People are always in for a treat when they visit our house. One can put the word 'treat' into perspective as he pleases, but the truth is, I see our neighborhood as an opportunity of sorts. A place that reminds me not to let the appetites of the world consume me too much too quickly, if at all. It isn't a place where neighbors casually greet each other as in the days of old. It isn't even the ideal venue to walk out as one pleases just to make a trip to the store. A place far, much too far from the way Valentina describes the untouched region of Gradara where she and Betty will be hosting a workshop (I hope you go for me, if you can!).Read More
As much as I'm loving the unexpected showers in LA, there's one tiny dilemma I'm currently dealing with as momma to an almost 2 year old. Rainy days do still prompt me to immerse myself in deep, profound thought as they always did pre-motherhood, but they also feel much much longer now and I do what I can do keep Selah happy within our walls. You can say that I'm completely pooped by the end of the day. But in the best way, of course!
Selah is an adventurous soul and she demands every bit of my attention at this stage. And by attention I mean, she's a busy bee running to and fro throughout the entire house and quite the chatterbox, I have to say. She constantly blurts out the cutest little phrases with the most adorable lisp, like "what deeeeez??" It's definitely not the easiest thing in the world but I cannot have it any other way because it makes those rare snuggles (when she'll actually stay still) that much sweeter! Doing the best I can to keep us entertained on rainy days via fort-making, crawling on all fours and pouncing like a ravenous lion (this momma gets her game face on), and making "Ghetto-Doh" which is really far from resembling actual Play-Doh, I also try to squeeze in some baking. Because what's a rainy day without some homemade treats?!
We both love baking "together" (insert quoting motion with fingers) and since scones are my comfort food and baking is therapy next to yoga-ing for me, I had an insatiable urge to make scones this week. I figure that if we can't go out and jump in puddles just yet, then the next best thing would be to make scones. I decided to go all in with the fats too. Instead of holding back on the cream and butter I followed my gut and fearlessly grated a cold stick o'butta (insert Paula Deen's voice) into the mixing bowl.
So how about that cheddar? First off, it is seriously the best ingredient to pair up with fruit! As I was (excitedly) contemplating on what flavors to use in this recipe I suddenly remembered Cynthia's mini cheddar brown butter apple crumbles. When she first wrote about these beauties, I immediately knew I'd be using them as inspiration for a future recipe of mine and voila. I couldn't have made a better choice.
Don't you worry about the texture or taste from the cheddar, either. It in fact adds a teenzy weenzy bit of tang to the scones, while making the crumb slightly chewy without it being gummy. The taste is equally as good because it helps bring out a sweeter, more robust essence from the berries. I urge you to try these scones because dare I say? They might be almost as good as the ones I tried at Neighborhood Grinds, and that's a very hard task. Enjoy and happy sconing, friends!
Cheddar Blueberry Cream Scones
Makes 5 large scones
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
7 tbsp cold unsalted butter ***
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 tbsp cold whipping cream
1 cup fresh blueberries (or dried or candied)
1 whole egg+1 tbsp water for brushing
***Keep the cream and butter as cold as possible. Refrigerate until right before adding them into the bowl.*** Preheat the oven to 400F (204 C degrees).
In a large mixing bowl, stir together both flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Using a veggie box-shaped shredder on the side with the holes that are wide, more suitable for shaving into slices, quickly shave butter into the bowl and then add cheddar. Move swiftly because you want the butter as cold as possible. Use your hands to knead and break apart any huge butter chunks, but do not over knead of it will become tough after baking.
Make a slight well in the middle of the dough and pour in the whipping cream, gently folding the dough with the cream in intervals as you see fit. Once again though, do not over mix. Finally, add blueberries and gently fold them into the dough. On a lightly floured flat surface, flatten out the dough just a bit (I used a rolling pin) to even it out, into about 2 inches tall. With a circular item like a large glass (or cookie cutter), cut out discs and place them on a lined cookie sheet with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg+water mixture and bake for approximately 16-18 minutes.
Seeing as how nobody 'el-oh-eld' at my Instagram caption about "something sour starting here these days", I've concluded that A, most people aren't familiar with the process of making wild yeast for sourdough starter--which I can't blame them for since I didn't even know the thing existed, or B, I'm just not cut out for this funny stuff.
It's ok though! At least I have a super cute daughter who understands me for the duration of her not knowing how to critique my humor, and a husband who showers me with unabashed love and unexpected acts of kindness. By the way you guys, marriage is seriously the most thrilling roller coaster there is. Once you think you've figured it all out, there comes another surprise--sometimes good and sometimes more alarming than I'd care to ask for. If I were to describe one of the many facets of marriage, I'd say that it's kind of like looking into a mirror because whenever we develop the urge to point fingers at each other, even if it's internally, we eventually look at ourselves and how we can become a better partner. Then, hopefully everything else shall follow. Oops! I didn't expect to share that rant but if you know me at all, I like to keep it real. ;)
Also make sure to stay tuned for next week, because I'm thrilled to share some awesome recipes with you! Ever wonder if Koreans only live on BBQ and spicy tofu? Well, you would be surprised to find out just how broad our palate can be in my next post.
Below are some links that are more than worth mentioning:
Next time you think of tossing that week old banana bread (if such a possibility exists in your kitchen. In our kitchen it does not), try making french toast with it and get fancy with creme fraiche. Whoa!
Are you as crazy about healthy versions as I am? These drunken noodles with the most beautiful zucchini spirals stole my heart. So much flavor going on here!
Okay so, I know I just said I love healthy food but come on...can one really resist this most luscious oyster+cheese gratin?! (You don't count, Greg, or anyone who can't stand oysters)
So perhaps I just need more fatty food in my diet. Yeah...that must be it. Because I can't handle the beauty of these roast duck lettuce wraps.
I've been keeping up with fitness better than ever before. I'm finally within my niche and with more favorable results than in the past. But this post is definitely something you might want to check out so you don't overdo it!
With that being said, wish me luck as I practice this headstand variation, yikes!
Instagram posts like this one make my day like no other. It's utterly inspiring to know that there are people who care enough to take hours out of their day for a hungry individual. There's truly no better way to live. :)
What are some of your favorite links this week?
And here we thought mandarins (name actually derived from Chinese origin), or tangerines for those who refuse to change the name for tradition's sake, were only suitable for neatly packed picnic lunch baskets. Turns out that tangerines are far more versatile than just eating them alone, peeled ever so carefully but still with the white membranes intact because if you're anything like me you believe that all the natural things attached to fruit are good for our bodies. Probably not but it sure saves time, aka I'm too lazy to work that hard for my food, haha. And that's coming from a girl who makes cake out of scratch?? *confused*
My favorite vehicle for mandarin is probably in the form of honey salad dressing, but I'm afraid that my brain files pulled an interesting one here. Not remembering where I had recently seen a mandarin/tangerine flavored dessert, I knew immediately that I wanted citrus cake because I honestly believe that's the best kind there is. Lime butter cream? Check. Lemon curd filling with a zesty whipped cream? I've tried that too. But how come I've never seen tangerine cake on bakery displays?! I sense a theme of discrimination going on here, hmm...By the way, that place where I saw Satsuma flavored cookies was on Dolly and Oatmeal's blog. I give her the credit for encouraging me to try this unusual and tasty dessert. Her site is filled with creativity and beautiful food so go ahead. Let your eyes feast on her gorgeous photography. ;)
If you decide to make this cake or simply want some out-of-the-ballpark-good satsuma mandarins, make sure to get the brightest ones with super thick, loose skin. These are surprisingly the sweetest and juiciest ones and if I may, I even recommend buying them from the Korean store because the prices are much cheaper since there is such a high demand from our Korean kinfolk. Hope you give it a try and happy baking!
Satsuma Cake and a Honey Mandarin Whipped Cream
Inspired by Dolly and Oatmeal // Makes a 10x10 inch cake
Ingredients for cake
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt (or regular)
2 large egg whites at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 cup milk of choice
2 tbsp honey
zest of half a satsuma mandarin (medium size)
juice of half a satsuma mandarin
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees (191 C). In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer bowl, or a large mixing bowl and a beater, beat the egg whites at the highest speed until foamy. When it has become a bit uniform, add the white sugar and beat a little more until the mixture is able to make little foam peaks.
Go back to the bowl with flour ingredients and add butter, milk, honey, zest, juice, and vanilla. Fold together with a spatula gently until decently incorporated. Then add the egg white mixture into that same bowl and gently keep folding until everything mixes thoroughly, but don't over beat. In a lightly greased cake pan, pour in the batter and bake for approximately 20 minutes or the top is risen is slightly golden.
Ingredients for whipped cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 refrigerated egg white
3 tbsp confectioner sugar
1/4 cup honey
zest of one satsuma mandarin
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
While the cake is baking, wash and dry the stand mixer bowl along with the whisk. Chill the bowl for 10 minutes and begin. Beat the whipping cream on the highest speed for about 1 minute or until it forms some shapes in the cream. Turn off and add egg white, beat for another 15 seconds. Then add sugar, honey, zest, and vanilla and beat just another 20 seconds. Scrape sides as needed.
When cake is cooled down, carefully cut into 3 layers with a serrated knife. Dust off excess crumbs and spread whipped cream accordingly.
Have you tried mandarin or tangerine desserts before?
Nature is soothing and brings reflection to my soul. It reminds me that there is a golden hour to hold onto in every season of life. But so is taking silly photos of Orion the Lion, as is baking.Read More