Monday, January 30, 2012

Buttermilk Berry Scones

I love to bake. Excuse me if I mentioned that already. My family loves to eat. So it is a perfect match.

With a teen and a tween in the house I feel like I am tethered to the kitchen. Therefore always looking for new recipes to tame their appetites. The other day I found a recipe by Tyler Florence for berry scones and thought I would give them a try.

When I read the recipe I noticed they were actually a drop scone. Like a drop biscuit with berries. The scones I normally make are a little more involved you have to cut them or use a cookie cutter. These were quick and easy. Just drop on a cookie sheet and into the oven they go.


The tricky part about adding berries to a dough vs batter is that you have to be very careful or the berries will be crushed and you will end up with a big mess.

So my advice is to fold the berries in very gingerly, especially the raspberries.

In our house I make muffins and scones for after school snacks as well as for the morning.
They are always appreciated. Actually fights have been known to break out if someone takes the last one.

They may not be the most attractive of the scones I make but they have some great attributes. The crunch on the exterior is lovely. The interior is soft and when you get a bite of berry especially while still warm it is pure heaven.

I love dough

Berry Buttermilk Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsps sugar, plus more for sprinkling before baking
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups fresh berries, blueberry and raspberry or blackberry
3/4 cups buttermilk, plus extra to brush on before baking
powdered sugar-for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor combine the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse. Then add the cold butter and pulse until you have the texture of coarse crumbs. Tranfer to a large mixing bowl, then add buttermilk and stir to combine.

As it comes together add the berries very delicately trying not to break them.

Remember with scones you don't want to mix a lot just enough to hold the dough together.

Drop by spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until golden brown, and nice and puffy, about 17-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. We always like to shake some powdered sugar on before we eat them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Photo Shoot~Espresso and French Pastry

I have no aspirations to be a writer but love to talk and share things I have learned. Mostly, I like telling stories with pictures. So today's post is sharing some pastries and espresso from my favorite bakery in the area Three Tarts. I use this bakery when I need perfect rolls for a food styling job or special breads. They even do custom orders if you ask nicely.  Gotta love that. 

So my husband gave me a shot idea the other day when he looked at our espresso pot on the stove. He said "you should take a picture of that with all the dried espresso". "It's really funky." We'll funky it is so that gave me the idea for this shot. The cups were purchased in Italy on a trip years ago. The board was given to me by my friend Anastasia. She found it while walking on the beach with her dog Moxie. I had showed her the backgrounds I made one day along with some props I had found.  Now she is always finding me weathered wood. Best gifts ever.

What else would go with espresso but a good croissant and pain au chocolate. Not as good as Paris but pretty darn close. 

The shoot is over when I get hungry!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Beginnings 2012

Cheers and Proseco

 A little thing called life keeps interfering in my plans to write. I have to many irons in the fire so to speak and need to stream line my efforts.

But alas that is what the New Year is for. Time to get it together and work on our shortcomings. Do the things we have been talking about and never get to.

For me I have been focusing on the photography. I have a passion for photography. I have loved photography for as long as I can remember. The first camera I recall was a Brownie camera. Dark brown and square. Putting the film in and winding it. The most distinct memory I have of the camera  is the sound the shutter made. It was serious. Strong and to the point. I also remember the pictures being square too.

I love the magic that happens in photography.

I was looking at an old Julia Child book, The Way To Cook, the other day looking for some reference information on hard boiled eggs when I noticed the food photography. Whoa have we come a long way since the 70's. Everything looked gray to me. Food styling was stiff and the food looked inedible.

I still love the book because it is after all Julia.

Fast forward to today. I think the food photography is so exciting. It is real and vibrant. Food is the fashion model. For me the beauty of the food is in the respect you have for it. When I see a beautiful piece of fruit or prepare something I have affinity for it shows in the work.

Some of my favorite shots are the beauty in a simplistic item showed in it's glory like the clementines or the green tomatoes from past posts. When shots are over thought they don't seem to work as well to me.

So my goal in the new year is to keep pushing boundaries with my photography.

Always learning, always changing, never staying still.