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Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

One of the great joys of the holiday season is creating and trying out new recipes, like this Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict.  I’d never eaten Eggs Benedict before we moved to Washington.  I’ll confess that I have been fairly intimidated by runny yolks on eggs.  It’s just one of those quirky things.  As a kid, I absolutely hated eggs.  I could sort of tolerate them scrambled, with plenty of salt and butter.  My grandmother, who was a firm believer in eggs as a key protein, would make pancakes that were more egg than pancake to disguise the eggs, but still get me to eat them. I really thought that hard-boiled eggs were the absolute worst; they struck me as a rubbery abomination.

Fortunately, I grew out of my egg aversion with a vengeance.  I started eating hard boiled eggs when I lived in the Marshall Islands.  They were a cheap and easy source of protein and with enough salt on them, they weren’t too bad.  My relationship with eggs really changed when I met Clay – he makes the most amazing fluffy scrambled eggs and when combined with fried potatoes and avocado in a breakfast burrito, I’m in foodie heaven.  Of course, when we moved to Oregon and I started getting farmer’s market eggs, I learned that not all eggs are created equal.  My first encounter with a really fresh egg with a deep golden yolk was transformative.  Since then, I’ve been really curious about what people see in a runny egg yolk.

I eased into Eggs Benedict, starting out by ordering hard poached eggs.  And then one day, I didn’t bother and experienced a lovely golden egg yolk running all over my English muffin.  Oh, yum.

So this year, I decided it would be great fun to make my own hollandaise sauce, my own English muffins, and recreate my favorite Eggs Benedict dish with bacon and avocado.  This Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict would be the perfect way to start the New Year.  Timing wise, this makes an ideal brunch.

The biggest challenge I encountered with this was the timing of all the parts.  So here’s what I learned:

  1. I recommend making your own English Muffins.  My recipe is linked.  You can start the dough the night before, taking it all the way through the first rise.  Punch down the dough and put it in the fridge overnight.  Take it out thirty minutes before you shape the dough into the English muffins and proceed as directed from there.
  2. Cook the bacon in advance and reheat it.
  3. Cook the Hollandaise and then set it aside while you poach the eggs.  Reheat it gently over very low heat until it is lukewarm.  Be sure to keep whisking it as you do this so the emulsion doesn’t fall apart.
  4. If you aren’t into poached eggs, fry your eggs instead.  You’ll never notice the difference under all the Hollandaise.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Ingredients

    Makes 4 servings
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup slightly softened butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices
  • Eggs Benedict
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split in half and toasted
  • 8 poached eggs
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

    To make the Hollandaise Sauce
  1. Off the burner, combine the egg yolks, water, and lemon in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Put the saucepan over a burner set on low heat. Whisk constantly until the eggs begin to get frothy and start to thicken. There will be a noticeable change in the egg mixture - they will begin to increase in volume as well as will start to get thick enough you will be able to see the bottom of the saucepan as you whisk. When this occurs, take the eggs off the heat and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. When one tablespoon of butter is fully incorporated, add the next until it's all been added.
  3. To assemble the Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict
  4. Split each strip of bacon into two pieces. Lay two pieces of bacon on each half of the English muffins. Lay one or two slices of avocado on top of each English muffin. Lay the poached eggs on top of the avocado and then divide the Hollandaise sauce equally over each muffin. Grind fresh pepper over each.
  5. Enjoy!
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Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

If you are looking for a post-Thanksgiving brunch recipe that doesn’t involve turkey, look no further than biscuits and gravy with cacio e pepe scones.

For some years, I’ve wanted to make the perfect biscuit, which is basically the biscuit of nostalgia – the biscuit that my grandmother used to make.  I watched her make biscuits for years: in fact, my first cooking experiments were rolling out a bit of biscuit dough and adding sprinkles and other oddball ingredients to them.  My grandma would dutifully bake these biscuit cookies along with the biscuits for dinner and I’m sure that my grandfather equally dutifully would eat and praise them.  For as long as I watched, though, I don’t actually remember what ingredients she used.

My husband, Clay, experiences the same nostalgia.  He has a biscuit memory from his grandma’s cooking, which we haven’t been able to pinpoint or reproduce, though we’ve tried.  I realized, though, after making scones some time ago that my scone recipe is remarkably biscuit like: light, fluffy, and buttery.  I’ve wanted to try out a savory scone/biscuit and then make gravy.

So this weekend, make up a batch of cacio e pepe scones and smother them in sausage and gravy – you won’t be disappointed and I think both our grandmothers would approve.

biscuits and gravy

 

Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

Cacio e Pepe Scones
Makes 12 scones

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano or similar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper.  Cut the butter into slices.  Add the butter into the dry mixture and either use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter until it forms pea size chunks.  Add the cheese and mix it in.  Add the heavy cream and egg gently incorporating until all the flour/butter mixture is wet and sticks together in a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a circle.  Cut the dough into twelve pieces that radiate out from the middle of the circle.  Gently separate each piece – you want just a bit of space between each scone so that they can rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden brown.  These can be frozen and reheated wrapped in aluminum foil at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes.

Cream Gravy with Sausage
Serves 4

6 links cooked sausage, cut into small pieces.
1 tablespoon drippings from the cooked sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
Black pepper to taste

Heat the drippings and oil over medium heat in a small saucepan.  Add the flour a bit at a time, whisking constantly.  The flour may clump a bit and that’s fine.  Once all the flour is incorporated, add the milk slowly, continuing to whisk.   Bring to a low simmer and cook until the gravy begins to thicken.  Stir the entire time to keep the milk from burning.  When the gravy is to your preferred consistency, take off the heat and add the sausage.

Serve the cream gravy with sausage over one or more Cacio e Pepe scones, split in half.  Enjoy!

This post is linked to Cook Once Eat Twice November at Searching for Spice.  Check out the other great recipes!

cookonceeattwice-2

Eggnog Ricotta Pancakes

Eggnog Ricotta Pancakes

The holidays are coming, and I’m eager for time to deck out the house with holiday cheer.  I’m also excited about spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking.  So, I bought some eggnog this past weekend, as I was hoping to get a jump on baking for Thanksgiving.  (I promise there is a good Thanksgiving dessert recipe coming soon to the blog that makes use of eggnog).  The weekend got away from me though, so I decided to use some of the eggnog to make pancakes instead.  (Full confession – I ran out of milk and eggnog happened to be handy).

I’m really glad we were out of milk, since eggnog pancakes might just be the best thing ever.  I took one bite of these and started dancing around the kitchen in joy – they are really just that good!  Serve these with a drizzle of maple syrup and a cup of good coffee.  You won’t be sorry.

eggnog-pancakes-with-syrup

eggnog-pancakes-with-bacon-and-eggs

Eggnog Ricotta Pancakes
Makes 12 small pancakes

3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup eggnog
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup ricotta cheese

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix together the eggnog, the egg, the vanilla, and the ricotta cheese.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.  If the batter is too thick to easily pour, add 1/4 cup water to the mix.

Heat a cast iron skillet or a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Spray with olive or canola oil.  Use a quarter cup measure to ladle out the batter onto the hot skillet.  When the batter becomes bubbly on top, flip.  (If you are using a cast iron skillet, you may need to re-oil the skillet between flips).  Cook until both sides are golden.  Enjoy!

Cacio e Pepe Scones

Cacio e Pepe Scones

Cacio e Pepe Scones

Cacio e Pepe scones are my contribution to Food’n Flix this month.  Food’n Flix is a fun blogging opportunity to watch the same movie as other amazing food bloggers and be inspired.  This month’s movie, Burnt, was hosted by Caroline Makes. Burnt is an absolutely quintessential cooking movie about a burned out chef who makes a major come back and finds love and inspiration along the way.

The first time I watched Burnt was on an airplane on my I-Pad on the way to Indianapolis a few weeks ago.  I thought that creating food inspired from this movie would be easy – it’s a movie about a chef and about food, after all, so how hard could it be?  After watching the movie through the first time, I realized it was going to be more challenging than I’d originally thought.  There are so many fast paced camera shots of all the food that the main character Adam, played by Bradley Cooper, plates, serves, and eats that I couldn’t quite figure out what was actually being cooked.  Then I was distracted by the plot line and found myself more engaged with the drama between the characters than the food.  So I watched the movie a second time this past week while I was in Chicago, pen and notebook in hand.  It provided a great distraction from all the real-world drama that was going on with the US election.  So much beautiful food: seared shrimp, bouillabaisse, summer vegetables on ricotta cheese, turbot, beets, oysters, omelettes, mushrooms, beef, lamb.  But my favorite food moment in the film is at the very start when Adam suggests adding chopped sage to a luscious looking bowl of cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper pasta).  I got to thinking about the combination of cheese and black pepper and then even more about food and how it can bring such comfort – whether one is taking care of a chef who has gone on a binge by cooking a simple omelette or if one is just trying to recover from the election hangover.   I love cheese and black pepper and I love scones, so decided to see what would happen if I combined these elements.

I have to say that I’m very pleased with how these scones turned out.  I even went digging through the pantry to find a jar of tomato jam I made last year to see how it would taste on a scone (it’s delicious).  These are so creamy they are nearly biscuit like, so I’m pretty sure we are going to make some sausage gravy next weekend and warm up a few scones in lieu of biscuits.   I also think these would be great with a glass of a robust red wine as a holiday appetizer.

cacio-e-pepe-scone

multiple-scones

Cacio e Pepe Scones
Makes 12 scones

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano or similar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper.  Cut the butter into slices.  Add the butter into the dry mixture and either use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter until it forms pea size chunks.  Add the cheese and mix it in.  Add the heavy cream and egg gently incorporating until all the flour/butter mixture is wet and sticks together in a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a circle.  Cut the dough into twelve pieces that radiate out from the middle of the circle.  Gently separate each piece – you want just a bit of space between each scone so that they can rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Date Bread

Pumpkin Date Bread

The October/November pick for the Cook the Books Club was Jessica Soffer’s Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

book

I had very mixed feelings about this book.  It was well written enough for me to stay engaged and read it to the end, largely because I connected to the main character, Lorca, though throughout the book, I really, really found myself disliking her mother and her absolutely blase disregard for her daughter’s desperate need for her love.  Full disclosure here – in another not too long ago life, I worked very closely with populations of both adults and young adults who were highly at-risk and often engaged in very risky behaviors, of which self-mutilation was often the least of it.  I think that’s why I struggled with this book so much – I know that it takes a lot of perseverance for someone to save themselves and few get so lucky to find a Victoria, the other main character and a former restaurant owner, to help them.

Ok – now that that’s out there…the book was a feast of good food.  After all, the entire focus is on how food can bring those who are desperately lonely together, and that particular theme resonates for me.  I left the book with the feeling that food could transform Lorca’s life and make her into a resilient adult and that made me happy.  It also made me happy to go flipping back through the book when I was done and think about what inspired me.  I finally landed on a variation of date bread, because of this line of Victoria’s: “‘Date bread,’ I said. ‘From my country.’ Oldest trick in the book: bake something to make guests feel at home.”  It is November, after all, and I’ve been in a baking mood.  My pumpkin date bread relies on the flavors of the season with a good dose of pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree.  The dates give it an extra punch of sweetness.  It’s dense and chewy and goes really well with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

This is also pretty easy to put together and makes a generous two loafs – perfect for having a loaf to eat now and one to freeze for later.  Last, but not least, this is a low-fat pumpkin date bread, which gets much of its moist texture from unsweetened apple sauce and Greek yogurt.

full-loaf-pumpkin-date-bread

pumpkin-date-bread

 

Pumpkin Date Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15 ounce can)
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients, from the flour through the white sugar in a large bowl and mix.  Combine the wet ingredients, from the pumpkin puree through the eggs in a small bowl and mix to incorporate all the ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing just enough to incorporate all the dry ingredients.  Add the dates.

Divide the batter between two bread pans that have either been buttered or that are lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Enjoy!

 

Many thanks to Cook the Books Club – I’ve had so much fun developing recipes based on the last two challenges.  I’m looking forward to more reading and cooking in the future!

cookthebooks

I’ve also linked up with this month’s tea time treat challenge, which is all about comfort food (and what’s more comforting that fresh bread?).  Check out the wonderful hosts of Tea Time Treats:  Lavender and Lovage, Travels for Taste and Jo’s Kitchen. Lavender and Lovage is hosting this month, so be sure to check out all the recipes for Tea Time Treats here.

Tea Time Treats
Tropical Granola with Apricots and Ginger

Tropical Granola with Apricots and Ginger

I made tropical granola today, because it rained all day today, and I’ve been having dreams of traveling to the tropics.  Instead, I have two full weeks of travel on my schedule – with one trip to the Midwest and one to the South and both because I’m presenting at conferences in my field.  I’ve been absent from the blog because of this (follow me on Instagram to see photos of my travels and, more importantly, my food on my travels).  I’ll be posting a foodie travel update in a couple of weeks to share and review some of the restaurants I’ve been to and the food I’ve eaten.

In the meantime, I have a few days between trips and decided to make some granola, which makes a great travel snack.  I used a combination of almonds, coconut, dried apricots, and chocolate covered ginger to spice things up.  It’s also a quick recipe to make – thirty-five minutes from start to finish.

tropical-granola-up-close

tropical-granola-yogurt-parfait

Tropical Granola
Serves 10

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger (chocolate covered ginger is optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, olive oil, honey, and maple syrup in a medium sized bowl.  Make sure the oats are fully covered with the oil, honey, and syrup.  Pour the oat mixture onto a parchment covered baking sheet and spread so that it covers the sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes and stir.  Bake another 10 minutes and stir again.  Bake for a final 10 minutes and then set the granola aside to cool.  Add the apricots and ginger when the granola is cool to the touch.  Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Pie Spice Biscotti

I’m so delighted that fall is here!  I couldn’t resist baking a batch of pumpkin pie spice biscotti this weekend, just to celebrate the start of October.  These cookies make the entire house smell like the holidays – the pumpkin pie spice is so fragrant.  I’m pretty generous with ginger in my spice blend and it comes through in a nice subtle way in these cookies. 

I’ve been thinking some about the pumpkin pie spice craze – I’ll admit that as soon as it started raining, I was in line at Starbucks for my first Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte for the year, which really, honestly, tastes nothing like pumpkin or spice.  I’ve since been sampling similar lattes at other coffee shops and have found a few favorites to get me through the season.  I’ve also thought a lot about pumpkin pie spice – I don’t know when it became de rigueur to DIY pumpkin pie spice.  I remember buying the premixed spice and having it around as a staple in the spice pantry.  It’s so simple to mix up the spices yourself though, so I’m happy about this particular cooking trend. 

And since this post is all about starting fall off with pumpkin, I recently read an interesting article that most canned pumpkin isn’t actually pumpkin at all, but is generally a blend of other winter squashes, like butternut squash because other winter squashes are less stringy than pumpkin and make a smoother puree.  This was a bit of a revelation for me: I’ve been making my own pumpkin puree for years now and every time I open up a roasted pie pumpkin, I’ve thought – this thing looks more like an orange spaghetti squash than pumpkin puree, so what am I doing wrong?  Then I put the thought aside, mash it up some, and throw it in the freezer to be used in things like these pumpkin pie spice biscotti or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.   The stringiness isn’t noticeable when it’s cooked into a baked good or even when it’s blended into a smoothie, so I’ll keep on making my pumpkin puree with pumpkin. 

The bottom line here is that pumpkin and spice is a winning combination.  Enjoy these pumpkin pie spice biscotti with a cup of coffee (or a pumpkin spice latte) or a cup of tea and sit back and watch the leaves fall.

pumpkin-pie-spice-biscotti-2

Pumpkin Pie Spice Biscotti
Makes 2 dozen

½ cup pumpkin puree (recipe for DIY pumpkin puree here)
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see below to make your own)
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
To dip or drizzle:
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl.  Add the pumpkin puree and egg and mix.  In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until all the dry ingredients are mixed in. 

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Divide it into two sections and form each into a loaf.  Flatten each loaf out a bit on top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

Remove the biscotti loafs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Use a serrated edged knife to slice the loafs into ½ slices – you’ll be able to get about 12 cookies from each loaf.  Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet in a single layer.  As they will not rise anymore at this point, they don’t need space between them, so you can fit all the biscotti on one baking sheet.

Bake the sliced biscotti at 325 for 25 minutes or until they are brown and crispy looking.  I usually flip them over about half way through to ensure even baking on both sides. 

When the biscotti are baked, open the oven door and let the cookies cool in the oven for 15 minutes for a very crisp biscotti.  Pull them out of the oven and finish cooling on a cooling rack. 

When the biscotti are cooled, melt the chocolate chips (in two separate saucepans) and use them to drizzle to decorate.  You can also dip the cookies in chocolate and nuts or just in chocolate.  Let the cookies air dry and then store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

Mix all the spices together in an airtight container. 

Egg and Sausage Poutine

Egg and Sausage Poutine

Egg and sausage poutine is a glorious comfort food.  I could easily eat it for breakfast (preferably with a Bloody Mary), but am just as happy to make this for dinner, particularly on a cool, rainy autumn night, served with a crisp Chardonnay and eaten watching a comedy.

My husband, Clay, is the person who brought poutine into our world.  I am pretty sure he found a recipe for it on a video on Facebook.  My initial reaction was one of skepticism – sure, it was a food that included French fries and cheese, but gravy?  After some trial and error though, this has gone into my rotation of go-to comfort foods for days I’m feeling especially stressed out or unhappy.  It’s a tie for me which is better – poutine or pasta carbonara.

Some food trivia: poutine is a dish that originated in Quebec and is very popular in Canada and some of the states that border Canada.  In its simplest form, it is fries, curds, and gravy, but you can definitely add other things to it, including bacon (my favorite), ham, etc.  I suppose if you felt really guilty about eating it, you could add a veggie component – I can imagine (though have yet to try) that some shaved and crisped Brussel sprouts could be really lovely with this.

breakfast-poutine

Egg and Sausage Poutine
Serves 4

Brown gravy (recipe below)
1 bag frozen French fries
1 package link breakfast sausages
4 eggs
1 package cheese curds

Brown Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth

Bake the fries according to the package directions.  As the fries bake, cook the breakfast sausages until they are browned.  While fries and sausage cook, make the gravy.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan and gradually whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Cook the roux for a minute, continuing to whisk.  Pour in the beef broth and continue to whisk.  Cook for about five minutes or until the gravy comes to your preferred thickness.  Remove the gravy from the heat and set aside.

Set aside the sausage.  Fry the eggs – I prefer a slightly runny yolk with this recipe, but you can also cook the eggs until the yolk is set if you prefer.  Once all components are cooked, plate the poutine by setting down a base of French fries on each plate.  Divide the curds over each plate of fries.  Drizzle some of the gravy over the top.  Place the sausages and egg on top and top with more gravy.  Enjoy!

 

Pear and Chocolate Scones

Pear and Chocolate Scones

These pear and chocolate scones came about because I drank a cup of Earl Grey tea the other afternoon and decided that my next cup of tea needed to be accompanied by scones.  That, and, through a moment of marital miscommunication at Trader Joe’s last weekend, we ended up with two boxes of butter, two dozen eggs, and two containers of heavy cream, which neither of us realized until we were home and unloading the groceries.  Fortunately, scones use heavy cream, eggs, and butter and even more fortunate still, it was a rainy and gloomy weekend, which made it perfect for scone experimentation.

I also bought pears, which are a somewhat ambivalent fruit for me.  I like pears and I feel obligated to buy them in the fall.  Unfortunately, I often forget that they are lurking in the fridge (though I recently read they shouldn’t be stored in the fridge at all), and end up with pear mush.  This time of year, I see all the lovely pear recipes – pear galettes, pear tarts, fancy whole pears in cakes – and think, this will be the year I make something fancy with pears.

I don’t know that these scones exactly fit the bill of fanciness with pear.  However, they are a good start in that direction and may inspire me to break out the rough puff pastry next week and cook up some pastry laden pears.  In the meantime, these go really well with a cup of coffee, as well as with a cup of tea.  They were fairly quick to put together, too, and can last a few days in an airtight container, so make a great morning-at-work snack.

pre-bake-scones

(I didn’t mean to cut these as crazily as I did – I was aiming for mini-scones and went off the rails.  My advice – make the cuts like you would for a pizza.)

scones-post-bake

chocolate-and-pear-scone-with-tea-and-pears

Pear and Chocolate Scones
Serves 12

2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pear, chopped into small pieces
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into slices.  Add the butter into the dry mixture and either use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter until it forms pea size chunks.  Add the heavy cream, egg and vanilla and gently incorporate until all the flour/butter mixture is wet and sticks together in a shaggy dough.  Add the pear and chocolate chips and gently incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a circle.  Cut the dough into twelve pieces that radiate out from the middle of the circle.  Gently separate each piece – you want just a bit of space between each scone so that they can rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Overnight Oats Santa Fe Style

Overnight Oats Santa Fe Style

These overnight oats are an homage to the four years that I lived in New Mexico and spent a great deal of time traveling to Santa Fe on vacation and on the way to Denver.  I think it must be the changing weather – the days are getting shorter and there are a few moments of late afternoon sunshine that are reminiscent of fall in New Mexico.  All that I need to make the illusion complete would be the smell of roasting chilies at every grocery store in town (and how I miss that smell).

One of my favorite treats when we would go to Santa Fe was chocolate chip cookies with pine nuts.  It’s such a simple addition – but not one that I would have ever thought of on my own.  The pine nuts add a bite to the cookies and, for me, taste like nights spent in hotels with kiva fireplaces and stone floors.

I’ve been meaning to make chocolate chip cookies with pine nuts.  This is a recipe that still might make it to the blog, but in the meantime, my craving for chocolate chips and pine nuts has been strong, and I’ve had limited time to do much about it.  These overnight oats are my response.  They are quick and easy, filling, and take me back to New Mexico in a few bites.

overnight-oats-santa-fe-style-ingredients

overnight-oats-santa-fe-style-milk-and-yogurt

overnight-oats-santa-fe-style

Overnight Oats Santa Fe Style
Serves 2

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened, vanilla flavored almond milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/8 cup pine nuts

Combine all ingredients in a pint jar or similar container that can be covered.  You can also divide the ingredients between two 1/2 pint jars. Leave in the refrigerator overnight and then serve.  Enjoy!

 

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