Archive for the ‘Occasions’ Category

Raspberry Buttermilk Whole Wheat Scones

Saturday, May 16th, 2009


I am not a scone person — they are usually dry, solid, and crumbly, with so much baking powder that they squeak in your teeth!  These are different.  Based on a recipe from one of my favorite bakeries in the whole world, the Beach Pea Bakery in Kittery, Maine, they are light, moist, buttery, and just barely sweet. 

3 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

5/8 cup sugar

1 1/4 tbsp baking powder

2 1/2 tsp salt

6 1/2 tbsp cold butter

1 cup raspberries

zest of 1/2 lemon

2 cups low fat buttermilk

Additional sugar or turbinado or demerara sugar for dusting.

Combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer.  Mix at the lowest speed until combined.

Cut butter into small cubes (I quarter the stick, then chop into 1/4 inch slices.)  Add butter to mixer at low speed, and mix for 3-4 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, and add lemon zest and raspberries. Then add buttermilk and stir until just combined — do not overmix.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease 2 cookie sheets with paper left over from butter.  Spoon 1/2 cup mounds onto cookie sheets, evenly spaced at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar.

Bake about 20 minutes, until nicely browned and springy to the touch (don’t push too hard!)

Makes 16 medium sized scones.

Cherry Orange Carrot Cupcakes

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

These sweet cupcakes are fabulously moist and yummy, with dried cherries stepping in for the more conventional raisin, and orange-flavored cream cheese icing to top them off.
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cups peeled carrots, grated (this winds up being almost exactly a small bag of “baby” carrots, which I just dump into the food processor with the shred blade)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or more as you like
2 cups powdered sugar
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 orange
2 tsp vanilla
For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350. Set paper cupcake liners in 2 muffin pans to make room for 24 cupcakes (my muffin pans have 12 spots each). In an electric stand mixer, combine sugar, oil, and applesauce. Add eggs one at a time. Then add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add carrots, nuts, and cherries, and mix again. Fill each cupcake liner with about 1/2 cup of batter.
Place on middle rack of oven and bake until set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cupcakes to cool.
For Frosting:
Combine all ingredients in electric stand mixer and blend for several minutes until all lumps of powdered sugar disappear.
You can frost the cupcakes by dunking them upside down into the frosting, twisting, and flicking a cute little peak over on top when you pull them out.
I like to put a dried cherry or a sliver of crystallized ginger on top.

Brunching Out: A Great Green for Moms

Friday, May 12th, 2006

(originally published on

Brunching with Mom this weekend?

Adding kale to the menu is an unusual, easy, and delicious way to show her you care. It comes in several tasty varieties and has a wide range of beneficial nutrients that are associated with decreased risk of cancer, cataracts, heart disease, arthritis, and emphysema, including anti-oxidants, calcium, and fiber. Not only is it truly a health super-food, but Sautéed Lemon Kale is a great reason to blow off the Eggs Benedict when served with poached eggs and whole-grain toast. It can be tempting to toss aside good nutrition on special occasions, but this is one exceptionally healthy treat that I have come to crave.

Kale comes in several varieties, and any of them will work well in this preparation, although I particularly like the texture of the curly variety. Look for firm, crisp leaves with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

Poached Eggs with Sautéed Lemon Kale and Whole Grain Toast

1 large bunch kale, washed and dried

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 eggs

1 tbsp white vinegar

4 slices of whole grain bread

Slice the kale horizontally across the bunch into ribbons about ½ inch wide. Discard the tough stems. Cut the garlic into slivers.

Heat olive oil in a large lidded sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers but doesn’t smoke. Add kale. You may need to add it in batches, as the kale will reduce in size as it cooks, and while it may initially look as though there is too much for the pan, if you wait 10-15 seconds you should be able to squeeze it all in. Cover and cook until the kale is sufficiently reduced in size that you can stir it. Remove the lid and sauté as the kale continues to cook down. It’s fine, and in fact, quite tasty, if some of the leaves brown and crisp in places. When you have enough room in the pan, move the kale to the side enough that you can add the garlic in direct contact with the pan. Sauté for several seconds, then stir to combine garlic and kale. Cook to desired done-ness, at least until the stem portions of the leaves become tender and lose their raw taste. Remove from the heat and add the juice of the lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast bread and keep warm.

While you are cooking the kale, bring a medium saucepan containing a depth of about three inches of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to barely a simmer. Add the vinegar to the water. When the kale is done, poach the eggs as follows: gently crack each egg into a saucer or small cup. Lower into the simmering water and slide in the eggs. Immediately turn off the heat and cover. Cook for just under 3 minutes.

On each one of 4 plates, top one slice of toast with one quarter of the Sautéed Lemon Kale and one poached egg. Serve immediately, and pass sea salt and the pepper mill.

Serves 4.

New Year’s Eve Weekend

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Friday Dinner
Cheese Fondue
Green Salad
Saucisson Sec
Clear Crisol Torrontes 2005
James Cupcakes

Saturday Breakfast
Scrambled Eggs
Fruit Salad

Saturday Dinner
Bacon-wrapped Dates
Shrimp Cocktails
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes with Sour Cream and Caviar
Pomegranate Martinis
Salmon w/ Mustard and Brown Sugar
Sauteed Spinach w/ Garlic and Raisins
Twin Fin Pinot Noir
Marcel & Henri Duck Mousse with Truffles
Gilbert’s “G” Tawny Port
Chocolate Cake
Whipped Cream
Bugey Cerdon Sparkling Rosé

Sunday Brunch
Dutch Baby Apple Pancake

Sunday Supper
Chicken Chili
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Chips