Category Archives: Uncategorized

Royal Wedding Scones and Tea

Recently, one of my hobbies has been tracking my genealogy. Basically, I’m from Great Britain. In a nut shell, there is some Irish ancestors, some Welsh ancestors, and then loads and loads of English ancestors. It’s no surprise to anyone who has met me. I have three skin options: Casper-the-friendly-ghost-fair, freckled, or hot tamale-burned. Needless to say, the sun and I don’t agree with each other.

Add my interest in heritage to my love of history (plus fashion, weddings and dresses, who am I kidding, I’m a girl and a hopeless romantic) and you have the makings of a gigantic obsession with the royal wedding. I’ve always been fascinated with British royalty. One look at my bookshelves stacked with a borderline unhealthy number of biographies and historical fiction novels about Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudors and you’ll see what I mean. But who doesn’t love a good old fashioned fairy tale love story like William and Catherine’s romance. I certainly do.

So yesterday morning at 5:00 AM, I crawled out of bed, looking quite unglamorous, and enjoyed these scones and a cup of tea in honor of the Royal Wedding. They were delicious and the perfect treat.

Oatmeal Scones

from Gourmet

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus additional for brushing

First, I started by measuring all of the dry ingredients except the oats into a big bowl and whisked together.

I then whisked in the oats until well combined.

The recipe then called for the dry mixture to be poured into a cuisinart and the butter slices added. Since I only have a baby mixer, I had to do it in three parts.

After I finished mixing the three parts of the dry ingredients, I put the mix in a big bowl.

Next, I added the buttermilk and stirred with a fork until just barely a dough. I then turned the dough out onto my floured counter and kneaded a few times.

I then patted flat the dough until it was about a 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, I sliced the dough into 8 pieces. I then diagonally cut the 8 pieces in half.

After the pieces were cut, I brushed the tops with buttermilk.

Then, I sprinkled each slice with a little brown sugar and extra oats and baked them for about 14 minutes at 425 degrees.

Once the scones were just golden brown, I cooled them on wire racks until complete cool.

Then I stored them in my cake display, because I think it’s simply too pretty not to be put to use!


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Blog difficulties

Hello All-

I just wanted to let you know that I am aware the format of my past few posts has been all wonky. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but I’m trying to fix it! Sorry for the mess!


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Brownies with chocolate chips, coconut and caramelized milk

So as you know, I’ve been trying to avoid baking sweets. I certainly have desserts here in there in little bites, but if I don’t have sweets in my house, I can limit the amounts. Occasionally however, despite my best efforts, I have baking explosions. One of those happened on Sunday night. There were sparks, smoke and flames. Despite the craziness, the product was delicious. Actually, it was so rich, I could barely eat more than one. I would make a few changes here and there so it’s a work in progress. But for chocolate fanatics- this is your dessert.

Insane Brownies

Adapted from Southern Living

  • 4  (1-ounce) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
  • 1  cup  butter, softened
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  cup  semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 2  cups  sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1  (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped pecans
  • 1  (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

First, I started by melting the chocolate squares. I needed four squares of unsweetened chocolate. I melted it by microwaving the chocolate for 30 second intervals and then stirring and repeating.





Then, I beat together the butter and sugar.






Next, I added the eggs one at a time and beat everything together again.





Then, I added the melted chocolate and mixed again.






Next I added the flour and mixed again.






Before I poured the batter in the pan, I lined it with tin foil, spray it with cooking spray and dusted it with flour. This technique is definitely not the norm for me, the recipe suggested it so I thought I’d give it a try. It was a bad idea. The brownies stuck to the sides and were nearly impossible to pry away from the foil. Next time, I just use cooking spray.



I stirred the chocolate chips into the batter and then spread the batter evenly over the pan.





Then I sprinkled the coconut over the batter.






Next, I sprinkled the rest of the chocolate chips over the coconut.






Finally, I sprinkled the condensed milk all over the pan.






I baked the pan for 50 minutes on 350. The insides were done perfectly, but the outsides were a little too done. Not that the brownie was bad, but the milk was caramelized and too hard.





These brownies are the ones from the center. Absolutely delicious. I haven’t quite figured out how to make the sides as amazing. But in the mean time we are enjoying these.

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New format….

As many of you may have noticed, I have a new format to my blog! I was bored and wanted to switch things up a little. What do you think?

Although I’m currently loving it, the new format does have a down side. It has definitely screwed up the spacing on some of my old posts. The pictures and text are all wonky! I’m doing my best to remedy that, but I have to do it one post at a time and…..(this is a big secret)…..I’m nearing my 100th post!

So please be patient with me as I sort through the rubble and keep coming back!

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Stuffed shells with marinara sauce

In my search for new recipes, I looked no farther than one of my favorite cooking blogs: Here is the recipe:

It’s very easy and doesn’t require that many ingredients. It also makes a ton so it feeds at least four or two with leftovers for lunch!

I started by mixing the filler: one egg, a 15 ounce container of skim ricotta, some pepper and salt, some dried basil, and some crushed garlic. I think I may saute the garlic in the future before adding it to the mix, but I’m not sure.





While I was putting together the stuffing, I also boiled the shells. I then dried the shells by dabbing them with a paper towel. I then took a spoon and filled the shells until they were almost full. Then, I spread them out  evenly throughout the pan.




I then put some sauce on top and sprinkled some Parmesan and Mozzarella. I then baked for 25 minutes at 350.





Oh, I also baked some of those can biscuits while boiling the pasta and preparing the stuffing. I forgot to take a picture when they first came out of the oven, but these puppies don’t last long around here.





Anyway, I baked for 25 minutes until the sauce was bubbly and the cheese was nice and melty.




Then I served the shells with some salad and the biscuits. A nutritious and yummy dinner!

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Kitchen Gadgets

I have never been much a snob about kitchen gadgets or the materials I use when cooking. I don’t buy the fanciest olive oil, I don’t order spices from a special store, and I don’t buy the highest quality chocolate. Part of the reason I don’t do these things is that I’m on a young professional’s budget. There is no denying that fancy chocolate adds up. Furthermore, unless I am making a really rare, once-a-year type cake, the oober-high quality ingredients taste different enough to warrant the hike in prices. At least for me. Maybe you feel differently.

However (yes there is a however), there are a few things where I will make an important exception. Much like fashion and furniture, I am willing to open my wallet for amazing cookware. This rule is a new one. One of my lovely friends gave me two Le Creuset baking dishes for Christmas. The first is a 4×4 dish perfect for appetizers or souffles. The second was featured in my bread pudding post. They are both shiny jet black on the outside and a beautiful stone color on the inside. They are super dense and HEAVY! I am officially a believer. These things cook like….well it’s their job. While Le Creuset does cost quite a few pennies, when the pennies are available for use, boy is it worth it. I will have to be satisfied with just the two for now, but I can assure you any future kitchen wish lists will include a major appearance by Le Creuset.

Like perhaps this beauty…

Totally expensive? Yes. Could find a similar product for 1/5 the price? Yes. Do I love it anyway? Yes.

While this next exception isn’t exactly cookware, it is a total life saver. Behold the oven thermometer. “Why do you need an oven thermometer? Don’t you set the heat on the oven?” you may ask. I asked the same questions (altough I did so silently in my head as my mom was the one advocating for this tool). But when one of these lovely contraptions showed up in my stocking, I could find no reason not to give it a shot.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I have a relatively new oven and although things did seem to cook fast, typically I was able to prevent burning and under-cooking. My first test was during my bread pudding experiment. The recipe called for the oven to be set at 325. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the oven light and the thermometer read 350 degrees! I turned down the controls to 300, hoping for 325 upon my next visit. This time the thermometer read 330.

If you are interested, you can buy one here:

I took a few lessons from this experience. First, my oven is 30 degrees too hot (kind of a big deal considering baking is such a precise art). Second, kitchen thermometers are not to be underestimated. Third, when my mom pushes a kitchen gadget, and not too subtley I might add…I need to get on board ASAP.

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Christmas Changes

Hello my lovely readers!

In addition to the snow that you should see gently drifting across your computer screen, I thought I’d change up my blog’s appearance a touch for the holidays! I will return to my normal state of things after New Years, but for now, I hope you have a wonderful holiday whatever holiday you choose to enjoy!


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