Lemon Blueberry Scones

I went to a tea party over the weekend and before you think I’m 6, it was a bridal tea, so it was full of class and sophistication…obviously. There was tea and finger sandwiches galore and, of course, scones. Now, I have to admit that, though mine weren’t the prettiest scones around, they were definitely the tastiest! Jk, everything was good.scones6

I’ve seen scones made in so many different ways, which is weird because they’re scones, how many ways can you make ’em? Well, a lot, but I prefer the simple, classic approach: throw it all in a bowl and mix! or something like that.scones7

There are few things in life more satisfying than tea and scones (like cappuccinos and croissants, but that’s another post), so whip up a batch of these bad boys, brew some earl grey and get to snackin’! Oh, and maybe throw on a big hat for good measure.scones1scones2

Lemon Blueberry Scones

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 egg
4 ounces 1/2&1/2
4 ounces buttermilk
2 cups frozen blueberries

Powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all of the dry ingredients plus the lemon zest. Add the butter chunks (make sure the butter is super cold, you could even have it sitting in the freezer for an hour or so) and mix on low until the butter chunks are roughly pea-sized.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/2&1/2 and buttermilk and slowly pour into the flour mixture while the mixer is on low speed. When the mixture is about half way combined, add the frozen blueberries and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and form two (or three) logs with the dough. Use a bench knife to cut the logs into triangle-shaped pieces. Spread the scones out evenly on a sheet pan, sprinkle some course sugar on each one and bake until done, about 10 minutes or until they are a very light golden brown.

While the scones are baking, whisk together the juice of the lemon and enough powdered sugar until the mixture is slightly thick and easily pourable.

When scones have cooled, use a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut off or a squeeze bottle) and drizzle the scones generously, then eat them all.scones4 scones5

Pate A Choux Beignets

I am a huge sucker for sweets, always have been, always will be. I am also a huge sucker for easy recipes, because, well I’m lazy. If I was in Harry Potter, all of my incantations would definitely involve food.b3

When I was in pastry school, pate a choux was always one of my favorite things to make because its super easy, super fun and you can make a bunch of stuff with it. So, when I stumbled across a pate a choux beignet recipe during my routine Pinterest perusing, I just knew I had to try it out.b4

Pate A Choux Beignets

1 cup milk (or water, the milk gives the beignets a more cake-like texture)
1 stick of butter, cut up
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup flour
3-4 eggs

Coconut oil for frying

In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk, butter, sugar and salt to a simmer, just before it begins to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the flour until it forms a dough (don’t add the flour while the milk mixture is on the heat, otherwise it will clump).

Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low to cool. When there is barely any steam coming off the dough, add the eggs one at a time. The amount of eggs you use depends on how cool the dough is (I used 3). Do not add the eggs all at one time. When you pinch a tiny bit of the dough between your pointer finger and thumb, you want to pull the dough apart and have it resemble soft peaks.

Heat about 2″ of coconut oil to 350 degrees. Make sure not to go over that, otherwise the beignets will burn.

Plop a tablespoon of dough per beignets into the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until done. Depending on the size of you pan, you’ll probably have to do 3-4 batches. Make sure to fry the beignets long enough so you don’t end up with a doughy center.

Top with powdered sugar and voilà!b1b2b5

Original recipe here.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

When I’m sick, the first thing I crave is sugar chicken noodle soup, and boy am I sick! I’m talking sinus infection, ear infection, can’t breath out of my nose sick. And since I spent the last weekend indulging in margaritas and tacos-galore in Mexico, I figured it was time I whipped up a batch of my homemade chicken noodle and tried to nurse myself back to health.

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My mom used to make chicken noodle soup on the regular and as a kid, I longed for the canned Campbell’s crap because hers was loaded with veggies. Nowadays, the vegetable soup is just what I need, but alas, I still crave the good ole’ classic chicken noodle when I’m feeling under the weather.soup3 soup4

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

24 ounces chicken breast (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1- 8 ounce package of egg noodles
2 quarts chicken broth or stock
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Start by boiling your chicken in water until done (the center of the chicken will be white) then transfer to a cutting board and chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.

While the chicken is boiling, heat a large, oiled stock pot over medium/high heat and add your mirepoix (fancy term for chopped onion, carrots and celery). Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté your mirepoix until the onions are translucent and fragrant.

When the veggies are ready, slowly pour the chicken broth or stock into the pot and increase the heat to high. When the broth begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium/low, bring the soup to a simmer and add the noodles.

Let the soup simmer until the noodles are soft. Add your chopped chicken pieces and bam! You have a big pot of classic chicken noodle soup.soup2 soup7

*If you’re like me and hate chopping veggies, Trader Joe’s has a pre-made mirepoix mix and it’s the perfect amount!

BBQ Chicken !Meatballs

Last week I posted an all time favorite of mine and a great recipe to bring to potlucks or BBQs: pigs in a blanket. In an effort to keep up with the graduation theme, I chose another recipe this week that is perfect for throwing together and bringing to a BBQ, or as an appetizer at a graduation party. I give you…drum roll please: BBQ Chicken Meatballs.meatballs3

These little balls of heaven are so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. They’re also great for binge-watching House of Cards and stuffing your face. It’s you’re call on what you want to do with them, but as for me, I choose the latter.

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Oh, and did I mention they are gluten free, dairy free and made in the crock pot! Lazy people with food allergies rejoice!

BBQ Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
3/4 cup almond meal
1 egg
BBQ sauce (1-2 jars)
Seasoning of choice

For the seasoning, I chose to use the Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe’s, but some simple salt, pepper and garlic powder works great too!

Mix the chicken, almond meal, egg and seasoning together in a medium bowl until everything is evenly combined.

Roll out the balls to your desired size (mine were a little bit bigger than a ping pong ball) and brown on medium/high heat in an oiled pan, rotating until all of the outside is browned, don’t worry about the middle.

Pour half of your BBQ sauce into your crock pot, add the browned meatballs and cover with remaining sauce.

Cook on high for 1 1/2-2 hours and enjoy!

*If you want the meatballs to be gf/df, make sure to check the ingredients in the BBQ sauce you choose, some brands have hidden crap in them!

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Maple Chicken Sausage and Buttermilk Biscuit Pigs in a Blanket

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‘Tis the season, once again, for yet another generation of graduates to enter into the workforce…or college, or whatever. Bottom line is, with graduations comes BBQs and with BBQs comes food.

Let’s be honest, who goes to a graduation party for anything other than the food? Okay, maybe a lot of people, but not me. I love food, especially comfort finger food. Pigs in a Blanket are an all time favorite comfort food of mine. They remind me of childhood, and with my selective memory, I conveniently forget the heartburn associated with said food, but hey, it’s worth it, right?

Instead of the disgusting traditional crescent rolls and lil smokies version, I decided to spice things up and make Maple Chicken Sausage and Buttermilk Biscuit Pigs in a Blanket.pigs1 pigs2 pigs3

Maple Chicken Sausage and Buttermilk Biscuit Pigs in a Blanket

3 cups flour
8 ounces cold butter, cut up
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning)
Buttermilk
12 maple chicken sausages cut in 1/2 (fully cooked)

Pan fry or broil the chick sausages until brown and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the biscuits, add the flour, baking powder, seasoning and cold butter chunks into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low until it resembles cornmeal. Next, slowly pour some buttermilk into the dry mixture, while the mixer is running, until in forms a slightly moist dough. You want to have some crumbles, if it is too wet it will be very difficult to handle.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-1/2 an inch. Using a round cookie cutter, or small cup or pretty much anything, cut out 24 small circles. (Alternately, you can cut out small triangles by hand and roll the sausages up like the crescent rolls version.) Roll out each circle further to make an oval then roll the sausage up inside of it. Place the piggies, with the seam of the roll on the bottom, onto a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Bake the pigs for about 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are a nice golden brown. Bring those suckers to a party and enjoy! Or just eat them all at home like me, smothered in maple syrup.pigs5 pigs6 pigs4

Homemade Granola

I always feel healthy when I pick granola for breakfast over a bagel or pancakes, but in reality, granola really isn’t that great for you. Especially the stuff you find at the store. Have you ever read the sugar count in a box of granola? If you haven’t, don’t! I mean, there’s a reason it taste so good…g6

But no need to fear because you can make your own granola at home and it is insanely easy! No need for refined sugars and processed oils.g4 g3

For this recipe, I kept it simple: cinnamon raisin granola with pecans, but don’t limit yourself. One of the best things about making granola at home is its versatility; there are so many different flavors to make that you never get bored of eating the same thing.g2

Homemade Granola

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 ounces of melted coconut oil
1 ounce 100% maple syrup
1 ounce honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup rasins

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, spices and nuts. In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and honey and mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

Do not add the raisins (or any dried fruit) until the end.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or spray it with coconut oil pan spray) and spread out the mixture in a thin, even layer.

Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until the granola is slightly darker than golden brown. Make sure to check and mix the granola every 5 minutes or so to make sure it browns evenly.

When the granola is done, remove it from the oven let it cool completely. Once it has cooled, add the raisins, mix together and enjoy!

Granola is great with milk, yogurt or simply by itself for a snack.

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Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is my go-to “dish to share” whenever I’m invited to a potluck for a few reasons. One, it is probably the easiest things I could make and two, it is so, so good! I make this salad with four ingredients (from Trader Joe’s of course): heirloom cherry tomatoes, marinated mozzarella balls, fresh basil and balsamic glaze.

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I brought this little dish to an Easter brunch last weekend at a friends house and, needless to say, there wasn’t any left to bring home afterward. The fresh basil, the crisp tomatoes, oh and who can resist fresh mozzarella marinated in a mix of herbs? Top it off with the balsamic glaze and I could eat this all day…which I do, a lot.

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It takes all of 5 seconds to make and you can snack on this salad all week, so grab a fork and dig in!

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Caprese Salad

2 containers of marinated mozzarella balls from Trader Joe’s
1 carton of fresh basil from Trader Joe’s (you will only use about 1/3)
1 carton of heirloom cherry tomatoes (you will use about 1/2)
balsamic glaze

Pour 1 container of the mozzarella balls with the marinated olive oil and herbs in a large bowl. Add the second container of mozzarella balls but do not add the olive oil this time or it will have too much dressing.

Add half of the carton of tomatoes.

Remove the basil leaves from their stems and tear the leaves with your hands to get them to a smaller size then add the leaves to the mozzarella and tomato mixture.

Mix everything together and drizzle the top with balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

*you definitely don’t need to use everything form Trader Joe’s. I do because I always shop there anyway and it’s super easy to find the ingredients.

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