Thursday, December 29, 2011

savory scones

Our Christmas tree this year was a tabletop rosemary plant from Trader Joe's.  I promise I watered it regularly, but the tree is as dry as kindling.  It still smells fragrant so I wanted to use it in a recipe.  The rosemary, and a tub of pine nuts that have been hanging out in the fridge, reminded me of my favorite savory scone from Crema Cafe.


I searched the smitten archives, where there are many delicious sounding scone recipes, but nothing quite like I was imagining.  I came up with my own version of Crema's scone by combining elements of this cheesy one, with this one with rosemary and pine nuts, and a little bit of winging it.

The result was even better, if I may say so myself.  I've put a few in the freezer and I'll be eating them for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) for the next few days.

Savory Scones with Rosemary, Pine Nuts, and Goat Cheese
Inspired by Crema Cafe, Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Fragrant Vanilla Cake

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted for ten minutes, then cooled
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few sprigs rosemary, coarsely chopped
lemon zest from half a lemon
6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped
2.5 oz chevre (half of a small log), chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 375ยบ F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add the pine nuts, rosemary, and lemon zest and whisk.  Add the cold butter and goat cheese and mix everything together with your fingers.  In a separate bowl (I used my 1 cup measuring cup), whisk together the cream and one egg.  Add the cream and egg mixture to the mixing bowl and combine just until a dough forms.  (For this I continued to use my hands, but you may prefer to use a wooden spoon or your kitchenaid.)  If the dough is too dry, add a few more tablespoons of cream until it just holds together.


Place the doughball on your floured countertop.  Use a rolling pin or an empty bottle to gently roll the dough into an inch thick circular patty.  Cut into rustic triangles and place the ones you want to eat today on the baking sheet; put the rest in a sealed container and stick them in the freezer.  Whisk the other egg and spread a little on top, and bake for about 15 minutes, until the scones are golden brown on top.


Once they're cool, dig in.  Serve them with a savory spread or without.


Monday, December 26, 2011

deb's brussel sprouts

This is my first time making brussel sprouts, and I've only eaten them a few times.  I bought a bag of sprouts with the intention of making them as part of Christmas dinner, but with only two mouths to feed (mine and Jill's), we had more than enough food without them.  I followed a smitten kitchen recipe for dijon braised brussel sprouts.

The setup.  And yes, I'm starting to cook dinner at 8:30pm - gah!

Getting sauced. (And not because I have a whole bottle of wine minus half a cup to finish.)

The finished product!

At my first bite, I was a little skeptical; I like my vegetables on the raw side, maybe blanched, and these were a little mushy.  But some of them had pretty crunchy pan marks, and the shallots were so good, and the sauce was tasty, and the more I ate, the more convinced I became that I like brussel sprouts.  Which is a good thing, because I'll be finishing these off for a while.  I guess it's only natural to eat Christmas leftovers until New Year's.

hello world

I'm a food blogger!  When I talk to my mom on the phone, we usually talk about food.  We both have weird diets - I'm a vegetarian and she has celiac's disease - so we always share recipes that we come across that the other might like.  Usually those recipes come from food blogs that we peruse when we're hungry.  My favorite, as you may have guessed, is smitten kitchen, but I read a lot.

During our last conversation, while I was walking home from Christmas dinner at a friend's, my mom told me I should start a food blog.  And now I'm starting a food blog.  (I actually used to have a food blog, not about food I made, but about the German cafeteria food I ate that made me laugh.)  I don't have a schtick, and I'm an average cook.  My blog will probably be about the food I make and eat, from recipes featured by my favorite bloggers, in my kitchen with my macbook propped up on one burner of the stove.

By the way, Christmas dinner was hasselback potatoes with spinach-cashew pesto, and roasted vegetables with avocado on top of forbidden rice.  It was delicious.