Monday, July 7, 2008

Lavender Scones

Posted by Wonbyherwits

Lavender Scones

I adapted a tried-and-true scone recipe to create these lavender scones. The original recipe for cranberry scones came from my best friend who lives in Berkeley, CA.

I used culinary lavender (finely ground) from Sunshine Lavender Farm in Hillsborough, NC. These were a huge hit with my guests, even the guys!

Makes 1 dozen scones.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (substitute whole wheat if desired)
1/2 cup sugar (I use raw sugar instead of refined white)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons culinary lavender
3/4 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher or sea salt)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I use a microplane)
1 cup buttermilk (lowfat is okay)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lavender in a large bowl.

Add butter and beat with an electric mixer (or pastry blender) until well blended.

Stir in zest.

Pour in buttermilk and mix until blended.

Gather dough into a ball and divide in half (I use a knife).

On lightly floured surface, roll each half into a circle. I make mine thick so that I get 6 scones (pie shaped wedges) out of each half. I use parchment paper to reduce the amount of flour needed. I also tend to hand shape, rather than roll the circle. I cut the wedges with a sharp knife. I gently tap the 3 sides of the scones on the parchment to make smooth edges.

Place scones on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 400 F degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Let cool.

Variation: you can omit the lavender and use dried or fresh cranberries or blueberries. You can use cinnamon instead of lavender if you want that flavor. I don't glaze my scones, but you can do that if you like.

Serve with preserves or lemon curd. I prefer Mackays Orange Marmalade with Champagne (from Scotland) if I don't have any homemade on hand.

If you have left-overs (not likely) you can wrap a scone in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds if you like it warmed up.

Southern Potato Salad

Posted by Wonbyherwits

Southern Potato Salad

2 1/2 lbs new potatoes (I use one bag of the baby Yukon from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard (more if you like it)
1 cup sweet pickle relish (do not drain)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions or spring onions to taste (optional)

Cook potatoes with skins in water for 35 minutes (fork tender). Drain off hot water and rinse in cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice.

Mix (by hand) all other ingredients together. Gently add the mixture to the potatoes. Store in airtight container in the fridge. I usually make this at night to serve for lunch or dinner the next day. When removing from the fridge, gently toss the salad a bit before serving. Garnish with paprika sprinkles, if desired.

Note: If you like eggs, you can add 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs to the potato salad. I don't find that eggs really add anything to this version of potato salad.

Serves 8

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Posted by solana z5a NH on Thu, Jul 3, 08 at 8:06

Celebrating my recent trip to Tuscany (a feast for the palate, the eyes, and the soul), I contribute this recipe which I first made 12 years ago. It has become a summer staple when tomatoes are ripe.
(Italian Bread Salad)

Serves 4 to 6. 30 minutes to prepare, 5-10 minutes actual work

1/2 lb. chewy, slightly stale Italian bread, 3 to 4 days old, sliced 1-inch thick
1/2 cup cold water

1 medium cucumber, (if waxed, peel it), seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

5 Tbsp. vinegar (I use a mix of red wine and balsamic vinegars; cider vinegar is good, too)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 to 2 lb ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Sprinkle bread with water and let stand about 2 minutes. Gently squeeze bread dry while tearing into bite-sized pieces. Let dry slightly on paper towels about 20 minutes.

In a colander, sprinkle cucumbers with salt to extract juices. Let stand 20 minutes. Rinse. Pat dry.

In the serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic and black pepper. Add everything else and let stand until the bread has absorbed some of the vinaigrette, about 20 minutes.

Widely variable: add bell peppers, celery, artichokes, black olives, capers, parsley, etc.
The addition of left-over cooked chicken, tuna, salmon or hard-boiled eggs makes a more complete meal, refreshing to both make and eat on hot steamy days.

(adapted from Fine Cooking #15, June/July 1996)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lorna’s Oatbran Maple Muffins

Posted by lorna-organic 6NM on Wed, Jul 2, 08 at 8:42

Lorna’s Oatbran Maple Muffins
This is my own recipe. I developed it many years ago. It is low in fat.

Oven 375 degrees F

1-1/2 Cups oatbran
1 Cup white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ Cup maple syrup
1 tsp. of olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda mixed with
1 Cup milk
½-1 cup dried fruit (currants, sultanas cranberries, blueberries), or fresh blueberries*

Use medium sized bowl. Stir dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. Stir in wet ingredients. Stir lightly, muffins do not require a lot of mixing. Stir in your dried fruit. Line your muffin pans with paper liners, or grease the pans. Fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for approximately18 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned.

*If using fresh blueberries, fill the muffin cup halfway, put on a layer of blueberries and top off with enough batter to fill the muffin cup. Mixing fresh blueberries into the batter causes color streaking, which isn’t attractive.

A Day in the Garden Fried Green Tomatoes

Posted by girlgroupgirl 8 Atlanta on Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 21:34

A Day in the Garden Fried Green Tomatoes

The Cherokee Purple tomatoes are in good soil, and holding water. Hubby watered them a lot while I was away and they grew so fast in the heat they cracked. Then flea beetles got inside of them and started eating I've learned to pick them on the under ripe side, let some of them ripen in the window and fry up the rest.
The trick is to fry 'em up fast with a quick salad from the garden on the nights you are working out there in the coolness (or relative coolness) of the late evening.

1/2 cup of good corn muffin mix. I use gluten free Bob's Redmill
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (Trader Joe's grated cheeses are all gluten free!) - use the stuff from the refridgerated section and stay away from Kraft in a box.
Pepper and salt to taste
garlic powder
a shake or two of oregano

I slice and dry off the tomato a bit, then pop it in some egg whites and dredge it in the above mixture before frying it up in pure olive oil. Even my cats eat these. They are delicious.

Before each bite you must use the greeting my friend Manfred says every time we come home from being up north..."welcome to the South!"

Double Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Bars

Posted by lorna-organic 6NM on Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 17:13

Double Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Bars


18 honey whole wheat, or regular, graham crackers
3 tblsps. olive oil
pinch of salt
½ tsp. of cinnamon
2 tblsps. packed light brown sugar


¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
¾ cup dried blueberries
¼ cup lemon juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Use 8" inch square baking pan. Spray pan with oil (cooking spray) to prevent sticking.

Process graham crackers in food processor until finely ground. Or, put them in a plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin. You should have about 1-1/2 cups of fine crumbs. Mix crumbs with other crust ingredients and press into your baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes to set crust. Cool slightly on wire rack.

Sitr flour, baking powder and salt together in small bowl. Add eggs, brown sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat until frothy. (Sugar should dissolve during beating.) Stir in dried blueberries. Pour batter on top of your somewhat cooled crumb crust. Sprinkle fresh blueberries evenly over the top, then sprinkle chopped walnuts evenly over the top. Bake for about thirty minutes. Cool on wire rack for thirty minutes, then cut into twelve bars. Leave bars in pan to finish cooling for about an hour.

Recipe adapted from a recipe in "Cooking Pleasures" magazine June/July 2008. The original recipe calls for 2 tblsps. minced fresh ginger rather than cinnamon for the crust. It calls for 2 tsps. of lemon zest in the filling, and ½ cup fresh blueberries. It also calls for toasting the walnuts prior to use. I think toasted walnuts are bitter, so I omitted toasting.

From My Kitchen to Yours Curry Sauce

Posted by aftermidnight Z8 V. Island B.C. on Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 16:16

From My Kitchen to Yours Curry Sauce :o).

I came up with this after trying a curry sauce that I found too rich for our tastes. I really don't measure but will try to give approx. amounts.

Saute I/2 a chopped onion in 1 or two TBSP margarine
When soft add 1 TBSP Curry powder (my choice Sharwood's Hot
Add 1/4 Salt and 3 TBSP flour
Stir in 1/2 cup of applesauce ( I use 2 cups of MOTTS Fruitsations original)
Add 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup 1% milk, bring to a simmer and simmer for 1 hour. Serves ? I make this for two and there is always some left over.

This is great for adding leftover chicken, shrimp, lamb, and served over Basmati (sp) rice.

The original recipe called for butter, cream, chopped apples and mushrooms. I have to admit I really butchered the original recipe, you couldn't taste the mushrooms so why bother, I like the touch of sweetness the applesauce adds rather then the chopped apple which can give the sauce a tartness. Who needs the cream, save those calories for dessert and I use Becel marg instead of butter.

We usually just ladle the sauce over rice and have it with Shake and Bake Chicken, not fancy but tasty.

The water is a substitute for chicken broth.

One other thing, my daughter adds the applesauce just before serving, just her preference.