Monday, February 18, 2019

Blueberry Scones

Today we celebrate President's Day 
but I am not one that is celebrating the current one in office. 
I am offended, embarrassed and exhausted by his behavior.
Just keep telling myself,
"IT's not a matter of 'IF' but 'WHEN'."
And I won't elaborate on what IT is....

Moving on to something far!

Found this recipe for Creamy Blueberry Scones
on Shannon Ables fabulous blog
It is one of the best blogs out there.
She has written a couple of books as well and I have both.
Do drop by.  Better still, subscribe while there 
and you will have a treat in your in-box nearly every day.  

Scones tend to be dry and heavy 
sucking all moisture from the inside of your mouth. 
People fawn over Starbucks but I am not very impressed by their baked goods.
Even their lemon loaf - shocking, I know. 
This recipe is so darn quick and easy it is hard to beat. 
I only made one change and that is a 
"Flexible Measurement".

1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for board).  I use King Arthur flour
1.5 tsp baking powder  *
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (I make that a rounded measurement)  *
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy cream (here is where my Flexible Measurement came in)  *
2 tbs melted unsalted butter  *
(* notes product from Trader Joe's)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees (350 convection).

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar with a whisk. Gently add blueberries taking care not to bruise or break them but ensure they are all dusted with the flour mixture. 

Changing to a rubber spatula, add cream and gently fold to combine.  If too dry, add more cream a dribble at a time until it just can hold itself together but is not too wet. 

Not too pretty right now, all lumps and bumps, but then we know the story of the Ugly Duckling. Flour your work surface and turn out the dough.  Once again, gently work into a round disk about an inch thick.  Try not to overwork the dough.  

With a pastry scrapper, divide into six wedges and slip onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Now that looks better....  Keep in mind...Perfect edges and widths are not necessary.  I would say, uniform in size so they all bake at the same rate.

Brush with the melted butter and give a dusting of sugar over top - you are the best judge as to how much sugar for your audience.

Pop into the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.  I gave mine a half-turn for the last two to three minutes to evenly golden their caps.

You know they are done when they are golden and the berries are oozing over to their neighbors.  Patience is key at this point as you let them cool just a bit.  Then get comfy with a cup of good coffee or tea and enjoy on a Sunday or just about any day as they are such a quick cook.

Just need to clean up and start on a slow-cooker stew for dinner.

Bon apetit and merci to Shannon...…

Thanks for dropping in!  xx-hb

Sunday, February 3, 2019


It has been especially wintery here in Southern California.  Ok, no Polar Vortex, but wintery by our standards.  Cold and rainy.  While we welcome the rain, we are not a tolerant people for prolonged days of gray skies and precipitation.  Hey folks, it's expensive to live here.  We "affectionately" call it our Sunshine Tax but We.Want.Sunshine.Now.  Feeling sorry for myself late yesterday afternoon, with the babies snoring around me, I started cleaning out my in-box and surfing Instagram.  I discovered a new-to-me IG-er and Blogger - Lindsey Dickson, author of The Eating Tree.  She has created a lovely place to visit with her easy to follow recipes and gardens at her home east of London.  She has a whole library of excellent recipes from the UK and France.  A real bonus on IG, she is hosting a February Photo Challenge that I started participating in.  It's only day three so hop in!  No judging, just fun and tickles your creative side. Just post, don't boast. 

This recipe stopped me in my scroll...Tartiflette.  Hmmmm.  Must be French with the -ette on it so I clicked on her entry and was gobsmacked.  I would have made it last night but I was a glass (or couple) into a bottle of wine, comfy clothes on and binging The Innocent Man on Netflix.  Hello...John Grisham, double murders, who-done-it.  Excellent and 👍🏻👍🏻.  

Off to Trader Joes I went this morning.  Did you know they were voted America's favorite food market?  Any-ta-hoo - needed cheese, more cream, and bacon bits.  Unfortunately they don't carry Roblochon cheese and no Raclette on the shelves, holiday seasonal, I suspect.  Aha!  Brie!    

So this rainy Superbowl Sunday held a Super French Comfort Food Lunch that will keep us happy until kick-off time.

Prep time: 30 minutes; bake time: 20-30.
Serves 2

2-4 waxy potatoes, skin on, medium dice
1 cup bacon ends and pieces, chopped to bite-size
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 wedge Brie cheese
chives and parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Put your Brie in the freezer...this will help make it easier to cut up
  3. Boil diced potatoes in lightly salted water until soft when pierced with a knife.
  4. Meanwhile, melt "nob of butter" (I just love how Lindsey says that) in saute pan and add bacon.  Get it all hopping to a good sizzle then add onion.  Cook until done but not crispy and onion is translucent.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add cream, stir to combine and move to waiting dish.  Note:  at this point the fetching aroma is wafting through the house.  Husbands arrive with "what are you making?" and dogs pawing for a nibble.
  5. Add another nob of butter to pan, get it sizzling and add drained potatoes.  Continue to saute until potatoes begin to brown. 
  6. Cut up cheese into large chunks, rind on or off.  (Easier to do when well chilled.)
  7. Put half of potatoes in baking dish.  Top with bacon hash and half the cheese pieces.  Add remaining potatoes and final top off of cheese.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
I garnished with chives and flat-leaf parsley from my herb garden.  Serve with green salad and white wine.

Next Time I Might Try:  

  1. adding a little salt & pepper
  2. maybe add an over-easy egg on top of each serving
  3. maybe an Italian version with pancetta and fontina all dusted with parmesan before baking.  More parmesan to pass at the table.

This was perfect for two and had just a bit for lunch tomorrow.  I bet the Hubs tops it with an egg!  I hope you try this on a cold wintery Sunday, go for a walk and hop over to Lindsey's blog in front of the fire.  

Bon Apetit & thank you for stopping by moonlight lane......xx-hb