Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

For years I didn’t know what I was missing. I never really had a desire to make scones, and now these days it seems like I can’t get enough! It all started with my favorite Glazed Cinnamon Scones (and if you can’t tell, I sorta have a thing for anything with a glaze on it as well!) and now I have about 50 different scone recipes pinned to my pinterest board that I’m anxious to try.  Scones are just so easy to make, they’re pretty much fail proof, they look pretty and are downright tasty. These right here are a close contender for the favorite spot.  So perfectly soft and flaky, not overly sweet and the hint of vanilla is refreshing and delicious. I mean, I was hooked the minute I smelled that vanilla pod. I know vanilla beans can be pricey, but it’s so worth the splurge, even if just for the smell that fills your kitchen!

Vanilla Bean Scones
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, egg, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract until well combined, chill in refrigerator until ready to use. To remove seeds, split pod open and use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds.

Vanilla Bean Scones

Add grated butter to flour mixture and mix evenly into flour using a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream mixture to flour mixture and stir until it just combined, then knead mixture  several times until it has come together well (it will be slightly sticky, but this is what makes the scones moist). Pour mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a 7 by 7-inch square. Cut into 9 equal squares, then cut each square in half on a diagonal to create two triangles.

Vanilla Bean Scones
Transfer to prepared baking sheet spacing scones evenly apart, and brush tops with remaining 1 Tbsp cream.

Vanilla Bean Scones
Bake 13 – 14 minutes until lightly golden. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar cream, milk, vanilla beans and vanilla extract until smooth. Cool baked scones on a wire rack then spoon vanilla glaze over tops.

Vanilla Bean Scones

Vanilla Bean Scones

Vanilla Bean Scones

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream, divided
1 large egg
Seeds of 1 small vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and grated

Glaze:
1 cup  powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
Seeds of 1 small vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, egg, vanilla bean seeds (split pod open and use the back of the knife to scrape out seeds) and vanilla extract until well combined, chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Add grated butter to flour mixture and mix evenly into flour using a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream mixture to flour mixture and stir until it just combined, then knead mixture  several times until it has come together well (it will be slightly sticky, but this is what makes the scones moist). Pour mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a 7 by 7-inch square. Cut into 9 equal squares, then cut each square in half on a diagonal to create two triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet spacing scones evenly apart, and brush tops with remaining 1 Tbsp cream. Bake 13 – 14 minutes until lightly golden. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar cream, milk, vanilla beans and vanilla extract until smooth. Cool baked scones on a wire rack then spoon vanilla glaze over tops.

Source | Cooking Classy

Vanilla Bean Scones

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BLT Chopped Salad

BLT Chopped Salad
It’s hard to get my husband behind the idea of salad for dinner. I mean, he never complains if I serve it, but it’s just one of those things you pick up on after being married for 15 (oh wait, almost 16!) years. But if it’s hard to get my husband on board, then you can only imagine how hard it is to get my kids on board! But this right here does it. I’m giving the bacon full credit. I mean, who doesn’t love  a good BLT? But  being able to have that same delicious BLT flavor without the added carbs is guilt free eating if I’ve ever seen it. My two oldest couldn’t shovel it in fast enough and in between bites kept saying, “this is so good”, “no, this is really good”. In my book that goes down as a success.

BLT Chopped Salad

2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup black beans
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ranch dressing

Prepare ingredients. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn, black beans and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then drizzle with ranch dressing. Serve immediately.

Source | How Sweet It Is

{Flashback Friday} Spinach Pesto Pasta

I absolutely love this recipe, because not only is this dish super good, but with an entire bag of spinach packed into it then it is super good for you too. You know I love Alfredo pasta with the best of them, but it’s nice to find a pasta dish that tastes incredible and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. It’s just perfectly light and flavorful for a summer evening, and doesn’t take too long so you’re not slaving over a hot stove.  I’ve always loved pesto pasta, but there’s just something about this dish that takes it a step above the rest!

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 /c freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
1 package spaghetti pasta (I prefer whole grain or whole wheat)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes then remove and set aside. Add the butter and 1 Tbs olive oil to the skillet and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Add the shallots and garlic, continue cooking over low heat stirring for 5-7 minutes or until a golden color. Remove the stems from the spinach. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the spinach, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Drain then squeeze out the excess water. Place the spinach in a food processor or blender along with the cooked shallots and garlic, basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan and half the pine nuts. Blend to form a chunky paste.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Remove 3 Tbs cooking water and stir into the spinach mixture. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the spinach mixture and remaining pine nuts, mix well to combine. Blanch the tomoatoes for a few minutes in boiling water then remove with a slotted spoon and gently mix into the pasta. Top each serving with Parmesan, basil, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source | Everyday Delicious: Chelsea Winter

Original post here

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

My sister had posted a picture of her flat bread pizza lunch on instagram and I immediately added it to the next week’s menu. Such a quick and easy lunch or dinner that can easily be customized to fit any taste. I love the smokey flavor of the charred bread combined with the subtle flavor  of pesto and dripping with melted cheese. The tomatoes and basil freshen it up and the zip of balsamic vinegar just ties it all together. Even though it’s more soup weather than it is grilling weather over here, I just couldn’t resist. Although by the time this scheduled post is up then we’ll be well on our way back to the states where I can’t wait to eat all the seasonal fresh fruit and host BBQ’s with friends and family! Eeeek! I’m giddy with excitement just thinking about it! And I have a feeling there will be plenty more grilled flat bread pizza in our near future!

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

2 whole wheat naan flatbreads (the flatbread they sell here is more like a tortilla, so I used a panini bread instead)
olive oil (for brushing)
coarse sea salt
1/4 cup pesto (approximately)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tomato, sliced
fresh basil, chopped
balsamic vinegar (to drizzle)
diced grilled chicken (optional)

Brush both sides of bread with olive oil, then lightly sprinkle each side with coarse sea salt. Add the flatbread to the grill and cook over med-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip over then remove from grill and spread the cooked side with pesto, sprinkle with cheese, add tomato slices (and diced grilled chicken if using). Return to the grill, close the lid and continue cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Transfer to serving plate, garnish with chopped basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Source | Six Little Chefs

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

{Flashback Friday} Craisen Spinach Salad with Candied Almonds and Citrus Vinaigrette

How’s that for a long food title? I just wanted to sound fancy. Really it should say “the most freaking delicious spinach salad you’ll ever have”. I know there are like 452,693 spinach salad recipes floating around pinterest, but this just might be the best one you’ll ever have. My sister passed this along to me years ago and it always gets rave reviews.  Grandma Judy especillay loved this stuff, she would grab a fork and eat it straight out of the bowl and would give the stink eye to anyone who came near. I miss that Grandma Judy, and New Zealand. But I love that it is summer here in the states so that we can enjoy this delicious salad once again. So if you have any barbecues planned for the weekend, make a big bowl of this and you will be loved!

1 pkg spinach
1 chopped apple
1 can mandarin oranges
½ C crasins
1 C sliced strawberries
½ C slicedAlmonds
¼ C sugar

Dressing:
zest of one lemon
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seed

Put almonds and sugar in a small pan and heat over high heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts, coat evenly then transfer to a single layer on a plate and refrigerate. Mix dressing ingredients well then set aside to let the sugar dissolve. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl then top with almonds. Right before serving, stir dressing then drizzle on salad and mix well.

Source | Janessa Cazier

Original post here

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo
After just reading the title of this recipe I knew I had to try it, and it did not disappoint! This rich, creamy, flavorful pasta tastes as good as it sounds. A quick week night meal that tastes like restaurant quality. I’m all over that!

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

2 whole red bell peppers (I just used a 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half & half (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)
4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
salt & pepper, to taste
basil (to garnish)

If you are roasting your own peppers, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in olive oil 5-7 minutes or until tender. Pour in half & half, goat cheese (or crumbled feta), parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted then keep warm over low heat. Uncover peppers, peel off skin, remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and stir into the sauce. Remove from heat and pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Return back to the pan and toss with cooked pasta. Garnish each serving with grated parmesan and chopped fresh basil.

Source | Lauren’s Latest

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

I have yet to meet a banana bread recipe that I don’t just looooove. But this right here takes the banana bread up a notch. It’s taking the banana bread scene by storm. It’s stepping up it’s game. It’s bringing a more sophisticated look to the face of banana bread. I mean, we’re talking chocolate on chocolate here. Chunks of dark chocolate and swirls of warm melted Nutella make this banana bread the best you’ll ever have!

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and/or line a medium size loaf tin and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash your bananas well and whisk together with the eggs and melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, then stir in the chocolate chunks.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Microwave the Nutella for 30 seconds until soft. Pour into the mixture and use a wooden spoon to swirl into the batter.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Transfer to the loaf tin and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the pan.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium size ripe bananas
2 large eggs
6 Tbs butter, melted
1/3 cup Nutella or any other chocolate hazlenut spread
1 (4 oz) dark chocolate bar, cut into chunks (you can use milk chocolate, if you prefer)
Brown sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and/or line a medium size loaf tin and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash your bananas well and whisk together with the eggs and melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, then stir in the chocolate chunks. Microwave the Nutella for 30 seconds until soft. Pour into the mixture and use a wooden spoon to swirl into the batter. Transfer to the loaf tin and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the pan.

Source | adapted from The Cake Hunter

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread