Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Scones



Scones:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup of sugar
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, still chilled
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 heavy cream 
1 cup of blueberries
zest from one lemon


Icing:
half a bag of powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1/4-1/2 cup milk (or cream)
4 Tablespoons of softened butter
2-3 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon extract 

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the sticks of butter, and using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  It is work, and will take awhile.  Do not skip this step - incorporating the butter makes the scones light and fluffy.  Add in egg, cream, and lemon zest.  Stir or beat till just combined.  Turn the mixture onto a floured surface, gently add the blueberries, and knead slightly till dry crumbs are all incorporated.  With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large (about 10 inches) circle.  With a sharp knife, cut an X, then a + (this gives you 8 equal wedges - a trick from the Pioneer Woman!)  You can make then smaller if you have them again - if you are serving them for a brunch as part of a meal for example.  Line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment.  Place the wedges on the parchment, slightly apart.  Bake for 22-26 minutes, or till just golden on the edges.  Remove from oven, and cool the pan on a wire rack.  When just warm (not hot-fresh from the oven) frost with the lemon icing, and while icing is soft, sprinkle with more fresh lemon zest.  These are good - I prefer the coffee scones, but these are very nice with fresh blueberries!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Homemade Granola

Maple Cinnamon Coconut Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup almond flour (I bought this in Organic Section of Wegmans) can also use ground Flax seeds
1 cup chopped nuts - I like pecans and walnuts
1 1/2 sticks of melted butter (12 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg or cloves, or both
dash of salt

1 cup dried fruit of choice (I've used raisins, and blueberry craisins) Sometimes, I like to add the fruit when I eat it - it makes it less crunchy when you mix the fruit in and store it!


Preheat over to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, almond flour, and nuts.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter.  Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt.  Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, until they are clumpy and coated thoroughly.  Line a 15x 10 sheet with rims with parchment.  (I use a jelly roll pan) .  Spread the granola mixture evenly, and bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown.  Remove pan, and place on a wire rack to cool.  When completely cool, mix with your choice of dried fruits - I am partially to the blueberry craisins. I reserve some plain for Susan, who doesn't want the fruit in hers.  This is outstanding with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast.  This is what I eat nearly every day.  A serving size is about 1/4 cup. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.  

Coffee & Roasted Pecan Scones



Coffee frosted scones with toasted pecans

Scones:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup of sugar
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, still chilled
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 heavy cream 
1/2 cup toasted pecans (reserve some to sprinkle on top)  
(to roast, put oven on 350, and spread pecans in a pan - cook about 5 minutes, or till fragrant.  DO NOT overcook - they will burn!)  Pulse 1-2 times in food processor, or hand chop.
1 teaspoon of coffee extract

Icing:
half a bag of powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1/4-1/2 cup milk (or cream)
4 Tablespoons of softened butter
1Tablespoon of freshly brewed coffee
1 teaspoon of coffee extract 

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the sticks of butter, and using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  It is work, and will take awhile.  Do not skip this step - incorporating the butter makes the scones light and fluffy.  Add in pecans, egg, cream, and coffee extract.  Stir or beat till just combined.  Turn the mixture onto a floured surface, and knead slightly till dry crumbs are all incorporated.  With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large (about 10 inches) circle.  With a sharp knife, cut an X, then a + (this gives you 8 equal wedges - a trick from the Pioneer Woman!)  You can make then smaller if you have them again - if you are serving them for a brunch as part of a meal for example.  Line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment.  Place the wedges on the parchment, slightly apart.  Bake for 22-26 minutes, or till just golden on the edges.  Remove from oven, and cool the pan on a wire rack.  When just warm (not hot-fresh from the oven) frost with the coffee icing, and while icing is soft, sprinkle with toasted pecans.  These are truly delicious!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bruschetta Style Chicken and Pasta


OK, I'm wincing at my own photography, but this is my cell phone, folks, until I get my new camera out! It's really good, trust me!

Bruschetta Style Chicken and Pasta

1/4 cup sun dried tomato or garlic Italian dressing (I used light Italian garlic by Wegmans)
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled or sauteed
1 lg red pepper, seeded, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion (if you have vidalia, that's great)
1 14 1/2 oz. can Hunts diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic, undrained
1 cup mozzarella or Italian blend shredded cheese
pesto sauce
fresh basil for garnish, some fresh leaves cut in thin strips

Heat dressing.  add peppers, garlic, and onion, and cook till softened.  Add chicken to skillet.  Add tomatoes and fresh basil, and top each piece of chicken with a dollop of pesto sauce.  Let simmer a few minutes.  Top with cheese, and cover to let melt.  Meanwhile, cook 1/2 box of whole wheat thin spaghetti. Serve the chicken with sauce and tomatoes over the pasta, top with additional romano or parmesan if desired.