Sunday, February 24, 2008

Afternoon Tea

I normally don't post on Sunday, but I just had to tell you about our fun afternoon yesterday! In honor of my friends in the UK, Lynn and Tina I decided that I needed to make scones. :) I baked "coffeehouse scones" and my girls and I got out our pretty teacups and sat around the table to have our teatime. It was such fun and the scones were delicious. They are definitely on my list to make again. I must confess that I drank coffee instead of tea though.


2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
Egg mixture for brushing tops of scones:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top baking sheet with parchment paper. (This prevents the bottoms of the scones from over browning during baking.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and then turn your broiler on high. Sift confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar heavily over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 6 scones.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Two Favorite Recipes

One of my favorite quick and easy lunches: Chickpea, cherry tomato, and feta salad
This recipe is for one serving.
1) Rinse and drain 1/4 cup canned chickpeas
2) In a bowl, combine the chickpeas with 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Banana Bread (the kids like this one better than the "healthy" banana bread)

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 medium) mashed ripe banana
(1/2 cup chopped nuts)

Cream together sugar and shortening. Add eggs and mix. Combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mashed banana to egg mixture and stir. Add nuts and stir.

Pour mixture into greased and floured 9x5x3 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

And don't forget to wash up afterward! :)

Monday, February 18, 2008


I love reading blogs, and one of the things I love most is when I learn something knew. I learned from Jenny's blog that with the help of a clip, I can do 2 of my favorite things at the same time. I can read AND knit! And what am I reading? A book about knitting! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thrift Shopping

Greg and I went thrift shopping today. He and Peter are stationed near each other and are planning to move off base together into an apartment. They have NOTHING. Greg has been going through my kitchen taking coffee mugs, glasses, silverware, dish towels... We thought we might be able to find him something at the thrift store. We only had time to go to the one nearest our house and there weren't many bargains this time.

I did find a denim dress, two ties for Mike and a sweater (new with tags). Greg was rushing me, so I didn't get a chance to try on the dress. After I got it home he said I should take it back because in his words it looks "too Little House on the Prairie". Mike hasn't seen it yet, so I don't know what his opinion will be. What do you think? Should I take it back?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Frugal Valentine's Day

Love Collection by Camille Soulayrol
Love Collection

My husband and I don't make a big deal out of Valentine's Day and we rarely spend more than $5. That being said, we DO like to make sure the other feels a little extra love on Valentine's.

Here are my favorite ways to let Mike know he is loved and appreciated without spending money on a card or gift.

1. Pray for him. I let him know that I am praying for him every day and sometimes I will write down the particular verse I prayed for him that day and leave it on a sticky note on his pillow. For ideas on what to pray for your husband read 31 Days of Prayer.

2. Write him a letter. He loves to get letters that are in my own words and not pre-printed cards. It's also easier for me to say things in a letter that I might stumble over or forget about if we are talking. I tell him why I love him, the more specific the better. One year I wrote in the letter how spoiled and loved I felt when he filled my gas tank for me (for some reason I hate putting gas in the van). I don't think I filled it once for the rest of that year. He made sure to check my gas gauge every weekend.

3. Cook a special meal and light candles. Even though I cook every night, I try to make something special that Mike loves for Valentine's Day and for his birthday. I also make his favorite German Chocolate cake.

4. Leave him a "thinking of you" voicemail. Sometimes I will call Mike during a meeting or some other time when I know he won't be able to answer his phone and leave him a funny voicemail. I only do this on his cell phone though. One time I left him a "singing" voicemail on his office phone and he played it back with a co-worker in the room. It was G rated and he thought it was funny, but I was definitely red faced when I found out someone else had heard it...

5. Watch a movie or play a game that he likes. Mike loves to watch movies. I'm not much of a movie watcher (I can never seem to sit still long enough) and when I do watch a movie, it's NOT an action/war movie. He also loves to play chess and cards and I'm not too fond of either. One way that I can really show him that I love him is to sit and watch a movie that he likes(no fidgeting!) or play a game with him.

For more Frugal Valentine Ideas visit Money Saving Mom

Friday, February 8, 2008

New Recipe Disaster

Hot Soup by Beth Franks
Hot Soup

I LOVE soup when the weather is cool. At the first sign of a cool down in the fall, I'm making soup. Usually my family likes soup too. I found a recipe for Cheddar Cheese Soup that sounded SO good. Unfortunately the family wasn't too taken with it.

When Greg saw the soup, he suddenly remembered that he was meeting one of his friends to eat at Wendy's. Marcia took one look and said "What is THAT??" Mike had to work late and by the time he got home, the soup looked like some sort of congealed yellow mess.

I just hate it when a new recipe falls flat like that. I feel like I wasted all that time not to mention the money on the ingredients.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Banana Bread

This banana bread is not only yummy, but nutritious too. The recipe is from one of my most loved cookbooks, The New Laurel's Kitchen. From the state of this particular page, it's obvious that I've made it many times over the years. :)

3 very ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup oil or butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup wheat germ
(1 cup chopped dates)
(1 cup toasted nuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mash bananas and mix them with lemon juice until smooth. Cream butter or oil and sugar together and add the banana mixture, stirring well.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in wheat germ. Add to the banana mix and stire in dates and nuts if desired.

The dough will be very stiff. Turn it into a greased 4" x 8" loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a knife into the loaf: if it comes out clean, the bread is done.

Makes 1 loaf.
(You can also bake banana bread in an 8" x 8" pan, or make 12 muffins. Bake these for about 1/2 hour.)