Easy Basic Scones

Adapted from my Joy of Cooking cookbook, this scone recipe only has four ingredients. Hard to go wrong with that!

tmp_24817-WP_20171001_08_10_16_Pro315399680

Scones

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

2) Sift dry ingredients together.

3) Add cream and mix together until barely combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and handling it as little as possible, pat or roll into 3/4″ thick round.

4) Cut into 12 wedges, place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes, or until scones are golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Notes:

– I’ve substituted 1 cup of flour for pastry flour with success.

– To use as a base for strawberry shortcake or other dessert, add 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients for a sweeter scone.

Advertisements

Zuppa Toscana

One of the restaurants I miss is Olive Garden. I learned long ago that some things are worth the time and effort to recreate, like their signature soup.

I don’t remember where I originally found this recipe, but it has been in my little wooden recipe box for years.

tmp_24694-IMG_20170825_124156347297074

Zuppa Toscana (Yield: 6-8 servings)

1 (8 oz) pre-cooked sausage (smoked or hot), chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 red potatoes, chopped
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
4-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1 quart water
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
(OR
a couple dashes of hot sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a large pot, melt the butter and saute onions and garlic.
2) Add chicken broth, water, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
3) Add remaining ingredients and simmer until heated through and kale is completely wilted and darker green, between 5-10 minutes.

Serve with your favorite bread product!

Notes:

Traditionally I think the soup uses a pork sausage, but I use turkey or chicken.

Reduce cooking time even more by pre-cooking the potatoes in the microwave or using leftover baked potatoes.

For times when I didn’t have sausage, I have cooked up to 1 pound of ground turkey instead with fine results.

If you like thicker soups, reduce the water by 1-2 cups.

Sloppy Joes

Perhaps this is another “doesn’t everyone know how to make this?” post, but up until a couple years ago, I actually didn’t know how to make this. The recipe below is adapted from my The Joy of Cooking cookbook and is my personal favorite. The majority of the kids like it too, so that’s a bonus.

tmp_12959-IMG_20170812_1322001301780754

Sloppy Joes (Yield: serves 6-8)

1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
a few dashes of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and stir for another minute or so. Transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.

2) Add beef to the skillet and break it up, cooking until it’s just browned. Return the onion mixture to the pan and add the ketchup, water, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

3) Partially cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

Serve over your toasted bread of choice.

Oatmeal Cookies

One of the Dearliest’s favorites.

tmp_16390-IMG_20170810_1241091008034957

Oatmeal Cookies (Yield: About 4 dozen)

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
(to use honey instead, see below)

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup nuts or raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
3 cups old fashioned oats

1) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
2) In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars.
2) Beat in eggs one at a time.
3) In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4) Gradually mix dry mixture into wet.
5) Stir in nuts/ raisins/ oats.
6) Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet, then bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden.
7) Remove to cooling rack.

For times when I want a slightly healthier cookie (for me, this means no refined sugar), I have successfully adapted this recipe to honey. The texture is not quite the same, but it’s still a nice, chewy oatmeal cookie.

Instead of brown and white sugar, substitute:

3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon molasses

To compensate for the extra moisture, add 1/4 cup to the flour (making 2 cups total).

Sometimes I use half wheat flour, as it adds a little nutty flavor.

Deviled Eggs

Today’s Craving: Deviled Eggs

tmp_4262-IMG_20170808_1355471823094089

Yes, this is a paper plate. I make no apologies for it.

I went off this recipe only I didn’t really measure, did everything to personal taste, and cooked way more than 6 eggs (not pictured).

1) Boil some eggs. I like the Alton Brown method of: submerge eggs in cold water, bring to rolling boil, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. Then plunge into ice bath, or run through cold water, or whatever your preference is for stopping the cooking process. I never end up with green edges on the yolk with this method.

2) Slice in half lengthwise, spoon yolks into small bowl, and mash away. Mix in:

  • mayonnaise
  • mustard (I like about a 2:1 ratio of mayo:mustard)
  • a few splashes of worcestershire sauce
  • a couple drips of Frank’s buffalo sauce (next time I will actually try adding more…I was surprised how much I liked this addition)
  • salt and pepper to taste

3) Fill your eggs. Piping is great for a neat, uniform presentation, but I was hungry. Spoon plopping works just as well.

4) Dust with paprika. Or cayenne for more kick!

A Dinosaur Tiramisu

I’m partial to a dusting of cocoa powder on top of my otherwise chocolate-less Tiramisu, but it makes it hard to decorate with party themes. A few years ago I came up with a solution:

Paper stencils!

1) Make your Tiramisu. This year Arc asked if I could make orange dinosaurs. I figured whipped cream is white, it’s as good a food coloring canvas as any, right?

tmp_17947-WP_20170325_20_03_00_Pro232686369 tmp_17947-WP_20170326_14_47_50_Pro-1669644307

2) Find line art online of whatever it is you want to put on your Tiramisu. Or draw your own, if you like. I managed numbers my first go at this whole method. Details are not your friend, so keep it simple (I tried to keep the dinosaurs’ teeth. It didn’t work.). Also, measure. My triceratops ended up being 1/8″ too long to fit!

tmp_17947-WP_20170326_14_39_04_Pro1111985510

3) Cut out your art. If you want to try some 3-D effects on your 2-D surface (like I attempted on last year’s train), be aware that it doubles or triples the time investment between cutting and arranging.

tmp_17947-IMG_20170328_1352101174984130

4) Arrange your cut stencils on the whipped cream. Don’t press down any more than you have to.

5) Dust with cocoa powder.

6) Remove stencils carefully with a toothpick or knife. Use a toothpick to smooth out any areas that need it. (On hindsight, making the T-rex stencil into two parts would have made getting it up easier.)

tmp_17947-WP_20170326_15_02_04_Pro-1914496573

This post is brought to you by Arc, who wanted Tiramisu two birthdays in a row. Strawberry roses just don’t cut it for him. 😛

tmp_24102-IMG_20170328_135722-1576459162

Cuisinart Blade Recall

Anyone who uses a Cuisinart food processor may want to look into the blade recall.

I filled out the form weeks ago even though my blade was undamaged and am still waiting for my replacement. Just in the last week, my blade developed small cracks around two rivets, and I don’t feel I can safely use it anymore.

I receive the occasional update from Cuisinart assuring me they haven’t forgotten me and my new blade is coming soon. Until then I’m back to processing by hand!