All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Monday, April 22, 2013

Honey drizzled apple scones

It's still cold here, and windy for days.  Patiently waiting for the weather to warm up, but Spring is definitely on the way because the daffodils are blooming.  This morning I woke up early with a passionate desire for a hot scone..... but which one?  I wanted a not-too-sweet scone, or maybe, hmmm, apple cobbler?  So I took a little from one recipe (the juicy cobbler) and combined it with my favorite scone dough.  Just before it went into the oven I drizzled them with the beautiful local honey I'd bought a few weeks ago.  The honey baked into the dough, so they weren't sticky, but had that delicious warm honey taste and scent.

So, so good.  So good that I drizzled a little more honey on my plate and dipped the warm scone into it, feeling much like a hungry Winnie the Pooh.

Honey drizzled apple scones

This makes 8 scones.
Preheat oven to 360F. 
Line a jellyroll/cookie sheet with clean foil or parchment.

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped, about 1 heaping cup
1 T. cinnamon sugar (I mix my own to taste) sprinkled on the apples
Toss the apples a little and set aside.

2 cups King Arthur flour
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4ths cup buttermilk plus more as needed 
  (you don't want the dough to be too wet, so add more 
   buttermilk tablespoon by tablespoon if needed)

Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and butter pieces in mixer bowl.  Mix well, making sure the butter is incorporated, though a few bits and flakes of butter are fine.

Add the cinnamon sugar-apple mixture to the flour mix and mix briefly.

Add the buttermilk and mix quickly.  If it's too dry, add a tablespoon or two more buttermilk until it forms a ball.
Remove dough to a floured surface and pat into a circle.
Cut the circle into 8 pieces and place triangles on baking sheet.
Drizzle honey generously on the tops of the scones.

Bake for 25 minutes, cool briefly, then remove and cool further on a rack.
They tend to stick because of the honey so remove carefully.


What I've been reading:

The Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths
Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome Noah! ( and a blissful stuffed veggie salad sandwich)

Oh, what a week!  On the 13th, we welcomed Noah to this world, born at 1:10 in the morning.   I woke up at 3 am and nibbled my fingers, not knowing what was going on, and made muffins, unable to sleep.  A few hours later, we got the news, and gathered at the hospital to greet a tired Mom and a squeaky little boy.  Izzie bounced into the room, arms out, to hold her little brother, glowing with excitement, while I, as Grandma, was relieved .  Who remembered how wee those newborns are?  Not me.

Back and forth to the hospital, until they were released on Monday.  Monday, Patriots Day in Boston,  IRS day,  and the Marathon, and then the shock and sorrow of the bombings.  Visits to a settling in baby, sleepy parents, and several glasses of green smoothies while I tried to remember what families with little ones like to eat.  I've forgotten all that, to my surprise.  But I managed to make my favorite stuffed pitas with crunchy cabbage and spinach,  thinly sliced scallions and parsley, and tiny, wee grape tomatoes, a kale and lentil soup with cumin , and I've forgotten what else.  Honestly.  Clearly I have to get up to speed here.  But not just yet, not while the flag is at half staff, not when I think about that little 8 year old that died on a beautiful day in Boston.  

Veggie Salad Sandwiches:

You can use a very sharp knife or a Kitchenaid shredder cone to slice the cabbage.  

2 cups shredded fresh green cabbage
1 1/2 cups finely sliced de-stemmed spinach
1 container very small grape tomatoes, whole or halved
5 scallions (green onions) trimmed and sliced by hand
1/2 cup minced Italian parsley

Toss together in a large bowl.


4 T. mild olive oil
4 T. red wine vinegar or herb vinegar
1 t. dried oregano
cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Optional:  1 cup cottage cheese, mixed in well

Eat as is, or stuff into pita halves.

A year ago:  carrotcake cupcakes - and a surprise!  Eeek!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Savory cherry and cranberry jelly with basil

I made up a jelly last night thinking to use up the frozen cranberries I'd stashed in the freezer last fall.  I added a handful of frozen, unsweetened dark cherries, and a few sprigs of basil.  Instead of reviewing my 20 minute jam recipe, I plunged ahead and added equal parts water and sugar, plus lemon juice.  I simmered for maybe 20 minutes, took a quick reading with the candy thermometer, and took it off heat before it reached 240 degrees.

While the jelly was tasty and tangy it was a little softer than usual - fine for poached chicken sandwiches, but not quite as firm as I expected.  It made a little over one jar of jelly, which I think I might try on roasted chicken, brushed on halfway between raw and sizzling.  And now I see what went wrong - adding water, though cranberries tend to the dry side.  Next time I'll try half cranberries, half cherries, with half the water and a little more sugar, and making sure the temperature reaches 240 degrees.  Here is the recipe I used, made up spur of the moment:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 cup frozen dark unsweetened cherries
3 T. fresh lemon juice
8 or so fresh basil leaves

Bring water, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil.  Stir in the cranberries and cherries and basil leaves.  Make sure you have a candy thermometer on hand and simmer/slow boil until it reaches 240 degrees.   Remove basil leaves if desired, strain into a pitcher (discard the solids) then pour immediately into a clean jar, let cool, then cap and keep in the fridge for instant appetizers (on Breton crackers), or as a glaze.  Equally good on chicken sandwiches or sweet butter and jelly sandwiches, or served up with goat cheese toasts  - such a pretty color!

Yesterday as I drove into the driveway, I caught a glimpse of a young deer just across the road, not 25 feet from me.  It didn't seem alarmed by the car, but I think I would have scared it off had I opened the door - so I sat in the car and watched it grazing on greenery.  The little yellow kindergarten bus went by, not ten feet away, and it didn't even blink.  Even though I now know who's been munching my little garden the last few years, I couldn't be cross with this reminder of wildness.  I only wish I could've gotten a picture of the deer, but it would've been long gone as I opened my door, but here is where it was grazing!

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting updated

This is the updated recipe for that beautiful carrot cake I made for Easter.  As usual, I used a scribbled over recipe glued into my black recipe book, without carrying the changes over to the blog recipes.  Nothing monumental, just tried and true adjustments that I forgot to post.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease two cake pans ( I used two 8 inch by 2 inch cake pans).

The cake:

4 eggs
1  1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups King Arthur flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
3 cups coarsely grated carrots (much preferred over finely grated)

Beat the eggs, then add the sugar and oil. 

Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and cinnamon and mix.

Add the grated carrots and mix again.

Scrape into prepared cake pans, filling just about halfway.

Bake for 40 minutes or so - the baking time can be affected by the moisture content of the grated carrots.  To test doneness, gently press the middle of the cake.  If it springs back, it's done.  If it's still looking not fully baked, give it another ten minutes.

Remove cake to cooling rack and let sit until cooled.
Run a dull knife carefully around the cakes, gently prying up the bottom edges.
Flip cake pan over onto cooling rack and knock the bottom with the knife handle before unmolding it carefully.  Let completely cool before frosting.

The cream cheese frosting:

1 large package cream cheese
1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, softened
2 T. fresh lemon juice ( or more to taste)
one box confectioner's sugar

Whip ingredients in mixer bowl and spread or pipe onto cake.

Just seeing this piece of carrot cake is making me hungry again!  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

easter leftovers and mexican chocolate scones

Do you still have Easter leftovers?  I'm thrilled that I finished off the the leftover ham yesterday - baked in a little tiny casserole with white sauce and peas and pasta.  Today's lunch was the last of the brightly colored eggs in a classic egg salad with fresh dill and hot relish.  And my dessert?  I sent the carrot cake home with the kids so I had a splendid excuse to make Mexican Chocolate scones this morning, some for me, some for a teenager I know who said this was his favorite recipe of all.  With all the sweets we inhaled on Easter Day, I'm  craving just a little bit more, before I faithfully go back to eating healthy.  ( I can hear my mother as I wrote that last word:  "It's healthfully and healthful, not healthy!" )  Hope you're enjoying the sunshine today!

Mexican Chocolate scones:

2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup buttermilk ( if the mixture is dry, add another tablespoon or two, but be careful not to make the mixture too wet)

 Preheat oven to 350F.
Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in mixer bowl and mix briefly, then add the butter and mix until the butter is incorporated well.  If you can see little bits of butter, that's fine.
Add the milk chocolate chips and buttermilk and mix until it JUST comes together.

Gather dough and pat in a circle.  Cut the circle in half in one direction, then half in the other direction, so you have four large quarters.  Cut each quarter in half, so you have eight triangles.  Place scones on a baking sheet and bake for about 22 minutes, or until the scones feel light and are slightly browned when you pick one up.   

Place scones on a cooling rack to cool.