I enjoy the weekend after Thanksgiving more than the day itself. On Thanksgiving Day, I made several trips up and down three flights of stairs and did so much lifting and carrying that my body felt like I had spent the day at the gym instead of the kitchen. It’s one way to burn calories I guess. This weekend, I have more time to, relax, spend time with friends and family, binge watch the “Mystery Marathon” on my local PBS station and, of course, eat leftovers.
If you find yourself with extra canned pumpkin, try making these tender pumpkin scones. The don’t take long to make and will impress weekend houseguests. As a bonus, your kitchen will be fragrant with the autumn spices that flavor the dough. Serve them at a holiday brunch or split them in half for mini turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches after bargain shopping. Note: Pepitas are the green kernels of pumpkin seeds. You can buy them ready hulled.
If you like this recipe, please share it. If you make it, let me know how it turned out.
These are the famous Irish scones I bring to work every year at St. Patrick’s Day. They go so fast, that coworkers have been known to wait at the elevators for my arrival to be sure they snag one. These light as air scones are a far cry from the heavy, dry and glazed versions sold at a popular coffee chain.
My Auntie Anna from Castleisland, Co. Kerry, generously shared this recipe with me. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it, for instance using plain, whole milk yogurt instead of buttermilk for a lighter dough. I also play around with adding ingredients to the dough such as sultanas (golden raisins), dried cranberries and orange peel in the winter, apple and cinnamon walnut in the autumn or cheese and onion for cocktail parties. Feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors, the recipe lends itself to creativity. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I add a taste of Ireland to the classic American summer dessert of berry shortcakes, by substituting strawberry scones for the usual biscuit style cake. This scone recipe is more cake than bread. The lemon and turbinado sugar topping provides a satisfying crunchy contrast to the sweet, tender cake. Very easy to make, they are beautiful enough for a special occasion brunch (I recommend strawberry shortcakes with mimosas.) In June, when the first, jewel-like strawberries appear in the market, I make them with strawberries alone. For July 4th celebrations, I mix blueberries with strawberries and raspberries for a patriotic red, white and blue dessert.
Recently, they were my contribution to an impromptu barbecue at my friends Denise and Mike’s lovely lakefront home. As the proud and exhausted parents of four month old triplets, Denise and Mike were sticking close to home, so friends brought the party to them. We took turns feeding and changing the beautiful babies before sitting down to a summer potluck feast of grilled chicken and hot dogs, homegrown garden salad, cheese, wine and mixed berry shortcakes.
4 cups mixed berries, (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 cups chilled heavy cream, preferably organic, whipped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the berries with the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar. Stir gently together until blended. Cover and refrigerate for ½ hour, stirring occasionally.
Mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg. Stir in the chopped strawberries. Then fold in the yogurt to make a fairly wet dough.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. With floured hands, shape it into a ½ inch high round. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out eight shortcakes.
Mix turbinado sugar and lemon zest together. Sprinkle over the top of the shortcakes.
Place shortcakes on a greased baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
Remove shortcakes from oven, transfer to a cooling rack for about an hour. If not using the shortcakes right away, store in an airtight container.
To serve, slice each shortcake in half horizontally. Place shortcake bottom halves, sliced side up on a serving platter or individual plates. Top each with some of the berry mixture and whipped cream. Then top with the other half of the shortcake. Serve immediately.
A few people who stopped by Chicago’s Irish Christmas Market http://montrosegreen.com/irish_christmas_market last weekend asked whether the Irish brown and white bread is frozen. Although the customers may have been frozen, the bread was not. However, it freezes very well if you want to buy a loaf or two or a few scones to eat over Christmas. The bread and scones are all freshly baked. The brown bread is made with organic stoneground whole wheat flour and the scones are made with organic eggs. The scone packets include a plain sweet scone, a golden raisin (sultana) scone and an orange and cranberry scone.
Here are tips on storing Irish bread and scones:
The bread is wrapped in plastic because it is being sold at an outdoor market.I recommend removing the plastic when you get home and storing the bread in a paper bag. The scones will be alright in the cellophane storage bags. If you want to save the bread or scones to eat later, freeze them in freezer storage bags. Before eating, let them defrost at room temperature. To refresh the scones, place them in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes.
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