Strawberry & Rosemary Scones

Good Morning!  I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July…and continue to enjoy the last few hours of this long weekend.  I traveled home to WI for a day with my family.  I also started another project.  Have you heard the song by Miranda Lambert, “The House that Built Me”?  If you haven’t, take a listen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQYNM6SjD_o).  Watch out…it can be a tear-jerker!  That song was the inspiration behind the project.  I have a tendency to get wrapped up in work, traveling, and our life in Iowa.  Ryan once looked at me and said, “Don’t forget where you came from.”  And with that…I decided to create a reminder.  This weekend, I began photoing people, places, and things that remind me of my childhood.  Once I get the collection together, I will create an album to look back on and someday, share with my children.  As this album comes together, I will share bits and pieces with you!  This first two “things” I will share with you, are tools I used to put this recipe together on Saturday morning in my Mom’s kitchen….the kitchen I grew up in.  🙂

This is a spoon…obviously.  But it is not just ANY spoon.  When the recipe instructions said to, “Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation”, I reached into my Mom’s drawer and found this spoon…the spoon she fed me baby food with as a child.  I loved this spoon.  I remember pulling it out as a teenager and eating my ice cream with it…just because. 

And this…is a cookie cutter.  Ha!   As I was reading the recipe, with all of my ingredients spread out on the kitchen island, I saw this line, “Special equipment: a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter.”  For a quick second, I panicked.  I realized I hadn’t purchased a cookie cutter.  Then suddenly the light bulb went on….my mom has cookie cutters!  The ones we used to make Christmas Cookies when we were little!  And there is was…a heart.  Sure…it wasn’t quite 3 inches in diameter…but it was close.  And more importantly, it was special.  In fact, when I got home from WI yesterday, I started looking for cookies cutters at Target and realized…I don’t want the “new and improved” cutters…I want cookie cutters just like my Mom’s.  I’ll keep looking…

And with that….Strawberry & Rosemary Scones.  Another great recipe by Giada.  Before I left for WI, I realized that my rosemary was growing out of control.  I needed to come up with some recipes to utilize this amazing herb ASAP.   And since I have this late craving for breakfast pastries and iced mochas, I thought this would be a nice treat.  I threw some rosemary in a plastic sandwich bag and took it home with me.  If you have a rosemary plant, feel free to harvest some, throw it in a plastic sandwich bag and keep it in the refrigerator.  It stores beautifully!

STRAWBERRY & ROSEMARY SCONES

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Servings:  14 scones

Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
Special equipment: a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter
 
 
For the scones:  Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.   Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.   Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a food processor (or with a hand-mixer), pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.   Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough.  
 
 
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle.  
 
 
 
Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart-shaped pieces of dough and put on the prepared baking sheet.   Gently knead together any leftover pieces of dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. 
 
 
Cut the dough into more heart shapes and add to the baking sheet.   Using an index finger or a small, round measuring spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each pastry heart.   Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation.  
 
 
 
 Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  
 
 
Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.
 
For the glaze:   In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth.   Gradually add the water until the mixture is thin enough to spread.  
 
 
 
Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones.  Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes.   Serve or store in an airtight plastic container for 2 days.
 .

My brother-in-law reminded me that these “scones” don’t look like traditional scones…and he is right.  But I don’t know…I think the hearts are kind of “sensuous”, as my dad would say.  They are also….delicious.   Thanks Giada!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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Bruschetta Salad

Can you believe it?!   Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  We say it every year…but WOW, summer flys by! 

And with that, let’s make the most of the rest of it!  There is plenty of sunshine left to be had.  🙂  As you head into one of the busiest weekends of the summer, I thought I would share with you a quick, easy, and delicious salad to share at your family gatherings over the 4th.  You are all aware that I am obsessed with fresh tomato, mozzarella, basil and balsamic…so with those flavors in mind, this salad came together!  Expect a fresh flavorful salad…which closely resembles bruschetta! 

BRUSCHETTA SALAD

Serves 6

  • 2 pints Grape Tomatoes (Santa Sweets)
  • 1/4 Red Onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup good Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds Mozzerella Balls

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl.   Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil and toss well.  
 
 
Cut the mozzarella balls in 1/2 and gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.
 
 
Fresh.  Italian.  Delicious.  Enjoy!
 
Have a wonderful holiday!  Indulge in family…and food…and festivies!
 
Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Cotija, Lime, & Garlic Grilled Corn on the Cob

I remember the 2001/2002 school year so clearly.  I was in my Junior year at the University of Minnesota and Ryan was in his Senior year and applying to graduate school.  Together we visited the University of Iowa and Washington University, though without me, he visited several others as well.  I initially wondered why the heck he would consider Iowa…after all, ALL there is in Iowa is CORN.   HA!  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Sure…there is A LOT of corn around here…but there are also some WONDERFUL people….people we now call “friends”.   The visit to the U of Iowa was so warm and welcoming that I was convinced this was the place for us!   (Well…in addition to the fact that it was the closest option to Minneapolis where I would be spending another year at the University of Minnesota.  LOL.)  And now, here we are, in love with Iowa…and all of it’s CORN!

This summerI decided we needed to step it up a notch.  The sweet corn in Iowa is amazing…but every once in awhile, I thought it might be nice to dress it up!  And who best to turn to than Iron Chef Bobby Flay…the Master of Sauces!  If you like garlic (and ONLY if you like garlic), you HAVE to try this recipe!

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB w/ Garlic Butter, Fresh Lime and Cotija Cheese

Recipe by Bobby Flay

Serves 4
  • 8 ears corn
  • 4 fresh limes, quartered
  • Garlic butter, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
Preheat grill to medium.   Peel back the husks of the corn without removing them.   
 
 
Remove the silks and recover the corn with the husk.   Soak in large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.  Remove corn from water and shake off excess.
 
   
 
Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes.
 
 
 
While the corn is grilling, whip up the garlic butter….

GARLIC BUTTER

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped (I reduced this to 5 cloves…and it was still VERY garlicky)
  • 1/4 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Combine butter, garlic, habanero, and chives in a food processor and process until smooth.  
 
 
Season with salt and pepper.   Set aside until ready to use.
 
 
Grate the Cotija Cheese (or Queso Fresco – Mexican Crumblinb Cheese) and set aside.
 

Unwrap corn and brush with the garlic butter.

Top with the cotija cheese and squeeze with lime.   Sprinkle with chopped chives, to garnish!

This could be some of the best corn on the cob I have ever had…the grilled flavor was amazing in itself…the butter, well, that’s obviously good….and the garlic, chives, and habanero pepper…delicious!  When I had Kendra over to taste test, she took bite after bite and after bite….all the while I am waiting for her to say something.  “It’s good.”  “It sucks.”  Something.  But no.  She just grunted.  From the smile on her face…I’d say that’s a good sign!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.