Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Scones

DISCLAIMER: My intention for this blog is to share healthy recipes and my experiences at mealtime, however, I also like to indulge every once in awhile. I don't bake often but when I do, I use whole foods and organic foods whenever I can. All is good in moderation. :)

I've had this fantasy of curling up with a book, or sewing or blogging with flamenco music playing softly in the background. Regardless of activity, there is always a pot of tea and a scone or two in my fantasy. (I know. Some wild fantasy, right? I'm a 70-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old's body). Anyways, I made some scones last week.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

This recipe was adapted from the Barefoot Contessa at Home Cranberry Oranges Scones recipe, by Ina Garten. I bought a ton of fresh organic blueberries, on sale at Whole Foods. This recipe uses the blueberries I froze and lemon zest and juice in substitution for the craisins and the oranges.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using your mixer, Cream together on the lowest setting:
4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder
2 t. salt
2 T. lemon zest
3 sticks (3/4 lb) unsalted COLD butter. Yes. Three sticks. Cream together until the little butter bits are the shape of peas.

Combine 1 c. heavy cream w 4 eggs. Add that creamy eggy combo into the floury-butter mix. Keep it on the low setting.

Add 1 cup of blueberries. CAUTION: If I had to make this recipe over again, I would use dried blueberries. The fresh blueberries had too much moisture, and created very soggy dough.

Incorporate the blueberries on the LOW setting until they are mixed throughout the dough.
(Pictures courtesy of Eric. He helps me where/when he can.)

Dump the dough onto a clean and floured surface. If the dough feels a little soggy, add a handful of flour to the dough. Knead the dough until you can form the dough into a ball, or something close to it. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the scone dough to be approximately 1" thick. Take a greased and floured 3" biscuit cutter to cut out the scones. I don't have a biscuit cutter, so I just used a juice glass. It did the trick. The recipe says to use and egg wash of one egg beaten with 2 T. of water, but I didn't have five eggs total for this recipe, so I used milk as a "wash" for my scones. Brush the wash on top of the raw scones before popping into the oven.

Bake for 20+ minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. Cool on cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Whisk together 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar and 4 t. of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Once scones are cooled, use a spoon to lightly drizzle the glaze over the baked scones.Enjoy as you read, sew or drive to work in the morning. ;)

Pesto Spaghetti

My poor basil plant. Looks so sad. It went from thriving in the store when I bought it, to turning black from too much water (read: Love), to wilting in the 115-degree heat. I moved the plant to partial sunlight and it receives shade most of the day. It's still hanging on, but so droopy. Maybe I should transfer the basil into a bigger pot too?? Enter Kelly, my insurance agent, who is also a farmer. She surprised me yesterday with a bag of her fresh basil after hearing my black thumb woes. Thank you! Thank you, Kelly!

What do you do with two cups of fresh basil? There probably isn't a wrong answer to this question, but I make pesto with all of this basil. Two cups yields just enough for a dinner and some leftovers between two people, or dinner for four people. I used my handy Whole Foods Recipes app on my phone (free app!) for the recipe:

Easy Pesto

2 c. fresh basil
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. nuts - I used the last of my pine nuts and walnuts
1/2 c. shredded cheese - I had parmesan
1 T. water
1 large clove of fresh garlic
freshly ground black pepper

Pulse in your food processor until it's all ground up.

Pesto Spaghetti

The spaghetti dinner is what I came up with on my own. Using what I already had in my pantry, I sauteed artichoke hearts and grape tomatoes in a little olive oil.

I added 1/2 c. of the pasta water I reserved from cooking the pasta (whole grain spaghetti). Then I dumped the cooked spaghetti into the pan of the sauteed artichoke hearts and tomatoes, along with the pesto. The pasta water is necessary as it adds a little flavor, and the starchy water thins out the pesto, turning it into a saucy consistency. I also tossed the pasta w some walnuts and lemon zest.

Even though the fruits of my labor weren't derived from MY basil plant, it all tasted amazing, just the same.

Food Memories

One of my most memorable food experiences was eating frito-lay cheese dip out of an ashtray. Maybe it was memorable because it was my 27th birthday and I was homesick and missed my Boo, or because I was in Spain where "salsa" is not the same as SALSA and my best friend surprised me with a mini "Mexican" feast of chips, jarred salsa and processed nacho cheese dip for my birthday, or maybe it was because the only "dish" we had in our hotel room was an ashtray. There is a time and place for crappy food, and this was one of them, which made for an awesome food memory, among many food memories in my life.

Contradictory to my cheese-in-an-ashtray story, I am obsessed with fresh ingredients and learning new and healthful recipes. This blog is to share my food experiences, one meal at a time.