Scones!

This weekend…
because I needed a break from weaving;
because college football started and I thought I deserved a treat for having to watch way more football than my body and mind can handle;
because I had to run 8 miles;
and because I had buttermilk in my fridge that needed to be used…

I made scones!

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I have never made scones before, mostly because they seem intimidating; however, these were incredibly easy to make and supposedly they are “skinny.” I don’t really have a regular recipe to compare them to, but I will take the author’s word for it. And regardless of how skinny they are, these scones are delicious! Probably because they have chocolate chips in them. You can find the original recipe here, but I will also post it below. If you are in the market for a scone recipe for your next brunch, or for anytime really, I recommend giving these a try. Maybe I will host a brunch so I can make them again!

Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones

By SkinnyTaste

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives (I used my hands to crumble it together), until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.

Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.

Friday Night Dinner

This weekend has been one of firsts.

As some of you know I have reluctantly registered to run a half marathon next month. Well, this morning, my husband and I ran 6 miles! I think prior to this training the most I had run at one time was around 2 miles. And this morning, I tripled that. It was not fun, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Now we are not fast runners by any means. It took an hour to run those 6 miles, so at that pace our half marathon will take just over 2 hours to complete. I honestly cannot fathom running for 2 straight hours at this point, but our hour this morning did not particularly feel that long. However my legs were feeling it, that’s for sure.

Compared to my running milestone, my other new adventure this weekend was not that significant, but still noteworthy. I made ribs. I probably would have attempted to cook ribs at some point, but the motivation for this round came from a generous gift of barbecue sauce from my brother-in-law and sister.

Like in every state, I’m sure, there are some things that you can only get in Oklahoma, and one of those things is a specific kind of barbecue sauce called Head Country. I mean, you may be able to get it in other states but I’m sure you couldn’t find it in Ohio. So when my sister and brother-in-law came to visit us last September, we asked if they could bring us some Head Country barbecue sauce as it is my husband’s favorite. Well… they certainly delivered. Delivered 2 gallons to be exact!

I feel like we eat a healthy amount BBQ here at weaving and weather, but it has been almost a year and we have not finished 1 gallon yet. We are getting close, but not quite there. So we have given ourselves kind of a challenge to finish it all before we move. Thus, I decided to cook some ribs because I thought that could use up a bit of the sauce. Unfortunately it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. I think that we can definitely finish the first gallon by next month, though!

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I referred to a recipe to make my spice rub, but ended up cutting it down and adjusting the measurements for just one rack of back ribs. And I took out and added a spice or two. My spice rub inspiration and cooking time and method came from here. I thought they turned out good, but definitely not as good as restaurant quality, and probably nothing compared to the ribs at my aunt’s new BBQ restaurant that just opened this week in Oklahoma City called Back Door Barbecue. (If you live in the area go check it out, so I can live – or eat – vicariously through you as I’m dying to try it!)

To go with our ribs, I made a lighter potato salad that I had been wanting to try for a while. It is a Paula Deen recipe – I know, a lightened up recipe by Paula Deen… crazy, right – but I actually got it from Skinny Taste, where it was lighten up even more. I love the traditional rich, creamy, southern, mustardy potato salad, but for a healthier option, I definitely thought this recipe was a good substitute. For the recipe for Baby Red Potato Salad you can go here.

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Happy Weekend Y’all!

A Fresh Take on Sweet Potatoes

Lately, I have been trying out some new recipes to help us discover new  and interesting dinner combinations that can spice up our weekly menu. I made a simple recipe for lunch today that I found on Pinterest, and thought it was noteworthy enough to share with my readers.

I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for new ways to incorporate then into our dinners. Today we had Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad . The salad was incredible simple to throw together and most of the ingredients are things that I typically keep on hand. I unfortunately do not have a photo of our lunch to share with you, but the author of the original recipe took a lovely photo of her rendition that will surely spike your appetite.

The Black Bean and Corn Salad is light and fresh with a smokey kick from the adobo sauce.  The salad will easily serve 4, but I just baked two sweet potatoes. I thought the salad paired wonderfully with the baked sweet potato, but the left over salad we have would also go great with tortilla chips as a salsa or just eaten with a fork by itself for a side dish! I can see this being a meal that we will add to our list. So if you are looking for a fresh new way to spice up your sweet potato give this recipe by Alaska from Scratch a try.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes or yams, baked
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn (I had canned corn and just used the whole can – drained and rinsed)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (I used about 1/2 cup of diced onion instead)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

In a bowl, add the black beans, corn, onions, and cilantro. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, oil, honey, adobo sauce, salt and pepper. Pour over the black bean mixture and toss to combine. Slice open the baked sweet potatoes. Stuff potatoes with the Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad. Serve.

Bread Making Adventures

This morning I took a break from weaving to attempt to make bread for the first time ever. I mean, I have made quick bread before, but never bread bread, with the yeast and the raising and whatnot. This recipe of course came from a blog found through Pinterest. One of my sisters made it last week and said it was just as easy and wonderful as the original author made it out to be, so I thought I would go for it. I have wanted to try my hand a bread making for a while now, and have been searching for something easy and low profile to start off with, and let me tell you, that is exactly what this recipe is. And it was husband approved, so that’s always a plus!

The bread is English Muffin Bread and the recipe is from One Good Thing by Jillee. The recipe makes four loaves and it freezes well. I left one out for this week and froze the other three. Using rapid rise yeast, it took just about an hour for my loaves to rise, an there was no kneading involved in the process! Told you it was easy.

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Jillee gives really great instructions so I will let you look at her blog for the recipe if you are interested.

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I thought I could wait until dinner to try a piece, but I couldn’t. It just smelled so good and was sitting there on the cooling racks taunting me, so once it was cooled I toasted up a piece, then covered it with butter and homemade grape jelly (and yes, we are still eating left over wedding favor jelly).

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It was delicious. This warm crispy bread is like a mix between an English Muffin and thick slice of toast.

I just really can’t get over how easy it was. Mind you… the clean up was pretty intensive. This recipe will fill the bowl of a 5 quart Kitchenaid mixer to the very top, thus my mixer had sticky bread dough in all of its crevices. The clean up took longer than the actual making of the bread. But don’t let that discourage you from using this recipe, because it’s worth it. And now I have this delicious English Muffin Bread to eat! So if you are in the market for a quick and easy bread recipe give this English Muffin Bread a try.

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Recipe Day

I used to work out fairly regularly. In college, especially my Junior and Senior year, I was really good about going to the gym every week day morning. It took me a while to realize that for the sake of my motivation, I need to work out in the morning. If I were to wait until after class or work until I decided to hit the gym, I would probably not go 2/3 of the time. But if I set an alarm, have my workout clothes set out, and have a plan for what I’m going to do, I don’t mind getting up earlier to go to the gym and just get it out of the way! Plus it makes me feel better throughout the day.

Once we were married and moved here, my husband and I were also pretty dedicated to working out together in the mornings. C was actually the one who got me started on working out in the morning, because that is what he did while he was in college. Our first work out regime was p90x… not fun, but effective. Although, as it got closer to the end of the 90 days we started to slack a little… After we completed it, we decided we would run everyday for a month and that would be our next work out plan. Then, unexpectedly, we took 3 months off. We just didn’t really have a good plan and C started school too early for us to go all the way to the gym to workout before class started, which we don’t have to work out together, but when you spend 4 years apart from each other, you kind of want to do everything together that you can! Or at least that’s my excuse for not working out from October to December.

When we got back from our Christmas vacation, we decided that we needed to get back into the swing of things. So C found this Crossfit workout online and we started last week. Let me tell you…. I am sore and big time out of shape! This Crossfit  workout kind of sucks, and there is way too much jump roping involved. Yes that’s right, jump roping… I have jumped rope more in the past few days than I did in my entire childhood I think. And working out (in an actual gym setting) with a very active and in shape boy is rough on a girl who didn’t start actually enjoying physical activity until college!

Despite not working out for a good 3 months at the end of last year, we were eating pretty healthy. I was on a low carb kick, and searched Pinterest high and low for different low carb meal ideas to keep us carb conscious. In my searching I found several low carbohydrate recipes that are a healthier version of something else. There is one blog that I use for healthy recipes very often called Skinny Taste. The author has a ton of healthier recipes and all of the nutritional facts for each recipe are noted, which I really appreciate! One recipe I found from her is Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs, and I actually just tried it yesterday for our Italian themed church dinner last night.

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These little turkey meatballs were very tasty! Yes, the recipe still has some carbs in it, but I mean… so do most things and there are good carbs and you need a certain amount of those. But anyways, I used a 93% lean ground turkey and made the meatballs very small, and they turned out really well. They passed my husband’s approval with flying colors, and I would make them again just for us. I was trying to find a recipe for last night that would be low in carbs because I knew that there would be tons of pasta and bread. And there was. And it was carb heaven deliciousness!

So, all that to say, I wanted to share the recipe with you, and tell you to check out the Skinny Taste blog, where this recipe was found.

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast 93% lean
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt + fresh pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or parsley ( I used parsley)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients. Using clean hands, mix the ingredients together and form small meatball, all around the same size. [I made really small ones and ended up with about 50 little meatballs! The original recipe calls to make them 1/8 of a cup in size.]

2. (Optional) This next step is optional depending on how much time you want to cook the meatballs in your crockpot. I baked my meatballs at 350 for 15 minutes first, then they went into the crock pot sauce (which will be explained in the next step) for 2-3 hours on low.

3. For the sauce, saute the garlic in a small pan with oil over medium heat, being careful not to burn. (Which of course.. I burned my garlic because the original recipe said make sure not to burn your garlic and I wasn’t watching it, and then my house smelled like burnt garlic for the next few hours, so don’t burn your garlic!) Pour crushed tomatoes into crock pot with the bay leaf. Then add the garlic and oil.

4. Drop the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and set on low for 4-6 hours. [Here again, I only cooked mine on low for 2-3 hours because I baked my meatballs in the oven before hand. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to do that, but the original recipe suggested it as an alternative, so I went ahead I tried it. It worked well, but I think next time I will just cook them the whole time in the crock pot.] When the meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add in fresh chopped parsley or basil.

Serve with french bread, pasta, ricotta, or just all by themselves. We just took them to the dinner plain, and they were great that way! For a meal, I think they would be good with a side of roasted veggies!

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November 9th

I am thankful that my husband will eat whatever I make for him, even if I can’t even finish my culinary creations! I like to try new recipes and experiment with old ones and no matter what I put on the table, I know that it will be consumed. Last night I made a recipe that I had found on Pinterest. It was Roasted Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup. Which sounded really good to me! And of course the author of the recipe made it look awesome with the pictures that were taken of the step by step instruction and final product. [And this is in no way, shape, or form, a dig on the recipe or the blogger who created it, she did a very good job of displaying a recipe that she enjoys.] Well, after working pretty hard and following the instructions very closely, which I don’t always do, the soup just didn’t turn out as good as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t a bad flavor at all, and I enjoyed the first bit of it, but after about 1/4 of my bowl, I couldn’t handle much more. However, my lovely husband, finished his bowl and mine and complimented my efforts!

I think most of my problem with the meal was the texture. The recipe called to transfer it to a blender to combine the ingredients and make it smooth, but in her notes she said that she didn’t blend it all the way and left it with some texture, and I did just that. I think I should have either not blended it at all, or blended it all the way. So again, I think it was a good recipe, I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. I wish I would have liked it more, because, minus the small amount of half and half in it, it was very healthy! But, that is why I like to try recipes, so I can taste new things, and try new methods of cooking and challenge my culinary skills. Maybe one day I’ll even make it on chopped! My chances are pretty slim, but I think I could give some other rookies a run for their money. I’m just waiting for the “No Professional Culinary Experiences” Episode to come around.

I am glad that people blog their recipes, and I’m glad that Pinterest was created so that people could easily find new and interesting things to try. And I’m sure that for someone else’s pallet that soup is amazing. It just didn’t work out for me. And C could have easily turned up his nose, poured it down the sink, and had a pb&j instead, but he didn’t. He ate what I made because I made it, and for that I am thankful. And thankful to his parents for raising him that way. It makes my experimentations worth while!

Fall.

I love fall. It is my absolute favorite season. I find it so incredibly amazing and wonderful that our Creator can change the green leaves on the trees to such beautiful golden yellows, rich maroons, and rust oranges.

Ohio has a million trees per square acre, and the changing of the leaves make this time of year very beautiful. Fall is my favorite color, smell, temperature, and taste. And speaking of tastes, I suppose that I just had a hankering for oats this weekend, because I was baking up a cinnamon-y oat-y storm in my apartment on Saturday. Oats and cinnamon seem very autumnal to me.

I had some very ripe bananas that I needed to do something with and so I began my search for “banana oatmeal somethings.”  I made two very simple, yet very delicious oat recipes: Banana, Oatmeal, and Chocolate Chip cookies by Peaceful Plate; and Basic Granola by My Happy Place. [Both original recipes can be found by clicking on the links.] The granola doesn’t have bananas in it, but I thought while I had my oats out and my current stock of granola was getting low, I would go ahead and make a batch.

These cookies were very tasty. They don’t have any flour in them, and they have a little bit of a bread-y texture after they sit for a while; we decided there was nothing wrong with that. Not your typical oatmeal cookies, but they were very good and we unashamedly have already eaten the whole batch… But I mean it only made 20 cookies… so really if you think about it, it’s not that bad, and they are relatively healthy if you ask me!

I changed the recipe just a tad from the original. I used more cinnamon, dark chocolate chunks instead of milk or semi sweet chips, and the original recipe called for agave nectar, which is not something I had on hand so I used a little brown sugar instead. I love oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar so that is why I used brown instead of white.

Banana, Oatmeal, & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of rolled oats, ground fine in a food processor
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray the paper with non-stick spray. In a large bowl whisk together the rolled oats, ground oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk the banana, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a spoon, stir until everything is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto the parchment lined pan, leaving at leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. Press the down on them slightly until they are no more than 1/2″ thick. Put 8-10 cookies on each sheet. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through to make sure they back evenly. They should be just slightly golden around the edges. Let rest on pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes 16 – 20 cookies.

The next recipe, Basic Granola, I have made two previous times. I pinned it on Pinterest a while back and sort of forgot about it. Then my older sister mentioned making her own and it being very tasty and it was this same recipe that I had pinned, so I decided to try it.

It is very easy to make and tastes so good! My favorite breakfast is vanilla yogurt with granola, so we go through a lot of granola in our home. The recipe calls for coconut, but I leave that out as C and are not particularly fond of coconut.

Basic Granola

Ingredients:
3 c. oats
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. shredded coconut {for some added yumminess. But feel free to leave it out.}
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. oil
3/4 tsp. vanilla
4 tbsp. honey
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, salt, coconut, and cinnamon. Add in the oil, vanilla, and honey. Stir until oats are evenly coated. Evenly spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every few minutes so nothing burns. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to an airtight container.
And now I’m out of oats. And bananas. And cinnamon! But It happens. I’m just happy that I had the ingredients at the time so that I could make my little family these yummy oat packed treats this weekend. I hope that you all had a great weekend, and I hope that the leaves on the ground make you as happy as they make me.
Cheers.