Friday, October 29, 2010

Diva In The Kitchen: Strawberry and Rosemary Scones/Cookies

UPDATE 6/3/2013: I have made these quite a few times since posting this in 2010.  I just wanted to add that instead of 1 tablespoon of rosemary per batch, I add 3 tablespoons of rosemary.  They are so delicious!!!

Rosemary and Strawberry each on their own are great flavors.  But I was a little bit skeptical about how they would taste together in a scone.  I had yet to make scones, so I figured this was a great start.

While these taste AWESOME (the rosemary and strawberry compliment each other so well and the lemon glaze adds a bright zing of sweetness), these are not scones.  They are cookies.  Even when I tried to make them bigger like a scone, they flatten out too much to be a real scone.

I highly recommend you give them a try, especially if the flavors appeal to you.  They are really good,.  I think I have already made them three times this month.  :-D

Juicing the lemons
Chopped rosemary
Mixing all the goods
 
 The first time I made these, I followed the recipe and rolled out the dough and used a cookie cutter to make shapes.  But they were so flat and cookie-like when I wanted scones.  So the next time I made them, I rolled the dough into balls, placed them on the sheet, and used my thumb to make a depression in them.  This made the cookies slightly larger and nice and fluffy.  And it saves time and clean-up.


Strawberry Preserves go in the depression
All baked

I laid them out to cool
Glazed and drying

All ready!  On glass plate by Brilliant Glass Works

Strawberry and Rosemary Scones

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time:
14 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
20 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
14 scones

Ingredients

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

Directions

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 processorpulse 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.
Cook's Note: The dough can also be made by hand by stirring together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough

Diva In The Kitchen: Lemon Basil Bowties



Yum, yum, yum!!  That is the FIRST thing I have to tell you!  This is a Rachael Ray recipe from one of my magazines. (September 2007)
Make sure you toast your pine nuts because the flavor is so much better that way.  I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.  I also cooked 3 chicken breasts in pesto sauce and chopped them in 1-inch chunks.  Then I added the chicken and pesto to the pasta mixture.

This recipe will be great year-round.  It is light, but filling.  Serve with garlic bread and a salad if you like.

Here is mine:



Diva In The Kitchen: Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Mustard-Roasted Potatoes




I made these the other day using the Sandra Lee recipe.  They were DELICIOUS!  Mr. Diva loved them too!

My tweaks are as follows:
Prior to cooking mushrooms, I sliced an onion thin and sauteed them with garlic and butter, seasoned with Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper.  I put them in a bowl and then cooked the mushrooms.
For grill seasoning, I used my favorite Mrs. Dash Chicken Seasoning.
Instead of cheddar cheese, I melted sliced provolone over them.
Instead of using a hamburger bun, we toasted some sliced roasted garlic bread we had in the fridge and made open-faced mushroom burgers.

The aioli was YUMMY!  It was tangy and garlicy and lighter than just mayo.  




I have made these many times and love them so much.  This time, I used small Yukon Gold potatoes and a sweet potato.  Otherwise, I pretty much do them as the recipe is.  I probably add way more garlic though.  The mustard isn't overpowering and the lemon gives it a fresh zing.  The flavor is so great and subtle and they get nice and crispy.

ENJOY!




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Time!




Halloween is upon us, which means carving pumpkins!  It is so exciting that there are so many pumpkin decorating ideas out there now.  You don't just have to carve a face with triangle eyes and a smile with one tooth.  You can carve television or movie characters, goofy, more intricate faces, words, monograms, or whole scenes.  You can even paint your pumpkin or get crafty and decorate it in any way imaginable.

I was looking for carving stencils today because I have two pumpkin carving parties to go to this week.  I found some great designs that I wanted to share.  I hope it helps give you fun ideas of what you can do!










 
And the piece de resistance:  The Death Star Pumpkin
Noel has a tutorial about how to make your own Death Star.


All picture are from Better Homes and Gardens, Noel's Pumpkin Carving Archive, and Zombie Pumpkins.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Off with your thumb!

I have so many blogs to write up, but it has been a very busy week or two.  I made some TERRIFIC Portobello Mushroom burgers with Mustard-Roasted Potatoes that I cannot wait to share with you all.

But guess what happened to me tonight?  Mr. Diva went to have drinks with coworkers after work.  I stayed home to work on my To Do list.  Tomorrow we have a super busy day with my niece's FIRST birthday party and then a Halloween party at some friends' house.  We are gonna have to hurry home and get into our costumes, plus I have to put makeup on another friend who is also going to the Halloween party.  It will be very fun, but I had a lot to do today to prep for tomorrow.

So I was in the middle of making Butternut Squash Soup for my niece's birthday, by request from my sister-in-law.  It was supposed to be a pretty simple thing.  I was chopping carrots and pushed them together to make a bigger pile to chop and my thumb got too far in.  I ended up chopping off a quarter inch of my thumbnail WITH SKIN.

Before I knew what happened, I just felt the pain.  Then I saw blood which FREAKS ME OUT.  I put it under the cold water and saw that a chunk was missing.  That's when I realized what happened.  I wrapped it in a paper towel and held my hand above my head while I tried to decide what to do next.  I started crying and walking around the house constantly asking myself what I should do.  When I decided I should probably call Mr. Diva, my phone started ringing.  It was him.  I told him I sliced my thumb and he came home immediately.  Thankfully he was only a few minutes away.

He looked it over and we decided it wasn't hospital worthy since there was nothing that could be sewn back on. So he cleaned it and bandaged it for me and forbid me from chopping anything else tonight.  (and frankly I don't think I can.  My thumb HURTS.)  I walked him through finishing up my veggie chopping so I could get everything in the CrockPot. (Recipe to follow in the coming days.  No thumb sacrifice required!)

So now, I just have to be careful and keep it dry and clean.  I still have to paint my toenails and fingernails, take a shower in the AM, do my hair and makeup, shave my legs, and for my costume I have to wear fake eyelashes.  Tomorrow is gonna be slow-going for me.  But I will live and there is none of me in the soup!


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