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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Vegetarian Rice Pilaf

Rice is such a good item to have on hand, especially when you live a little farther from the grocery store then you would like…..It can be transformed into just about anything! For some, rice even visits the dessert category, blech, the very thought of rice pudding gives me a chill. It’s just so….so…ewwwww…..it takes a strong person to be able to down that mushy-gushy goo. In my book, rice should be a main or side dish, NOT a dessert. And who eats raisins with rice anyway? Vegetarian Rice Pilaf is an light, easy, and delicious side that pairs well with seafood, poultry, red meat, and is even good as a main dish! Not to mention that it provides you with an ample serving of veggies and grains to end the day right. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, and La Critico.

The Chef: “Queenbee, how do you like the rice pilaf?” Queenbee: “I do not usually enjoy rice dishes, but this one is really good.” The Chef: “I shall consider this as high praise.” 

The Chef: “La Critico, do you enjoy rice dishes?” La Critico: “Well they’re better than some things.”  The Chef: “Ummm…okay?” La Critico: “Did you make us some corn cupcakes?” The Chef; “I made cornbread.” La Critico: “(tasting it) Well this is some pretty good mash.” The Chef: “I can always count on you for objective criticism at the highest level.” 

The Ingredients: 2 cups whole grain brown rice, 1 large zucchini, 1 cup of matchstick carrots or 1 cup of grated carrots, 1/4 to 1/2 of a yellow onion, 1 cup halved green beans (fresh or canned), 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 chicken tomato bouillon, 2 tbsp. butter.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the bouillon and rice. Cook for fifteen to twenty minutes. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add the onion, cook until translucent. Grate the zucchini while the onion cooks. Add the cooked rice, carrots, zucchini, and green beans to the saucepan. Stir well. Add the spices, mixing as you go. Turn the heat to low and let sit until you are ready to serve.

Who knew that a rice dish could be so colorful?

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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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Herby Breaded Tilapia

Let me start out by saying that I have not been a fan of tilapia in the past, but that. has all. changed. This pan fried, breaded, seasoned tilapia is tender, flaky, moist, flavorful, delectable, restaurant-grade, and generally amazing. Oh, and it was cooked by El Gastronomo. He is the fish and seafood expert, and knows how to make southern food gourmet style. Pair this moist fish with a few hush puppies, tender, buttered corn on the cob, and apple bran muffins, and you’ll have a knock your socks off meal sure to impress your family and friends. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, El Gastronomo, and Queenbee. Now for a few words on frying safety with El Gastronomo.

The Chef: “El Gastronomo, it has been some time since you have made your presence known on this website, but you sure know how to make a comeback! Anyway, ya got any tips on frying safety” El Gastronomo: “When frying fish it is always prudent to flip it away from you so that you will not be splattered with hot oil. Also, remember to keep all flammable materials away from the gas flame (as he sets an oven mitt on fire). The Chef: “Your oven mitt is on fire.” El Gastronomo: “Yikes! (extinguishes fire under running water). The Chef: “And this, chefs, is why we should always pay attention to food safety tips.” 

We turn to Queenbee for objective criticism.

The Chef: “Queenbee, you being a expert in the southern food category, please tell us what you thought of this dish.” Queenbee: “I thought it was amazingly delicious and extremely flavorful.” The Chef: “Well, that says it all, doesn’t it?”

The Ingredients: 8 tilapia fillets, 2 cups onion flavored hush puppy mix, 1 cup water, 1 egg, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp. italian seasoning, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. poultry seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic powder.

Heat the chicken broth in a small pot with the spices until it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and let sit until the the liquid is still. Add the fish fillets and let them marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, mix together the hush puppy mix, water, and egg. Add 1/4 cup more of water if the mix is too dry. When the tilapia fillets are done marinating, remove them from the marinade, allow to drain, and halve each one. Preheat your skillet to medium high heat, add one to two inches of olive oil. Cook the breaded fillets two at a time when the oil is hot. Fry until deep golden brown, this should take about three minutes on each side. Serves 8 to 10 people.

Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Sigh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE macaroni and cheese. It is my love language, my one and only, my ultimate comfort food, and my favorite food. Here on the blog I have a really simple, easy recipe for macaroni and cheese…..but….For a little more time and commitment, you can have THIS baked mac and cheese, which is the ultimate food in my book. Not only is it smooth, creamy, deliciously delectable, awesome, wonderful, and the best thing ever, it is also relatively healthy when made with coconut milk. That being said, let’s move on to what the public thought about this delicacy. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Queenbee, what do you think about the macaroni?” Queenbee: “Mmmm….it’s very good.” The Chef: “Well, that says it all doesn’t it?”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, your thoughts and opinions?” Friar Tyst: “It was real cheesy.” The Chef: “Granted, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like macaroni on a spring day.” 

The Ingredients: 2 cups macaroni, 2 cups evaporated or coconut milk, 10 oz. condensed cheese soup, 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. pastry flour, 2 tbsp. sour cream, 1 cup grated Colby cheese, 1-2 tsp. dry or spicy brown mustard, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. no salt seasoning, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic.

Boil macaroni for 5-8 minutes or until it is halfway cooked, remove it from the heat and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add flour, whisk together and cook for a couple of minutes. be careful to not let it burn. Add the milk and whisk until thickened. Now add the spices and the cheese soup, whisk slowly but constantly until well combined. Remove from the heat and mix together the sauce and noodles in a casserole pan. Top with the grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Look at that comforting cheesy goodness!:)

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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!

Southern Style Coleslaw

Queenbee loves coleslaw, always has, always will. While she is open to many different varieties, Southern Style is her favorite. I usually make it for her at least a couple of times a month, and today was no exception. A lot of people think that the two colors of cabbage are no different when it comes to flavor. This is, however, FALSE. Purple cabbage is strong and slightly bitter, while green cabbage is more fresh tasting and has a mild, versatile flavor. In my opinion, purple cabbage is a strange species of garden plant that does not belong in a southern style slaw. Now that we have established which is the correct color of cabbage to eat, let us talk about how it is prepared and consumed.

The Ingredients: 1 medium size green cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup shredded pickles, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2-3 tbsp. spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp. thousand island dressing.

Slice cabbage into wedges and shred it in the bowl of your food processor. Do the same with a cup of baby carrots, or just buy the pre-shredded ones. Stir the shredded cabbage and carrots together until they are well combined, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix with tongs or a rubber spatula until well combined. Refrigerate for thirty minutes to one hour.

This coleslaw is sooooo good…..

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