January 30, 2011

Cranberry-Orange Scones

I had a heck of a time making this cranberry scones recipe this morning.  Whenever I encounter a problem with a recipe, I like to see what online reviewers have said and sure enough, almost every single review of this recipe mentions how incredible sticky the dough turns out.

However, after adding a 1/2 cup of wheat flour the dough was workable, and the final product was delicious.  I will make this recipe again, but will take the advice of a reviewer who pointed out the dough is the consistency of muffin batter, and make them as muffins instead of scones.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled and diced
1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white sugar
1 grated zest of one orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg

I love that my microplane zester reaches across the top of my largest mixing bowl.

I had to roll the dough in quite a bit of flour in order to press them into circles and make mini scones.

You can see how sticky the dough is from the way it sticks to the rubber scraper.

January 28, 2011

Artichoke Spinach Lasagna

Found another winning recipe from my allrecipes.com highest rank list.  Actually, it was a double-win because Chris (who loves meat), said he didn't miss meat at all in this recipe.  This lasagna was outstanding!  I made no substitutions to the ingredients called for in the recipe, and will definitely make it again with no changes.

I don't have a 9x13 glass baking pan, so I used two 6x8 pans instead. It worked out well, because I put slightly more noodles and less cheese in mine because I love noodles and Chris loves cheese.

Due to the size of pans I used, I could only do 2 layers but I think that worked out just fine.

I think this lasagna pairs really well with a salad.  I made mine with baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds and honey mustard dressing.

January 24, 2011

Jam Bars

This recipe comes from one of my Dad's students at UW-Whitewater, where he taught speech communication.  In fact, he'd let my brother and I watch presentation speeches and critique his students.  I remember taking it very seriously because I was certain my Dad would consider our comments for the final grade.  Thinking back now that was highly doubtful considering we were around 10 years-old at the time :)

So anyway, one of my Dad's students did a presentation speech on how to make jam bars, and I've been making them ever since.  It's a quick and simple recipe, and even better if you have some local homemade jam to use!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup jam

Mix together all ingredients except the jam.  I use a fork if I properly softened the butter, otherwise I use a pastry blender.  Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x9 pan.  Spread jam thinly and cover with remaining mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

It's not easy to spread jam on the bottom crust.  This is the jammy mess I made attempting to spread the jam.  No worries though, no matter how unevenly it spreads, I promise it'll taste wonderful.

Jam bars are delicious in general, but they are exceptional straight from the oven with a glass of milk!