Friday, April 29, 2011

Creamy Strawberry Lavender Scones

I love to have scones with my tea.  I especially like the creamy delicate texture of these scones.  The flavor is very subtle.    A hot cup of Earl Grey Tea complements the scones  nicely.

Creamy Strawberry Lavender Scones


2 cups all purpose flour
1/3cup sugar less ½ teaspoon if baking at high altitude
1-tablespoon baking powder (less 1/8 teaspoon if baking at high altitude)
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
2/3-cup heavy cream (an additional 1 tablespoons needed for high altitude)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon dried culinary  Lavender

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1.        In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Grate the butter into the flour mixture. With your hands incorporate the butter in to the flour mixture.  You will have different shapes of butter, some will be pea sized others cornflake size.
2.        In a food processor finely chop the sliced strawberries.  Set aside.
3.        In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the cream. 
4.        Add the egg mixture, fresh chopped strawberries, and lavender to the flour mixture.  With a fork, combine until evenly moistened. The dough will be wet and sticky.
5.        Drop the dough by ¼ cup onto the parchment paper.   Drop the scones 2-inches apart. Note:  You may need to lightly flour the cup and your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. . 
6.        Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 9 scones.          

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Family Favorite: Sweet Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Sweet Chipotle Barbecue sauce is something I try to  always have on hand like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise,   The sauce  has a nice spicy flavor but not too spicy.  The honey compliments the spiciness.     This sauce is great for chicken nuggets, hamburgers, baked beans, and any other foods you enjoy with barbecue sauce.



                        Sweet Chipotle Barbecue Sauce


Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups ketchup
1-cup beef broth
¼ cup honey
1/3-cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcheshire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1-teaspoon soy sauce
1-teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2-tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 cloves of garlic peeled
1 medium onion cut into quarters
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-teaspoon celery seed
1-teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan add all the ingredients.  Stir well. 
  2. Over medium heat bring the sauce to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and cook on low heat for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Remove sauce from heat and let it cool.
  3. Pour cooled sauce in standard blender and blend on high for about one minute or until the sauce is smooth.
  4. Store the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Eats: Pasta Primavera



One of my  very favorite quick and healthy eats is  Pasta Primavera. This recipe is  loaded with asparagus, yellow squash, and spices.  This dish, when served is very colorful, fragrant,  and  great tasting. 


Pasta Primavera

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry multi grain penne pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-pound asparagus
  • 1-pound yellow squash
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1-tablespoon onion powder
  • 1-teaspoon dried basil
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 plum tomato seeds removed and diced
  • Shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese

Directions:


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. While pasta is cooking, wash and dry vegetables.
3. Trim ends off the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Cut each half in quarters lengthwise.     Cut each strip into half inch pieces. Set aside.
4. Slice off tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into half inch pieces. Reserve tips.
5. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
6. Add asparagus (except the tips) to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender - about 5 minutes.
7. Add the squash and cook until tender – about 3-5 minutes.
8. Add the asparagus tips and cook for another 3 minutes.
9. To the vegetable mixture add the granulated garlic, onion powder, basil, salt, black pepper and vegetable broth. Heat for about 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and toss.
10.Once the pasta is done, drain and toss quickly in a bowl with two tablespoons liquid from the vegetable mixture.
11. Remove the vegetable mixture from the heat. Toss one half of the vegetable mixture with the pasta.
12. Place the remaining vegetable mixture on top of the pasta and serve with the shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Serves 6. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Taste of Spring: Strawberry Lemon Tea Bread

My favorite fruits of spring are fresh berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries.  I usually just wash them up and pop them in my mouth.

Today, I set aside some strawberries to make my favorite quick bread - Strawberry Lemon Tea bread.

This bread is nice and moist with a hint of citrus.


 Strawberry Lemon Tea Bread


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1-cup sugar
1/2 -teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Grated zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
     1. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches loaf bread pan.
2.   Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and   cinnamon in a medium-mixing bowl.  Set aside.
3.   In a food processor, finely chop the strawberries.
4.   Add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, strawberries lemon zest, and lemon juice to the dry ingredients.  Stir until the dry ingredients are well moistened.
5.   Fold in the walnuts.
6.   Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
7.   Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean.
8.   Cool in pan for 10 minutes
9.   Turn out bread on a rack to cool.

Makes 1 loaf.