Archive for March, 2013

Spring garden

lime clematis2

Here are a few photos of my garden as it welcomes the spring. I love living on the West Coast all times of year, but early spring is when I appreciate it most. Nothing made me more crazy living in Calgary than seeing spring on the calendar and snow on the ground, and each year spent in Vancouver (this is my fourth spring) reminds me how glad I am to be here.

I know many of you are still struggling with the dregs of winter, so I hope these images feel encouraging and hopeful – something to tide you over until things warm up all over the country. I promise I don’t mean to gloat!

primula in metal pot

sping garden 2013

one purple crocus

cinnamon hellebores

pink and white primulas in the sun

Advertisements

March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 comment

Cranberry scones with lavender sugar

cranberry flax scones2

I love lazy weekend mornings. Walk the dog, bring the newspaper in from the step, start baking, and then fritter away the rest of the morning reading, sipping coffee, and nibbling.

I’m a big believer in the proverb “necessity is the mother of invention,” especially when it comes to cooking. This recipe came about in the standard way, which is peering into the fridge / pantry / freezer for any usable ingredients. This weekend I found frozen cranberries, flax, and yogurt, and some dried lavender I brought home from France and have been meaning to use more often in baking. It turned out to be an amazing combination, and the scent of lavender added an extra element of relaxation to my blissed-out weekend routine.

lavender

Cranberry scones with lavender sugar
Makes 8 scones

Scones:
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flax)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Lavender sugar topping (optional, but if you have lavender it’s delicious):
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon demerara sugar (large crystal sugar – adds a nice crunch)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the scones, combine flours, baking soda, sugar, flax, and nutmeg. Drizzle oil over top of flour mixture and stir to combine. Add cranberries and yogurt and stir until just mixed together (the scones will be tough if you overmix the dough, so be very gentle – it’s better to undermix and have a bit of loose flour at the end). Shape the dough into a loose ball and place in a greased glass pie plate. Press the dough down gently so it fills the pie plate evenly. Use a knife to score the dough into 8 slices before you put it in the oven: this helps the scones cook evenly and makes them easier to serve when they’re done.

Lavender sugar: If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush the lavender and regular sugar together (otherwise just combine them) and sprinkle over the scones. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top.

Bake scones in a 375F oven for 30 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown on top (be careful not to overbake). Serve with fruit, yogurt, and coffee for a beautiful breakfast.

Variation: I often use a similar version of this recipe to make cheese scones. Swap out the cranberries for cheddar cheese, decrease the sugar to 1 tablespoon, omit the nutmeg, and add 1 teaspoon of a savory herb like thyme or sage.

scones and yogurt

cranberry flax scones3

March 11, 2013 at 12:12 am 1 comment


Flickr Photos


%d bloggers like this: