My Recipes

Pumpkin (or squash) Scones

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped white chocolate and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 6 scones.

Scone Dough:

2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (72 grams) light or dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup (50 grams) chopped white chocolate (optional)

1/4 cup (30 grams) toasted and chopped pecans (optional)

1/3 cup (80 ml) buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using canned pumpkin make sure there are no spices or sugar added)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Egg Wash:

1 large egg

1 tablespoon milk or cream

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones (optional)

Turbinado sugar is a raw sugar that has been steam cleaned. It is light brown in color and coarse grained, with a slight molasses flavor.

Buttermilk has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. It is now commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. However, in the past it was the liquid left over after churning butter. You can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Marzipan, Coconut, Espresso, Chocolate Brownies

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons finely ground espresso beans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 ounces grated marzipan
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 325*F (160*C). Butter and flour a 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
2. Combine the chocolate, butter, coffee, coconut, marzipan, and salt in the top of a double boiler or bowl over simmering water (or whatever pan you happen to have that won't burn the chocolate...).
Cook until melted and smooth. Let cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined. Fold in the flour until it just disappears. Gently fold in the pecans. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
4. Bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack 1 hour. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and cut into squares. Lift out and transfer to serving dish or tin or just eat 'em!!.

Makes about 20 bars.

Skillet Chicken and Rice Recipe

1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
6 to 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I only had dried ones, so I soaked them in a jar of water for about an hour)
4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (10 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups instant rice

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sliced mushrooms and cook 1 minute longer. Cut chicken into thin strips or pieces or whatever; add to the skillet and cook, stirring, until browned on all sides.

Stir in soup, milk, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add rice; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice is done, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with additional chopped green onions, if desired.

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