Sunday, August 22, 2010

Omnomnom (Quiche Lorraine Scones)

I love bacon. LOVE BACON.

I love bacon so much that I baked it into scones. I've been making them before we go up north cause they're good to eat in the car when you're driving and in case someone makes some not-so-tasty breakfast.

I'm not sure exactly what makes a scone, a scone. It seemed to be a shock to people that a scone could be savory. I know it's pretty unconventional, but really, THEY'RE AMAZING.

They're pretty easy, but you have to be careful how much "stuff" you put in them. When I made them the first time, I put more cheese, bacon, and onion in it then what was called for. The cheese got super oozy and the delicious flakiness of the dough wasn't quite as present as I had hoped. The last time I made them, I tried to stick to the recipe for the "stuff." They turned out pretty dry. Still delicious, but dry. I need to find the happy medium.

2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch cayenne pepper
dash nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
4 ounces Swiss cheese, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
7 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Prepare the bacon, onion and cheese. Toss these ingredients together with 1 teaspoon flour; set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne, nutmeg and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is pea-size. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs and half-and-half and add to the flour mixture.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute. Pat dough to about 1/2-inch and add the bacon, onion and cheese mixture. Fold the sides of the dough on top of the bacon, etc and gently knead the dough with the other ingredients.

Pat the dough to about 3/4 to 1-inch thick and cut using 3-inch biscuit cutter (for large scones) or cut into squares or triangles. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away (An Apology and Some Excuses)

I like living in Michigan, don’t get me wrong. But summer is hot. When it’s not hot, it’s humid or some combination thereof. We thought we were being pretty smart when we moved into our apartment. Sure, we live in a basement with spiders, ants, and various other bugs…but just wait until summer, it’ll stay nice and cool. Except the it doesn’t. Our apartment stays around 78-80 degrees on a normal day. That’s just a few degrees cooler than what it is outside. We keep the windows closed and the blinds down until the sun goes down and then we blast the fans in the windows when it cools down outside. It doesn’t help much when it only gets down to 75 at night.

And that is my excuse for no posts. It’s too darn hot to bake or cook. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately too so I’m not at home much. First, I was housesitting for my aunt. During the house sitting, I also worked a wedding as a waitress and bartender, and spent some time with my friend Abbey. Then I was in Grand Rapids for a week to work with the architecture firm C2AE. The building they’re in is beautiful. It’s an old furniture factory that has been turned into offices. When I got home from GR it was hot again. I was also planning a going away party for Abbey who is currently in South Korea until December. Last weekend we went up to Omena to do some fishing. The fishing wasn’t so great. Too many tubers, kayakers, canoers, etc going down the river and scaring my trout away. I only had one rise. Lame.

After all of that, I’m going on a binge. I’ve basically got a recipe for each night of the week and I’m starting tonight. I’m house sitting for one of my co-workers and it definitely will not feel like work. Air conditioning, satellite tv, softened water, kitchen, dog, etc…How is this hard? Sandi is a good dog so she should be fun to hang around with while I make the best of air conditioning and baking.

On the agenda are cinnamon roasted almonds, cherry clafoutis, key lime pie: four ways, and blueberry muffins with freshly picked blueberries (thanks Mom and Grandpa!). I’m really excited for all of this to start. My co-workers are as well. They know of my cooking/baking love and are really ready to try something else that I’ve made. I will have my camera ready for pictures since I’ve been pretty lax in that aspect lately. Sorry! Things just get devoured before I have a chance to photograph them. Plus, there is the basement thing where I get no natural light at all so my pictures are all strangely lit. I promise. More pictures.