Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Morning : Sweet Potato Kale Skillet

I woke up this morning with the Velvet Underground's 'Sunday Morning' repeating in my mind, Lou Reed's heavy voice dancing around in my brain like an old record stuck repeating the same few lines over and over. Then, I realized why. Yes, it is indeed Sunday morning, but that wasn't entirely the reason. The waves of hot steam rolling off the large cup of strong black assam sitting on my nightstand and something delicious, mixed with plenty of garlic, frying away on the stovetop had awoken me from my deep, late slumber. This is how Sunday mornings should always smell & sound. But rare is the Sunday my darling fiance isn't working, and thus able to spoil me in such a fashion. Not only did I come home last night to an incredibly clean house; floors mopped, sheets washed, counters and sinks disinfected, my piles of magazines organized into one attractive stack, bedroom free of clutter - but there I was, waking up in my clean house, the smell of a delicious breakfast slowly occupying the air. It simply doesn't get any better than that. No wonder I'm marrying this man.

Sunday Morning is still playing in brain, my belly full of this delicious skillet. Parboiled sweet and gold potatoes fried in a few tablespoons of olive oil infused with too many garlic bulbs to count, finished with slivers of sweet red pepper, torn pieces of earthy kale and a healthy sprinkle of sea salt.  Top each serving with a perfectly poached egg, serve with a giant cup of strong black tea, and you've got a Sunday Morning breakfast that simply cannot be beat.

Our Sunday afternoon calls for boots and a long leisurely stroll with our two pug-a-lugs around Lake Padden. I hope you are enjoying your Sunday just as much as I am!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuffed : Blueberry Vanilla Scones

 Scones. For me it conjures visions of moist, cakey, sweet biscuits, slathered with generous helpings of fresh fruit preserves and lightly whipped cream. An easy little treat I often neglect. Scones are one of the simplest baked goods you can whip up, wonderful for a weekend morning, and even tastier when washed down with a strong cup of black tea. So when I had a lonely little pint of blueberries wasting away in the fridge, and a bit of homemade lemon cream, I knew something had to be done. My first thought, naturally, was blueberry muffins with streusel topping. My second, simple scones split up the middle and stuffed with a few fresh berries, *ding ding ding* I had a winner. Less than an hour later I had these delicious little pastries. Blueberry scones, lemon cream, and black tea, an afternoon pick me up doesn't get much better than that!

Blueberry Stuffed Scones

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 sticks of ice cold butter - cut into tablespoons
3/4 cup buttermilk (as a substitute I generally use milk with a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
2 Tablespoons really good vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh berries
sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F

1. Mix flour, both sugars, and baking powder together in the bowl of an electric mixer.
2. On low, medium speed add the butter and mix until butter is incorporated and pebbly. 
3. Mix milk and vanilla, slowly add (on same speed) to your flour/butter mixture until just incorporated.
4. On a flour dusted, clean surface, dump your dough out and shape into a disc or rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. 
5. Cut into desired shape, move scones to a prepared baking sheet. If stuffing with berries take a small sharp knife and split the scone open down the middle, throw in a few fresh berries, gently placing the top of the scone around the berries. 
6. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, just until the scones begin to take on a golden hue, being careful not to overcook and dry out your scones.
7. Serve hot. I love that with berries you don't need jam, though it's perfectly okay if you want to double up on your scone accoutrements. May I suggest a dollop or two of whipped cream? Or perhaps a generous slather of lemon curd.