Cranberry Orange Scones

I just love dried cranberries in things – chicken salad sandwiches, cookies, salads, etc… And today, I was in the mood to bake so I whipped up a batch of Cranberry Orange Scones. I mostly followed Ina Garten’s recipe below, but changed a few things around…

First, what I have below is a half recipe of her normal measurements. Second, I prefer a more rustic, triangular scone (to her round scone) and end up hand cutting the scone dough with my ravioli cutter. Third, I make the scones pretty tiny so I can have one and not feel the full guilt of a giant scone!
No matter what the shape, these scones are slightly sweet, flaky, and delicious. The hint of orange combined with the sweet tang of the dried cranberries and all together with the sweet icing….YUM!

Cranberry Orange Scones
from Ina Garten

2 C plus 1/8 C all-purpose flour
1/8 C sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tsp kosher salt
3/4 Tbs grated orange zest
1 2/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 C cold heavy cream
1/2 C dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/4 C confectioners’ sugar
2 Tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/8 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/8 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.


Lime and Honey Glazed Salmon with Warm Black Bean and Corn Salad

This is a great recipe. Truth be told, I don’t usually like Rachel Ray’s recipes (not very healthy, weird ingredient combinations) but this recipe of hers is just fantastic.

The recipe calls for salmon as the protein, but sometimes (like tonight) we substitute chicken when we’re not in the salmon mood. With the beans, spinach, salmon – this recipe is so healthy and still very tasty! It may look like a lot of ingredients, too, but trust me, this is absolutely a quick, delicious after-work-prepared meal.
Lime and Honey Glazed Salmon with Warm Black Bean and Corn Salad
from Rachel Ray: 365: No Repeats

4 Tbs olive oil (divided use)
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 to 1 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tsp ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbs honey (3 gobs)
1 Tsp chili powder (1/3 palmful)
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets ((or 4 boneless chicken breasts!)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 (10-ounce) box frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1/2 C chicken stock or broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 to 3 Tbs fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
6 cups baby spinach

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, preheat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a shallow dish, combine the juice of 1 lime, honey, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the salmon fillets to the lime-honey mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Add the seasoned salmon to the hot skillet and cook until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

To the cooked onions, add the bell pepper and corn kernels and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the black beans and cook until the beans are just heated through.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the juice of the second lime, the cilantro and the spinach. Toss to wilt the spinach and then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve the lime-and-honey-glazed salmon (or chicken!) on top of the warm black bean and corn salad.


Cupcake Paper Punch

I just ordered a ton of new crafting supplies (paper, stamps, etc…) and cutest of all….

the Cupcake Punch!
You can stamp and then punch all the components of a cupcake (frosting, stump, candles, sprinkles, etc…) and build to assemble an adorable cupcake! I made this cupcake as part of a birthday card for my 4-year old niece.

Low Fat Cheesecake Ice Cream

There’s nothing better than ice cream. Correction – there’s nothing better than homemade, low fat ice cream! Traditionally, it doesn’t work very well to make a homemade low fat ice cream because it’s not creamy enough and ends up having the consistency of slush.

Well, this recipe for low fat Cheesecake Ice Cream solves that problem because the creaminess of the cream cheese makes up for the lowfat milk.
Cheesecake Ice Cream (low fat)

2C 1% lowfat milk
8 oz cream cheese
3/4C sugar
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
dash of salt

Mix all ingrediants in a blender until smooth. Then use your ice cream maker to freeze! Yields 1 quart.

To really resemble the taste of cheesecake, mix with crumbled graham crackers and strawberries, blueberries, or whatever your favorite cheesecake toppings are.