Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lavender Lemon Scones --&-&-@

It's 5:30pm on a sunny summer Sunday, and I have spent most of the day in the kitchen. Normally, this would mean that I was cleaning, washing dishes, organizing, etc. but today I was baking! Last week I picked up some beautiful lavender from the Day Star Academy Farm that is next door to us. Just look at that juicy, crystal-y lavender!

Since they are Seventh Day Adventists - which means they are vegan, and grow organic produce only, I figured their lavender must be safe to eat, so I decided to try and bake something I have sorely been missing since moving to Castle Valley: Scones!

After letting the lavender dry out for a couple of days, and seeing as how today it was going to be 78 degrees and not 100 degrees, I figured it would be a good day to crank up the oven to 400 and get my bake on. I have never attempted baking scones before, as is the case for most of the recipes I have tried since moving out here. Necessity is the mother of all awesome baked goods, as they say. These were easy as pie, and oh-so delicious! Here's how it's done:

Lavender Lemon Scones (non-vegan, non-low fat ;)

If you are lucky enough to have a full-size food processor, you can use it to mix the entire recipe. 

Zest from 2 lemons
2 Tbsp lavender
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - cold and sliced
2 large eggs - separate the yolk from one egg
1 cup buttermilk or heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Add lemon zest, lavender and sugar into your food processor. (I use a 2-cup Cuisinart. If you do not have a small food processor, grind your lavender in a coffee grinder or mash it with a mortar and pestle first to start releasing the oils.) Blend until mixed well.

In a medium sized bowl, or in your full-size food processor, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar mixture. Add butter slices and combine (either with the pulse function, or using a pie crust mixer as shown) until the mixture resembles corn meal.

Whisk your egg whites, egg yolk, and cream (reserving egg white from the 2nd egg for your egg wash later) and add to the sugar/flour mixture. Pulse/chop to combine.

Divide your dough in to two balls. Lightly flour a clean surface and shape one of the dough balls into a circle 1 inch thick. Using a pizza slicer, cut out triangle shapes for your scones.

Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with the reserved egg white, sprinkle with your granulated sugar, and pop in the oven for about 14 minutes - or until they are a light golden brown. Serve with your favorite tea, coffee, or other delicious beverage. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fast Fresh Tomato Salsa

I picked up 5 lbs of "over ripe" heirloom tomatoes from the Daystar Academy the other day and tossed 'em in a blender to make this yummy salsa! It was SO easy that I wanted to save my recipe and share with you!

Fast Fresh Tomato Salsa (makes about 3 quarts)

  • 5 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 1 habenero finely chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes juice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop up about half of the tomatoes, and put the rest in the blender along with the chiles. Combine remaining ingredients with blended and chopped tomatoes and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moroccan Green Bean Stew with Couscous, Homemade Harissa and Greek Yogurt

One of my favorite iPhone aps is Stitcher which allows you to listen to just about any podcast that is in existence whenever you like. It's great to be able to pause and pick back up the podcast on the go, especially when you want to write down one of the mouth-watering on-the-fly recipes that Ms. Lynne Rossetto Kasper gives to her callers each week during The Splendid Table, like this one she gave to the reluctant vegan from the Herb Society of America last week. Let me tell you, it is SO freaking good!

This dish is good warm or at room temperature, and it's the sort of thing that begs to be topped with fresh herbs. Thanks to Stitcher, I was able to pause, rewind, transcribe the recipe, and re-check it as I cooked. This turned out to be one of the best things I have made in a while.

Moroccan Green Bean Stew with Couscous, Homemade Harissa and Yogurt (Serves 4)

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 lbs. trimmed Green Beans
1 lg onion chopped
Lots of garlic (which in my book is 5-6 cloves)
1 basket cherry tomatoes smashed
1 can chickpeas (optional) or 1/2 lb carrot sticks or any other vegetable of your liking
1 bottle white wine

Fresh Herbs:
Basil, Thyme, Mint, Cilantro

1 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp. Allspice

Several Cloves
1 tsp Nutmeg
Lots of Black Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Sweet Paprika

Take a big skillet, film it with olive oil and cook the green beans and onion until they are starting to brown. Add chopped garlic, and then add chopped fresh Thyme and Basil. Blend all the spices in a coffee grinder or crush with mortar and pestle and add to the pot.

Let this cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add 1 cup white wine (or veg broth)

Let the wine cook down, and then again add 1 cup white wine (or veg broth)

Add tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots etc and then cover beans with liquid of your choice (more wine or veg broth) and cook until beans are almost melting, and liquid has cooked down to create a stew.

Serve over couscous along with a side of Greek Yogurt and Homemade Harissa (recipe follows) and you have a feast fit for the Queen of Morocco!

Homemade Harissa Recipe:

I made this in a pinch the other day as I cannot find Harissa in the markets here little old Moab. It is my new favorite condiment!

You will need:

  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 dried ancho chile, or fresh jalapeno, whatever chili you have on hand
Blend in a food processor and enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cantaloupe Soup Recipe FAIL

It's 100 degrees today in Castle Valley, and I need something sweet and something cold to keep me from melting. Luckily, I stumbled on to this recipe today while listening to The Splendid Table. Let's see how it turns out...
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • fresh mint

set aside a few chunks of cantaloupe for serving, and add puree the first four ingredients. add reserved chunks of cantaloupe, garnish with mint and enjoy!

you can also drink this soup with a shot of vodka and ice. YUM!


This recipe did not go over so well in our house. Maybe try it with watermellon instead? Either that, or this type of thing demands to be prepared with a Vitamix. It tasted like a pulpy cold pile of savory-sweet strangeness. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I may never know...