Oh these scones. They were a labor of love for me. I made them not once, not twice, but three times before I got them just right. The first time they were too dense and not sweet enough. The second time they were a touch dry and I overcooked them by about five minutes thanks to a pesky almost three year old who turned the oven dial up 25 degrees to 375º when no one was looking (ahem… Benji). The third time I hit perfection. I halved the recipe, added a touch more butter and duct taped the oven dial to 350º….
In this household, there are always a stash of bananas waiting to be eaten. We use them in smoothies, cut them up for a cereal or oatmeal topping and simply enjoy them straight off the vine. If one sails past the mark, we don’t sweat it because we know it’s destined for even better flavor baked fantasies. This, in my opinion, makes bananas one of the best fruits out there. Just try and come up with one better. They travel well, cost little, taste great when eaten as intended and get even better once they’re overripe. Every time an over aged yellow skinned fruit presents itself, we stash it in the freezer in anticipation of a future loaf/cake/muffin of fruit flavored goodness down the road.
Ask me what I would take onto a deserted island if I could only have one food and you’ll get the same answer every single time. Hot fresh bread. Sourdough, french, pumpernickel, rye, I don’t discriminate. If it’s fresh from the oven, a shmear of butter across the slice, I’ll bite without question.
Bread isn’t really what I would call a “quick” recipe. It takes time to rise, time to punch out, and time to roll into the perfect loaf. Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have that kind of time. Ok, who am I kidding, on a weeknight I never have that kind of time. It doesn’t make me crave bread any less though, so I decided to concoct a quick weeknight recipe for those evenings when you want a slice of “fresh from the oven” sustenance but don’t have the time to put forth all the love and care that typically is required to get the desired result.
This recipe uses baking powder in place of yeast to allow for an instant lift while cooking, therefore eliminating all the time required for rising and punching. But wait, there’s more. You didn’t think I’d actually stop there did you? I wanted to give my loaf a little flavor kick so I snuck in a couple glugs of beer and a heaping handful of cheese.
Welcome back to the weeknight rotation my butter loving friend. You’ve been sorely missed.
Let’s cook up a loaf, shall we?
I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. Our family made the decision to pack into the car and venture out to the Smoky Mountains to spend the holiday camping; a Griswold family vacation at it’s finest. We originally intended to stay through Monday, but tropical storm Lee had other plans. We debated sticking it out but in the end, the thought of trying to pack up camp in the pouring rain with three wet children in tow didn’t bode well for our sanity, so we headed home a day early. Despite the unplanned departure, we had a swimmingly good time with the days we did have and I think the boys really enjoyed this final sendoff to summer.
The boys playing in the water at Cliffside Recreation Area in Highlands, NC
I can’t believe I finally put flour to bowl and cooked myself up some popovers. I’m not sure what I was waiting for. Maybe I thought they would be too difficult to create or maybe (more likely) I am just too darn lazy. Every time my mom creates a pan during one of our family’s visits I eat it and think, “darn if I’m not going to mix up a batch of these when I get back home”. I then come home, promptly forget all my good intentions and motor on my merry way, popover free.
Have you ever had a recipe like that? It took about a year of having a popover pan sitting below my oven, gathering dust, before I finally pulled it out one fine day and made the declaration to take the plunge. Let me just say, for how beautiful and intricate they look, popovers are surprisingly easy to put together. Aside from the hour rest time, I might even venture to throw them into the quick bread category. That’s a big deal in these parts where we love our bread, but not the time it takes to put a loaf together.
These popovers have the addition of cheese as well because lets face it, cheese makes everything just a wee bit better. To bake up a basketful of your own, you’ll begin by combining together a small handful of eggs along with a little cream, flour, some butter, and a few choice spices.
Summer break as an adult with a handful of children is difficult work. Just this week alone we’ve had playdates at friends house’s, gone swimming (4 times), bounced a morning away at Monkey Joes, ventured to the movies, treated ourselves to frozen yogurt, treated ourselves to dinner, and motored our way downtown for a morning at the Discovery Place (our resident science museum). The kids are having a summer break they won’t soon forget. I, on the other hand, need a well earned time out from all the fun.
Thank goodness for hot coffee and a muffin the size of my head. These treasures have been making my mornings a whole lot better for the past few days. Simply slice one in half, grab a large vessel of steaming hot caffeine and who knows where the day can take us? I’ve conquered lemon poppy seed and my next challenge is obtaining blueberry perfection. All I know is if I have one of these treats at my side, there’s nothing I can’t handle.
If you’re in search of summer break sustenance, then you’ll need to cream up a little sugar and butter and throw in a few goodies such as eggs, vanilla, and lemon in both the zest form and the juice form.