21 February 2012

Ova Ova

Look what an adorable friend I have:

She's also brilliant, funny, and has many other enviable best friend qualities! In fact she's so brilliant that she started her own business. Her new website, www.ovaova.com,  is a groundbreaking new way for women to track their fertility. It can be used to achieve pregnancy or to be used as natural birth control. I won't go into it too much because she is the expert of course. 

Check out her new website pretty please and prepare to be amazed! 

04 February 2012

Lemon Ginger Blueberry Scones

Cabin fever has driven me to continue baking- I truly believe it is a symptom. I bought a big tub of crystallized ginger a while ago, thinking it would be a good snack to keep at work. Oh boy was I wrong. I really had no idea how spicy this stuff was! I cannot eat it by itself so I've been looking around for some other ways to use the whopping 1 lb. of crystallized ginger I have sitting in my cupboard.

Luckily, I came across this recipe on Epicurious for Ginger Scones. This recipe is an adaption since Blueberries were also on sale at Sunflower Market and I had a lemon hanging around:

Lemon Ginger Blueberry Scones (adapted from Epicurious):
(yields 16 scones)
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Juice of of 1 lemon, plus zest
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • 4 1/2 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces to equal 2/3 cup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Love

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and combine with a whisk. Add the lemon zest and butter, then use clean hands to incorporate butter into the flower untl the mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.

3. Stir in the ginger and blueberries. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

4. Wash and dry your hands and dust with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Cut in half and roll each piece of dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into eighths, like a pizza.

5. Place the scones 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg- this will make the tops shiny. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until the surface cracks and they are slightly browned.

6. Once they come out of the oven, while they're still hot, squeeze the juice from the lemon on top- hold back the seeds. It smells delicious and I mostly just love the way it sounds. (I wanted to add some powdered sugar to the lemon juice and frost them but I ran out of powdered sugar! I plan on doing this next time)



Fire and Ice

I don't know if you've heard but we've been in a blizzard here in Colorado. I just measured the snow outside and we got 18 inches! As I'm writing this, it has just stopped snowing and the sun is coming out. I've been shoveling the driveway and the porch all morning so I'm already exhausted! It was nice to get outside though, I didn't get out yesterday but ended up cleaning the house and cooking like crazy. 

I took a snow day yesterday and didn't go in to work, thank goodness because I would probably be writing this from my cubicle now- the roads are still in pretty bad shape. Today probably won't be much different- lot's of cooking and hanging out! 

Here's a few photos so you can see what it's like here:

Max- he's like a polar bear!

Layla loves the snow :)

Look at this!!!! That's 18 inches of heavy snow!

Stella loves the snow too! She has to wear a little sweater so she can stay out a little longer with the big dogs.

This was the fire! I just found a little Crème Brûlée kit that I was psyched out of my mind about. Crème Brûlée is my FAVORITE dessert and I asked for a blow torch for Christmas but did not receive one. This was so much fun to make, here's the recipe:

Crème Brûlée Recipe (adapted from the back of the box):
(Makes 4 tiny four ounce ramekins)

-1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. plus an additional 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks (the orange-er the yolk, the better)
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Love

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a kettle of boiling water

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 Tbs of sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla (extract and seeds) until smooth and light. Pour small amounts of hot cream mixture into egg yolks, beating continuously until well blended. If you pour in too much at once, it will scramble your eggs. I start with a teaspoon at a time at first. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins. 

4. Arrange ramekins in a baking pan (about 3 inches deep) and place on the middle shelf of your pre-heated oven. Fill the pan with the boiling water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until custard is just set, about 30 minutes. Shake the pan very gently to determine if the custard is set- let it go for a little longer if you need to. Mine took about 40 minutes. Use caution when removing the ramekins from the oven as they will be very hot! Chill for 2-3 hours.

5. Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of cooled custards. With your torch, move the flame continuously over the sugar until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly (I burnt mine a little bit!). You can serve these immediately or put them back in the fridge and eat later.

Enjoy! (Don't you love cracking the top? It reminds me of Amélie)