Breakfast Scones

Do you ever have one of those days when you should be able to sleep in a bit but find yourself wide awake early?  I mean really early?  Like 5:30??  Today was one of those days for me.  Once I realized that falling back to sleep was an impossibility, I decided to rise, and I really did try to shine.  I thought I would just get an early start to all those Saturday chores that are inevitable. Unfortunately, upon arriving in my kitchen, I discovered that someone in my family forgot to put the outside cat back outside last night.  Figaro is a trash picker, and last night was no different.  My trashcan was over on its side and the chicken bones from dinner last night were strewn all over.  He just loves chicken bones!  Even though I was greatly annoyed for the unnecessary job the cat created for me, I flipped through my favorite Fannie Farmer cookbook and discovered a pretty easy scone recipe.  Served hot with bacon/sausage, scrambled eggs, and tea or coffee, this makes for a wonderful breakfast!

3 c. flour

1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. shortening or butter, softened

1 c. buttermilk

3/4 c. currants

grated orange zest from one whole orange

1 tbsp. heavy cream (milk works just fine)

2 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Stir with a fork to mix well.  Cut the shortening into flour mixture using a pastry blender until the mixture looks like fresh crumbs.  Add the buttermilk, currants, and orange zest.  Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Gather the dough into a ball and press so it holds together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 12 times. Divide dough in two pieces and pat each half into a circle about 1/2 inch thick.  In a small bowl combine the cream, cinnamon, and 2 tbsp. sugar, stirring to blend.  Brush the dough with the glaze.

Cut each circle into 8 pie-shaped pieces. Place scones slightly apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot.

Hash Browns For Hubby

As a new bride nearly 23 years ago, I learned very quickly that there were favorite dishes my husband enjoyed that I had either never heard of or that I had just never made.  Potatoes and onions cooked together is just one of these dishes.  My husband grew up in a pastor’s family of 6 children, 5 of whom were boys born within 6 years!  While feeding this crew was a challenge, there was always an abundance of potatoes and onions.  Tim grew up with fried potatoes and onions; onions and hash browns; mashed potatoes, and cheesy potato soup.  For me, mashed, boiled, or scalloped potatoes were the extent of potato dishes!  Here is how I make hash browns to help keep the hubby happy. It is a great way to use any left over baked potatoes from dinner the night before.

3 medium baked potatoes and completely cooled

1/2 medium onion, diced

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

salt; pepper; ground red pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add diced onions and saute until tender but not brown.  Grate the potatoes and add to the onions.   Heat through and gently brown the potatoes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and peppers to taste.  Serve hot with sunny-side up eggs and toast!   Makes about 2 servings.

Variation:  use finely chopped hot pepper in place of ground red pepper,  cooking the hot pepper with the onion.

Amazing Granola

Trying to get the family to eat a little healthier is not always an easy task.  Barbi does the best at healthy eating, and I truly am trying to, but sometimes those unhealthy carbs just taste sooo good!  We’ve all heard that a good breakfast is the best meal of the day.  Here is a great recipe for homemade granola.  It can be eaten as a cold cereal with low-fat milk or warmed in the microwave to eat on a chilly fall morning.  Need an afternoon snack?  Just grab a handful to eat to help tide you over till dinner!

Amazing Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup peanuts

1/2 cup to 1 cup powdered milk

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

*optional ingredients:  one cup each of raisins, dried cranberries; dried blueberries;  sesame seeds or coconut flakes.

Place all these ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well.

Combine 1 cup honey with 3/4 cup vegetable oil. Warm this in the microwave a few seconds to stir the honey better.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir very well, until all is coated.

Spread on large cookie sheet (might need 2) and bake at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even browning.

Store in an air-tight container.

Monday in Minutes

Mon·day: the first day of the working week, hated by mankind in general and tolerated only during football season.

Maybe that is not the exact definition, but it’s pretty close! Despite our dislike of Mondays, they do have one redeeming quality in our house: all the men have regularly scheduled obligations on Monday night, leaving us women to our blissful selves. Since the guys are not home to eat, this is the night we pull out the good stuff make “chick food”. French toast, omelets, light salads, and yogurt are a few of our favorites, but to stick to our goal of spicing up the routine we tried an awesome new smoothie recipe last night. Keeping this one from becoming a habit is going to be difficult! Maybe we can compromise a little….

Minted Peach Smoothies

2 cups milk
2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp. sugar
5 ice cubes

In a blender, combine all ingredients;

 cover and process until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

 Add mint sprigs for garnish.  Yields 4 servings.

Done in 10 minutes or less, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the boy-free evening!