Saturday, July 20, 2013

Orange and Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Scones

There are two things I'd like to leave you with today.

First, make these Orange and Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Scones from Naturally Ella. I took these to work not too long ago, and my friend described them as triumphant. This may be my favorite food compliment I've ever received.

Second, try out a time-saving tip I learned from Cooking Light. Instead of cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, melt the butter and pour it into very cold buttermilk while stirring constantly. The butter will start to solidify as you stir it around in the cold buttermilk. When it's fairly lumpy, dump it into your combined dry ingredients and mix up your dough. That way, you still end up with tiny bits of butter incorporated throughout the dough, but it takes much less time than using a pastry blender or knives, and doesn't require getting the food processor dirty.

Cooking Light also indicated that using this method allowed them to cut the butter measurement in half (!) for the buttermilk biscuits they were making over. I wanted to test the method and the scones recipe before doing something as drastic as cutting the butter in half. But next time I think I'll give it a shot, saving a whole lot of calories and sat fat!

Happy baking!

photo from

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Cookin'?

Despite my obsession with photographing my food, I do sometimes leave the camera out of the picture (pun fully intended), usually just for the sake of time. Or because I just want to eat the food without waiting! Or because I just moved and haven't found my camera yet.

So here are some recipes I tried recently and liked, but didn't take the time to photograph and therefore am not going to spend a whole blog post on. I'm borrowing photos from the site where I got each recipe.

Avocado Tuna Salad from Prevention RD - This salad is simple, cool, refreshing, and perfect for a quick summer meal. AND it uses avocado, rather than tons of mayo, to make it creamy and full of good nutrients. I followed the recipe pretty exactly, except I omitted the red onion and using garlic salt (sometimes I'm weird about raw onion and garlic). This was great on Wheat Thins, and I imagine it would also be good on a sandwich, in a wrap (maybe with some spinach?), or with pita chips.

Hummus "Cheesesteak" Hoagies from Cooking Light - These were pretty good! I used a homemade hummus rather than store-bought, but otherwise followed the recipe fairly closely. If you're like me and don't have a gas stove, you can roast your poblano pepper in the oven. Just beware that if your smoke detector is anything like mine, it will go a little crazy with the poblano-roasting process.

Banana Chocolate Chip French Toast Casserole from Foodie Crush - This was a tasty treat, but not as amazing as I had anticipated. To Foodie Crush's credit, I think the modifications I made (using honey oat bread instead of cinnamon swirl, and using coconut milk instead of cow's milk) were not great choices.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples from Cooking Light - This dish was absolutely amazing! I seem to remember that I used red onion instead of shallots, and added a splash of cider vinegar and a splash of red wine. The spice combination on the pork was pure heaven, and went perfectly with the sweet apples, tangy vinegar, and red onions. Do yourself a favor and make this!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Upside Down Cake from the Green Mango Cafe & Bakery Cookbook, as seen on Pinch of Yum - If we didn't have enough pure heaven from the spiced pork tenderloin, here's an extra dose from this dessert. I made this for house church, substituting a brownie mix for the chocolate cake layer, and it was out of this world. Whatever you do, don't skip out on the sauce that you drizzle on at the very end.