Posts Tagged ‘baking’

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Tea and Scones

March 14, 2012

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By Guest Writer Bernadine Chapman-Cruz

Step back to the old world pleasure of enjoying tea and scones. A cup of tea, especially on a wintery day, and a plate of freshly baked scones spread with preserves made from fruit or berries from your garden, is a marriage made in heaven.

Tea has been a staple for centuries spanning cultures across the globe. A soothing cup of tea has laid claim to being an integral part of sealing deals between countries; celebrated as the elegant, delicate drink of social engagements; and presides as a fundamental component of daily dining traditions. When a cup of tea is served with a scone sweetened with a dab of clotted cream, jam or jelly, the tasty combination conjures up thoughts of coming spring.

The origin of the scone is generally attributed to Scotland, but England and the Netherlands also hold legitimate connections to the scone’s ancestry. The scone is a quick bread comprised of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and salt, baked in a small round loaf, many times with the addition of dried fruits such as raisins¸ currants, apricots or cranberries. It is the perfect accompaniment for tea.

Enjoy a pot of tea, a bite of scone, and friendly conversation around the table.

To make a batch of scones assemble the following ingredients:

3 c. flour

½ c. sugar

1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

¾ c. butter (chilled)

1 egg

1 c. milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in chilled butter.
  4. Whisk egg and milk, then add to dry ingredients until mixture is moist.
  5. Knead dough on lightly floured surface.
  6. Shape into two ½ inch thick rounds.
  7. Cut each round into 8 equal wedges prior to baking.
  8. Separate pieces to brown all sides.
  9. Bake on greased sheet for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
  10. Optional: brush wedges with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar prior to baking.

Variations:

Add: raisins, currants, orange grated orange peel or lemon zest, apricots or cranberries  

Copyright 2012 Bernadine Chapman-Cruz 

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A Love-Hate Relationship

February 21, 2010

Text and Photograph by Judy Crosby

I am sure that everyone at sometime in their lives has had a love – hate relationship with something or someone. My love – hate relationship is with cooking. The love part comes in because I enjoy food and still like to eat a few times a day. The hate part comes, because I don’t want to be the person that has to fix that food.

 When these feelings started, I am not exactly sure. It happened over a period of years, gradually, coming in small stages, catching me quite unaware.  I just know that one day I woke up and could not think of anything to fix for dinner and decided I hated cooking and everything that went with it, the planning of dinners, shopping for groceries, preparing the food and then the cleanup. In the past 20 years, I have developed numerous hobbies and interests; and to stop anyone of these on a given day and have to cook has become burdensome for me.

My feelings towards cooking weren’t always ones of hate, when I was first married it was fun to look in my cookbook and pick out recipes I had never tried before, which wasn’t hard to do, since I cooked very little before getting married. Every evening I was excited to see the response of my husband Ron, as I served him my newest endeavor. In all honesty, these recipes didn’t always turn out as I hoped they would.

One evening as Ron was eating dinner, he said quite innocently, “This is pretty good, one of these days you will cook as good as my Mom.”  With these words ringing in my ears, I burst into tears and ran into our bedroom. Ron, not sure what he had done wrong, did try to console me that night.

One husband, four children, and 54 years later I did become a better cook. The irony of this was now that my cooking was as good as Ron’s Mothers’ I realized I hated to cook. One night I was complaining to Ron about not having any ideas for dinner. Always the practical one in our relationship, he suggested, “Why don’t you keep a list of our dinners for a month, and then at the beginning of the new month just start over again, by that time we will both have forgotten what we had the month before.”

At first, Ron’s idea did not appeal to me, but then I decided to try it. An interesting scenario came from this, I started writing down our dinners, and I found myself wanting to try new dishes and my interest in cooking returned to a small degree.

 I still like fast, simple recipes. Here is one my granddaughter gave me. Copyright © 2010 Judy Crosby

 

 Maple Roasted Chicken 

Serves 4

  1. Peel 2-3 small sweet potatoes and cut into 1 in. pieces
  2. Cut 2 lbs. of chicken (I use breasts) into 1 in. pieces.
  3. Cut up 1 small onion

 Place chicken and vegetables in casserole dish.

Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper over ingredients and toss to coat.

Drizzle 3 Tbsp of maple syrup over all. Top with 6 sprigs of thyme.

Bake at 400° for 1 hour 

 

 

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