Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
 
Ingredients Chocolate Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
White chocolate shavings, for garnish
Crushed pretzels, for garnish

Instructions for the pie crust: 
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Add the cookies, sugar and melted butter to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cookies are crumbled and the everything is well combined.

Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate, making sure to evenly distribute them up the sides. Use a dry measuring cup to smooth out the crust if necessary. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Cool completely before filling, about 20 minutes.

Instructions for the chocolate filling: 
Put the sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, cayenne and salt in a large saucepan, whisk to combine and place over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the milk, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, butter and vanilla until the chocolate is melted and incorporated.

Spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 3 hours. Garnish with shaved white chocolate and crushed pretzels, and serve.

via Nancy Fuller/Farmhouse Rules

2.11.2016

Cream Kale with Pearl Onions

Ingredients
Kosher salt
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds baby kale
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add the pearl onions and cook 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, pat dry and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stir in the flour, nutmeg and some salt and pepper and cook until the flour is well incorporated and the raw flavor cooks out, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the cream and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the pearl onions, then the kale, little by little, and cook until it wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the Parmesan, taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

2.10.2016

Jalapeno Cornbread

Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Prepare a 10-inch cast iron skillet by heating it in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, add the butter, let it melt and set aside.

Put the eggs and corn in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the corn is slightly smooth. Add the cornmeal, flour, sour cream, sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the jalapeno and melted butter.

Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

2.09.2016

Spicy Three-Meat Chili

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground bison
1 pound ground beef chuck
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
One 28-ounce can tomato puree
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup lager-style beer/beef broth or water
Two 16-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Insructions
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat and add the ground pork, ground bison and ground chuck; using the back of a wooden spoon, break up the meat into small pieces and cook until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the garlic, bell peppers, jalapeno, onion, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes and beer, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the kidney beans and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve hot.

via Nancy Fuller/Farmhouse Rules

1.19.2016

3 Drinks That Clear Sinuses and Destroy Throat Inflammation

It’s getting to be that time again… As the winter season creeps up, unfortunately, so does the cold and flu. Thanks to Healthy Holistic Living, here are three recipes that will help you start feeling better almost immediately.

1. The Hot Pineapple Elixir

Ingredients
½-1 cup pineapple juice
½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp honey

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat lightly to preference.

Why It Helps
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple juice reduce phlegm buildup and sooth the throat. Its vitamin C content strengthens your immune system so that it can better prevent cold symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar helps alkalinize your body. When your body’s in an alkaline state, viral bacteria can’t survive as well. To top it off, cayenne pepper provides the kick that warms your body up internally and fights against fevers and nausea. Honey has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial powers that have made it a natural super-healer for centuries.

2. The Wellness Monster
Ingredients
1 lemon
1-inch piece of ginger
1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper
1 dash of turmeric powder
1 drop of mint extract
1-2 drops stevia (if desired)

Instructions
Juice or blend the lemon and ginger, then add the cayenne pepper, turmeric and mint. Stir. Add enough hot water to double the size of the mixture.

Why It Helps
Lemon detoxifies, bulks up your immune system and fuels your cold-fighting stores of vitamin C.
Ginger breaks up the mucus in the lungs while also soothing sore throats and sinus-related aches.
The compound curcumin in turmeric has serious antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that break up chest congestion and deter coughs.The menthol component of mint is a natural decongestant that plows through phlegm and nasal decongestion.

3. The Raw Deal Tea
Ingredients
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp finely grated ginger
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp raw honey
1 pinch cinnamon
For extra cold-fighting powers, add in 1 drop of colloidal silver.

Instructions
Boil 1 cup of water. Add in all ingredients and stir.

Why It Helps
Like honey, cinnamon is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. These properties help destroy viral bacteria and reinforce immune response. Similarly, colloidal silver is highly antibacterial and antiviral and has also been shown to prevent viruses from getting worse.

via Healthy Holistic Living

1.13.2016

Burned Biscuits - A Lesson We All Need to Learn


When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!

All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing...never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said, "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides--a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"

As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.

I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today...that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket--keep it in your own."
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil--it has no point"

-Anonymous

1.12.2016

Apple and Orange Spinach Salad

Ingredients
5 ounces fresh spinach (half a 10 ounce bag)
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges - or fresh Cuties or Halos
or 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans
Optional: Feta cheese & Orecchiette (little ears) pasta

Dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2-4 teaspoons white sugar - Or use Honey to taste or Stevia
1/8 teaspoon each: paprika, onion powder
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
Throw it all together!

1.11.2016

Chocolate Covered Bacon, Espresso Bean, and Fig Scones with Coffee Glaze

Ingredients
Scones:
1 c. freshly brewed hot coffee
1 c. figs, coarsely chopped
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked
2½ c. flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
½ c. cold unsalted butter
⅓ c. chocolate covered espresso beans (store bought), coarsely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. cream or buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. cream or milk, for brushing
2-3 tbsp. coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Coffee Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. coffee

Instructions
For Scones:
In a medium bowl, combine chopped figs and coffee. Set aside, and allow to soak for at least an hour. After soaking, drain the figs thoroughly. Reserve the coffee.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on low heat, melt together chocolate chips and shortening. Whisk until smooth, and remove from heat. Using tongs, dunk each piece of bacon in the melted chocolate, covering both sides. Tap off any excess chocolate, and place the bacon on a sheet of parchment paper. Allow to set for about 30 minutes (you can refrigerate to speed up the process). Once the chocolate has set, chop the chocolate-covered bacon into ¼-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Fold butter into flour mixture until blended.

Add the figs, bacon, and espresso beans, tossing to combine well. (Mixing them into the dry scone ingredients will ensure they are evenly distributed, and will avoid over-kneading once we add the wet ingredients.)

In a small bowl, mix together eggs, cream, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the egg mixture into the well. Mix altogether until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead dough 10-12 times. Gently form it into a large ball. Place the dough onto a well-greased baking sheet and flatten into a circle about 10-inches in diameter, and about ¾-inch thick. Brush the dough lightly with cream and sprinkle evenly with coarse sugar.

Using a long knife, cut into 8 wedges. Carefully separate wedges on baking sheet, pulling them just slightly apart.

Bake at 400°F for 16-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks.

For Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and coffee. Drizzle over cooled scones. Enjoy!


1.10.2016

Dr. Wayne Dyer - Sueezing An Orange


I was preparing to speak at an I Can Do It conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.

He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

“No!” he laughed.

“What about grapefruit juice?”

“No!”

“What would come out of it?”

“Orange juice, of course.”

“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”

He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point.

“Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”

It’s one of the great lessons of life. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing—your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.

When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you’ve allowed to be inside. Once you take away all those negative things you don’t want in your life and replace them with love, you’ll find yourself living a highly functioning life.

Thanks, my young friend, and here’s an orange for you!

1.09.2016

Candied Pistachio, Apricot, and Orange Fig Scones

Ingredients
1 c. orange juice
1 c. figs, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. water
½ c. pistachios
2½ c. flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
½ c. cold unsalted butter
1 c. apricots, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. cream or buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. cream or milk, for brushing
2-3 tbsp. coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions
In a medium bowl, combine chopped figs and orange juice. Set aside, and allow to soak for at least an hour. After soaking, drain the figs thoroughly. (Discard the OJ or you can use it for a quick glaze!)

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add pistachios, and toss to coat. Spread pistachios on a well-greased baking sheet, and bake at 350°F for 5-7 minutes, or until they're golden and toasted. Allow pistachios to cool completely. Coarsely chop them, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Using a grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Fold butter into flour mixture until blended.

Add the figs, pistachios, and apricots, tossing to combine well. (Mixing them into the dry scone ingredients will ensure they are evenly distributed, and will avoid over-kneading once you add the wet ingredients.)

In a small bowl, mix together eggs, cream, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the egg mixture into the well. Mix altogether until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead dough 10-12 times. Gently form it into a large ball. Place the dough onto a well-greased baking sheet and flatten into a circle about 10-inches in diameter, and about ¾-inch thick. Brush the dough lightly with cream and sprinkle evenly with coarse sugar. Using a long knife, cut into 8 wedges. Carefully separate wedges on baking sheet, pulling them just slightly apart.

Bake at 400°F for 16-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely. Enjoy!


1.08.2016

Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Brown Sugar Streusel

Ingredients

For scones:
⅓ c. whole milk or evaporated milk
1 tsp. vinegar
2¼ c. flour
⅓ c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ c. unsalted butter, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 c. pumpkin spice baking chips (optional)
⅔ c. chopped pecans

For streusel:
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Blend well.

Using a grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. Fold butter into flour mixture until well-blended.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour milk, egg, and pumpkin puree. Whisk until well-blended.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour, along with the pumpkin spice baking chips and pecans. Mix altogether until just combined.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 10-12 times. Gently form dough into a large ball. Place the dough onto a well-greased baking sheet and flatten into a circle about 10-inches in diameter, and about ¾-inch thick.

For the streusel, combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Using one hand as a wall to keep the streusel onto the scone dough, sprinkle the streusel crumbs evenly over the scone dough. Keep as much of it off of the baking pan, and on top of the scones as possible. Press down lightly to press the streusel into the dough. Using a long knife, cut into 8 wedges. Carefully separate wedges on baking sheet, pulling them just slightly apart.

Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool slightly, and serve!


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