Dinner Club – February 2013

SBE 065February 2013 Dinner Club

Our February dinner club was held at Tiffany’s.  Her theme of choice was romance movies.  She asked all the participants to taylor their portion of the meal around their favorite romance movie.  If you haven’t read my blog about Dinner Club and how it works, check it out.  Since Tiffany was hosting, she had the entree.  Her movie was “Love Actually” and she chose to do penne in a red vodka cream sauce.  It goes without saying that the menu was amazing so keep reading.

Dinner Club Romance Media
Dinner Club Romance Media

Dinner Club Themes, Menu and Media

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Tiffany – “Love Actually” – Entree – You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Sauce

Tracy – “Gidget Goes to Rome” – Appetizer –  Three Way Bruchetta

Kelly – “Mama Mia” – Side – Mediterranean Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad With Marjoram Vinaigrette

Jeni – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – Beverage – Champagne Bar

Stephanie – “Four Weddings and a Funeral” – Salad – Winterfruit Salad

Trisha – “Downton Abbey” – Dessert – Lemon Bar Cake Cookies

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Yes, I’m fully aware that Downton Abbey is not a movie, but a television miniseries on PBS.  I was reminded over and over again that evening by multiple people, but in my defense, I love it as if it were a movie and I don’t always run with the pack, therefore making it perfectly acceptable and after all, it’s Dinner Club, so all is forgiven.

Bruchetta Three Ways

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What’s better than having bruchetta three ways?  When your lover makes fresh french rolls the morning of Dinner Club day and you get to spoil all the girls with it!  Who needs store bought with that kind of man at home!


1 french baggette, preferably made by your lover, cut into half inch slices on the bias

1 T Olive Oil

1 clove garlic halved

Directions:  preheat your oven to 475 degrees.  Place baggette slices on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and rub with halved garlic.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes watching closely so they don’t burn.  Remove from oven and arrange on a tray.  Serve with three sauces.  You can make these as you see them below or come up with  your own.  Personally, the tomato and the goat cheese are my favorite and they are really great together.

Tomato Topping:

2 diced roma tomatoes, seeds discarded

1 bunch fresh basil leaf, chiffonade

1 t. balsamic vinegar

freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:  Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and gently mix.  Serve on toasted baguette slices.

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Goat Cheese and Onion Topping:

1 8oz pkg of goat cheese

1/4 C. of thick sour cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. finely chopped chives

1/2 t. garlic powder

Directions:  Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until blended and smooth.  Serve on toasted baguette slices.

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Drunken Fig Jam courtesy Epicurious.com

2 lemons

4 pounds ripe fresh figs (preferably black), stemmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)

4 cups sugar

3/4 cup brandy or Cognac

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips. Cut peel into matchstick-size strips (about 3 tablespoons).

Combine lemon peel, figs, sugar, brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in heavy large deep saucepan; let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Bring fig mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil until jam thickens and is reduced to 6 cups, stirring frequently and occasionally mashing mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle mixture into 6 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Sauce adapted by Food Network

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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 cup vodka

1 cup chicken stock

1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)

Coarse salt and pepper

16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate

1/2 cup heavy cream

20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Crusty bread, for passing

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Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

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While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.

Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad With Marjoram Vinaigrette adapted from Bon Appetit

SBE 107


1 pound orzo

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

6 t finely chopped fresh marjoram

4 t Dijon mustard

1 t grated lemon peel

1/2 C. olive oil

1 1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 C. pitted Kalamata olives, quartered

24 oz. cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved

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Cook orzo in a pot of boiling, salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occassionally.  Drain.  Rinse pasta under cold water until cool.  Drain well.  Transfer pasta to larger bowl.

Whisk lemon juice, 5 t. marjoram, mustard and lemon peel in a small bowl.  Whisk in olive oil.  Set aside 2 T. vinaigrette.  Add remaining vinaigrette, cheese, onions and olives to orzo; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and let stand 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.  Toss tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette.  Toss into salad and add remaining marjoram.  Serve cold.

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

SBE 104


1/2 C. white sugar

1/2 C. lemon juice

2 t. diced onion

1 t. Dijon-style prepared mustard

1/2 t. salt

2/3 C. vegetable oil

1 t. poppy seeds

1 head butter leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

1 C. cashews

1/4 C. dried cranberries

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced

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In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix.

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In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Champagne Bar

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This is such a wonderful idea.  If you have a number of guests over, grab a few bottles of your favorite champagne, mixers and your gorgeous glassware and have a ball mixing up your favorite champagne cocktails.  Don’t forget the must have cute napkins and drink stirrers.  With a champagne bar, everyone makes their own special version!

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1 1/2 oz. orange vodka

1 1/2 oz. lemon juice

1 1/2 oz. orange juice

2 bar spoons Apricot preserves



Combine ingredients in a martini shaker with ice and serve chilled in your favorite glassware!  Too many of these and we would have really had breakfast at Tiffany’s!

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As you can see, our champagne bar had the following ingredients, but you can use virtually anything.  Be creative and taylor your bar to a specific holiday or celebration.  Here are some other ingredients you may wish to use to stock your champagne bar:

Peach puree

Mango puree

Orange Juice

Lemon Juice

sugar cubes


Triple Sec

Simple syrup

Raspberry puree

Strawberries, raspberries, cut pineapple and marischino cherries for garnish

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Downton Abbey Lemon Bar Cake Cookies

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Makes 18 to 20

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 x 13 glass Pyrex.


2 C. all-purpose flour

½ C. powdered sugar

1 C. butter (you can mix ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening as an alternative to all butter)

1 tsp. grated Meyer lemon peel

Dash salt

Mix ingredients together with your hands until crumbly and press into the greased 9×13 Pyrex dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool before adding filling.

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4 eggs

1 C. all-purpose flour

1 ¼ C. granulated sugar

1 t. baking powder

Dash salt

¼ C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 t. lemon peel

1 t. lemon extract (optional)

Add all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk until combined.  Pour into 9×13 over cooled cookie base and put in oven at 350 for 25 minutes or until center is cooked through.  Remove from oven and cool on counter.

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1 C. powdered sugar

8 oz. cream cheese softened

¼ C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Add lemon juice until desired consistency.  Pour over lemon bar cake.  Let icing set for about an hour before cutting lemon bars.    When you cut, they will look a bit rustic.

Serving Tip:  Serve inside large white paper muffin cups or on top of sweet little decorative doilies covering a cake stand.

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A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

A History Lesson:  St. Patrick is the most recognized patron saint of Ireland, a British Roman, formerly captured and brought to Ireland as a slave, he escaped and later returned to Ireland as a Christian Bishop spreading the good word.  Today, we recognize St. Patrick’s Day as a celebration of Irish culture and probably one of the most celebrated of all the saint’s days in the world.  It is a day of commemorating Christianity coming to Ireland and is marked by feasts, the wearing of green and a lively excuse to party!

My family, having Irish decent, most notably by the names of McIntee and Murphy, join me in a dinner celebration every St. Patrick’s Day.  After years of serving the traditional corned beef and cabbage, I am trying to mix it up, stretch my culinary skills, and keep it interesting.  St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about soda bread like all the cooking magazines like to push at you.  I’ve read too many articles about traditional Irish soda bread usually portraying some elderly, apron-wearing, Irish woman who lost her smile standing in her lonely kitchen with a sad bowl in front of her that looks to be bread dough.  C’mon.  Not interesting!  What is interesting is exploring the culinary world around you.

This St. Patrick’s day I took a trip to a local restaurant in Bellingham, Washington known interestingly enough as “Man Pies“.  No kidding.  This is the place where they sell pasties, which looked lovely and meat pies which strongly resemble shepherd’s pie.  Bryce (pictured above), the fellow I met who works behind the counter, proudly informed me that it took them two weeks to prepare the beef for the corned beef pie. 

For my Irish family gathering, I bought six personal meat pies for dinner and he talked me into dessert too.  One mini lapin cherry almond Frangipagne, a mini cherry almond pie, a slice of chocolate buttercream layer cake, a slice of vanilla buttercream layer cake, and a mini shortbread apple pie.  What can I say,  I love dessert.  I also love to cook, but sometimes, you just have to go out and explore the world around you because it just might fill you with delight, inspiration and you get to meet new people who love food and culture as much as you do.  Dinner was served AND devoured!

A Spicy Italian Calzone

Pour yourself a glass of full bodied red wine and serve yourself up some Spicy Italian Calzone.  The picture really speaks for itself.  Your salivating taste buds can’t wait, so get started!

If you have a bread machine to make your calzone dough, go for it.  Use the pizza dough recipe that came with it and follow the bread machine directions.  It will be a “dough” or “manual” cycle.  If you need a bread machine pizza dough recipe, I have included one below.

You can make these ahead of time and pop them into the oven when your company arrives or you can make it right now just for you!

Calzone Filling Ingredients:

½ lb. spicy Italian sausage

½ C. red peppers, chopped small

5 oz. pepperoni or turkey pepperoni, chopped

1/2 C. chopped kale, stemmed removed

1/4 C. mushrooms (optional)

1 1/2 C. pizza sauce, divided

1 ½ C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Filling Directions:
In a skillet, brown the Italian sausage.  When almost done, add red peppers and cook down for about four minutes.  Add the pepperoni, kale and 1 cup of the pizza sauce.  Stir together and cover with a lid for four minutes until kale is tender.  Turn off heat and set aside until ready to assemble calzone.

Calzone Dough:

¾ C. water

2 C. white bread flour

½ t. dry milk

1 T. sugar

½ t. salt

2 t. active dry yeast

If you don’t have a bread machine, your taste buds are still in luck.  Many pizza locations actually sell their pizza dough if you want premade dough.  Another option is to purchase it from a grocery store.  Usually it’s located in the refrigerated section next to the sweet rolls.

Directions for Calzone:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When your dough is done rising, take it and roll it on a floured work surface in a long, oval shape.  When baking, your calzone is going to puff up so make sure the dough is rolled as flat as possible.  Make sure you cut strips into your dough, along all sides, about 1 inch apart.

Spread remaining pizza sauce over center of dough and using the back of a spoon, work out to the sides, but omit the strips.  Place calzone filling in the center and again, work it out to the sides.  Cover with mozzarella cheese.

Starting from one end, fold up the end strips toward the middle of the calzone.  Working from each side alternatively, crisscross strips of dough over filling, pressing down and sealing with a drop of water.  Brush top with melted butter and bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

You can serve this alone or with a green side salad of choice.


Banana Cream Coconut Muffins

Banana Cream Coconut Muffins

Once upon a time there lived a little princess who would not eat slightly over ripe bananas so her mother had to come up with a recipe in order to not have them go to waste.  The little princess loved to bake and use the ice cream scoop.  Her mother’s recipe was the answer to the question of what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  The little princess, the little prince and their father happily ate the banana cream coconut muffins while their mother enjoyed a few silent moments on her own.  

1 3/4 C flour
1/3 C sugar
2 t baking powder
1 small pkg Banana Cream Instant Pudding mix
1 C shredded, sweetened coconut, divided

1 C milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C cooking oil
1 t coconut extract
1 overripe banana, mashed
3 T sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, add flour, sugar baking powder, pudding mix and 1/2 C. coconut.  In a large mixing bowl, add milk, egg, oil, and extract.  Mix.  Stir in mashed banana.  Using rubber spatula, add flour mixture and fold in.
Using an icecream scoop, drop dough into prepared muffin tin.  The dough should come a little more than half way up the muffin cup.  Sprinkle with coconut and sugar.
Place muffin tins in hot oven and cover loosely with a large piece of foil.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes or until coconut on top is lightly golden brown.
Remove muffins from the oven and let cool slightly before turning them out onto cooling rack.
Makes 12 standard muffins or 8 large.

Grilled Indian Flat Bread, Naan

Grilled Indian Flatbread, Naan

This grilled Indian flatbread, called Naan, is very good and mops up all the succulent juices left over that remain on your plate.  I can’t stop eating it.  You can serve this up with any meal really and it would be a hit.  They are also a very good partner to wine when served as an appetizer (baby naan).  My dinner guests are always intrigued when you start grilling these up and it’s fun to watch their faces when they bite into them. 

Read through steps prior to making.  Makes 12 naan.
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 C. luke warm water
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 C. bread flour
In a large bowl, include water and yeast.  Gently stir and let stand for about ten minutes, until frothy.  Add sugar, milk, beaten egg, salt, garlic and flour and knead with your hands until combined and you can wrap it in a ball.  Place ball in an oiled glass bowl and cover with a towel.  Set aside for about 1 hour to double in size. 
After an hour has elapsed, punch down dough and tear off small pieces to roll into ball shapes.  Place dough balls on greased cookie sheet and cover with towel for 40 minutes to rise.
Using a rolling pin or your hands, flatten dough in to a flat round.  Grill flattened dough round on hot, prepared grill for about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the back.   Serve warm.

Maple Oatmeal Scones

Maple Oatmeal Scones
I made these scones late one evening this week.  Everyone had gone to bed already and I was up trying to get work off my mind.  Before too long, the sweet aroma of maple was drifting though the house. 

A tree line on my property. 
Picture taken in Fall 2009.
As a little girl, I remember being tucked in my bed upstairs for the night and my mother would be downstairs in the kitchen making wonderful things that filled up the house with warmth and dreamy memories.  Oh, my sweet reverie.  The reflection of my history carries me back to a time when my world was carefree, playful and free of responsibility.  I wonder if it is those memories coupled with the fragrance of days gone by that delivers us to that restful state of happiness and blissful relaxation and contentment.  That feeling of being at peace.  The feeling of home.
Barn and Mount Baker, 2009
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. whole-wheat flour
3/4 C. quick cooking oats

3 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 sticks cold butter (1/2 lb), cubed
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 t. maple extract
2 eggs

1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup
1 t. maple extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Using your electric mixer, add the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Blend together until mixed.  Add cubed butter and mix on low until the dough looks like small pieces.  Add the buttermilk, syrup, extract and eggs and blend until just combined.  Do not over-mix or your scones will be tough.  Remove dough carefully from mixing bowl onto floured surface.  Cover hands and rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut in circular shape using large round cookie cutter or in triangles.  Place on prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges just start to brown.  When warm, but not hot, drizzle glaze over the tops and let them cool to set.  Makes 18.


Miniature Popovers and Savory Popovers

Miniature Popovers

Warm.  Simple.  Wonderful.  A lost recipe.  Popovers are considered a thing of the past.  Let’s reclaim them.  They are so easy to make and people are charmed when they served up warm either plain or savory.  The reason why they are called popovers is because they “pop over” the top of the pan when cooking.  Several popover recipes tell you to use a popover pan but it really isn’t necessary.  You can use a muffin tin, miniature or regular.  I used miniature here.  Accompany with honey, jam or butter.  If you are feeling adventurous and looking for that perfect accent to a homestyle dinner, like pot roast or pork roast, consider making savory popovers to go along side.  Try blending finely chopped oregano or rosemary into the batter and bake according to the directions below. 

1 C. Flour
1 t. Salt
2 Eggs
1 C. Milk
Butter for pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, blend ingredients until smooth.  Fold a paper towel in fours and dip in butter.  Smear butter lightly into muffin cups.  Fill muffin cups half way with batter.  Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Enjoy warm.

Opera Pizza Dough

Opera Pizza with Fontina and Sherried White Cream Sauce
(toppings include: artichokes, bacon, baby spinach leaves and quickly sauteed green onion)
My sister and I were in the kitchen cooking all day.  We were thirsty and exhausted.  When we sat down to reflect on our day, I jokingly asked her, “What if we lived long ago and we had to wear dresses and cook for every man we knew?”  She answered, “Then we best be hiding a bottle of booze somewhere.”

This pizza dough recipe was a fun adventure.  It turned out so well the first time we made it that I made it again for guests at my Election Night Party last fall.  I call it Opera Pizza because the dough is sophisticated, bold and tasteful.  It could easily be served up at the opera and would land rave reviews from all the critics.  You’ll be singing like they do at the opera when your dough rises and your perfect crust pizza is on it’s way out of the oven all fresh and bubbly.  Let’s roll out the red carpet and get started!

Opera Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3/4 C. warm water or room temperature beer 
1 package active dry yeast
1 t. olive oil for greasing sides of mixing bowl 
1 t. sugar 
1 t. salt
2 cups flour
3 T. olive oil
Place warm water (or beer) in mixing bowl and add entire yeast package.  Let dissolve.  This step takes about five minutes.  Don’t be afraid.  Yeast is great stuff.  Your dough will not rise if the liquid it is dissolved in is too hot or too cold.
Grease bowl for dough to rest in after it is mixed up.  To do this, my mother used to take a paper towel, fold in fours and sparingly add olive oil to it.  She would then use the olive oil towel to wipe down the inside of a big glass bowl.  I have done this for years and I think it is the easiest way to do it if you do not have cooking spray, plus the clean up is a snap.
In mixing bowl, add flour, sugar and salt to yeast mixture.  Add olive oil.  With dough hook attachment, mix until dough forms into a ball shape.  If it is too sticky, add very small amounts of flour and work it in with your hands.  Remove dough from mixer on to floured work surface.  Knead dough over itself until smooth.  Carefully place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place dough in a warm area to rise.  Rising takes about an hour and it will look like it has doubled in size.  After the dough has risen, punch it down and clear some kitchen space for assembling pizzas.  I have made this pizza the size of a jelly roll pan for large groups (see in pictures here), or personal size pizzas which are fun for parties.  Roll out dough, cover with sauce and toppings as desired.  Place in oven for 16 to 20 minutes for a large pizza and 8 to 10 for a personal size pizza.
In the picture above, I used a white sauce which I found on the internet, but I substituted cheeses and I used sherry instead of white wine.  The flavor was great.  It is good to be on the safe side and try a traditional sauce, but don’t be afraid to mix it up!  Try the following web sites for more sauce recipes: foodnetwork.com, epicurious.com, or allrecipes.com.

Bollos Salados Mexicano

Bollos Salados Mexicano
Bollos Salados Mexicano!  Otherwise known as Savory Mexican Scones.  Ole’!  My sister woke up one morning and asked, “Did you make coffee? Want to make some scones?”  I wasn’t thinking savory at all.  I’de made a left turn after coffee and was off-roading somewhere in the distant reality.  I’de been up with my son who has decided that daybreak is as good a time as any to announce to the household that he’s done sleeping, ready to have breakfast and play with toy cars.  Coffee?  Yes.  Scones?  Yes, go down the street to the corner coffee shop and buy me one for now and one for later.  Staring at her over my coffee cup, I relented.  What else is there to do at 5:30 in the morning? “I’m game.”
The scones were a miracle because we threw this recipe together after researching two or three of them on the internet.  They are so good and versatile that we decided they were worthy of making over and over again. I admit, we sort of turned them mexican because it was the only cheese flavor I had other than some gourmet stuff that seemed too expensive to be part of a scone.  I invite you to try the “base recipe”* (that means, add the ingredients right up to the mexican part) and put your own savory ingredients: thyme, rosemary, sage, sausage, ham, grated parmesan, grated fontina, etc.  C’mon.  You know you want to. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3 C. Flour
1 T. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
1 t. Freshly Ground Pepper
1/4 C. Butter, cubed and refridgerated
2 C. Grated Mexican Cheese
3 or 4 Green Onions, sliced thin and sauteed or a small can of Green Chilies
4 Slices of Bacon
2 T. Sour Cream
1 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
1/4 C. Flour
1 Egg
2 t. water
In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder salt and pepper.  Blend ingredients together.  While mixer is running on low, slowly add in the butter cubes one at a time.  The butter and flour mixture should look like course meal with some bigger lumps.
*At this time, you can add any ingredients you want to as I mentioned above.*  If you are going to continue with this recipe, add the cheese, onions and bacon.  Mix until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix as these are scones and they will be tough if you are heavy handed.  Nice and easy.  Add in the sour cream and heavy cream and lightly mix until dough starts forming and you can shape it.  Remove from bowl onto floured surface and shape into flat square, about an inch high.  Cut into wedges.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water to form glaze and brush over wedges.  Place wedges on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until firm.  These scones are good served warm.  I have taken them to work with me the next day, but remember to  refridgerate them if they contain a meat product.

Chocolate Orange Zucchini Bread

“Chockit” is a term for “Chocolate” used often by my two year old who loves it as much as I do! Here is a twist on the original zucchini bread. I am a fool for anything chocolate. This bread is good for breakfast, bringing to work in your lunch bag and using it as a dessert after dinner. That statement is a little ironic for me since I have actually done all three of those in one day. Don’t you judge me. Its no secret that I love a good chocolate fix. My kids love it too and they don’t even know that it is healthy for them. It is wonderful to have on hand and it also freezes well. This recipe makes two loaves. They won’t last long, especially after your household gets a whiff of them baking in the oven! I have found that it is much easier to use a Cuisanart to grate your zucchini. If you grate your zucchini the old fashioned way; by hand with a grater, then someone should be taking you for a spa treatment ….either that or therapy…you decide. All I know is when it’s this good, who wants to waste time grating it by hand? Enjoy your “chockit.”

Chocolate Orange Zucchini Bread

4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 Oil
2 C. shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 3/4 C. baking cocoa powder (separated)
3 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 C. regular or mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease bottoms of 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans. Use 1/4 cup of the baking cocoa to coat inside of pans so your bread will not stick when you turn them out after baking. In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and sugar well until thickened. Stir in oil, zucchini. Stir in remaining bread ingredients. Do not over mix. If using an electric mixer, stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula at the end. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Cool 15 to 20 minutes and remove from pan. Makes 2 loaves.