Dairy-Free English Scones

As they are basically a combination between a biscuit and a scone, English scones are in a category all their own. These are unlike any scones I have ever made, they look similar to a biscuit and even have a comparable texture, yet they do not taste the same. The texture, of course, will depend on how much baking powder you use, basically a rule of thumb (for me at least) is that more baking powder means lighter bread. Some use only two teaspoons in this recipe, while others use four, I used four and was not disappointed. It may seem like a lot at first, but its really not. My theory is that those who use two teaspoons like flatter, firmer scones, while those who use four like their scones to be more like a biscuit. As I was making this I was curious to see if replacing whole milk with coconut milk would cause the scones to turn out differently. I was pleasantly surprised to conclude that no, they do not really turn out any different. If anything, the coconut milk gives them a lighter, feathery texture, while the whole milk version is thicker and more chewy. Speaking from experience, these are soft with a delicious crust on the top, and pair very well with fruit jams, jellies, and even syrups! Believe me, I’ve tried all three…..:P This is not only a healthy, naughtily delicious bread to make for yourself, it is also a very impressive treat to serve your friends!

Disclaimer: The addicting quality of English scones may cause gluttony, therefore causing longer hours on the treadmill, this causing hunger, which leads to an even higher level of scone consumption…..an endless cycle of madness! You have been warned! But don’t let that stop you!

The Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder, 6-8 tbsp. room temperature butter, 1 tsp. salt, 2/3 to 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1 egg, 2 additional tbsp. coconut milk.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the sifted ingredients and the butter to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until there are no remaining chunks of butter, or until it has a sandy texture. Now add the mixture back into the mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add 2/3 to 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Mix together gently with a fork or a rubber spatula. Just before the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for one minute or until the dough forms a soft ball. Flatten the ball into a two to three inch thick disc. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut out the scones with a biscuit cutter, place on a greased baking sheet. Whisk together the remaining coconut milk and the egg. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture onto each scone (there will most likely be some of the egg-milk mixture left over) Bake for about fifteen minutes, the scones are done when they are golden brown on top and soft, but no longer doughy in the center.

I will not look at the pictures, I will not look…at…the….pictures….Oh…I give up! The very sight of these scones causes uncontrollable mouth-watering desire! P.S. You can stuff the centers with Craisins if you want to!;)

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The Best Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

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I would like to share with you a sinfully delicious recipe that I recently made, CHEESY GARLIC BREADSTICKS.:) This post is for you fellow lovers of  bread, and cheese, and cheese covered bread…..sigh, there goes my fitness plan. When I sent a picture of these to my really good friend/sister her word for word response was “Oh Man! Are those on your blog!? They should be!”. Boy was she right, I was almost afraid to post this recipe because of the instant addiction/gluttony that will occur upon consumption. But then I decided to share the love/put the recipe down on paper so that it will be ingrained into the sacred hall of Best Recipes Ever. Sooooo…..as a disclaimer I’d like to say: “I apologize in advance for this.” Ahem, anyway, in the past I attempted to make healthy breadsticks, but…..let’s just say that didn’t end well. However, THESE breadsticks are SO GOOD that they are better than anything you can buy in the grocery store or a restaurant. And, they contain wheat flour! Which covers all wrongs! Seriously though, once you discover how simple they are to create, there is no going back. All you need is desire, know-how, and a reliable timer so that the food doesn’t burn. All of that aside, the smell of these babies permeates the entire house, so you’ll know the very minute that they have finished becoming wonderful.

Cooking Tip: If you have the time, turn the oven on and off a couple of times during the rising process, for some weird reason this makes the finished dough larger.

The Ingredients: (write these on your brain) 1 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 packet fast rising yeast, 1 cup warm to lukewarm water, 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Colby Jack cheese, 3-4 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. garlic salt (if you do not have garlic salt, simply mix equal amounts of garlic powder and salt and measure out a tablespoon for this recipe), 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. Parmesan (the sprinkly kind), 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Add flour(s), sugar, garlic salt, and yeast to a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Slowly add the water while mixing constantly with a wooden spoon. Mix until the dough becomes too thick to stir by hand. When this happens, flour your nearby cooking surface and knead the dough with your hands for one minute or until it forms a soft ball. Rinse out your mixing bowl with water, dry it thoroughly, use the olive oil to grease the bowl. Put the ball of dough into the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise at 170 degrees in your oven for one hour.

When the rising time is done, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, melt the butter, italian seasoning, and garlic powder together in a microwave safe bowl or cup, stir well. Add the parmesan to the melted butter, stir well. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, brush the butter mixture over the top. Now sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the butter mixture. Flattening into a even layer. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into sticks, and garnish with fresh or dried basil before serving (optional).

The very sight is too much for my tastebuds! Too much I say!

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Resurrection Rolls

UPDATE: Resurrection Rolls was supposed to be posted on Easter Sunday, however, because of an unreliable Internet source, it was not.

Happy Easter everyone! For me this Easter has been much more meaningful because over the past six months my faith has grown and changed for the better. I know that it is hard to come up with a food item that represents the true meaning of Easter, but sometime ago a true genius came up with the original recipe for Empty Tomb rolls. This has to be one of the best ideas that I have ever seen. Most people take the simple route by using refrigerated crescent roll dough, I have no problem with this and even considered doing it myself. However, we agreed that making the rolls from scratch would most likely taste better and mean more because of the work put into them. Anyway, here’s the skinny on the ingredient’s symbolism: The marshmallow represents Jesus’ body, and the dough represents the tomb. Putting the marshmallow inside the roll and sealing the dough around it is similar to Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus burying Jesus in the tomb and sealing it closed with a large stone. The cinnamon, sugar, and butter represent the linen and spices that were wrapped around Jesus’ body. The finished product (i.e. the cooked roll with a sweet, hollow center) represents the empty tomb that Jesus left behind after He rose from the dead. I hope that your family enjoys these as much as ours did!

The Ingredients: 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 pkg. instant dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 -3 tbsp. cinnamon, 4 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. salt.

Add the warm water and yeast to a large mixing bowl, let sit for five minutes. Now add the egg, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 2 tbsp. of softened butter, and the salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix until just combined. Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing until just combined each addition. Set aside and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour. When the time is up, cut the dough in fifteen squares. Roll fifteen marshmallows in a mixture of cinnamon and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Place one marshmallow in the center of each square of dough. Now form the dough into a ball around the marshmallow. Brush the rolls with melted butter, then bake at 375 degrees for about fifteen minutes.

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Easy Corn Muffins

Corn muffins are a very versatile side, pair them with soups, stews, poultry, fish, anything goes! A true Southerner always has a go-to recipe for corn muffins. I call these the “short-cut to cornbread”, not to mention that it comes in per-person portions, that way you don’t eat too much! If you want them moist, add sour cream or a can of creamed corn. For more flavor, add bits of apple or applesauce, or you could make Southwestern cornbread with corn and peppers. But if you’re a simple kind of person, leave them as they are! This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and El Gastronomo.

The Chef: “I see that I have not featured you in a recipe for quite some time, we shall remedy that situation immediately. Your opinions on Corn Muffins?” El Gastronomo: “I don’t know how to make cornbread.” The Chef: “Yes we know, the recipe?” El Gastronomo: “Oh yes, those were delicious (he ate two).”

The Ingredients: 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Yellow Cornmeal mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (milk and vinegar), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup vegetable oil.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients, mixing well. Line your standard muffin pan with muffin liners, spoon the batter evenly into each one or use an ice cream scoop. Bake for twenty minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I know that you’ll never be able to tell that these are half-eaten.;)

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Easy Pizza Puffs

Easy Pizza Puffs are a very simple, but very tasty treat that can be adapted to fit any meal. Anything that combines tomato sauce, cheese, and bread is a definite crowd-pleaser. As far as names go, this was the most debated recipe ever. We could not decided on a name for it!  Here’s all the things that we came up with, and let me say, it provided me with a good laugh.:)

El Gastronomo: Pizza Clouds, Clouds of Pizza. Queenbee: Easy Pizza Clouds, Pizza In a Cloud, Cheesy Pizza Pillows. La Critico: Pizza Pillows, Pizza Mash, Puffy Pizza Scallions (what?), Pizza Oysters (huh?). The Health Inspector: Pizza Puffs, Puffy Pizzas. Friar Tyst: Inflatable Pizza Biscuits (very original). The Chef: Puffy Pizza Pillows (disturbing I know), Pillows of Pizza, Puffy Pizza Rolls.

The Ingredients: 1 16.3 oz. can Pillsbury Biscuits (Buttermilk or Southern Style), 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning, 1/2 to 3/4 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup grated Colby cheese, olive oil.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a regular size muffin pan with olive oil. Flatten each biscuit into a circle and press each one into one of the holes in the muffin pan. Evenly distribute the spices between each biscuit. Spoon two teaspoons of tomato sauce into the center of each biscuit. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across the tops of the puffs. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 8 large puffs.

Look at those cheesy wonders! And no two of them look the same (notice the puffs with bites out of them in the very back).

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Lemon Orange Scones with Citrus Brown Sugar Glaze

I love scones, always have, always will. And because I love them, I will devote my life to making the best scone in the history of scones. Lemon Orange Scones with Citrus glaze are so good you will not be able to stop eating them until they are gone. So far they are the best scones that I have ever made. When you put citrus in an baked item, well, let’s just say dangerous things happen. Good dangerous things. So are you ready for danger? For adventure? For another episode of Delicious Food 101 featuring The Chef and Friar Tyst? Good!

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, what do you think about the scones that we are making?” Friar Tyst: “The glaze is real good (while tasting it)” The Chef: “Yes, well, what about the scones……hello? Friar Tyst?”

Sorry, I think that he is in a sugar coma. Oh well, let’s not be worried about every little thing.

The Scones: 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 3/4 cup cane sugar, 6-8 tbsp. frozen butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. orange zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tbsp. vanilla almond milk.

Preheat your oven to 365 degrees. Grate frozen butter into a large mixing bowl, add all of the remaining ingredients and fold together by hand. When the dough comes together in a soft ball, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and form the scones with a butter knife or cookie cutters (this is a fun activity for kids). Grease a baking pan and place the formed scones on it. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Citrus Brown Sugar Glaze: 3 tbsp. butter, 1/2 to 3/4 cup light brown sugar, one orange, half of a lemon, 1/8 tsp. of salt.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. While the butter is melting, juice the orange and the lemon half with a hand juicer (use the fruit that you zested for the scones). When the butter has melted, reduce the heat slightly. Add the brown sugar, orange lemon juice, and salt. Stir slowly but constantly so that the glaze doesn’t burn. When the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and let the glaze sit on the burner for 5 minutes. Pour the glaze over the scones as soon as you remove them from the oven.

Now, I do not have a picture of the scones because, well, they were SO GOOD. Here’s the leftover glaze!

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Cheddar Rosemary Rolls

About a month or so ago I made Whole Wheat Dinner rolls, and they were really good by themselves, but I was thinking…..wouldn’t they be EVEN better with a little more pizzazz? Flavor? Cheese? Rosemary? I’m sorry, I get a little excited about new kinds of homemade bread…..Anyway, these are just as easy as the other rolls I made, and still have the same basic recipe, but these have a few different ingredients and more of a wow factor. All you need is a couple of hours of rising time, this means patience. Remember, good things come to those who wait!

The Ingredients: 1 pkg. Fleischmann’s instant yeast, 1/2 cup very warm water, 1/4 cup honey, 1 stick softened butter, 2 eggs,  4 cups whole wheat bread flour, 1 cup almond or coconut milk, 1 cup pre-shredded cheddar cheese (it holds up better in from-scratch bread), 1 tbsp. dried rosemary, 2 tsp. salt.

Combine yeast and warm water in the bowl of your Kitchen-aid mixer, let sit for 5 minutes. Add softened butter and honey, mix until just combined. Drop in eggs one at a time (it helps to crack the eggs into your measuring cup), mixing until just combined after each one. Add the salt, rosemary, and cheese. Mix until combined. Now add alternating amounts of milk and flour one cup at a time (2 cups of flour to 1/2 cup buttermilk), when all the flour is used, change to the dough hook. Mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Cover the bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, cut into equal squares, form into desired shape. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes. When the rising time is completed, remove covering and place rolls into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes 20 large or 2 dozen medium rolls. Butter the rolls and serve while warm.

Just look at these scrumptious bread and butter pillows! The sideways picture shows how tall they are.:)

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