Tag Archive: Recipes

  1. Fresh Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

    blueberry-scones-300x197There’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked blueberry scones , especially when a key ingredient is from your own garden. Market or garden-fresh blueberries make this recipe taste great, and freshly grated lemon zest gives that extra pop of flavor. For even more sweetness and decadence, drizzle with fresh lemon glaze while the scones are still warm.

    Scone Ingredients

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on top
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten

    Lemon Glaze Ingredients

    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salted butter, melted

    Directions

    For this simple recipe, start by adding all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk them together. Cut the cold butter into the mixture until crumbly. Whisk together the cream, egg, and lemon zest in a liquid measuring cup. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the dough just comes together, fold in the blueberries. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and lightly knead, gently turning and folding the mix eight to ten times. (Too much kneading will result in tough scones!) Roll the dough to 1-inch-thick, 4-inch-round circles and cut them into quarters. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and voila!

  2. Holiday Cooking with Fresh Ginger

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    Fresh ginger makes gingerbread cookies taste even better!

    Whether you cook something sweet or savory, fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has a traditional place at the holiday table. Its bright, spicy flavor adds something special to cookies, cakes, and festive starters that will encourage family and friends to keep coming back for more. The key is choosing the freshest roots from the store or (even better) your own potted ginger plant.

    Ginger is wonderfully easy to grow as a potted houseplant, if kept in a sunny window. Just provide it with a well-drained pot of fertile Fafard Professional Potting Mix, water moderately, feed monthly with an all-purpose water soluble fertilizer and you’ll be set. If planting ginger root for the first time, be sure to plant it with its horn-like buds facing upwards and sink it 1-2” below the soil’s surface. Store-bought roots will work very well or you can purchase plants from retail greenhouses like Logee’s. One choice cultivated variety is the Javanese ‘Sunthi’, which has smaller, more pungent roots, but it is hard to find in commerce.

    Starting with the good stuff always makes recipes taste better, so be sure to go for the firmest, nicest ginger roots for your holiday cooking. Here are several fresh ginger recipes that will make the best use of them:

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    Tart lemon glaze makes this moist, seasonal cake taste extra good.

    Fresh Ginger Cake with Lemon Glaze                

    This oil-based cake is very flavorful and moist. The addition of tart lemon glaze makes it even more decadent. Begin by buttering and flouring a bread pan and heating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. All wet ingredients should be at room temperature.

    Wet Ingredients
    2 large eggs (room temperature)
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    ¾ cup hot water
    ¾ cup granulated sugar

    Dry Ingredients
    2 cups cake flour
    ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
    1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    ½ cup packed, macerated fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon lemon zest

    Glaze
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    ½ cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    Combine all of the dry ingredients (except the sugar) in a sieve over a large mixing bowl and sift the ingredients. Next, add all the wet ingredients, except the ginger, lemon zest, and eggs, to another large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and light.

    Combine the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in the ginger and eggs, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until fully combined. Then transfer the batter to the baking pan. The cake should be baked for around 45 minutes.

    Test the cake with a bamboo skewer and make sure it comes up clean before removing the cake. Before the cake cools, whisk the glaze ingredients together, skewer holes across the top of the cake and pour the glaze over the top—allowing it to sink into the cake and harden. Once cool, take a knife along the cake edges and remove the cake from the pan.

    Gingerbread with Fresh Orange Zest

    This fresh gingerbread tastes extra good with the addition of orange zest.

    Crisp gingerbread ready for decorating!

    For years I sought out the best gingerbread recipe and finally settled on a conglomerate of recipes gathered from a variety of places.

    Wet Ingredients
    ¾ cup salted butter
    ¾ cup sugar
    ¾ cup dark molasses (not black strap!)
    ¼ cup warm water
    1 tablespoon fresh crushed ginger
    1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

    Dry Ingredients
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ¼ teaspoon cloves
    ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
    A healthy pinch of salt
    3 ¼ cups sifted flour

    Directions
    Cream butter and sugar until fluffy then mix in the molasses and water. Sift the dry ingredients then add them to the wet until fully combined (be sure not to over mix).

    Flour your hands and pull the dough together into a flattened ball and chill for at least 12 hours. Before you roll the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Flour up a board and pin and cut your dough in two. Roll out the dough to around 1/4 inch thickness. Be sure to keep the board and pin floured to stop the dough from sticking.

    Cut out your shapes and reroll any excess dough, though try not to overwork it as this results in tough cookies. Place the rolled cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for eight to ten minutes, depending on how large or thick your cookies are. The less baked, the chewier the cookie. Allow the cookies to cool before decorating. Royal icing is the best for decorating and gel food coloring provides the deepest colors.

    Roasted Eggplant Dip with Ginger

    This yummy fresh eggplant dip is a little smoky and a little spicy.This creamy, nutty, gingery eggplant dip tastes great with pita, crackers, and fresh vegetable crudités.

    Ingredients

    1 large, fresh Italian eggplant
    3 tablespoons almond butter
    1 tablespoon full fat Greek yogurt
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons macerated ginger
    1 clove finely minced garlic
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 tablespoon flatleaf Italian parsley
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the top of the eggplant, cut it in half and place it flat side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast it until it is completely soft. This should take around 45 minutes. Once cooked, allow the eggplant to cool. Scoop out the soft eggplant and add it to a food processor. Briefly heat the coriander, cumin, and fennel seed in a heated pan with two teaspoons of olive oil—a minute or two should be enough. Add all of the ingredients to the food processor and pulse the dip until smooth—adding salt and pepper to taste.

    This dip tastes best if the flavors are allowed to marry for sein the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before serving.