Archive for April, 2012
If you are going to have a tea, there are certain minimums which, in my opinion you have to include. The first is finger sandwiches (which we gave you the first recipe for a couple of posts ago) and the second is scones. This recipe for Toasted Oat-Walnut Scones is my mom’s and is the first of three different scones we did at our Lady’s Tea.
TOASTED OAT-WALNUT SCONES
PREP: 15 MINUTES
BAKING TIME: 12 – 15 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 425 DEGREES
SERVES – 8
1 1/3 CUPS TOASTED OATS (DIVIDED-1 CUP FOR DOUGH 1/3 CUP FOR TOP OF SCONES)
1 ½ CUPS FLOUR
3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
¼ TEASPOON BAKING SODA (HEAPING TEASPOON)
1 TEASPOON CINNAMON
¼ TEASPOON (SCANT) NUTMEG
½ CUP SUGAR
½ TEASPOON SALT
1/3 CUP BUTTER
¾ CUP BUTTERMILK (IT MAY TAKE A 1-2 TBSP MORE)
¾ CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS OR CHOPPED DATES (OR ½ WALNUTS AND ½ DATES)
1 TEASPOON VANILLA
1. To toast oats place in 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt.
3. Blend flour mixture with butter, when the size of meal mixture, add oats then add walnuts and dates (if using).
4. Add milk and vanilla with rubber spatula until all liquid absorbs and all dough clings together.
5. Roll as for biscuits, ¾ inches thick, then scatter the 1/3 cup of oatmeal over top. Cut with biscuit cutter and place on parchment lined paper. Bakes at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes
6. Alternatively – if you want scones to split easily, roll to 3/8 inch thickness melt some butter and spread on half and double the dough back over, then sprinkle on the oats and roll a little to right thickness – cut with biscuit cutter and bake at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes.
Thank you for reading!
Spring is the perfect season to spend time in The Flint Hills of Kansas . . . the hills are super green and the sky as always . . . goes forever. CLICK HERE to learn more about our upcoming cooking classes, guesthouse stays and cooking weekend packages.
You can’t have a lady’s tea without tea sandwiches! At our “Lady’s Tea” cooking class at The Lark Inn we made three different tea sandwiches. They were all very simple to make and these Avocado-Green Pea spread sandwiches were no exception. This spread is also very versatile . . . I challenge you to experiment and find different uses for the spread. In the meantime . . . let’s make some sandwiches!
AVOCADO-GREEN PEA SPREAD
PREP: 10 MINUTES
SERVES – 6
INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:
Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.
Put the avocado, peas and lemon juice in the food processor.
Spread on whole grain white bread, top with radish slices and snipped chives or other vegetables and herbs. Put the bread together and trim the crust.
Cut in half diagonally to serve.
This is really good as a dip with radishes, carrots, zucchini or whatever vegetable you would like.
As always thank you for allowing me to share. VISIT MY WEBSITE for more information about Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn and killer get-a-ways!
The last cooking class at The Lark Inn was “Lady’s Tea”. We just had a fabulous time! We enjoyed wonderful teas, special appetizers, finger sandwiches and various types of scones. My next several postings will be sharing those recipes with you!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
This recipe makes for a very nice dipping sauce for veggies and as we discovered at one of our “cooking class after parties” a very nice dipping sauce for nearly everything! It will pack a little bit of heat with the chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce. I only used one and the heat was perfect tending on the almost too warm side.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
PREP: 15 minutes
SERVES – 10
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
- 8 oz fresh or frozen green beans
Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the chipotle in a blender; pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the relish and bell pepper.
Prepare a large mixing bowl with iced water. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water for 2 minutes. After two minutes of boiling immediately remove the green beans and place them into the icy water. This will stop the cooking process of the green beans, retain the vibrant green color and preserve their crunchiness.
Arrange your dressing in a small glass or dish with the green beans in a fun and creative arrangement.
Thank you as always for reading and supporting these postings. What a blessing it is to do what I love to do and be able to share it with others!
For information about our next cooking class at The Lark Inn Guesthouses or a fabulous get-a-way/cooking weekend in picturesque Flint Hills of Kansas please, VISIT OUR WEBSITE. We’ll see you there!
Morning Glory Muffins are super easy to make and will delight anyone who tastes them. They are light, not too sweet and go perfectly with a cup of hot tea or coffee in the morning. Because they are so simple and tasty, I often make them for our guests at The Lark Inn Guesthouses. This Recipe may also be found in our recipe book: Wedding Week at The Lark Inn. Let’s make some muffins!
MORNING GLORY MUFFINS
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
BAKING TIME: 20 – 25 Minutes
BAKES: About 36 Miniature Muffins
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Cups Sugar
¾ Cups Canola Oil
3 Large Eggs
2-1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 (8 oz.) Can Crushed Pineapple, Undrained
2 Large Carrots
1 Cup Golden Raisins
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Whisk together sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; fold in crushed pineapple and carrots.
Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Fold in toasted pecans and raisins.
Spoon into greased miniature muffin tins.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Thank you for reading.
The Lark Inn Guesthouses are starting to fill up for the summer. If you are thinking about taking some much needed time off just to relax and regroup . . . please consider us . . . you will be glad you did! Click here for information: THE LARK IN GUESTHOUSES
OK everyone, sit up and take notice. These brownies have quite a history; who knows how many zillions of pounds we have gained and lost because of these brownies! Also, I have actually received numerous marriage proposals from men in a brownie induced stupor/coma. Our rule is that my husband Pat is not allowed to be in the same room with buttermilk brownies . . . fresh or 5 days old . . . without adult supervision!
KRIS’ WILL YOU MARRY ME BUTTERMILK BROWNIES
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 Minutes
SERVES – 20 – 25
2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
2 Sticks butter/margarine
1 Cup water
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1-1/2 Cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick of butter/margarine
4 Tablespoons cocoa
6 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Box powdered sugar
Bring to boil: butter/margarine, water and cocoa. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla – mix well. Pour into a greased and floured large jelly roll pan. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.
ICE WHILE WARM!!!!
Slowly bring to boil: butter/margarine, cocoa and buttermilk, stir constantly, remove from heat and pour over the powdered sugar – beat well. Add vanilla. Spread on warm brownies, sprinkle nuts over icing.
Ladies beware! Even wearing your wedding ring will not be a deterrent to marriage proposals!
As always, thank you for reading. It is an honor to share my favorite recipes with you!
For information about our upcoming “Lady’s Tea” Cooking Class, please visit my website!
Also, spring is the perfect time to visit The Flint Hills of Kansas . . . the scenery is fantastic . . . accommodations are not full . . . you owe it to yourself! See The Lark Inn Guesthouses.
“The Flint Hills not only take your breath away . . . they make it so you can breath!”
William Least Heat-Moon
As I talked about yesterday, here is the missing recipe from our Knute Rockne dinner. These Sorghum-Glazed Baby Carrots are supper easy to make and they really help to round out our “vintage” dinner.
SORGHUM GLAZED BABY CARROTS
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 pounds baby carrots or small carrots (such as Thumbelina), trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise
- 1 6″ piece of ginger, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2″-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup sorghum syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 6 tablespoons bourbon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add ginger and sorghum. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in orange juice and bourbon. Return to heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender, 5–7 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid has been reduced to a syrupy consistency and carrots are nicely glazed, about 6 minutes. Discard ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enjoy your vintage Dinner!
As always, I thank you for reading my blog.
Visit my website for menus from our past Cooking Classes as well as information on my upcoming class: “Lady’s Tea”
A couple of weekends ago, our little town had a large event pay tribute to the famed football coach; Knute Rockne. As you can image, the event was very nostalgic and harkening back to the 1930’s and life in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas back then. Well, Saturday night I prepared a dinner for about 30 people . . . the Rockne family and several folks on our Historical Society Board so I wanted to keep it in step with the times we were re-visiting . . . the 1930’s. I wracked my brain for an appropriate menu and finally it came: What says 1930’s than a smothered steak? Answer . . . nothing! So here is the simple menu I prepared for that evening:
Irish Flag Salad
Slow & Smothered Beef Steaks
Sorghum-Glazed Baby Carrots
The dinner was a hit and so I am sharing those recipes with you. Today, is the Slow & Smothered Beef Steaks and Rustic Potatoes. Tomorrow, I will share the recipe for the Sorghum-Glazed Baby Carrots and the Irish Flag Salad was one of my posts from last month CLICK HERE for that recipe. By tomorrow you will have all the pieces to do your own “Retro” dinner . . . just like they made in the 30’s!
SLOW & SMOTHERED BEEF STEAKS
RUSTIC POTATOES (with cauliflower)
PREP TIME: 20 Minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 Minutes
SERVES – 4
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
Olive oil cooking spray
1 lb lean top round beef, trimmed of fat, tenderized and cut into 4 pieces
1 thinly sliced onion
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 dried bay leaves
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
12 oz Yukon gold potatoes, diced
8 oz fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (thawed if frozen)
3 tbsp skim milk
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare steaks: Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Immediately transfer from skillet to a small bowl.
- Coat skillet with cooking spray and return to medium-high. Add steaks and cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, until browned, and set aside on a plate. Coat skillet again with cooking spray, add onion and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Sprinkle flour evenly over top of onions, stir until well coated. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Stir in Worcestershire, bay leaves, pepper and salt. Return beef and any accumulated juices on plate to skillet, cooked side up. Spoon broth mixture over beef and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, over and cook for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until beef is very tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare potatoes: Fill a pot with 1 inch of water and fit with steamer basket. Place potatoes and cauliflower in steamer basket and bring water to a boil on high heat. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer potato-cauliflower mixture to a large bowl and mash roughly with a potato masher or whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- To serve, divide potato-cauliflower mixture evenly among 4 plates. Add 1 steak to each and spoon onion gravy evenly over top. Sprinkle with parsley.
Enjoy and stay tuned for the baby carrot recipe! As always, thank you for reading!
To learn more about Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn or about kicking back for a relaxing stay in the gorgeous Flint Hills of Kansas CLICK HERE
I have been making Honey Bunnies for a long-long time and they are still one of my favorites. They are are a lot of fun to make with your kids and great for decoration too. Many feel like Honey Bunnies are only an “Easter” thing. they are great for Easter but also most any time . . . what little kid only likes bunnies at Easter time?!?!
Enough with the discussion, lets get on with making Honey Bunnies.
Note: for those of you with a penchant for the world’s foremost honey expert Winnie the Pooh . . . the correct spelling is Hunny Bunnys!
PREP TIME: 2 Hours
COOKING TIME: 15 Minutes
SERVES – Makes 16 Honey Bunnies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 ounce active dry yeast or ½ ounce fast rising yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine , cut into pieces
1/4 Cup Honey
1/8 Cup Butter
- In large bowl, combine 1/2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, and salt.
- Heat evaporated milk, water, honey, and butter until warm (105° to 115°F).
- Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
- Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed.
- With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Might need a little extra.
- Place in greased bowl. Grease top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator; punch down. Remove to floured surface. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Roll each to 20-inch rope. Divide each rope into 1 (12-inch), 1 (5-inch), and 3 (1-inch) strips.
- Coil 12-inch strip to make body; coil 5-inch strip to make head. Attach head to body; pinch to seal. Shape remaining 3 strips into ears and tail and attach to body and head.
- Place on 2 large greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.
- Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from sheets to wire racks. Brush with Honey Glaze while warm. Insert raisins for eyes. If desired, brush again with glaze before serving.
- Honey Glaze: Combine 1/4 cup honey and 1/8 cup butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally.
Now for the toughest part . . . deciding whether to eat the ears or the tail first!
Enjoy and as always . . . thank you for reading!
The name (and theme) of our April cooking classes at The Lark Inn is “Lady’s Tea”. We will be making Clotted Cream, several types of Scones, Fruit Salad, Tea Sandwiches, Jelly and don’t forget the proper Tea with Milk! Check our website for dates and times! I hope you will join us!
Hot Cross Buns, church, family, spring rains, flowers, blooming red-bud trees . . . they all say EASTER to me! With the new life all around, Good Friday having passed the only thing missing is making hot cross buns for Easter Sunday! I’ll be getting together with several ladies of our community this morning in the basement of our church to make hot cross buns for our Easter service. Doesn’t that just sound too Mayberry-ish?! Well our town is just that . . . in fact I heard a rumor that Aunt Bee might even show up!
Let’s make our hot cross buns!
HOT CROSS BUNS
PREP TIME 3 HOURS
SERVINGS: Makes 16 Buns
- 1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground spices (for example, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature (if taking right out of the fridge, let sit in warm water for a few minutes to take the chill off before using)
- 3/4 cup currants (can sub half of currants with chopped candied citrus peel)
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 3 to 4 Tbsp powdered sugar
- In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the warmed milk and one teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- In a large bowl or the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, vigorously whisk together 3 cups of the flour (reserving additional flour for later step), the salt, spices, and 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Create a well in the flour and add the foamy yeast, softened butter, and eggs, and the remaining milk. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix the ingredients until well incorporated. The mixture should be shaggy and quite sticky. Add in the currants, candied peel, and orange zest.
- If you are using a stand-up mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment and start to knead on low speed. (If not using a mixer, use your hands to knead.) Slowly sprinkle in additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition, until the flour is still slightly tacky, but is no longer completely sticking to your fingers when you work with it.
- Form a ball of dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit, covered, at room temperature (or in a warm spot) for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Press down on the dough to gently compress it. Roll the ball of dough into a log shape and cut it into two halves. Place one half back in the bowl while you work with the other half. Take the dough half you are working with and cut it into 8 equal pieces. The easiest way to do this is to roll it into a log, cut it in half, then roll those pieces into logs, cut them in half, and then do it again, roll those pieces into logs, and cut them in half.
- Take the individual pieces and form them into mounds, placing them 1 1/2 inches apart from each other on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and then work the remaining dough into 8 equal pieces and place them in mounds on a baking sheet, again cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough mounds sit at room temperature (or warm place) to rise again, until the mounds have doubled in volume, about 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare egg wash by whisking together one egg and a tablespoon of milk. If you want, you can score the top of the buns with a knife in a cross pattern. You will want to make fairly deep cuts, for the pattern to be noticeable after they’re done. Using a pasty brush, brush on the egg wash over the dough mounds. The egg wash will give them a shiny appearance when cooked.
- Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the buns are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool.
- To paint a cross on the top of the buns, wait until the buns have cooled (or the frosting will run). Whisk together the milk and the powdered sugar. Keep adding powdered sugar until you get a thick consistency. Place in a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a small piece from the corner of the bag and use the bag to pipe two lines of frosting across each bun to make a cross.
The next task is the easiest of all . . . eat and enjoy!
As always, thank you for reading . . . and have a blessed Easter!!
As promised yesterday, here is the recipe of the decadent sister to the Rosemary Potato Cupcakes! These are really not as “decadent” as I let on . . . on second thought . . . perhaps they are! Once you taste them, I think you will agree though that they are not as rich as one would expect from reading the recipe. As you can see from my pictures, these make for a very nice presentation especially when you pair them with thew Rosemary Potato cupcakes. Enough talk . . . let’s get started!
Ganache-Filled Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
PREP: 20 MINUTES
BAKING TIME: 17 MINUTES
OVENN TEMP: 350 DEGREES
SERVES: 20-24 CUPCAKES
1 cup Guinness or any stout beer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 to 2 tsp Irish whiskey (optional) (I omitted the whiskey.)
Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 Tbsp Bailey’s (or milk, half and half or heavy cream)
Make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 tsp salt in a large bowl to blend. With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another bowl, to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined.
Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake them until the tester inserted into the center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17-20 minutes.
Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a rack.
Make the filling:
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If the chocolate is not sufficiently melted, it may returned to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains; or it may be heated in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, watch closely!) Add the butter and whiskey (if you are using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes:
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go down about half way into the cupcake. (I marked the top of the cake by twisting the widest pastry tip and then I used a grapefruit spoon to carefully remove the center.) Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes to the top. (Judge the depth of the hole in relationship to the amount of ganache that you have.)
Make the frosting:
Whip the butter in the bowl of the electric mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. (Adding the sugar slowly will make the frosting less grainy and it will thicken more quickly.) When the frosting is thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Bailey’s (or milk) and whip it until combined. (Again, judge the amount of frosting you need in relationship to the number of cupcakes. I had to make an additional half to have enough frosting.)
Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!
As always, thank you for reading!
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