Monthly Archives: January 2013

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

What’s fun and sweet and better with friends?

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Birthday Parties!

Oh… right… and scones!

I thought the bright flavors of blueberry and lemon would be the perfect thing to make for my best friend’s birthday.

We were in for a great night celebrating a sweet friend we all love. Lots of catching up, laughter, and last but not least… tasty finger foods.

And I can’t promise you we didn’t watch YouTube videos for at least an hour.

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That’s Megs on the left with the gorgeous red hair!

But this is us most of the time…

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I’m not even sure our friendship can be completely explained. It’s just this wonderful concoction of laughter and goofiness, encouragement and understanding sprinkled with lots of love and quirkiness!

She has been a huge encouragement to me in starting and progressing on this blog (thanks, Megs!). Meanwhile, she is a super talented photographer, writer, marketer, and aspiring business woman extraordinaire who is going to do great things in this world.

Check out her amazing website!

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Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze; Tyler Florence – Food Network

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Glaze

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 lemon, zest finely grated

THE PREP:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

You can make the lemon glaze in a double boiler, or for a simpler alternative, you can zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners’ until dissolved in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water for the double-boiler method, or in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Either nuke the glaze for 30 seconds or continue whisking in the double boiler. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

TIPS: I didn’t have heavy cream so I used 2% milk instead and I added some vanilla to the scone mixture. I also made these into mini-scones to stretch out the number and for easier pick-up-and-go party eating.

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Make ’em for your best friend and have a smashing ol’ time eating devouring them together.

Enjoy!

Jordan

Simple Black Bean Chili

Do you ever look in your pantry and realize you should probably use up some ingredients before you run out to the store and buy more and wind up with so many canned items you could survive a two week blizzard without any trips to the store?

Yeah, me too.

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And that, my friends, is how I came to make this black bean chili using pretty much only pantry and fridge staples.

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Simple Black Bean Chili; Recipe or Not

1 28oz or 2 14oz can(s) low-sodium black beans

1 28oz or 2 14oz can(s) diced tomatoes

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 celery stalks, diced

1 ½ T. chili powder

¾ t. ground cumin

1-2 T olive oil

2 T flour, optional for adding thickness

Salt & pepper to taste

Toppings – cilantro, cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips, crackers

THE PREP: Heat a large pot to medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Add the garlic for a minute and then add the onion and celery, cook for a 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, if adding, chili powder and ground cumin. Stir until evenly combined. Add the cans of tomato and black beans. Cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper as needed.

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Now how to use up the remaining eighty-five cans in my pantry…

Hope this recipe helps you free up some pantry space!

Jordan

Roasted Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup

Also known as Roasted Goodness & Yumminess Soup.

I’ll just tell you up front when you pop the cauliflower and garlic in the oven to roast, you and anyone you are cooking for are going to have to dig deep to find the patience to actually finish making the soup because the roasted veggies smell so heavenly on their own.

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In other news, we took our Christmas tree down over the weekend.

(insert sad sigh here)

It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of January already. When did that happen?!

Guess I was too busy making soup.

In other other news, it’s birthday week this week.

Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday and Friday is my bestie’s birthday!

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I found this recipe on the blog Two Peas and Their Pod (how adorable is that title?) which I have also started following.

I tell ya… the list of blogs I read grows by the day but there are so many great bloggers and recipes out there to be discovered!

Roasted Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup; from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 ( 1 1/2 pound ) head of cauliflower
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bacon for topping, optional

THE PREP: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower and garlic cloves in the olive oil until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place on a large baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast the cauliflower until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Chop up the roasted garlic. Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, vegetable broth, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend the soup until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, as needed, and remove from heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm. Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

Or do like I did and fry up some bacon or turkey bacon and crumble it on top for additional savoriness.

I highly recommend it.

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*slurp*

Enjoy!

Jordan

Eggplant Fritters

We are members of a local farmer’s co-op program and every week we have the option of ordering and picking up a produce bag filled with lots of locally grown, organic fruits and veggies.

I love having the opportunity to support local farmers and, at the same time, benefit from their produce grown au naturel.

Here’s what else I love about the co-op produce bags…

I have NO idea what will be in them!

Until they’re picked up.

You may be thinking “well that’s weird… wouldn’t you want to know what you’ll be getting?”

No! Because I get stuff like eggplant that I have not yet crossed paths with in my dawning cooking career. So I am then forced to search out a delectable recipe for whatever newfound fruit or vegetable comes my way.

And every week contains a different variety. It’s a cooking challenge.

Challenge accepted.

Now go eat some eggplant… that looks like burger… but really its eggplant… I’m telling the truth…

They really are quite delicious.

Fritters

Eggplant Fritters; adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 large eggplant

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, can be substituted for dried parsley

1/2 cup fresh or dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

THE PREP: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut eggplant in half; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place in oven; cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven; when cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a strainer to drain. Transfer drained eggplant to a bowl; add garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan, egg, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Form mixture into 2-inch patties.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties, and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

I dare you not to get hooked on these.

Nom nom nom,

Jordan