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!

Leave a comment

Filed under New Recipes, Uncategorized

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!

Xoxo

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stuffed shells with marinara sauce

In my search for new recipes, I looked no farther than one of my favorite cooking blogs: thissweekfordinner.com. Here is the recipe: http://thisweekfordinner.com/2010/09/07/my-new-fave-go-to-meal-stuffed-shells/

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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… http://www.chefsresource.com/lecreus834qt.html

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: http://www.target.com/Oven-Grill-Thermometer-2-5-Dial/dp/B001G9B7O2/ref=br_1_19?ie=UTF8&id=Oven%20Grill%20Thermometer%202%205%20Dial&node=13003671&searchSize=30&searchView=list&searchPage=1&sr=1-19&qid=1294763092&rh=&searchBinNameList=target_com_category-bin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin%2Cmaterial_type%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin&searchRank=reviewrank&frombrowse=1

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gadgets and Things, Uncategorized

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!

Love!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized