Category Archives: Muffins, Biscuits, and Scones

Lavender Berry Scones

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For some reason, rainy days and tea inspire me to post.  Could also be the fact that we’re having leftovers and I’m not doing anymore house work for at least a few more hours.  Reason three – both boys are sleeping.  Soundly.  (For now…)

Lavender Berry Scones

I think I made these about 6 months ago.  Made em.  Photographed them.  Devoured them.  Made them again.  Forgot to post them.  That’s how I roll.  Forgotten is my middle name.  Memory is a thing of the past.

So, I’m going to share them now.  And they are SO good.  I even found the pictures!  Go me!

Scones being created

I follow Miss Joy over at Joy the Baker.  She is da bomb.  I love her style, wit, and food choices.  Anyhow, these scones come from her, only slightly changed by yours truly.  Skeptical of the lavender?  Don’t be.  It tingles the taste-buds.  I did have a comment from a slightly disgruntled guy that flowers are for smelling, not eating.  BUT, they were devoured and many compliments ensued.  So I’d say they’re pretty good.  My hubby even loves them.  (And that’s saying something, as he’s generally a baked-goods-hater.)  Here goes!

Prebaked Lavender Berry Scones

Lavender Berry Scones

Recipe very slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

3 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 heaping Tbsp dried lavender

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Dash salt

3/4 cup cold butter or margarine

1 egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup berries (I used frozen blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)

1 beaten egg and sugar to coat and sprinkle before baking

First of all, remember that ‘boys are sleeping soundly’ thing?  It’s now untrue.  But I will continue nonetheless.

Secondly!  Preheat that oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in butter (or margarine) with fingers or a pastry cutter, until it resembles large oat flakes.  In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk, and beat lightly.  Add to flour mixture, just until moistened.  Fold in those berries (carefully, they’ll make a mess!).

Turn onto a floured surface, and knead for about 2 minutes.  Roll out into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes (re-rolling excess dough for more scones), and place on baking sheet.  Brush lightly with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on top.

Enjoy!  These are quite amazing alone, or with a dallop of butter and jam.  (Go for blueberry jam!)

Lavender Berry Scones.Ready for oven

Now to finish off with some kiddo photos as usual.  Just can’t get enough of my boys.

Mister Man

{In the sandbox, smiling away}

Sweet Eyes

{He’s practicing blowing spit here, just so you know…  But he has the sweetest eyes, don’t you think?}

 

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Hot Cross BISCUITS

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Three months.  That’s all the time I have left before baby numero dos is due.  (Unless of course, he…  or she, comes early…)  It seems like a long time, but I know it will just fly by.  Especially with Christmas coming.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t even have mentioned the ‘C’ word, but it’s true.  It’s a’comin’.  And personally, I’m pumped for the shopping trips.  Buying things for people, baking = fun, fun, fun.  Busy, but fun.  And our little guy will actually be aware of everything this year.  I’m super excited to see how he reacts to all the hullabaloo.  And that means baby will be along shortly (and I can stop going to work! Not that I’m excited about that, or anything…).

Thanksgiving anybody?  It was great to have a turkey dinner.  I made my first ever yule log thingy (and it was awesome – and I’ll share it with you soon!).  Deep Chocolate Buche de Noel.   Yum.  It was the first dessert gone at our family gathering.

Anybody say cute?

Here he is:

 

{My cutest little boy ever…  I’ve got to say that as many times as I can in the next three months in case I have another boy!  Isn’t he just great though?}

So I’ve got three words for you.

Joy. the. Baker.

Check her out.  She is an inspirational food blogger.  Just your everyday Joe, but she’s amazing.  I love everything she writes, and cooks, and I don’t know the girl.  But I wish I did.  She recently came out with her first cookbook (SO awesome!). And here was the chain of events that followed:

Got her cookbook.

Loved it.

Wanted to bake everything in it.

So what did I do?  Went to her blog and made something from there instead.  Hot Cross Biscuits, to be exact.  But don’t worry, a few days later I made her Cinnamon Sugar Rice Pudding out of the cookbook.  It rocked world.  But not near as much as these biscuits.  They were awesome.  I would make them again, and again.  And eat them.  All.

Hot Cross Biscuits

These are just slightly adapted from Joy’s recipe:

**I used dried cranberries in half of the recipe, switched orange zest for lemon, and didn’t use icing

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups  flour

2 Tbsp sugar

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease with shortening, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until resembles flakes of oatmeal.

Add cranberries

Whisk together egg and buttermilk.

Slowly fold into butter/flour mixture, just until all the flour is wet.  Place on a floured surface and knead slightly.  Roll out until dough is 1 inch thick, and cut with a biscuit cutter (whatever size pleases you, really).

Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.  Remove from oven and let cool.

These are amazing served with butter and jam.  I omitted the cranberries from half of my recipe, and I loved them both ways.

Bon appetit!

30 Day Challenge

Day 10 – Discuss your first love and first kiss

Well.  That’s [fairly] early.  My first love would be my hubby.  I’ve had a crush (and then wayyy more than a crush) on him since elementary school.  Sure, we’ve had ups and downs.  But I never ever gave a thought to us not being together.  There were scary times, when it came close, but we got through.  He’s handsome, in a rugged (which is my favourite!) way.  Funny, sarcastic, great hubby, wonderful Daddy – these are only a few of the things that I love about him.  I’ve got to mention his little crooked smile, and the mischievous look he gets too.  They’re just too good to pass up.  He is the only guy I’ve ever kissed (other than my daddy, of course).  The first time was, well, messy.  And I thought about it for months…  Okay, maybe years.  Because we really had two first kisses.  The second time was… not so messy.  It made my heart flutter (literally, I think I could have had a heart attack), and I was so nervous both times, I could’ve thrown up.  But it was great.  I’ve kissed him a million times since.  Gets better every time.  So there’s the juice.  Now you know.

(You guys do realize it’s taking me about 30+ weeks to do this challenge instead of 30 days, right?  I’m slower than a tortoise!)

Peace out.

Berries… and summer endings.

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So hey.  I know I said last time that I would be posting soon.   I’m ashamed to say that I lied… again.  Life is just crazy.  And my priorities elsewhere [apparently].

Summer is coming to a close.  I know this because I’m currently sitting wrapped in a blanket with a sweater on.  You’d never in the afternoons though.  It’s nice and warm, sun beating down.  But as soon as evening hits, so does the brisk autumn air.  And it gets CHILLY.  But it’s cool.  Only thing I mind is needing to change about 3 times a day to accommodate the temperature changes.

But.  It’s still summer.  1 more week.  I’ve seen leaves fall, coloured red.  It’s scary, and beautiful all in one.  Scary as I don’t know where the summer went.  Beautiful, because it’s a gorgeous time of year.  Colourful and crisp, wonderful.

Can I just say that my little boy is growing up too fast?  (This is part of the scary leaves falling thought…)  He’s getting so big, and is running around everywhere.  Weaning himself from 2 naps to 1, and being the cutest, silliest, smartest little guy I’ve ever known.  He has this funny growl/laugh thing he does deep in his throat that makes him sound like a maniacal scientist.  It’s pretty great.

{We have these sweet kid-sized grocery carts at the store.  Still a bit big for him, but he thought it was great!}

Since it’s still summer, I decided to use up some of my berries to make muffins!  I’ve come up with the brilliant idea of freezing my muffins.  Because you see, hubby doesn’t normally eat muffins.  So that leaves eating them (a dozen plus) up to me.  And by the time 12 mornings have gone by, the muffins are normally green, and so am I.  I like to change my breakfasts up every couple of days.  It gets boring having the same thing over and over again.  SO – freezing them is what I have come to do.   And it works!  Muffins freeze great.  And if you set one out the evening before, it’s all ready for you to eat the next morning.  Yum.  Fresh muffins whenever I want.

Back to my berry muffins.

These are going to be Whole Wheat Berry Muffins.  (Well, half whole wheat anyway.)

Here goes!

Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh/frozen berries (I used fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin cups.  (If you fill them really full, you’ll get 12 nice sized muffins.)

Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add eggs and salt, and beat until combined.

Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.

Fold in berries.  Spoon into muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are a golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy with a slab of butter, and a cup-o-tea.  A great (and almost convincingly healthy with the whole wheat flour) way to start an autumn morning.  Hope you like them!

And back to the 30 Day Challenge (that is taking me about 30 months).

30 Day Challenge

Day 7 – Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Okay, first off, I don’t do the whole zodiac thing.  So I actually had to Google what my sign was, and what it meant.  Some people might think this to be sad… Me?  I think it’s fine.  Stars know nothing.  Stars say nothing.

According to my [thorough… hemhem] research, I’m a Taurus (one of those bull-type things).

And according to some random website, this is what a Taurus is:

Patient and reliable
Warmhearted and loving
Persistent and determined
Placid and security loving

Jealous and possessive
Resentful and inflexible
Self-indulgent and greedy

Some of these… may be true.  Others, not so much.

Take patience for example.  I don’t think I’m overly patient (or even a little, for that matter).  Especially when I’m pregnant and my hormones are rollercoaster-ing around in my system.  As for persistent and determined.  Yes.  You might even say I’m stubborn.  But hey, I’m told I get it honestly.  Jealous and possessive, perhaps.  Greedy, I hope not… I don’t think so anyways.

Anywho.  That’s enough of the stars for me.  Forever.  Hopefully I’ll hear from you guys and get another post rolling soon!  Later days.

It’s a Raspberry Scone kinda day.

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Just a tidbit of what happened in my life today.  Our family grew from 3 to 6.  All in a matter of one evening, and all by choice.  We went to pick up two kittens, and came home with three.  I just couldn’t separate them.  Two black sisters (one long and one short-haired) and one orange tabby brother.  Snap, Crackle, and Pop.  What’s an extra cat…  or three?  🙂

So – Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones.  That’s what I made today.  Proud of me?  They’re pretty good too.

I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking lately.  Mostly because there has been too much else to do.  Chasing after Cael, cleaning the house, going away, being preggo, etc.  Oh, and I’m back to work part-time too, which definitely adds to the crazy chaotic life that seems to be mine.

But there has still been a bit of baking going on.  I have a few other recipes all set to share with you too.  And I’m sure more baking will be in my future.  Especially with a bridal shower and a wedding for my friend in the near future.

Anyhow!  To the scones!

I found a recipe at Smitten Kitchen and slightly adapted it to what was in my refrigerator.  Raspberries add such great flavour – they make the scones perfectly sweet and tart.  And whole wheat flour add a great body to the scones (not to mention a little added nutrition).  Try them out.  And if you don’t have my ingredients, check out Smitten Kitchen’s recipe; you’re bound to have one or the other.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

1 cup  whole wheat flour
1 cup  all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup  sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup  fresh raspberries
3/4 cup  non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup whole milk

And… about 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.  In the bottom of a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar and salt.

With a pastry blender, add the butter cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like dry curdled milk (yum, right?).  Add the raspberries and use the blender again to cut them into smaller chunks.

Stir in the yogurt, milk, and lemon juice to form a dough with a flexible spatula.  When the dough is all sticking together, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter.  Flour the top of the dough and pat into a square about 1-inch thick. With a knife, divide the dough into 9 squares.  Put the scones onto the baking sheet. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden at the edges.  Cool on the  pan for a minute, then place on a cooling rack.

**If you have to add more or less liquid – do so.  My dough was pretty sticky, but I floured it really well when I rolled it out.  I like making things like that, it’s my preference.  But if it’s not yours, just don’t make it quite so sticky.**

Enjoy.  They are great still warm out of the oven, as are, with a cup of tea.  Or warmed up later with a slab of butter on top.

After supper this evening, we went outside and had bubbles for Cael (courtesy of his Nana).  Here he is in action!  (He loved it.)

 

{He was having a blast!  And his feet were as black as…. well… tar}

 

 

{My slightly pregnant belly…} 

Talk soon!

Rolling in the Dough

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Rolling in cinnamon roll dough that is!  (The biscuit type.)

As much as I wish that it was the money-type-dough….  It’s not.  But this is the next best kind!  But!  Before we get to that…  Baking.  Who likes to do this?  Is there anyone else out there that just loves to bake?  Because I could bake sun-up to sun down if I had the people to bake for and the time to do so…  Just wanted to let you know about that.

Guess what!  Our little boy crawled for the first time yesterday!  It was a very exciting, but bittersweet moment.  Exciting because he’s crawling and growing up.  Bittersweet because he’s growing up SO fast.  I cannot believe how big he’s getting and how much he’s doing.  Have I mentioned that he claps and tries to sing along in church?  (Or that he’s a complete goof ball?)

Don’t you love the hairdo and expression?  🙂  Priceless.

Speaking of church, our church played the movie Courageous over the weekend.  It was a great movie.  I highly recommend it.  It is focusing on what God says of fathers in the Bible.  But it has great advice in it for mothers as well.  We are to bring up our children in a godly way, honouring Him through it all.  It’s a really hard task.  But completely achievable with the help of prayer and the Holy Spirit.  Joshua 25:15 – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

On to these FAMOUS Cinnamon Rolls.  They are sooo good.  I’ve mentioned my grandmother in a few of my previous posts.  She was a real influence on my baking.  I have been baking as long as I’ve been standing (and probably before).  This recipe is one that she would let me help with right from the get-go.  It was our recipe (well, it’s hers, but it was our special time spent together eating the dough making them).  😉  We are a family that tends not to measure…  I know, I know…  Tsk tsk.  BUT – things just taste better when they aren’t perfect.  (Remember my gripe about perfectly round cookies?)  I love being able to judge how much of something I need to dump in without a measuring cup.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do measure a lot of things (especially for certain recipes when it is critical that certain amounts are exact), but I dump a lot of ingredients in the bowl willy-nillly.  Anyway, my ramble does have a point – we tend not to measure… i.e. – this recipe does not really exist.  I had to make my grandmother sit down and really think about what she puts in her cinnamon rolls, so I could write it down to have and to share.  So, here goes!

Nanny’s Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Salt

2 1/2 – 3 cups flour

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

Stir together the margarine, eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Once it is combined, add two cups of flour and the baking powder, stir. Add 1/2 cup flour, stir.  If the dough is too sticky to handle, add the rest of the flour.  If it seems okay, then don’t add any more.  Simple as that.

Now, this is one of those recipes that you just have to use a wooden spoon.  Well, I do at least.  My grandmother didn’t introduce me to a mixer until I was 10 or 11, so we used a wooden spoon to make most of the baked goods we made together.  And there are still a few recipes that I just have to use a wooden spoon to mix.  It doesn’t mix as thoroughly as our KitchenAid, but it gives these rolls a ‘homemade’ feel, and I get to feel quite nostalgic.

After you’re done mixing, slap it on a floured surface and roll into a rectangle (the dough should be about 1/2 inch thick, or whatever you prefer really).  Next – spread with margarine.  The more, the better.  Yum.

Then, sprinkle (very generously) brown sugar over the butter.  Don’t forget to spread it out and lick your fingers (and to wash your hands afterwards…).  Then sprinkle cinnamon over the sugar, to your own taste.  If you like raisins, you can throw some of those on top – SO good.  After all that, you can roll these puppies up.  From the long end.  They should look somewhat like this when they’re rolled:

I cut them into 12 rolls normally, but you can make them thicker/thinner if you want to.  Then put them on a greased cookie sheet, or in a greased 8X8 pan (depending on how you want them to turn out).

Oh!  Remember to cut the ends off, just a little slice off of either end to make them look better (and so that you have some extra dough to sample).  Nanny would save the ends for us every time she made them.  (And if I got through the door first, I’d quickly scarf down both ends so I didn’t have to share with my brother… Very sisterly of me eh?)

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until dough is set and slightly brown.

They looked so good.  I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of them.  Last one, I promise.  Best one too.

Wow.  One of my most favourite foods (I think I have a lot of those….)

And just a side note – Congratulations to my best friend Ivy, who just got engaged this weekend!

What is your favourite baked good?  Have any family traditions around baking?

Ever get sick of cake?

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As I said on Thursday, here is my next cake post.  Last post, you saw my cake in the oven.  Here it is now, just about to be frosted:

Add another, layer, smoother on the frosting, and smooth it out.  Voila!  Next step accomplished!

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – here’s the finished product!

Want a close up of those roses?  Not near as good as my teacher (my grandmother), but still pretty snazzy I think!

I made a white cake (family recipe) and just regular icing.

ICING (“Buttercream”)

1 1-kg bag of icing sugar

1 1-lb block of shortening

1 tsp almond extract

2 tbsp milk or water

Just beat all of these ingredients together.  If it’s too thick, add more liquid.  If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.  Easy as pie (or cake… haha)!  This is a great recipe for decorating with.  Just add food colour to change it to whatever colour your heart desires (or your cake is in need of).

Do you ever get sick of cake?  Personally – no.  Well, depends on what kind of cake I suppose.  I’m personally not a fan of carrot cake, I think I’d literally get sick if I took a bite of one of those.  But any other type of cake (pretty well), I don’t even think it’s possible to get sick of it.  It’s a staple.  Didn’t you know that Canada’s Food Guide has an extra category for ‘Daily Cake Intake’?  (Not really, but I wish it were so!)

I LOVE to decorate cakes. I don’t do it often enough (therefore don’t get enough practice), and have a tendency to go too fast, but they seem to turn out alright.  I’d love to do it more often though.  Anybody need a cake?  Contact me.  Those in the local area anyways.  I have done a few different cakes.  I’ll share some pictures of past cakes/cupcakes soon!

So, my grandmother had asked me to make a cake for a combined birthday supper for my mother and her sister.  She said I ‘made them look better’.  When I arrived with the cake, she even told me it looked professional!  Wowzers.  My self-confidence blew right up at that one.  😉

There’s a story behind this.  My grandmother has decorated cakes for a long time as a side-income.  She was amazing at it.  She made my birthday cakes for me from the time I was 1, until I was 17.  Always sooo yummy, and always looked too good to eat.  She’s since had a few medical problems, so she doesn’t do it anymore, but I’ve inherited a lot of her tools  and her love for doing it.  Food really should be an art, and this is one way to express that.

Meet my Nannie.  She’s the best.

Random, yes.  But have you ever tried a dragon fruit?  They’re pretty good.  Kind of like a mild kiwi.  Not to mention, they look gorgeous.  I just couldn’t let this photo opportunity pass.

This week is my hubby’s birthday.  I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen for his birthday yet.   I’ve got planning to do.  But I’ll let you know once I figure it out…

Just a question…  Do you need something sweet after a meal?  Always seem to?  I do.