Tag Archives: Food

Homemade Scones

I fell in love with the flaky pastry that hails from Scotland while living in New York City. I would walk to this cute corner coffee shop owned by a Brit couple and order a scone and latte to enjoy while I journaled about my summer in the big city. While I’ve been a connoisseur of scones for quite some time, I’ve never attempted to make my own. So I added scone-making to my goals on my Thirty-One List.

While visiting my best friend in Chicago last week, she decided to help me accomplish one of my 31 tasks. Having a culinary degree from Argentina, I agreed that she would be the best person to guide me through the process. We used the Cook’s Illustrated recipe and my BF indicated it is the Bible of all things food. The recipe was precise but actually pretty simple and the scones turned out buttery and delicious…definitely a culinary splurge.

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Orange Cranberry Scones Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (cut these quickly so they don’t melt in your hands)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 times to combine. (I counted 1 one-thousand for each pulse.)

3. Distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients, sprinkle the zest in, and then combine with a dozen 1-second pulses. Add the cranberries and pulse one more time. Transfer to medium size bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle (we used a cake pan) and cut into 8 wedges. Put the wedges on the prepared baking sheet.

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6. Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Friday Global Giving: The Full Plate Club

When my mom was growing up, my grandparents instituted the Clean Plate Club. If she didn’t finish her dinner, she was told there were starving children in China who would love to eat her food. I think she responded with, “I’ll mail it to them.” 🙂

I think most parents now have substituted China with Africa but the sentiment is the same – don’t waste food when there are people going hungry every day. In fact, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 925 million people around the world suffer from consistent hunger.

While perhaps we can’t send the food from our plates, there are great organizations and things to do to help eliminate hunger around the world. For the first Friday Global Giving, check out some of these ideas to help keep plates full:

Courtesy of goldencommunitygarden.org

 

October Foodie Penpal and Aunt Ethel’s Enchiladas

Earlier this month you may have read my post about becoming a foodie penpal. Well today is the day that all the foodie penpals share about their boxes. My box came from a lovely woman named Emily from Midland, Texas and within it was all kinds of Texas delicacies like Texas Trash (a sweet concoction kind of like puppy chow) and Amazing Corn (kind of popcorn but kind of not). I was especially excited for the Hatch Green Chiles in the box because they were perfect for a Mexican-inspired dish that I learned from my Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel was my dad’s oldest sister and since she didn’t have any kids of her own, she loved to spoil her nephews and nieces with her amazing cooking. She made the best fried chicken, red velvet cake, and ranger cookies that I’ve ever had.  Another one of her great recipes were her enchiladas. With my Hatch Green Chiles, I had everything I needed to make them for dinner last night.

Aunt Ethel’s Chicken Enchiladas (yields 4)

  • 2 large chicken breast cooled and cubed or shredded
  • 1 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 4 oz. diced green chilies
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 pkg. large flour tortillas (I substitute whole wheat tortillas instead)
  • 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1.  Spray 10 x 15 glass baking dish
  2. Mix soup, milk, sour cream, chilies and green onions.  Spread one cup of mixture on bottom of baking dish.  Reserve 1 ½ cups for top.
  3. Add chopped chicken to remaining mixture.  Spread a roll of filling across the center of the tortilla.  Roll and place, seam down, in pan.  Cover with remaining sauce and cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thanks to Emily for all the great Texas goodies!

Becoming a Foodie Penpal

A few weeks ago I found out about a great program called Foodie Penpals. Started by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean about a year ago, the program creates an opportunity for people around the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to send each other foodie-type items. I thought the idea was great and though it is a State-side program, it is still a way to share and experience culture.

This month was my first time participating and I just sent off my box which was of a Latin American theme (chocolate is from Mexico). I had such a great time looking up foods and shopping, I figured I should share so you can become a Foodie Penpal too.

If you live in the U.S., Great Britain, or Canada, you can sign up on the Foodie Penpal Form to join the foodie-sharing in November. The deadline to sign up is November 4th at 9pm EST. And definitely be sure to check out my post on October 31st on what I got in my Foodie Penpal box (lots of deliciousness).

Czech This Out

It was only 45 degrees outside but thousands of people still lined Main Street to watch the Czech Day Parade come through downtown Yukon, Oklahoma. To celebrate the immigrants from Czechoslovakia that settled in Yukon in the early 1900s, the town puts on quite the party each year. The two day festival blended traditional Czech culture with its Oklahoma setting.

Traditional dances were matched with the local high school cheerleaders.

The klobasy were sold as the cowboys rode on by.

The Czech ribbons and crafts could be found right across from the painted bull’s skulls.

But most of all, Czech and Oklahoma pride were blended into a great celebration for this little town.

C is for Columbian Cookies

Well, I had another baking flop today. Not that the cookies I made were bad, but after I made them I realized just how un-authentic they were. I was attempting to make a dark sugar cookie hailing from western Columbia. But I failed to spend the time researching like I should have, and instead just went with the first recipe I found. I should have known better when I saw that recipe was from Pilsbury. (How much more American can you get?) Here is the recipe I used.

After I made them, I started researching. (I know, shame on me.) First I found out that I should not be using dark brown cane sugar but rather panela, a solid sugar cane substance that is then grated into the recipe. Second, the recipe called the cookies “cucas” but according to the Word Reference Forum and Local Spanish, cuca is a dirty word in Columbia. Eek!

It just goes to show that research is important and the internet is not always correct. But regardless, the cookies were pretty good if you’re looking for something a bit different and on the line of a Columbian cookie.

I don’t think the icing is authentic either but I figured I’d add it any way. Who doesn’t like a little extra icing, right?

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.

 

Opa! Guide to the Greek Festival

September is just a month full of festivals…and I love it. This past weekend we were invited by a friend to the Greek Festival in OKC. As a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, she knew everything about the food, dances, and traditions. Being escorted by a “local” definitely enhanced the entire experience. She taught me how to pronounce everything correctly, told us what we should try and what to avoid, and introduced us to a number of the people running the festival. I even got a picture with the pastor’s wife in her full costume.

We ate our way through the festival. With each ticket came two al a carte items or the Greek dinner so Hubby and I decided to get one of each. First we did the gyro and loukoumades. We both agreed that the gyro was one of the best we’ve ever had. The tomatoes and onions were diced small making it easier to eat and the flavor was delicious.

The loukoumades were equally good. Similar to a donut hole in appearance but not texture, the fried dough balls are very light, similar to a puff pastry. Covered in honey and cinnamon, we probably ate all of our calories for the day in just that one dessert.

But we were not done yet! Next came the dinner which was a choice of lamb, chicken or pasticcio (the Greek version of lasagna). We went for the pasticcio which was served with Greek-style potatoes, green beans, spanakopita, and pita. I loved the pasticcio but the potatoes were incredibly salty. Since Hubby is not fond of spinach, I ate most of the spanakopita and it was pretty good too.

And finally we were thoroughly entertained by our friend’s daughter and her dance troop, the Opa! Dancers. Ranging from age 4 to 9, these kids put on four performances in one night.