Citrus Waffles with Marmalade Compote

Citrus Waffles with Orange Compote

Citrus Waffles with Orange Compote

Every once in a while I pull a surprise  meal and we have “breakfast for supper”.  The events last weekend provided me with just such an opportunity.  We had plans for Sunday that would have included a meal but at the last minute they were unexpectedly cancelled .  I was then faced with the need to come up with a meal that I had not planned for.  So, breakfast for supper was the perfect solution.

Running in parallel  was my desire to incorporate more citrus into our diet.  So I came up with this idea for adding grated orange zest to my waffle batter and making an orange compote to spoon over the top.  Brilliant, if I do say so myself  🙂  I like to add some whole wheat flour to waffles as another way to get in some fiber, and I also added some wheat germ.  Buttermilk makes waffles nice and light if you have some, but you can sour milk and get the same results just by adding a little vinegar to the amount of milk called for.  A non-stressful Sunday evening supper that turned out better than I expected.

COMPOTE

Orange Compote

Orange Compote

YIELD:   Serves 6

Make the compote first and keep warm while you make the waffles.

  • 1/4 cup reduced- sugar orange marmalade  (such as Smucker’s)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups fresh orange sections, or any combination of orange and grapefruit.  I used a Cara Cara orange, a navel orange and a clementine.

To prepare compote:   place first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat;  cook 2 minutes until marmalade melts.  Reduce heat, and gently stir in orange sections;  keep warm.

WAFFLES

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flourIMG_3264
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1  1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1  1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • cooking spray
  • powdered sugar

1.  To prepare the waffles:  lightly spoon both flours into a bowl.  Add brown sugar through nutmeg and stir with a whisk.

2.  Combine buttermilk and next ingredients through egg.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Wet and dry ingredients ready to be combined.

Wet and dry ingredients ready to be combined.

3.  Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat it.   Spoon batter onto hot waffle iron, spreading out to edges.  Cook 5 minutes or  until steaming stops.  Repeat with remaining batter, keeping waffles warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

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4.   Sift powdered sugar over tops of waffles and serve with warm orange compote.  Maple syrup tastes really good on them as well!

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SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

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Paloma Cocktail

Paloma Cocktails

Paloma Cocktails

One of the members of our family just celebrated a milestone birthday—80 years young!   We had a large party with family and friends which was a lot of fun.  When brainstorming ideas for what I was going to bring, the thought of making a special cocktail hit me.  Our guest of honor is adventurous and fun loving so I thought “why not?”  I knew I wanted to incorporate a citrus flavor;  but lemon and orange are pretty commonly used in cocktails, so when I found this recipe using grapefruit, I knew right away it was the one!

This is a very refreshing drink that is easy to fall in love with.  The Paloma, pronounced, PAH-LOW-MAH,  is simply made of tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda.  It’s worth using a good quality tequila, so that the lime and grapefruit flavors will mingle with and enhance the flavor of the tequila, rather than over power it.

The flavors of grapefruit and lime are so refreshing.

The flavors of grapefruit and lime are so refreshing.

Izze is an excellent soda to use because it has lots of carbonation, and is not too sweet.  If you are not able to find this soda in your supermarket, you may use a half and half mixture of pink grapefruit juice and plain soda water.  This works well as a good substitute.

PALOMA Cocktail

The proportions are basically  equal parts tequila and soda, or even a little less soda so the taste of the tequila comes through, and the juice of half a lime.  Add a pinch of Kosher salt if you wish or rim the glass with a little soda, then dip into salt before pouring in the cocktail.IMG_3222

  • 3 ounces tequila
  • juice of half lime
  • 3 ounces grapefruit soda, or to taste
  • 1 wedge of lime for garnish, or a piece of fresh grapefruit

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and mix to combine.

2.  Moisten the rim of a beautiful glass with a little soda, then dip into salt.  Add ice.   Pour in cocktail.

The drinks have gotten a little tipsy .

The drinks have gotten a little tipsy .

3.  If it’s hot where you are, you are about to sip one of  the most refreshing cocktails you have ever had.

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SOURCE:  Slightly adapted from Michael Rhulman,  rhulman.com

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit

Staying with the subject of citrus fruits I thought I would include this simple little recipe–which hardly needs a recipe at all to make, but maybe some of you have never given a thought to heating up or broiling grapefruit.  When my children were small I would cut grapefruits in half, section them, sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar, and place under the broiler until the sugar melted and became a little browned.  Before serving I would place a whole maraschino cherry in the center.  They loved it.  We had it for breakfast, but who’s to say you couldn’t have it as a dessert as well.

My recipe today is very similar to that described above, with just a few more ingredients.   These grapefruit halves are topped with a spiced brown sugar, caramelized under the broiler then topped with a dollop of vanilla infused whipped cream.  It seems more appropriate as a dessert because of the cream on it;  but there’s no right or wrong way to have it.  What’s important is that you get as much citrus as you can  into your diet while it’s so plentiful.  It is one of the best sources of Vitamin C. and also a good source of Vitamin A.

These grapefruit were so juicy, and sweet.  I used cardamom as the spice mixed with the brown sugar and it gave an interesting flavor to the grapefruit.  I made enough of the cream/yogurt mixture to keep some in the refrigerator so that I can make these quickly whenever we want them.  I think they would be great served for  brunch, too.

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BROWN SUGAR BROILED GRAPEFRUIT

SERVINGS    4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 red or pink grapefruit
  • 8 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons nonfat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Position oven rack about 3 inches below the heat source;  preheat broiler.  Line a rimmed baking pan with foil.

2.  Cut each grapefruit in half, then trim a thin slice off the bottom so it sits level.  With a paring knife, or grapefruit knife, cut around each segment, remove any seeds.  Place the grapefruit halves in the prepared pan.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon (or cardamom) in a small bowl.  Brush each half with melted butter, then sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons of the sugar mixture.

Brushed with butter and sprinkled with brown sugar.

Brushed with butter and sprinkled with brown sugar.

3.  Broil the grapefruit, watching carefully and rotating the pan once halfway through, until the tops are bubbling and golden brown, 7 to 12 minutes.

After broiling.

After broiling.

4.  Meanwhile beat the cream in a small bowl until stiff.  Beat in yogurt, granulated sugar and vanilla just until combined.  Serve each grapefruit topped with a heaping tablespoon of the vanilla cream.

Top grapefruit with vanilla cream.

Top grapefruit with vanilla cream.

SOURCE:   EatingWell.com

Maple Soy Salmon with Roast Cauliflower

Maple-Soy Salmon

Maple-Soy Salmon

Since I went  a little hog-wild at the supermarket and purchased a lot of different forms of citrus fruits, now I’m in the situation of trying to use them in as many ways as possible.  Eating them peeled and sectioned “out of hand” and in fruit salads is a given.  A tangerine, a Mineola, or a clementine  make a quick snack any time.  I’ve already shared with you my recipe for Lemon Cream Squares here, so this week I will be featuring recipes that contain other forms of citrus.

Roast Cauliflower with Clementines, Cranberries, and Pistachios

Roast Cauliflower with Clementines, Cranberries, and Pistachios

One of the recent dinners I made was this one, Soy Maple Salmon with Roast Cauliflower.  Even  though you see no mention of a citrus in the title it’s there none the less, in both the salmon part and the cauliflower.  We thought this meal was fabulous and one that I want to repeat again soon.  During this season when seafood is also plentiful, I try to prepare a fish item at least once per week.  The total calories for these two items is under 400 calories, and only 18 Gm. Carbohydrate.  There is a bargain of goodness in this meal any way you look at it.

In planning my time to prepare this meal I found that if I roasted the cauliflower and made a salad while the salmon was marinating, I could then pop the salmon in the hot oven, finish the cauliflower dish and dress the  salad.

SOY-MAPLE SALMON

SERVINGS:    4

Marinating the salmon.

Marinating the salmon.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2  Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4   4-5 ounce salmon fillets

1.   Mix all the ingredients (except salmon) plus  2 Tablespoons water in a large bowl or zip-lock baggie.  Add the salmon and turn to coat.  Allow this to marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

2.   When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400*F.   Coat a rimmed pan with cooking spray.  Drain the fish, season with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until slightly golden and beginning to crisp around the edges, 8 – 10 minutes.  The salmon should be moist, and flake easily with a fork.

Note:  Salmon will be baked after cauliflower at a lower oven temperature.

ROAST CAULIFLOWER WITH CLEMENTINES, CRANBERRIES AND PISTACHIOS

SERVINGS:   4

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower brushed with oil and ready for the oven.

Cauliflower brushed with oil and ready for the oven.

  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slabs
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 clementines, zested and segmented
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons whole or chopped pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon zest from clementines
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1.    Preheat oven to 450*F.  Arrange cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and brush with 2 Tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast, flipping once, about half way through cooking time, until tender and a little charred at edges, about 25 minutes.

Cauliflower after roasting.

Cauliflower after roasting.

2.  Transfer to a serving platter with clementine segments and cover with foil to keep warm.  Turn down oven heat to 400*F to cook salmon.

3.  In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil, add the cranberries, pistachios, clementine zest, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Stir to heat through.  When ready to serve, drizzle over the cauliflower and clementines.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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This dinner entree is a mash-up of two recipes that I put together with some major modifications.

SOURCES:   Salmon:   Food Network Magazine;   Cauliflower:  Whole Living Magazine

Shades of Green

I’m thinking green, people.  I don’t mean environmentally green as in recycle, reduce, reuse or regift.  I mean the color green, as in grass,  spring,  shamrocks, emeralds,  (woo-hoo, my birthstone!).

Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp

Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp

What got me thinking along these lines was a display of fresh asparagus at the supermarket.  This vegetable says spring to me like no other so I had to buy some.  And then the question, ‘what shall I make with it?’  I pondered:  roast asparagus?  steamed asparagus with butter sauce?   asparagus with eggs?  No,  even though I like all those dishes, I wanted something more substantial that would make a whole meal.  So, remembering that I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer,  ( remember my resolution not to forget about foods in the freezer?)  I decided on the following recipe for Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp.  This is a healthy, hearty, yet easy recipe that is good enough to serve to guests.  It also makes a great take-along lunch for the next day.

PENNE WITH ASPARAGUS AND SHRIMP

SERVES:   about 4 generously

INGREDIENTS

Beautiful green asparagus, shrimp, onions and garlic.

Beautiful green asparagus, shrimp, onions and garlic.

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the table

DIRECTIONS

1.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the penne and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain

2.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.   Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

Onions doing their thing.

Onions doing their thing.

3.  Pour in the white wine, and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, butter, and asparagus;

White wine, butter and asparagus added.

White wine, butter and asparagus added.

Cook until the asparagus is just tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the shrimp and lemon juice, continue cooking until the shrimp have turned pink and are no longer translucent in the center.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp, lemon juice, and then pasta added.

Shrimp, lemon juice, and then pasta added.

4.  Toss the cooked penne pasta with the shrimp and asparagus mixture.  Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese to garnish.

This just keeps getting better and better!

Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese.

Serve with more parmesan cheese at the table to sprinkle on each serving.

SOURCE:  AllRecipes.com

A Breath of Sunshine

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We are growing tired of winter winds whipping, snow piled up in hugh mountains, and very little green(ery) to be seen.  So along comes a breath of sunshine in the form of citrus fruits to remind us of warm weather and sunnier times.  The bright colors of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are so cheerful, and they show up in the produce isles just when we need them most.  I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a little warm weather fling.

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Citrus fruits are an equal opportunity ingredient, happy in either savory dishes or sweet.  For example, I use orange segments in green salad to brighten it up and give the salad a little interest and of course I bake with citrus, especially lemons. This post is not going to be using words like zippy, zingy, tangy and tart to describe the flavors of citrus.   You don’t need me to tell you what a lemon tastes like, or how frequently a recipe calls for lemon juice.  In fact I don’t know of a cuisine that does not use citrus in one way or another.  It’s the citric acid that brightens food and makes it come alive.  Often its there,  you don’t know it, but it provides balance.

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One of my favorite uses for lemons is to make lemon squares.  With the abundance of  all this citrus, I decided to indulge myself and make a batch.   This recipe uses oatmeal as one of the ingredients in the cookie base and the topping, so you get a nice little crunch in every bite.  Paired with the smooth creaminess of the lemon filling, this makes a very satisfying dessert or snack.

LEMON CREME SQUARES

YIELD:   12 squaresIMG_3154

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  •  zest of 1 lemon

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F,  and lightly grease a 9″ x 9″ pan

2.  In a large bowl cut butter into brown sugar until they are well combined.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add this mixture and the oats to the butter mixture and mix to combine.  This will be quite dry and crumbly.

4.  Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, and press down lightly.

5.   In a small bowl mix together the condensed milk, lemon juice and zest.

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Spread evenly on top of the oat mixture in the pan.  Top with the remaining oat mixture.

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6.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Let cool and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.  Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

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SOURCE:   TASTE OF HOME BAKING

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

I didn’t know what “Yakitori” was, since I had never had it, but I was willing to experiment with a new recipe.  The title was intriguing, and besides that it promised to take only 20 minutes cooking time.  On a Friday evening I’m usually looking for a quick-to-fix meal and this one seemed to fit the bill.

I glanced at the recipe initially and knew that I had everything on hand that it called for with the exception of snow peas, so while I was out doing some errands, I stopped at the market to get some.  Snow peas are tender and crisp, some with tiny peas inside the shell, but they do have a tough “string” along the side that needs to be pulled off.  So to prepare them for the recipe, you need to wash them, then remove the tips and the string.  Then each one gets cut in half lengthwise.

Snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally lengthwise .

Snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally lengthwise .

The bunch of green onions called for also need to be cut into 1-inch pieces.  Therefore you need to plan for some prep time for the vegetables. Once all that is done the rest goes together quickly.

Green onions cut into one-inch pieces

Green onions cut into one-inch pieces

The seasoning in this dish is achieved thru the use of Asian ingredients;  soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), rice vinegar and peanut oil. Together they make a pleasant flavoring that is very enjoyable.  Mirin is low in alcohol content, and most of it cooks off in this recipe.  For a non-alcoholic version, substitute an equal amount of chicken broth and another tablespoon of rice vinegar.

Asian seasonings

Asian seasonings

CHICKEN YAKITORI RICE BOWL

YIELD:   Serves   4

  • 2  ( 3.5-ounce ) bags boil-in-bag basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin  (sweet rice wine)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, either breast or thigh meat. ( If meat is thick cut in half lengthwise)
  • 8 ounces snow peas, halved lengthwise diagonally
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1.  Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2.  Combine soy sauce through chicken broth in microwavable bowl.  Heat on HIGH for 1 minute to dissolve sugar.  Stir, and set aside.

3.  Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat.  Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chicken pieces to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lightly brown chicken pieces.

Lightly brown chicken pieces.

Transfer to a cutting board; cool slightly.  Cut into ( 1-inch ) strips.

4.  Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan.  Add snow peas and onions; sauté 2 minutes.

Saute snow peas and onions.

Saute snow peas and onions.

Add soy sauce mixture and chicken to pan;

Add in chicken pieces.

Add in chicken pieces and soy sauce mixture.

Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy and chicken is throughly cooked, stirring frequently.

5.  To serve, place 1 cup rice in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup of chicken mixture.

Serve over rice.

Serve over rice.

Our assessment of this recipe?  Both of us liked it well enough for me to make it again.  I am not generally fond of main course foods that  are sweet.  So for me,  it was a little too sweet.   Next time I will reduce the sugar to 2 Tablespoons from the 3 called for and I will probably add some matchstick cut carrots to the mix, just to get in another vegetable and for more color.

With some advance planning;  i.e. prepping the vegetables the night before and keeping them refrigerated,  this meal will go together quickly.  In the time it takes to cook the rice, you can have the chicken skillet made.

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

Source:   Cooking Light,  December, 2012

Breaded Toasted Ravioli

Breaded Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

Breaded Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

These raviolis breaded and baked till golden, then served with warm marinara sauce, are perfect little appetizers or munchies for when folks stop by and you need a quick snack, or for yourself while you’re watching a game.  Be sure to make plenty, because once everyone gets a taste of this crunchy, cheesy, yumminess, they’ll be gone in no time.  And the best part is they are baked, not fried.

On your next trip to the supermarket do your self a favor and pick up a package of fresh or frozen ravioli, either cheese or meat filled.  Either works fine, but we particularly like the three-cheese variety.  There is no need to pre-cook them.  When you’re ready to make them, just dip them into the egg wash, then the seasoned bread crumbs.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and crisp.  Serve them warm with marinara sauce for dipping.  Very easy to do, and they look like you spent a lot of time on their preparation.

BREADED TOASTED RAVIOLI

SERVINGS:  about 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg 
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, plain, pre seasoned , or Panko
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (25 ounce ) package ravioli, thawed if frozen
  • cooking spray, or olive oil spray
  • sauce for dipping, ie; marinara or alfredo

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F  Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, or simply line with foil.

2.  Beat together the egg and water in a small bowl.  Mix together the bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and cheese, in a large bowl or shallow pan.

3.  Dip each ravioli in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumb mixture.  Spray both sides of breaded ravioli with cooking spray;  place on the wire rack, or foil lined sheet.

Dipped, sprayed, and ready for the oven.

Dipped, sprayed, and ready for the oven.

4.  Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, puffed and crispy, 15 – 20 minutes.  My recommendation is to turn them over about half way through the cooking time so both sides get equally brown and crispy.

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See how the edges break open and the cheese starts to ooze out?

Serve warm with marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping.   Oh, Yum!

SOURCE:  All Recipes.com

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

You know how, when you eat a potato chip, one is never enough?  Like that certain brand of chips that claim ” you can’t eat just one.”   Well, these scones are like that.  Rich with butter, they are studded with sweet, spicy cinnamon chips.  If you would like to enrich them even further you may add chopped nuts.

Spicy, cinnamon chips scattered throughout.

Spicy, cinnamon chips scattered throughout.

We love these scones, and being a cinnamon lover, I like to add some ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients.  Also I keep buttermilk powder in the house, so when a recipe like this one calls for buttermilk, I just measure out the correct amount of dry powder and add water to equal the amount of buttermilk needed.

Scones are always best eaten while they are still warm, and these are no exception.  Of course two people probably are not going to eat eight scones while they are still warm, so to get that same warmth, just zap one quickly on medium heat in the microwave.  That’s what we do for a quick breakfast with coffee.  Frequently I will make scones while I’m making dinner, so we have one for dessert while it is warm, and then the rest are ready to be reheated as needed for breakfast(s).

CINNAMON CHIP SCONES

SERVINGS:   Makes 8 scones

You will find many uses for these packaged cinnamon chips.

You will find many uses for these packaged cinnamon chips.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  cup sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  cup butter, preferably unsalted
  • 1/2  cup buttermilk  (or 1 Tablespoon vinegar in a measuring cup,. add milk to  1/2  cup mark.  Stir to combine.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/4  cup chopped nuts (optional)

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar.

2.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with a few chunks of butter still visible.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and vanilla.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.  Stir in cinnamon chips and nuts, if using.  Do not over mix the dough.

4.  Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently just until it holds together..  At this point you may pat it into a circle about 8 inches in diameter,  cut  into 8 triangles, and transfer to baking sheet;  or you can scoop up about 1/3 cup dough, and place on parchment lined baking sheet for a “drop-style” scone.  That is how I made the ones pictured here.

Crispy edges, soft and tender inside.

Crispy edges, soft and tender inside.

5.  Bake in a preheated 400*F oven for 12 – 14 minutes, until they’re golden brown.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

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These deliver on their promise. What’s better than cinnamon when it’s warm!

SOURCE:  King Arthur Flour,  The Baking Sheet

Quesadilla Casserole

Quesadilla Casserole

Quesadilla Casserole

We really like quesadillas, but for me they don’t hold enough food or variety of food to feel like I’ve eaten a whole meal, To remedy that situation I combined some typical foods found in TexMex dishes with south-western seasonings and flour tortillas into a casserole and baked it. That provided us with a satisfying, filling meal with all the flavor and cheesiness you would expect. I got the idea for this from a recipe on the back of a package of McCormick seasonings. This is what we had for dinner on Super Bowl Sunday. My husband commented that he hoped I would make it often because it contained every thing he likes into one casserole dish.

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The product I used for the seasoning is one put out by McCormick Spices. It is a little card with small amounts of different spices needed for a recipe. The recipe is printed on the back so that you can pick up any other ingredients you made need while you are at the grocery store. The spices used here are pretty commonly found in most kitchens so you may already have them. I know I did but I wanted to try the recipe so I bought the card.

The casserole turned out to be quick to make and really good!

You just need a few cans of vegetables; black beans, corn and green chilies, and a large can of tomato sauce.

Add a pound of ground beef, flour tortillas and some cheddar cheese and you will be all set to make an ooey, gooey, cheesy dish of yumminess.

QUESADILLA CASSEROLE

Ingredients probably already in your pantry

Ingredients probably already in your pantry

YIELD: Serves 6

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed pepper (optional)
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 can ( 15 oz. ) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can ( 8 3/4 oz. ) whole kernel corn, undrained
  • 1 can ( 4 1/2 oz. ) green chilies, undrained
  • 6 flour tortillas ( 8 -inch size)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese; cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper jack

1. Brown beef and onion in a large skillet on medium high. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies. Mix well. Stir in all of the spices except the red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper if desired.

Combine meat, vegetables, and spices in a large skillet.

Combine meat, vegetables, and spices in a large skillet.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on the bottom of a 13 x 9″ pan, previously sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef an cheese.

Layer in baking dish with tortillas and cheese.

Layer in baking dish with tortillas and cheese.

Top with more cheese.

Top with more cheese.

3. Bake at 350*F. for 15 – 20 minutes till heated through and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and guacamole if desired.

Serve it up, fragrant, cheesy and delicious.

Serve it up, fragrant, cheesy and delicious.

SOURCE: McCormick Seasonings