Raspberry Oat Scones

Image

January is National Hot Tea month. What better to go with a cup of tea than a warm scone?  January also being a month of resolutions to eat more healthy, I went looking for a scone recipe that had some nutritious value but still tasted great.  These scones are chock full of old-fashioned oats and fresh raspberries and get their bold flavor from ginger and lemon zest.  As far as scones go, they baked up moist with a lovely crumb.  Spread them with a smear of raspberry jam to sweeten them up, if desired.

Raspberry Oat Scones

Adapted from Good Housekeeping

  • 1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats, plus more for topping
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter(1 stick)
  • 6 onces of fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
  • zest of a lemon, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda until finely ground. Add the cold butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Using a wooden spatula, fold in the raspberries, ginger, lemon zest and buttermilk.  Flour your  hands and finish kneading gently until the dough just binds together.
  4. Turn the dough onto the parchment lined pan and pat the dough into a circle mound.  Score the dough into 12 slices.  Sprinkle the dough with some additional oats.
  5. Bake 27 to 30 minutes until golden on the edges.  Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into triangular scones. Makes a dozen.

Looking for more scone recipes?  Here is a half dozen recipes of my favorites from the archives:

Lemon-Ginger

Cranberry-Orange

Blackberry-Thyme with White Chocolate Glaze

Coconut-White Chocolate 

Dark-Chocolate Cherry

Classic English

Looking for a page turner to accompany your cup of tea and scone? Lisa See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is set in the tea growing regions of China and is a compelling read.

For an interesting read about choosing the right teacup, click on this link to get to a fascinating article written by my niece Jessica Woollard, in Fresh Cup Magazine: https://www.freshcup.com/lips-and-curves-the-right-teacup/

Turkey Ragu-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Image

With the New Year  intention of eating healthy yet tasty foods, we tried this recipe and were blown away by how delicious it was. The portobello mushroom caps are partially cooked before getting stuffed with some lean turkey ragu which I loaded with veggies.  The stuffed mushrooms are sprinkled with a little shredded cheese and returned to the oven for just 10 minutes.  I served ours on a bed of velvety purréed spinach.  Pesto or harissa would be just as good and would save a step, but would be higher in calories.  This was a satisfying meal that was full of flavor to perk up January healthy eating.    Skinny gourmet dining at its best!  Depending on the size of your mushrooms, you may get 4-6 servings, 1 mushroom per person.  Select mushrooms that have a deeper concavity to hold the stuffing.   Hope you’ll try it!

Turkey Ragu-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Adapted from Cookin Canuck. You can read the original recipe here.

For the mushrooms:

  • 4-6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.  Oil the flat side of the mushrooms and set them on a baking sheet, bottom side up.  Salt and pepper the inside cavity.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Turn the mushrooms upside down to drain out all the moisture.  Keep warm until ready to stuff.

For the ragu:

  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese(I used an Italian blend with added parmesan cheese)

In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the turkey with the onion, red pepper and celery, stirring often to break up the meat and keep from burning.  Add the spices, wine, garlic and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil then simmer for an hour until the ragu is nice and thick.  You can modify the ragu with other vegetables you prefer or have on hand, such as carrots instead of peppers for example.

Assembly:

Reduce oven temperature to 375F.  Divide the ragu among the mushrooms on a baking sheet.  Top each one with some of the cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Spinach Velouté (Adapted from Jacques Pépin)

  • 16 onces of spinach
  • water
  • 3/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter

In a large pan, sauté the spinach in just enough water to wilt it.  Reserve the cooking water and place the spinach in a blender with the salt, pepper and butter.  Purée until a velvety consistency is achieved.  Add a little of the cooking water to thin the sauce if needed. This will make more of than you need to serve with the mushrooms.  The sauce is fantastic with eggs, chicken or fish.

You want the ragu nice and thick. Cook it down until it is of a chili-like consistency.

Not just good for you. This dish looks appetizing on the plate.

Enjoy!

Dutch Baby Pancake

Image

Dutch Babies are puffy golden oven-baked pancakes that are often called German pancakes.  Once the batter is made, the pancake bakes itself in the oven and is served directly from the baking dish. Coming out of the oven it is just gorgeous so have your guests ready for the wow moment as it deflates quickly.  The Dutch name was coined by Manca’s Cafe in Seattle Washington in the first half of the 20th Century and is probably an misnomer for the autonym “Deutsch”.  Whatever it’s origin, it is an absolutely delicious breakfast which lends itself to personalization.  I made mine with lemon and orange zest as I was serving it with fresh berries.  This was my first time making a Dutch baby and it was so easy and much less messy than conventional pancakes.  Happy New Year!

Continue reading

Cheesy Broccoli-Bacon Soup

Image

There is a wonderful tea room, A Taste of Britain, near where I live and it is a favorite lunch spot with friends.  Although they make wonderful scones, tea sandwiches and offer a lovely selection of loose leaf teas, their soups and salads are outstanding and what I usually order.  Recently I enjoyed a delicious broccoli-bacon-gruyère soup that was out of this world!  Thick and creamy with a hint of smokiness from the bacon, it was memorable.  I tried to recreate it here.  My version has no cream with the thickness coming from giving the soup a whirl in the blender.  Use a good melting cheese such as gruyère or aged cheddar.  Finish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and grated cheese.  Soup’s on!

Continue reading

Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Image

Break out the stand mixer!  “Tis the season for baking cookies. This year I’m adding these chocolate crinkle cookies to the family favorites.  The recipe was very easy and with only 10 minutes in the oven, super quick.   The cookies are not only pretty, they are ooey-gooey-fudgy good and sure to please the chocolate lover.  The dough needs to be refrigerated at least 3 hours so plan accordingly.  I chilled mine overnight.  The pretty crinkle sugar pattern is created when the dough expands during baking and the sugar dusting splits apart.  Happy holiday baking!

Continue reading

Longwood Gardens Christmas 2017

Image

No holiday is complete without a visit to see the seasonal display extravaganza at Longwood Gardens in Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania.  The crown jewel of the gardens is the conservatory.  This year’s theme is “C’est magnifique!” and the décor is done in a French style reminiscent of Versailles.  The floating display is designed like a French parterre garden with thousands of floating Granny Smith apples, cranberries and walnuts arranged in a deconstructed fleur de lys design.  A Christmas table is set as if in a palace with its adjacent winter wonderland outdoor terrace garden. At every turn, there are surprises that delight every sense.  Trees are decorated with fleur de lys, giant castle keys and mirrored sun ornaments, a nod to Louis XIV, Le roi soleil, who was known for his vanity.  Towering Christmas trees made out of succulents are spectacular creations.  Another tree constructed of 400 fragrant orchids takes the breath away.  Giant pointsettia topiaries are nothing short of stunning as are the towering pointsettia trees. It was difficult to edit my photos for this post, it was all so magical.   Join me for A Longwood Christmas! The enchantment continues to January 7th.  Check the website for details. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Flourless Torte with Blood Orange Ganache

Image

This rich chocolate torte is almost too good to believe.  With just 3 ingredients which come together in a few minutes, it is decadent and very satisfying with a texture reminiscent of lush chocolate fudge.  Baking the cake in a water bath helps keep it moist.  There is no added sugar in the recipe and the sweetness comes exclusively from the chocolate you use.   I find dark chocolate sweet enough but if you prefer your dessert sweeter, go with milk chocolate or maybe half milk/half dark.   It is a decadent dessert so cut it in small slices.  It will easily serve a dozen guests.   To change it up from my usual recipe, I added a layer of ganache on the top of this version simply made by melting a Godiva dark chocolate-blood orange chocolate bar right on top of the warm cake.  So easy!  To finish it up, I sprinkled candied orange peel all over the top and served fresh orange slices on the side.  A truly special dessert for holiday entertaining.  Love the chocolate and orange combo of flavor but don’t want to fuss with the chocolate ganache layer and candied orange peel?  Just add the zest of 1 orange to the batter and serve with fresh orange slices.  Did I tell you the cake can be made up to 4 days in advance???

Continue reading